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:  craft, industry, career, research and more.


Workshop Session A:

Friday, April 25th 1:00 – 2:00 PM

All You Need to Know about M/M Romance

Presented by J. Leigh Bailey, Stephani Hecht, Ava March, & Jackie Nacht

Join M/M romance authors as they discuss the M/M romance market, its place in romantic fiction now and trends for the future, the publisher landscape and the publication process, reader buying habits, and book sales potential.

Finding and Honing a Voice that Sells!

Presented by Nicole Resciniti, Julie Ann Walker, & Kate Meader

Attendants of this workshop will receive practical advice and secrets of the trade, a how-to checklist, samples, and the opportunity to submit a page of their writing ahead of time. Agent Nicole Resciniti (Seymour Agency) will review these pages in advance and select a few to critique “live” during the presentation.
 If you plan to attend this workshop (and are a registered attendee of the conference), please send the first page of your manuscript to the Spring Fling workshop coordinator: meloniewrites AT gmail DOT com with “VOICE Workshop Page” in the header of your e-mail.
Please use the following submission guidelines:
- 1″ margins all around
- 12 point Times New Roman or Courier font
- Heading to include author name, e-mail address, title of work, and genre.
- please send work in .rtf or .pdf format. (.doc is also acceptable).
- Submit your page no later than APRIL 20th.
- This should be the very first page of your work. Please do not send more than one page.

Know Your Industry: From the Outside In

Presented by Melissa Jolly

Ever wonder how you can go from a complete publishing industry outsider to someone able to talk about all the major industry news and trends, all the while still keeping your day job? Join Melissa Jolly, assistant to multiple NYT and USA Today bestselling authors as she explains how you can keep up with the industry in just 30 minutes per day.

The Return of the Serial Novel

Presented by Laura Bradford, Beth Kery, & Clara Kensie

Two authors of serialized novels, NYT and USA Today bestselling author Beth Kery and debut author Clara Kensie, along with literary agent Laura Bradford (Bradford Literary Agency), discuss the benefits and challenges of writing and marketing serials, why serials are making a huge comeback, and why serialization may work for you.


Workshop Session B:

Friday, April 25th 2:15 – 3:15 PM

Alpha, Beta, & Wounded Heroes of Both Sexes and How to Make Your Readers Fall in Love with Them

Presented by Mary Balogh

NYT bestelling author Mary Balogh shows you how to gather ideas from a wide spectrum of human types for your main characters, how to individualize them, and how to draw your readers in to care deeply for them.

AMA (Ask Me Anything) YA Panel

Presented by Suzie Townsend, Erica O’Rourke, Mindee Arnett, & Lori M. Lee 

Ask us anything! Three young adult writers and one agent (New Leaf Literary & Media) lead an open panel discussion about all things YA: strong heroines, the importance of voice, career planning, marketing to teens, and more.

Romance Reviews: How to Get Reviewed, and How to Put a Review in Your Rearview Mirror

Presented by Sarah Wendell

Co-founder of the wildly popular romance review site Smart Bitches Trashy Books and author Sarah Wendell will reveal the basics of how to approach different review websites that specialize in romance, and ways to identify the right websites for your book. She’ll also discuss good reviews and how to truly savor them, and bad reviews and how to make lemonade out of them.

Writing Flash Fiction that Sells

Presented by Ben Wolf and Charis Ditamore

Editors of Splickety Magazine explain the fundamentals of a great flash fiction story (1000 words or less) and show authors how they can apply these elements to their novels in order to create tighter stories.


Workshop Session C:

Saturday, April 26th 8:15 – 9:15 AM

Building A Career in Digital Publishing

Presented by Sara Daniel

This workshop will focus on writing for multiple publishers, including juggling editing deadlines, publicity expectations, an online presence, and—oh, by the way—when are you going to write your next book?

Essentials of Self-Publishing

Presented by Merry Farmer

An introductory workshop designed to give unpublished authors a look at what self-publishing entails, what they will need to get started, what to expect, and how to move forward.

From Query to Shelf: A Publisher’s Perspective

Presented by Liz Pelletier

Join Liz Pelletier, co-founder of Entangled Publishing, for an insider’s tour of the journey a book makes from pitch to purchase; starting with what an editor thinks while reading an inbox full of queries, through the acquisition process, to sales pitches, distribution, and finally working with retail chains for shelving.

Publishing Spotlights:

Samhain 8:15 – 8:45 AM

Grand Central 8:45 – 9:15 AM


Workshop Session D:

Saturday April 26th 10:45 – 11:45 AM

Cosmo Quiz for Writers: What’s Going on Inside that Head?

Presented by Julie Wachowski & Robin Skylar

Explore your writer-personality while you get to know your characters by playing interactive games, trying simple psychology instruments, and testing a few useful tools for character-development.

Two Careers? Tips and Trends for Reaching Teen and Adult Readers

Presented by Amy Alessio & Joelle Charbonneau

Learn how an author with books for both teen and adult audiences can write and market to engage either or both types of today’s readers from an author and librarian/author who write for multiple audiences.

Unraveling Romantic Suspense

Presented by Mary Burton

Join USA Today best selling author Mary Burton as she shares her tips for writing killer romantic suspense and reviews her seven step drafting process, which helps her tackle multiple storylines and POVs in her novels. She’ll also share her Last Draft Checklist designed to tighten prose and make the story pop.

Publishing Spotlights:

Avon Impulse 10:45 – 11:15 AM

Harlequin  11:15 – 11:45 AM


Workshop Session E:

Saturday, April 26th 1:45 – 2:45 PM

I Like It, Don’t Love It: Or, What to Do When Good Isn’t Good Enough

Presented by Jennifer Greene, Lindsay Longford, & Margaret Watson

Because rejection feels like the brick wall, these three multi-published and experienced authors move away from the usual ‘atta girl-keep-trying’ cliches and provide concrete steps for handling rejection and fixing manuscripts that are. . . good, but not good enough to excite agents, editors, and readers into buying them or reading them.

Many Eggs, Many Baskets: Hybrid Career Options

Presented by Sarah M. Anderson & Hanna Martine

Join multi-published authors Sarah M. Anderson and Hanna Martine as they discuss the advantages and disadvantages of writing for different publishers with different marketing plans.

Publishing Spotlights:

St. Martin’s Press 1:45 – 2:15 PM

Sourcebooks  2:15 – 2:45 PM


Workshop Session F:

Saturday, April 26th 3:00 – 4:00 PM

Building A Sticky Readership

Presented by Courtney Milan

New York Times bestselling author Courtney Milan demystifies the complex system of online sales, and talks about specific ways that authors can grow a digital readership that “sticks” to them from book to book.

From the Dungeon to I Love You: BDSM Romance with Heart (and a Little Bit of Hurt)

Presented by Katie Porter

The award-winning writing duo behind Katie Porter will describe how they’ve successfully blended hardcore kink and everlasting love, as well as answer any and all questions about BDSM in romance…and provide a must-see demonstration of the tools of the trade!

How to Succeed with Kobo: A Guide to Maximizing Your Potential Through Kobo Writing Life

Presented by Christine Munroe

In this presentation Christine Munroe, the US Manager for Kobo Writing Life will offer advice on strategic pricing, and share how authors can use all of KWL’s tools to their advantage to get their eBooks into bookstores. She will also explain Kobo’s exclusive partnership with the American Booksellers Association, which offers a unique opportunity for indie authors to get their books into indie bookstores.

 I’ll Have Seconds: The Role of Secondary Characters

Presented by Kristan Higgins

Using examples from well known books and movies, NYT and USA Today bestselling author Kristan Higgins discusses secondary plot lines and characters and how they can enrich (or detract from) a story, intertwine with the main plot and reveal more about the main characters.


Workshop Session G:

Saturday, April 26th 4:15 – 5:15 PM

The Contemporary Challenge

Presented by Beth Kery & Julie James

Two NYT and USA Today bestselling contemporary authors discuss how to write 300 pages of romance without demons, death, or world destruction.

Dos and Don’ts of Self-Promotion

Presented by Heather Moore

Join the Senior Publicity Manager for Sourcebooks as she offers tips on the things every author needs to do before their publication date, what to do while a book is in stores and after the initial boom slows down, and also, things authors should avoid.

The Soul of the Brand:  Finding Your Vein of Gold

Presented by Blythe Gifford

Too often, the focus of “branding” a writer is on externals. This workshop focuses on the internal brand.  What makes you as a writer different from everyone else?  And how can you stay true to that throughout the ups and downs of your career?

Using It All: Writing Sex That Not Only Steams Up the Pages, But Uses the Emotional Magnitude of Intimacy To Drive the Heart of Your Novel

Presented by Lauren Dane

Sweet to scorching hot, sex is one of the most important and emotionally rich events your characters get up to over the course of their story.  During this workshop, NYT and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane will talk about different approaches to sex and sexuality between your characters to use every bit of that potential to layer your character’s journey to their HEA.


Workshop Session H:

Saturday, April 26th 5:30 – 6:30 PM

Adding the Spice of Diversity

Presented by B.A. Binns

Explore ways of inserting diverse characters and settings into your work without fear of creating a stereotype or not getting things right.

The Plot/Subplot Connection

Presented by Molly O’Keefe

No matter what your word count, subplots help create a rich, multi-dimensional world for your reader to escape to. In this workshop, using interactive exercises, 2014 RITA nominee Molly O’Keefe will help you figure out how to build subplots that will in turn create drama and conflict for your romantic plot and enrich the reader’s experience.

Self-Publishing: Is It For You?

Presented By Andrea Dickinson

Find out whether you have the aptitude to become a successful self-published author and learn the basic steps to get from manuscript to published book.

Write Tight

Presented by Ashlyn Macnamara

Is your manuscript over its word count but you can’t stand to kill your darlings? Relax. You may not have to. In this workshop, author Ashlyn Macnamara proposes to teach you to identify your extra words and cut them without losing precious content.

 *Information Subject to Change

If you have specific workshop questions, please contact Melonie Johnson, Workshop Coordinator, at

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you at the conference!