Workshop Lineup

No matter where you are in your writing career—from newbie to established author—our conference has a workshop for you!  We have a fabulous lineup of speakers, agents and editors, with programs addressing all aspects of the writing life:  Career, Craft, Publishing, and the Writer’s Life.

(Be sure to stay tuned as we update the list with even more amazing workshops.)

Winning the Promo Game–Masterclass with Damon Suede

An in-depth, practical masterclass focused on helping authors develop a personalized promotional strategy that reflects their work and personal style. These are strategies that can be put to use at all stages in a writer’s career, from newbie to seasoned pro. In this class, participants will:

  • establish a customized measure of success.
  • identify their approach to the challenges of genre fiction promo.
  • map out a fun, effective plan to promote their work more effectively.

A Q&A with Ms. Bev–Presented by Beverly Jenkins

Come prepared with questions to pick the brain of one of our industry’s best: USA TODAY bestselling, and RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Beverly Jenkins. From writing to research to history to the industry, you can ask her anything.

No Excuses! Writing at Hospitals, Through Heartache and Despite Kids–Presented by Sarah M. Anderson and Stacy Boyd

Writing is your life—but what happens when life is suddenly filled with heartache and loss? Join award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson, and her editor Stacy Boyd, to discuss how to manage your professional life when your personal life veers off course into chronic conditions, hospitals and funerals.

#Passion2Profession: How to Become a True Indie Professional-Presented by Selena Laurence and Jamie Farrell

Publishing an Indie book is only the first step to becoming a professional Indie author, learn from two award-winning and bestselling authors what it takes to turn your passion into a profession.

Ack! My Publisher is Closing! Now What?–Presented by Amy Jo CousinsSasha Devlin, and Karen Stivali

Learn how to navigate the stress of your publisher going out of business and maximize your chances for future success from three authors who have survived multiples closings each.

Co-Writing Confessions–Presented by AJ PineLia RileyEmily Sylvan Kim, and Stacy Boyd

Two romance authors, their agent, and their editor confess how their co-writing relationship began, how they keep it going even across time zones, how they’re writing has grown since starting to work together, and how YOU too can be a successful co-writer.

Business Planning for Writers–Presented by Elizabeth Harmon

Learn to manage your talent, time, and treasure to meet your writing career goals. Elizabeth will help you figure out WHAT and WHERE you want to be so you can create a road map to help get you there.

Crafting Heroes and Heroines from Outside the Mainstream–Presented by B.A. Binns

Crafting marginalized characters is not as easy as some authors first think, but this workshop will provide strategies for avoiding pitfalls, stereotypical tropes, and developing multi-dimensional characters different from ourselves.

Create Marketing Synergy: Partner With Other Authors–Presented by Ruth Kaufman

Award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, Ruth Kaufman shares strategies for increasing discoverability, and building your platform and readership by partnering with other authors online and in person.

Dissecting the Romance Plot with “You’ve Got Mail”–Presented by Priscilla OliverasPamela KopflerSara Portman, and Tara Sheets 

Learn the eight essential and three optional elements of a romance novel from Pamela Regis’s classic text A Natural History of the Romance Novel by dissecting the romantic comedy film You’ve Got Mail. Four Golden Heart Award finalists, now published authors, will show how the elements are woven together to craft a Keeper Shelf novel or film.

Don’t Quit Your Night Job–Presented by Maggie Wells

Help keep your writing dreams alive, even when you’re not working your dream job, by exploring various methods of goal-setting, writing practices, motivational tools, and practical ways to fit revisions, edits, and marketing into the equation.

Bangin’ Hot Beta Heroes–Presented by Amy Jo Cousins and Karen Stivali

Learn how to craft Bangin’ Hot Beta Heroes who will have readers swooning as they fall in love with their new Beta Book Boyfriends.

Libations of the Regency–Presented by Ella Quinn

Join USA Today bestselling Regency romance author for a discussion and tasting of the most common libations of the Regency.

Medicine, Manuscripts, and Mayhem–Presented by Jillian David

Use realistic and practical medical information to hook readers, increase drama, improve believability — so you can stretch the truth of your fiction.

Social Media Speed Dating–Roundtable Discussions with Stephanie ScottAmy Alessio, and Anya Breton

Presented in rotating, roundtable format, join authors Stephanie Scott, Amy Alessio, and Anya Breton to discuss the social media sites and simple promotional tools you need to make your writer life easier, and to engage your readers. Learn the ins and outs of Instagram, Grammarly, Canva, newsletters, and how to make multiple platforms work for you.

The Core of Romance–Presented by Kathy Lyons

HANDS-ON WORKSHOP. Bring your story idea and let USA TODAY bestselling author Kathy Lyons / Jade Lee help you strip it down to its core. Once there, it’s easy to see the holes, fix them and start layering in story. Kathy will start by walking you through a few examples (using puppets!) and then it’s your turn to get her help on your WIP. Right there, “live” because romance writing can be easy and fun.

Women on Top: Being Sex Positive in Your Prose–Presented by Eliza David

Tips on centering women (especially WOC, queer, and transwomen) effectively & responsibly in your romance writing.

Beyond the Rules: Grammar Choices That Add Power to Your Novel–Presented by Julie Glover

Moving beyond correct usage, we look at grammar choices authors can make to add power to their prose, in the areas of pacing, emotion, characterization, and voice.

Mastering the Meet-Cute–Presented by J. Leigh BaileyShae Connor, and Ann Marie Walker

This program will use examples from popular movies, television shows, and books to identify the main characteristics of an effective meet-cute, to recognize the basic formulas and tropes of the meet-cute, and to explore ways to create fresh versions of this classic plot device.

Bringing STEM to Romance: Writing Tech Savvy Characters While Avoiding Sterotypes–Presented by Robyn Skylar

This workshop will give you background you need to avoid the stereotypes that persist about people in the tech industry while still bringing heart and complexity to your characters.

Panel: Consent is Sexy! Consent in Romance and Beyond–with Panelists Stacey Agdern, Karen Stivali, Sasha Devlin, J. Leigh Bailey, and Amy Alessio. Moderated by Sarah M. Anderson

Join six authors as they define consent, how to establish it in a romance and when it is absent, as well as what the gray areas of consent (non-consent, dubious consent, BDSM play) mean for your stories. Questions welcome!