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RWA2018 Workshops by Track




Wednesday Immersive Sessions


2:00–3:00 p.m.

With Good Grace: A Conversation with Beverly Jenkins and Cathy Maxwell
Speakers: Beverly Jenkins and Cathy Maxwell
Moderator: Pam Jaffee
Note: This session will not be recorded

Join best-selling and award-winning authors Beverly Jenkins and Cathy Maxwell for an inspiring afternoon chat on the industry and the various paths authors might choose on their writing journeys.

Beverly JenkinsCathy Maxwell

2:00–5:00 p.m.

Newsletter Master Class
Speaker: Erica Ridley
Note: This session will not be recorded

As a USA Today and New York Times best-selling author with forty thousand e-newsletter subscribers, Erica Ridley is passionate about giving them a reason to open and click every single time. Happy readers are the key to success! Whether you’re just starting a newsletter or already have tens of thousands of eager fans, this in-depth workshop will help you attract more subscribers and increase engagement with existing readers.

In addition to GDPR, we'll discuss knowing when to start and how to launch effectively; how to grow your list organically; how to maximize paid promotions, giveaways, and lead generation; optimizing your website for new subscribers; increasing conversion on social media; setting up automation sequences and drip campaigns; monitoring and improving open rates, click rates, and reengagement; groups, targeting, and advanced segmentation; conditional merge tags for a custom experience; tips, tricks, warnings, and practical examples; as well as a Q&A.

Erica Ridley

Stealing Hollywood
Alexandra Sokoloff
Note: This session will not be recorded

Award-winning author/screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff's internationally acclaimed Screenwriting Tricks for Authors story structure workshops and workbooks use movies to teach authors and screenwriters essential film structure and visual storytelling techniques and have helped hundreds of aspiring authors to publishing deals and professional authors to write better books.

This three-hour master class will illuminate the three-act, eight-sequence structure of film writing and specific visual storytelling techniques by tracking specific examples from romance movies in several subgenres. Whether you're a plotter or a pantser, you’ll learn to use your favorite movies to help you develop your book idea and/or rewrite your novel to make it the best book it can be.

Alexandra Sokoloff



3:00–5:00 p.m.

The Writer's Guide to Getting It All Done
Sarra Cannon

These days, a writer’s to-do list never ends. Between marketing, social media, publishing, and all our many business tasks, it’s amazing any of us find the time and mental energy to actually write the books we love. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and perpetually behind, this workshop will help you learn how to prioritize what truly matters, create a plan that helps you get it all done, and get back to what you love most. Writing.

Stop stressing and take control of your time. Join award-winning Young Adult author, Sarra Cannon, as we discuss strategies to organize your schedule, stay motivated, and get back to the joy of creating. With nearly three-quarters of a million books sold since she first self-published back in 2010, Sarra is also a mom with an active social media following, a blog, and a growing YouTube channel called Heart Breathings, where she helps authors like you balance the art and business of writing. Believe it or not, she still finds plenty of time for walks on the beach, gaming with her family, and weekends with friends.

Sarra Cannon






20/20 Sessions (3 rounds of a 20-minute session)


Advanced Craft Tips
Speaker: Laura Drake

In this advanced presentation, learn some quick tips on deep POV, triple-duty descriptions, creative use of body language, dialogue tags, characterization, and backstory slivers. Don’t miss out on this chance to take your book to the next level.


Beyond the Arched Brow: Using Body Language to Show Instead of Tell
Speaker: Silver James

Discover how to incorporate facial expressions and body postures to convey emotion and deeper POV attitudes in your writing. This presentation includes photos to go along with an open discussion of many of the expressions and postures most often used in romance writing.


Character Development Tools, Tips, and Hacks to Create Characters that Leap into Hearts
Speaker: Melinda Curtis

Psychologists have identified ten traits people have that make it hard (or impossible) to have a healthy romantic relationship. Using one of these traits in your character to develop internal conflict will provide a believable and relatable foundation for a great character. Each trait will be brought to life by examples from movies and TV.


Creating Alternative Content: How to Reward and Entice Readers and Build a Community
Speaker: Lindsay Emory

It’s time to think outside the box of swag and freebies and, instead, focus on the idea of alternative content. Learn the benefits, costs, and establish goals. Sample ideas will be split between easy, moderate, and advanced. Brainstorm the big ideas that will make any author stand out in a crowded market.


Five Easy Tips to Avoid the Slush Pile
Speaker: Susan C. Muller

Don’t aggravate agents and editors before they’ve read the first chapter. If the first few pages fail to grab them, they won’t stick around long enough to realize what a gripping story you’ve written. Learn these five easy tips to avoid the slush pile!


Instagram for Authors
Speaker: Stephanie Scott

With 800 million worldwide users and growing, Instagram is no longer simply an app to add filters to photos. Discover how you can use this major-league social media platform to connect with readers worldwide. The #bookstagram community is thriving and well-worth investing in.


Keeping One Step Ahead of the Aches and Pains of Creativity
Speaker: Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, an author and faculty in health and exercise science at two colleges, teaches five simple things writers can do to help their bodies and keep them typing.


Lab Errors and How to Prevent Them in Novels
Speaker: Marie Johnston

Doctors and nurses get all the glory, but clinical lab work shows a whole other side to the story. This discussion, presented by an experienced medical technician, covers the level of education found in various labs, the general procedures for common blood work and where lab errors occur—all with the consideration of a writer and why we might find it useful.


Medical Terminology
Speaker: Patricia W. Fischer

Fine tune your medical jargon, STAT. With over a decade of nursing experience in the pediatric, adult ICU, and ER units, Patricia Fischer covers medical terminology, how to incorporate accurate medical aspects into a story without bogging it down, and where to find solid information and resources regarding medicine and the medical field.


Novel Prep for Writing Fast
Speaker: Alexis Daria

Get quick tips for prepping your novel before starting any project. Grab the tools of deep outlining, scene cards, character development, backstory scenes, playlists, and mood boards and hit the ground running and keep up that pace.


Prewriting Workshop: Ten Questions to Ask Before Writing a Book
Speaker: Heather Long

Getting ready to write your story? Use this ten-question method that works for both plotters and pantsers before you start!


Quick Stretches and Meditation
Speaker: Jessie Potts

Join USA Today HEA blogger Jessie Potts as she leads attendees through twenty minutes of stretches that can be done in any writer’s office as well as Meditation for creativity, focus, and gratitude.


Research Beyond Your Local Library and the Internet
Speaker: Felicitas Ivey

Up your research game by learning how to use university and college libraries. JSTOR, Interlibrary loan, and odd, small presses can be a good source of research material for your historical or contemporary novel. Get tips and tricks from Felicitas Ivey, a help desk tech at a university in Boston, on how to navigate this rich, often untapped, source of information.


REsearch, REfocus, REdirect
Speaker: Tina DeSalvo

Get media excited about your books. Reach the news channels, magazines, bloggers, reviewers and other social media outlets. Join veteran journalist and successful author, Tina DeSalvo, who'll share why certain people got her attention for air-time and others did not. She’ll also help you identify the available media sources.


Research Session about Libraries
Speaker: Katie Dunneback

In this session, learn what your local librarian can do to help you research your latest project in any genre.


Retreat! Retreat! From DIYs to Working Vacations
Speaker: Xio Axelrod

Writing retreats are a fantastic way to recharge your batteries, find the space to work uninterrupted, and/or get much-needed feedback on your latest manuscript from people who really get you: your tribe. Whether you’re looking to attend a retreat or host one yourself, I’ll discuss the ins and outs of these events and why they might be the best tool in an author’s toolbox.


Riding the Contest Rollercoaster
Speakers: Grace Adams and Susan Scott Shelley

Discuss the “why” and “how” of entering contests, managing expectations, and making the feedback work for you. Whether your next contest is the first time you’re putting your work out there or the hundredth, these tips will help you get the most out of these unique opportunities.


“Scent”sational Books: Why Smelly Writing Makes Good Sense
Speaker: Collette Cameron

No matter how you describe scent, few things are as evocative and unforgettable as smell. Often overlooked and underappreciated in a world where seeing, hearing, and touching are at the pinnacle of most prose, scent establishes the most long-lasting emotional connections and memories of all the senses. Weaving smells into writing plunges readers deeper into the characters’ point of view, creating enduring impressions that surface again and again.


Service Animals in Romance Fiction
Speaker: Tina Smith

Are you writing a book featuring a service animal? Learn more about these interesting, well-trained, and useful companions in this discussion, along with slides of animals in action. Tina Smith is experienced raising guide dogs for the blind and is familiar with other service animals and programs.


The Six Stages of Love and How to Write Them into Your Romance
Speaker: Anabelle Bryant

The French call it frisson—that sudden rush of excitement when an attraction begins. How does an author translate those feelings into words on a blank page? This workshop will be an interactive discussion of all six progressive stages of love, from lust (frisson) to endurance, and how to apply them to create impact within a romance novel.


Ten Things You Need to Know Before You Start Self-Publishing
Speaker: Kitty Bucholtz

Are you considering self-publishing a book? Discover the ten things you need to know before you start! This is an encouraging, but thorough, look at what it takes to start a writing business in a way that forms the foundation for success—and to help you decide if self-publishing isn’t for you.


Tips for Writing Historical Romance
Speaker: Syrie James

Historical romances are thrilling because they allow us to experience life and love in another era. Imbue your book with the spirit of the age you’ve chosen, and get the details right! Bestselling author Syrie James, who has won numerous awards for her historicals, will share writing and research tips to help a writer create an authentic historic backdrop for an author's novel.

Tips on Writing Events for Beginners
Speaker: Xio Axelrod
Join a best-selling author as she offers up her top tips on the basics of writing appearances and signings, including booking events, ordering books/swag, what to wear, what to say, selling on consignment, setting up your table, etc.


Using Genealogical Resources to Research Your Historical
Speaker: Ursula Renee

Genealogy is not just for hobbyists. The techniques and resources used in genealogical research offer effective tools for historical research and character building. In this session, you will learn about how to use primary sources including birth, death, and marriage certificates, property records, and the U.S. Census to develop realistic character histories and backgrounds.


What It’s Like to Put out a Kindle in Motion Book
Speaker: Sariah Wilson

Want to learn more about Kindle in Motion technology and how you can use it to engage readers? Join an author with experience using the platform who will discuss what it’s like from start to finish, the reception by readers, how it can benefit your career.


The World of the 20th Century: The First Fifty Years
Speaker: Molly Maka

Historical romance can encompass more than medievals, Regency, or westerns. Think Edwardian, WWI, WWII, and everything in between! Molly Maka, a ten-year veteran of historical reenacting and a World War II romance author, will provide her love and knowledge of history, plus her years as a reference librarian, to share some of the best ways and sources a writer can use when researching the first half of the twentieth century.


Writing for Your Global Romance Audience
Speaker: Sheila Hodgson

The world is a much smaller place, and the audience for your books isn’t bound by spots on a map. Join an experienced editor who works across globally published romance series to discover how you can write for a global audience.





Career Track


Author Assistants
Speakers: Maria Connor and Callie Hutton
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors 

Want to know how an author assistant can help you and where you can find a reputable one? In this panel, you will learn what to look for in an author assistant as well as discover what an author assistant can do to help you grow your business and save you time.


Author Reinvention from the Agent Perspective
Speakers: Michelle Grajkowski, Kevan Lyon, and Courtney Miller-Callihan
Level: Master (recommended for authors with three-plus books published)

In today’s market, many authors are discovering that they need to reinvent themselves and their careers. Many write in multiple genres, which means career mapping and planning are key to accomplishing success. In this panel, these well-established agents will speak about reinventing your career, branding, discoverability, and marketing.


Birds of a Feather Cross-Promo Together: Techniques to Increase Discoverability and Visibility
Speakers: Alexis Daria, Priscilla Oliveras, Sabrina Sol, and Mia Sosa
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Four multipublished authors discuss ways to improve discoverability and increase individual visibility through targeted cross-promotion. The panelists will share tips on how to identify common contributions to the market, develop a joint brand, and harness the power of author networks. Participants will be encouraged to explore comps and brainstorm a collective promotion strategy.


Building a Unified Author Brand
Speaker: Laura Kaye
Level: All

New York Times best-selling author Laura Kaye offers definitions and examples of author branding, a question list for authors to use to identify and build their brand, and case studies of successful author branding and authors who evolved/changed their branding.


Building and Expanding Your Readership
Speakers: Laura Kaye, Carly Phillips, and Carrie Ann Ryan
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Best-selling authors share savvy tips for building and expanding your readership and platform based on real-world experience, lessons learned, and trial and error.


Building Relationships with Independent Bookstores
Speaker: Sarah MacLean
Level: Master (recommended for authors with three-plus books published)

Published authors, are you looking to make inroads with your local/regional independent booksellers? Do you want to see your books on shelves in brick-and-mortar stores? Join a New York Times best-selling author for a session on conversations with a local indie bookseller that doesn’t carry romance, building a community of local romance readers, and boosting sales.


Distributing Wide versus Exclusive
Speakers: Deanna Chase, Debra Dunbar, and Violet Vaughn
Level: All

There are a lot of questions about whether or not an author should have wide distribution for their books or go exclusively with one platform. In this panel of best-selling authors, learn what routes they’ve taken and why.


Econ 101 of E-book Pricing
Speaker: Alisha R. Bloom, Esq.
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

This workshop, taught by attorney and former economist Alisha R. Bloom, Esq., applies basic economic concepts to e-books in an easy-to-understand lesson that can help you choose pricing strategies. Topics to be discussed include consumer demand and how changes in price affect demand; the ways e-books are different from experiences and tangible products; and how psychology may influence pricing decisions. Leave with pricing strategy ideas you can tailor to your individual circumstances and goals.


Finding Your Audience on Amazon
Speaker: Dan Slater
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Join Amazon’s KDP and ACX teams to learn about the latest developments, tools, and programs Amazon offers to help indie authors publish, market, and drive discoverability of their books in Kindle, print, and audio.


Five Myths About US Trademark Law
1.5 Hours
Speaker: Mindy Klasky
Level: All

Trademarks have been in the news for romance writers. This session (taught by a former trademark lawyer who represented hundreds of large corporations, trade associations, and individual trademark owners) will cover five myths about trademark law including (1) words and designs that can function as trademarks, (2) ins and outs of common law, state, and federal trademark registration, (3) standards for determining when one trademark infringes another, (4) using trademarks in fiction, and (5) similarities and differences between copyrights and trademarks.


Going Indie with Young Adult
Speakers: Sarra Cannon, Amalie Howard, and Amy Patrick
Level: All

Join award-winning, best-selling YA authors as they discuss the challenges, strategies, and joys unique to the young adult side of self-publishing. Whether you have a background in traditional publishing, want to be a hybrid author, or you’re just starting out, we’ll cover the possible pitfalls to avoid and share some promo and marketing tips you can use to launch your own YA indie career.


Grow Your Global Sales with Kobo
30 Minutes

Speaker: Christine Munroe, Kobo
Level: Intermediate

This session will offer in-depth strategies to help you take your global Kobo sales to the next level. Find out what Kobo’s most-successful romance authors have in common and what’s selling best right now. You’ll learn about the latest opportunities to grow your readership, from Kobo’s new partnership with Walmart to direct distribution to libraries through OverDrive.


The Historical Is Not Dead: Staying Relevant in Today’s Market
Speakers: Alyssa Cole, Elizabeth Hoyt, and Sabrina Jeffries
Level: All

Best-selling historical romance authors discuss strategies on how to be successful in this still popular and vital subgenre.


How to Get Your Book on Radio or TV
Speakers: Sorboni Banerjee and Linda Bond
Level: Master (recommended for authors with three-plus books published)

Ready to discover the key to the pitch for media coverage? Learn from two TV reporters and published authors what works, what gets deleted, and how to think out of the box when it comes to marketing and promoting your book on radio and/or television.


How to Self-Publish Professionally
Speakers: Corinne Michaels, Laurelin Paige, and Kristen Proby
Level: All

Join New York Times bestselling authors as they tackle how to look and sell like a professional in today’s self-publishing market. Topics covered will include why editing, cover design, and book description are the foundation of a book’s success, how to market to your readers and grow new ones, and how to launch a new release to the independent market. Listen to these three established authors as they share the different approaches that have worked over their careers as well as what they learned throughout their publishing journey.


How to Use Price Promotions to Sell More Books
Speaker: Carlyn Robertson, Account Coordinator, BookBub
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

BookBub is the leading platform for promoting discounted e-books and has ample data on how to leverage price promotions to accomplish a number of different book marketing goals. Discover how to use BookBub’s marketing tools to promote a new release, hit a best-seller list, reinvigorate backlist sales, generate reviews, or boost revenue.


The Keys to Success with Audiobooks
Speakers: Will Dages, Tracy Goodwin, and Hannah Wall
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

There is a whole new world that is quickly gaining steam: audiobooks. Join the panelists to discuss the keys to success in the audiobook market. Whether you’re selling audiobook rights or hiring narrators and producers to create your audiobook, you’ll be able to walk away from this workshop with tangible ideas for success.


Leverage the Power of Barnes & Noble with Barnes & Noble Press
Speakers: Julie Braunschweiger and Sarah Dickman

Learn about Barnes & Noble’s recently re-launched self-publishing platform, Barnes & Noble Press. B&N Press has undergone some major renovations and combined and unified our eBook and print platforms under our new brand: Barnes & Noble Press™. Closely aligned with our national retail stores, Barnes & Noble Press is a free, fast, and easy way to publish your books and reach millions of B&N readers. This in-depth talk will show authors at any level how they can maximize revenue and transform the way they reach readers by publishing with B&N Press for direct eBook and Print distribution to Barnes & Noble. We'll discuss best practices for print distribution as well as new merchandising initiatives designed to reach readers, in whatever format they read and discover books. 


List Balancing
Speakers: Leah Hultenschmidt and Sara Megibow
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

You be the publisher! In this interactive workshop, learn the behind-the-scenes strategies of how publishers build their lists each season and what authors can do to help drive success.


Low-Cost Marketing
Speakers: Deanna Chase, Avery Flynn, and Cristin Harber
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Every author needs to market their books, but not everyone has a bottomless well of cash to draw from. Join these panelists to discover tried-and-true methods of free and cheap ways to market yourself and your books.


Make Your Ads More Effective
Speaker: Skye Warren
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

If you can make an ad, but you can’t make it turn a profit, this session is for you! This is a serious workshop on ad strategy for authors eager to find new readers, sell more books, and take control of their careers.


Making Good Money in Self-Publishing
Speakers: Angie Fox, Cristin Harber, K. A. Linde, and Corinne Michaels
Level: Intermediate

Years ago, there was a self-publishing gold rush, but those days are long behind us. Discover how, in the state of this market, authors can still make good money in self-publishing.


Making the Most of Your Backlist
Speakers: Barbara Freethy, Carly Phillips, and Skye Warren
Level: Master (recommended for authors with three-plus books published)

Every author’s backlist has value. Whether you’ve had your rights returned to you and you’re looking to put those books back out into the market, or you want to ramp up the sales of your backlist titles, discover how you can make the most of your backlist, increase sales, and use your already-created product to revitalize your brand between new releases.


Marketing Insights and Advice from Librarians
Speakers: Robin Bradford, Wendy Crutcher, and Katie Dunneback
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

From collection development to reader’s advisory, librarians know about marketing from both ends of the spectrum. Three librarians—two of them RWA Librarians of the Year and the other a published author—talk about the ways that marketing both catches their eye when making selection decisions and marketing their collections to potential readers. Learn insiders’ tips that make librarians want to push your book on everyone who walks in the door and no-no’s that will make librarians pretend you don’t exist.


Maximizing Revenue Streams
Speakers: Louise Fury, Lisa Renee Jones, Geneva Lee, and Liz Pelletier
Level: Master (recommended for authors with three-plus books published)

Are you looking for ways to increase revenue without creating new content? Looking for a way to supplement your income between releases? Want to make the most out of the content you have? Join these panelists for a discussion on the ways you can maximize your revenue streams.


Multiauthor Publishing Projects
Speakers: Liz Berry, Eliza Knight, Caridad Piñeiro, and Heather Webb
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Best-selling authors and an industry professional discuss the ins and outs of planning, coordinating, and implementing successful multiauthor projects, including connected worlds, shared series, boxed sets, co-authoring, anthologies, continuity projects, and other various collaborative works. Learn how becoming involved in a multiauthor project can help boost your brand, broaden your readership, expand your backlist, and advance you as a writer, as well as how to avoid the possible pitfalls of such projects.


Packaging and Promoting Your Book: How to Write Taglines, Blurbs, Teasers, and More
Speakers: Marissa Caldwell and Laurie Cooper
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

So many authors can knock out thousands of words in a day for a book but get stuck writing short blurbs, taglines, tweets, and catchy hooks to get readers interested in that book. Learn four simple formulas to help break through that promo block and write engaging, short taglines and longer blurbs, complete with tips on marketing hooks, and some keywords and phrases to include for optimal discoverability for each romance subgenre.


Powering Up Productivity: Project Planning for Writers
Speakers: Asa Maria Bradley and Piper J. Drake
Level: Intermediate

Getting your words on the page and marketing your books effectively while also juggling a day job, family, chores, and everything else life throws at you can seem like an impossible task, but this workshop will help you get a handle on that chaos. Join two authors whose academic and corporate day jobs trained them in project planning as they share secrets on how to create effective project plans specifically tailored for writers. You'll walk away with the tools necessary to slay your deadlines and leave time for social media too! 


Promotion for Debut Authors
Speakers: Adriana Anders, Andie J. Christopher, and Alexis Daria
Level: Beginner

Join three authors to discover what they did to promote their first releases and the strategies they used to make those releases a success.


Reinvention: The Not-So Straight Path to Success
Speakers: Tamara Hogan, Cathy McDavid, Tanya Michaels, Monica Murphy, and Kate Pearce
Level: Master (recommended for authors with three-plus books published)

Join these romance authors as they discuss and answer questions about how they had to change, adapt, and adjust their goals (and deadlines!) when their publishing careers took them on different journeys than they’d originally planned. From coming to terms with doing things their own way to lines shutting down to changing pen names and/or subgenres, these authors share their traditional- and indie-publishing experiences, and describe their roads to reinvention.


Sell More Books with Less Social Media
Speakers: Chris Syme and Rebecca Syme
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Are you afraid you’re not doing enough social media promotion? Are you following the latest big thing everyone is doing, but you’re still not sure it’s the right thing? Do you want to make smarter decisions instead of worrying that you’re following the crowd? Learn how to set priorities and do only what will make a genuine impact on your bottom line. Chris Syme (an award-winning social media marketing expert) and Becca Syme (a best-selling novelist and psychometric productivity expert) will use metrics and best practices to give you strategies for efficient and effective social media marketing, freeing you up to write more books.


Social Media Mistakes You Might Be Making
Speaker: Laura Kaye
Level: All

Discover practical and tangible advice for building and improving an effective social media presence from a New York Times best-selling author and collected from multiple other authors. Learn about common and easy-to-rectify mistakes and missed opportunities on all social media sites, websites, e-book back matter, retail and book promotion sites, newsletters, and more.


Strategic Career Planning for Pre-Published Authors
Speakers: Denny S. Bryce, Scarlett Cole, and Eva Leigh
Level: Beginner

When does a romance writer begin to lay the foundation for a career as a published author? This panel will cover critical steps and definitions authors can use to create business plans, branding strategies, and social media tactics. It will also provide insights on the difference between visibility and branding, and what you can do now to begin building your brand and gaining awareness. Learn the basics of budgeting and topics such as pen names, websites, media kits, networking, social media do’s and don’ts, and how to track productivity while balancing a busy schedule.


Successfully Selling Books from Your Own Website
Speakers: Grace Burrowes, Jillian Dodd, and Jessica Scott
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Join three authors who have been successfully selling their books to readers from their own websites. Learn what programs you can use to host your website store and how to get your books to readers.


The Ultimate Happily Ever After: Hybrid Publishing Decoded
Speakers: Kimberly Brower, Justine Bylo, and Helena Hunting
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Join a representative from IngramSpark, an agent, and a best-selling author as they discuss using both forms of publishing to expand their content’s footprint while increasing opportunities for profit. This panel session will help you make the most of your content by sharing how to tactfully make the leap from traditional to indie publishing; what to consider to determine whether you shop your title or self-publish; and hybrid book marketing strategies for success.


Ways to Plan for a Long-Term Publishing Career
Speakers: Shayla Black, Sylvia Day, and Darynda Jones
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

In this ever-changing market, many authors are discovering that a career in writing is harder to achieve. Join these best-selling authors, who have been successful in the publishing industry for many years, as they share tips on how to plan for a long-term publishing career and ways you can achieve and maintain success.


The Winning Website
Speaker: L. Penelope
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

A solid author platform is more necessary now than ever for both established authors and those just starting out. While social media and online retailers are important, the hub of your online activity is the one entity you can control completely: your website. Learn strategies and tips for creating a strong web presence that will anchor your online platform, support your brand, and increase your visibility.


Writing Quickly
Speakers: Lexi Blake and Rebecca Zanetti
Level: All

Prolific authors have an advantage in today's fast-paced publishing market because of the voracious reading habits of romance readers.  Join two multi-published authors in a frank discussion sharing practical tips for meeting those deadlines and creating the fan base and career you want.




Craft Track


The Art of Prologues and Epilogues
Speaker: Winnie Griggs and Renee Ryan
Level: All

In this workshop, award-winning author Winnie Griggs will discuss the story bookends of prologues and epilogues including how to determine when to use them and when not to, the different story purposes they can serve, and the dos and don’ts of constructing them.


Battle of the Historical Time Periods
Speakers: Alyssa Cole and Joanna Shupe
Level: All

No, it’s not a Scottish or Regency romance! Historical romance can span every era and heritage, offering fresh perspectives and unexpected richness. Join two authors who write in very different eras and learn how they’ve tackled the odds of not conforming to find success with agents, editors, and their audience. 


Because You Said So! Creating Your World for Series Success
Speaker: Kelley Armstrong, Lisa Kessler, and Rebecca Zanetti
Level: Intermediate/advanced multipublished authors

Build your career, one world at a time. Join best-selling authors for an in-depth discussion of how to create realistic and engaging paranormal romance worlds that will draw in fans and keep them there. Authors will also learn about world evolution, so your world can grow and expand with your series, as well as tips to avoid pitfalls like breaking your own world rules.


Conflict Is Key
Speaker: Flo Nicoll, Senior Editor, Harlequin
Level: All

No story is complete without conflict, but conflict needs to be more than spats and squabbles. Learning to deepen and shade conflict can transform stories in any genre. Join a seasoned editor to discover the key elements to adding believable internal and external conflict that will propel your story forward and keep readers turning the pages.


Crafting Authentic Military Characters
Speaker: Geri Krotow
Level: All

Military romance remains a perennial favorite. Audiences expect detail and realism, so getting the specifics right is critical. Geri Krotow has experienced several military roles to include being a United States Naval Academy grad, former Navy Intelligence Officer, and Navy Spouse. Join Geri and learn how to create authentic military heroines and heroes in this intensive workshop.


Crafting a Slam-Dunk Hook and Query: Insider Tips
Speakers: Mary Altman, Cat Clyne, and TBA
Level: All

Today’s romance fiction marketplace is extremely competitive. For both new and established authors, getting your new novel or series noticed above the noise is challenging. One way to catch the eye of industry professionals and readers is with a slam-dunk hook that communicates the unique, must-read elements of your story or series. Learn from industry insiders how to woo an agent and editor with an effective hook and query for your romance novel or series.


Deep Point of View
Speaker: Barbara Longley
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Join a master teacher and award-winning author who has created her own definition of deep point of view as it pertains to showing versus telling; character-driven versus plot-driven stories; backstory and intimacy; filter/buffer words, disembodiment; overuse of “to be” verbs; descriptive narrative and pacing. Through each paradigm, step by step, she’ll show how deep point of view relates to each element, along with examples.


Speaker: Kristan Higgins
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Get your characters talking! This workshop examines the purpose of dialogue in books versus in real life and explores the manifold uses of dialogue to shape pacing, chemistry, humor, world building, pathos, and more. Using examples from books and movies and her own work, Higgins will demonstrate the best ways to make dialogue faster, cleaner, and more impactful.


Diversity in Category Romance
Speaker: Stacy Boyd and Brenda Jackson
Level: All

Category romance is open to a wide range of hero and heroine backgrounds, ethnicities, body types, ages, abilities, and disabilities. We’ll discuss how writers can craft relatable, realistic characters within the series romance fantasy; the particular challenges of portraying characters authentically, respectfully, and accurately; and how we are improving representation in series romance, with Q&A on where we go from here.


Eliciting Emotion: How to Hook Your Reader’s Heart
Speaker: Jamie Beck
Level: Intermediate

Your readers want to feel, and the richer and more moving that emotional landscape, the more compelling your work. This workshop offers practical advice about how to get readers to connect with your story from the outset through well-crafted characters, story tension, deep POV, sensory details, symbols and motifs, and prose that will keep them invested long after they put the book down.


Embracing Real People on the Page
Speakers: Cindy Dees, Melanie Jayne, and Jeannie Moon
Level: All

Have you ever wondered how to create characters your readers love and can’t get enough of? Discover why characters that reflect real people, be they mature or plus-sized, non-billionaires or non-fashion models, are key to building strong reader empathy. Explore what traits make a character genuine, relatable, and unforgettable. Learning tools to embrace realism can develop your strengths as an author, expand your audience, and ensure that your books end up on readers’ keeper shelves.


Finding the Romance in Real History
Speakers: Beverly Jenkins and Susanna Kearsley
Level: All

If you think history is dusty, stodgy, or boring, we bet we can change your mind. Learn two best-selling authors’ secret approaches and techniques for crafting romance while drawing on stories from real life and staying true to the historical record.


The First 100 Pages of Your Novel
Speaker: Barbara Samuel
Level: Intermediate

Hooking your audience from the get-go is essential. What elements need to be on the first page and the first chapter? Who needs to be introduced and when? In this workshop, you’ll learn to create story questions to keep your readers flipping pages.


Five Ways to Make your Characters More Lovable and Believable
Speaker: Christie Craig (aka C. C. Hunter)
Level: All

Characters are the lifeblood of any romance and are often what fans remember most about a story. Join a New York Times best-selling author and learn her tricks for creating beloved, credible characters who win readers’ hearts.


Genre Structure and Pushing Its Boundaries
Speaker: Sonali Dev and Alisha Rai
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

Genre structure can be both incredibly freeing and challenging. On one hand, it's a roadmap; on the other hand, you’re telling a story where the forward motion is not fueled by the ending alone, but by the crafting and the telling. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to push the limits of convention while still relaying comforting stories.


Happier Endings
Speaker: Damon Suede
Level: Master (recommended for authors with three-plus books published)

Great writing needs stakes that sizzle. In today’s market, generic goals and forgettable HEAs won’t cut it. Go beyond GMC and backstory with happy endings that break the mold, internally and externally. Whether you’re a plotter or pantser, learn to elicit intense empathy and killer word of mouth by clarifying scene goals and story stakes for your characters. In this two-hour master class, we’ll unpack techniques that can amp the emotional impact of any story by focusing on what makes your scenes slick and your characters tick.


How to Transform a Good Book into a Great Book
Speaker: Robin Perini
Level: Intermediate/advanced published authors

What did Robin Perini learn that took her from “almost sold” to selling fourteen books to two publishers in two years? Find out how in this practical, hands-on workshop. Whether you’re indie, hybrid, or traditionally published, these tools and techniques will take a book from good to great!


How to Write the Series Proposal that Acquiring Editors Dream About (Updated for 2018)
Speaker: Liz Maverick
Level: All

The new version of this workshop includes the how-to template approach to writing the perfect series proposal, along with a new section that focuses on how to develop the overarching series plot, how to weave it into individual books, and how to portray it in the context of the series proposal/selling document. Discover how to craft a winning series proposal, why it’s important, what content should be included, and how it should be presented.


The Hunger Games—Revisions Style
Speaker: Sherry Thomas
Level: All

Few things fill Sherry Thomas with as much dread as a detailed critique from her critique partner, who is dedicated, talented, and blunt. If she provides five hundred comments, there might be three compliments, and the rest must be dealt with one way or the other. This is a story of survival, of panic, torment, and the triumph—at times—of pure cussedness.


Is There a Place for Quiet Stories in the Fast-Paced, Edgy World of YA Fiction?
Speakers: Annette Bourland, McCall Hoyle, and Christina June
Level: All

Join authors and the HarperCollins/Blink senior vice president as they define “quiet” young adult fiction. Using examples, they will show how to leverage and market quiet books by focusing on two important characteristics of all best-selling fiction: voice and emotion. Recommended reading lists, as well as query letters for books that sold to traditional publishing houses, will be provided. Participants will leave with a better understanding of “quiet” and the confidence they need to sell and market their own works.


Key Elements to Create a Successful Series
Speakers: Brenda Jackson and Jill Shalvis
Level: Intermediate published authors

Learn the key elements of creating a successful series that readers will want to follow all the way to the end. This class will cover brainstorming, preparation, and continuity, so you can build a story strong enough to carry readers from book to book and so your career and your audience can grow in tandem.


Open Hearts, Open Minds: Bringing This Is Us to Your Fiction
Speakers: Laurie Alice Eakes, Piper Huguley, Rose Lerner, and Vanessa Riley
Level: All

You don’t have to be a fan of the critical darling This Is Us television show to know that its tremendous emotional power and widespread appeal cannot be denied. The writers and creators of the show have done something worth studying to get audiences to emotionally engage with the variety of people featured on the show. The panelists will give tips for creating a similar kind of inclusiveness and emotional engagement in your fiction.


Romance, Explosions, and Dead Bodies: Writing Exciting Romantic Suspense
Speaker: Karen Rose
Level: All

How do you balance fear and the desire for maximum audience impact? Discover the craft of writing a romantic suspense novel from New York Times best-selling author Karen Rose. Learn how to weave romance with suspense that keeps your readers emotionally engaged and staying up well past bedtime to turn the pages.


The Subtle Art of Pacing
Speaker: Nancy Herkness
Level: All

Learn stylistic techniques to keep the reader’s attention engaged throughout the book. Award-winning author and former poet Nancy Herkness offers writing tools that can improve pacing in the first draft and in the editing phases, without having to make major changes to the plot. Guided by an overarching dedication to purpose, this method focuses on chapter openings and closings, dialogue and dialogue tags, subtext, microconflict, microsurprise, description and backstory pacing, and word choice.


What to Do When You Lose Your Core Story
Speaker: Courtney Milan
Level: Master (recommended for multipublished authors)

Everyone’s heard of your core story—those emotional elements in fiction that you find yourself writing, time and time again, because they’re meaningful to you. Once you figure it out, it’s supposed to make your writing life a little easier. But we’re humans, and humans change, and that means that we have to be constantly renewing our old tricks. This workshop talks (briefly) about how to know what your core story is, how to tell if it’s changing, and what to do to get yourself writing fiction that resonates with who you are today, not who you were three years ago.


Writing a Bestseller in Inspirational Historical Fiction
Speakers: Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse
Level: All

Take your writing to the next level and learn how multipublished authors--Tracie and Kimberley-- write best-selling inspirational historical fiction novels. They will share with you the key elements they’ve used to create authentic and inspiring stories that keep their readers coming back for more.


Writing Inspirational Romance: It’s more than Amish!
Speaker: Nicole Deese, Rachelle Gardner, Kara Isaac, Lee Tobin McClain, and Emily Rodmell
Level: All

In this workshop for beginners and intermediate romance writers, learn about the craft of writing Christian romance, what trends are working, and how to handle sensuality and faith in inspirational romance.


Writing a Sweet Romance
Speaker: Kristi Ann Hunter
Level: All

Like every subgenre of romance, writing sweet romance comes with its own set of quirks and challenges. It isn’t the same genre as inspirational romance, and it doesn’t mean that you leave sensuality at the door. We still want our romances to sizzle, even without the spice. Skills covered in this class include conveying attraction, showing the progression of a relationship’s intimacy, handling the physical element, and managing reader expectations.


Writing Synopses that Grip Editors and Agents and Sell Your Book
Speaker: Julia Kelly and Alisha Rai
Level: Intermediate

Writing a synopsis is just par for the course in an author’s career, but what if you could sell your books from a synopsis alone? Summarizing your story’s selling points doesn’t have to be a chore. Join a former journalist and editor turned author to learn the tips and tricks that landed her multiple contracts via synopses alone.




Research Track


Beautiful Minds in a Misunderstood World: How to Accurately and Sensitively Depict Mental Health Issues
Speakers: Kate Forest, LCSW, ACSW, and Harper Kincaid, MSW, MA

Portraying mental illness in an accurate and sensitive light is difficult for anyone not versed in the details. Overuse and misuse of clinical terms has led to general confusion and, sometimes, unintended insensitivities. The presenters, who have decades of experience in the mental health field, will clearly lay out any common—and not so common—disorders, how to portray them on the page, which terms to use, and how to depict a therapist without clichés.


Burning Questions: Fire in Fiction
Speakers: Geoff Symon and Terence Keenan

Fires can blaze through any subgenre, whether as arson or accident or natural disaster. This workshop introduces authors to flame’s natural behavior and the aberrations that identify foul play. What do investigators look for on a scene where the evidence is consumed by the crime? Spark to ash, we’ll cover the facts and myths that will make your fictional fires burn right.


Dead Right: Autopsies for Authors
Speaker: Geoff Symon

Corpses pop up everywhere, from family funerals to violent crimes to creatures that won’t stay buried. This workshop introduces authors to the specifics of the postmortem from time of death estimates to Y-incisions. Get the facts for your fiction—we’ll cover it all from cadaver to slab!


From the Eyes of First Responders: EMT/Firefighter Q&A Panel
Speakers: Shannon Donnelly, Terence Keenan, and Jennifer Mason
Moderated by: Kristan Higgins

Join a professional firefighter and two EMTs as they cover the process of working an encounter from injury to hospital. Add a touch of realism to your stories with in-depth information on field experience, 911 dispatches, treatment, and the mindset of emergency professionals as they save the day. Bring your questions!


Hack Your Way to a Better Story
Speaker: Rebecca Halsey

Former U.S. Navy information warfare officer and civilian cybersecurity analyst Rebecca Halsey walks attendees through all things hacking and information security. Anyone writing characters who are computer scientists, hackers, or anything else cyber related should attend this session.


History Undressed: From Bodies to Bloomers
30–45 Minutes
Speaker: Victoria Vane

Have you ever wondered how women fit themselves into some of the seemingly outrageous fashions of the past? While times may change the female figure varies little, so most fashion silhouettes were achieved by specifically designed undergarments.  Join historical fashionista Victoria Vane for a fascinating and informative overview of historical fashion and underpinnings from the early days of corsetry to the late Victorian bustle.


How to Become a Well-Dressed Lady: Building a Historical Wardrobe from the Ground Up
1.5–2 Hours
Speaker: Victoria Vane

Join Victoria Vane, a historical fashionista and seamstress extraordinaire, for a fun and informative workshop on building your historical wardrobe. You’ll learn to emulate the basic silhouettes that define each era, and special emphasis will be placed on underpinnings, hairstyles, and accessories. Vane will share her resources for authentic sewing patterns and period-appropriate textiles, provide guidance for thrift-store sourcing, and recommend ready-to-wear garments from online retailers. This workshop will include models representing several popular fashion eras (medieval, Renaissance, Georgian, Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian).


Making Scrivener Work for You
Speaker: Gwen Hernandez

Gwen Hernandez, author of Scrivener for Dummies, will expose attendees to Scrivener's best features and how the software might work for their writing, as well as answer specific questions relevant to using this software to facilitate the drafting process. Learn the tips, tricks, and traps that can make or break your Scrivener experience.


On Location, on Budget, on Time: The Keys to Efficient and Effective Research
Speakers: Susanna Kearsley

Best-selling and award-winning author Susanna Kearsley has over twenty years of experience doing on-site research. In this workshop she’ll share tips and techniques for getting the details you need on a budget with limited time, and show how applying the legal concept of “best evidence” to the research process can help you find and use quality sources when gathering information.


Poisoned Pen
Speaker: Dr. Kelle Z. Riley

Find out how to poison your characters with common household chemicals. Dr. Kelle Z. Riley, a PhD chemist, will guide attendees through the “killer contents” of homes and show them how to research the “right” poison. This seminar includes a look into a poisoner’s garden. Join Dr. Riley for an eye-opening view of the commonplace. Have we got a poison for you!


Practical Self-Defense Against Assault and Violence for You and Your Characters
Speaker: Maggie K. Black

How would you survive a kidnap attempt? What would you do if you were strangled, stabbed, or held up at gun point? What should your characters do? Self-defense instructor Maggie K. Black will show writers how to help model realistic and life-saving defenses against sexual and physical assault, while also crafting heart-pounding scenes that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. (Note: Portions of this class are active/physical. All abilities and ages welcome.)


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: How It Affects Your Heroes, Heroines, and Villains
Speakers: Martin Hafer, Sara Lunsford, Pamela Moran, and M. A. Taylor

Dig into the dark heart of realistic trauma and its aftermath. The panelists, who have decades working in law enforcement, prisons, and psychiatric facilities, will discuss the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as coping mechanisms and consequences of dealing with PTSD.


Search and Rescue Dogs: It's Not Just Following Your Dog Around in the Woods
Speaker: Kathleen Connor, DVM

Search dogs and their handlers are highly specialized teams that spend many hours, days, weeks, and years honing their craft. Incorporating a believable story arc that includes a search dog is not easy if you don’t have the details right. Veterinarian and search and rescue dog handler Kathleen Connor will share how to make your search and rescue dog scenes realistic.


Strong Medicine: A Dose of Reality for What Ails Your Medical Fiction
1.5 Hours
Speakers: Catherine Bybee, Jillian David, LaQuette, Colleen Myers, and Rayna Vause

Medical fiction can be fun and fascinating, but unless you work in the field, it’s not always easy to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in hospitals and doctors’ offices, both large and small. Join medical professionals who will help you get your details, characters, and facts correct, so you can craft a book that’s both accurate and riveting for your readers.


There's Something about a Cowboy
Speakers: Tina James, Jolene Navarro, Johanna Raisanen, Sasha Summers, and Jodi Thomas

What makes a cowboy authentic, and how do writers prevent common mistakes? The presenters will use film, books, and personal experiences to give aspiring western authors a handle on writing authentic, complex cowboys real enough to carry readers away.


The Traveling Writer
Speakers: Lori Ann Bailey, Eliza Knight, and Madeline Martin

Travel is an incredible way to get inspired to write and conduct research for your story, but visiting the places in our books can seem out of reach. These traveling writers will highlight ways to make your travel more affordable, give tips for planning, research, and tax prep, and point out ways to tap local destinations when jet setting isn’t feasible. Explore your characters’ world with less stress, and let your adventures begin!


Wilderness Survival for Writers
Speaker: Frieda Knezek

Do your characters need to outwit mountain elements, battle an urban jungle, or survive a vacation gone dangerously wrong? No matter the setting, accurate survival skills can add excitement and credibility to your story. Dire circumstances can anchor arcs as characters develop the necessary resourcefulness and competence to reach the safety of that HEA. As an avid outdoorswoman who teaches young explorers, Frieda Knezek will cover the fundamentals of navigation, first aid, and the tricks of fashioning improvised solutions in the boonies.




Special Track


Ask the Expert!
Mark Dawson

In this session, attendees give self-publishing expert Mark Dawson their ads, product pages, business questions, etc., and he answers them. (Content must be sent in advance.)


Creating and Implementing a Launch Plan to Fire Your Book to the Top
Mark Dawson
Level: Intermediate/Advanced

You’ve written a book and are preparing it for publication. Now what? Mark walks you through his best practices on creating and implementing a successful book launch that gains your book maximum visibility.


Dead Right: Autopsies for Authors
Geoff Symon

Corpses pop up in every genre, from family funerals to violent crimes to creatures that won’t stay buried. This workshop introduces authors to the specifics of the postmortem, from time of death estimates to Y-incisions. Get the facts for your fiction—we’ll cover it all from cadaver to slab!


Get Your Story Straight: Structuring Your Screenplay to Sell
Diane Drake

Creating a engaging cinematic narrative can be deceptively difficult, and story structure is often one of the most challenging, yet important, things for any screenwriter to master. There are no “formulas,” but there are time-tested principles that can help guide and enable you to craft your story into its most satisfying form. This workshop will cover tools and elements critical to grounding your story in a solid screenplay structure. Learning how to successfully structure your screenplay can increase your odds of interesting agents, producers, and studios in your work.

The workshop will cover the following:

  • What movies are really about
  • The main purpose of each of the three acts
  • Keys to creating a sympathetic hero
  • The structural importance of determining what your hero wants and needs
  • What constitutes an effective Inciting Incident
  • How to create a compelling first plot point
  • How to keep Act II moving
  • The critical thing Act III must come down to

And more…


The Romance Writer’s Guide to the Psychology of Fiction
Jennifer Lynn Barnes, PhD

Scientists, philosophers, and literary scholars have long debated why human beings are drawn to fictional stories. In this session, Dr. Jennifer Barnes will provide an overview of the interdisciplinary, scientific study of fiction and break down the psychological profile of the bestseller, outlining how romance writers can leverage human psychology to take their writing and their careers to the next level.


A Walkthrough of How to Set Up a Facebook Ad, a BookBub Ad and an AMS Ad
Mark Dawson
Level: Beginner

In this hands-on workshop, Mark will guide authors through setting up advertisements on the various platforms and discuss how authors can use these platforms to sell their books and boost visibility.


What’s the Big Idea: Creating a Strong Logline
Diane Drake

A compelling logline can be key to both keeping your screenplay on track and to selling your material. This workshop will briefly cover the definition, purpose, and ingredients of a good logline and then have attendees engage in two interactive exercises designed to practice creating them. After that, we’ll have some time for Q&A on screenwriting and the film business.


Writing for Your Id
Jennifer Lynn Barnes, PhD

Why are some books irresistible, addictive, and mind-bogglingly satisfying to read? In this session, Dr. Jennifer Barnes explores the psychology of enjoyment and gratification, as well as outlines how seasoned writers can get back in touch with the way they wrote before their inner editors took over and increase the appeal of their books by writing what they love and simultaneously appealing to hard-wired preferences in the human brain.




Writer's Life Track


Career Burnout: A Peer Discussion
Speaker: Joanne Rock

The modern romance landscape doesn’t cut much slack for anyone. Lower income, fewer contracts, more competition, and life struggles all contribute to career burnout. Prolific author Joanne Rock leads a round-table discussion where audience members can share their stories and get advice on ways to conquer this beast.


Finding Your Writer Community
Speakers: Amanda Berry, Shawntelle Madison, Terri Osburn, and Liz Talley

Writing is a solitary endeavor, but you don’t have to go it alone. Find like-minded people and build a network of support and accountability to enhance success. Join us for an informative session and learn how to connect with writers in your community.


Professional Jealousy
Speakers: Robin Covington and Avery Flynn

The grass is always greener because envy is real. Hear tales from the trenches on dealing with professional jealousy, both when you are feeling it and when you’re the subject of it. Learn tools and tactics that will help you steer past the dark shoals of success.


Romance Fit Club
Instructor: Sara Humphreys

Is the size of your backside increasing right along with your daily word-count goal? You're not alone! Many of us struggle with maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit while pursuing a writing career. It’s challenging, but not impossible. Join us for daily Fit Club workouts to stay in shape while attending RWA2018. We'll be doing a mix of Focus T25®, PiYo®, 21 Day Fix®, and Core de Force™ each day and offering helpful tips you can take home. If you want to get a head start, join the Romance Fit Club private Facebook group!


Slaying the Mental Dragons: The Writer’s Battle with Depression and Anxiety
Speakers: Leslie Kelly and Barbara Wallace

We write a genre known for uplifting stories and happily ever afters, so why do so many romance authors suffer from depression and other career-killing mental issues? Two best-selling authors with more than one hundred published books between them will discuss depression, mental illness, anxiety, and imposter syndrome and will reveal how they slay those dragons—or at least get them to back off.


Typing in a Tornado: How to Write through a Catastrophic Life Event
Speaker: Susan Donovan

All of us have wrestled with the muse in moments of darkness and doubt. Susan Donovan shares her journey, and that of other authors, of writing through life catastrophes such as divorce, death, illness, natural disaster, and tragedy. Learn the ways these authors kept themselves and their careers intact.


Wake-up Yoga
Instructor: Lucy Farago

Wake-up Yoga is a fun class aimed at priming your muscles for a productive day. Should you require less of a push and more of a kick out of bed, challenge yourself within any one of the levels taught. From beginners to seasoned pros, this class has something for everyone and promises to wake you up.


When Life and Publishing Knock You Down
Speakers: Jackie Ashenden, Megan Crane, Nicole Helm, and Maisey Yates

Failed publishing endeavors, rejection, and personal life challenges can take their toll on a writer. Learn how these successful authors address the ups and downs of a writer’s life and career and get tips to face your own challenges.


Write Your Way to Success in Just 20 Minutes a Day
Speakers: Mary Behre and Tracey Livesay

Published authors Mary Behre and Tracey Livesay share their techniques for completing a manuscript in twenty-minute increments. This workshop is perfect for authors who find it difficult to carve out time to write, for individuals who wish to increase their daily word counts, and for people looking to reignite their passion for writing.


Writing through Physical Challenges
Speakers: Pintip Dunn, Carrie Ann Ryan, and Tracy Solheim

Being an author can take a toll one’s health, especially those who already struggle with physical pain and disabilities on a day-to-day basis. Three best-selling authors reveal lessons learned from grappling with their own physical setbacks—and the accompanying emotional stress—when it comes to writing. There is always hope at the end of the tunnel, and these authors will share their techniques to overcome those barriers and find innovative ways to stay on target so you can finish the book, even when it hurts.


Writing When Your Routine Is Disrupted
Speakers: Gail Carriger, Piper J. Drake, and Katee Robert

Life moves fast, and sometimes writers need to write no matter what is going on around them or where they are. Cultivating balance and professional flexibility can work wonders on your output and payoffs.This panel presents strategies and approaches for writing when your routine is disrupted, whether at home with an unpredictable family schedule or on the go with travel.