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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 those voice samples and offer a critique to the winning author.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Dating Your Book: Understanding the Amazon Algorithm Through Online Dating
Presented by Elle Lothlorien
Learn how “click-throughs” and reviews affect your book’s ranking, how “designing for the thumbnail” can drive click-throughs to your product page, and how an excellent book description can lead to that critical “first date.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
Dos and Don’ts of Self-Promotion
Presented by Danielle Dresser
Join the Senior Publicist 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?
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.
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.
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, we will figure out how to build subplots that will in turn create drama and conflict for your romantic plot and enrich the reader’s experience.
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.
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.
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.
*Information Subject to Change
If you have specific workshop questions, please contact Melonie Johnson, Workshop Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Thank you! We look forward to seeing you at the conference!