Master Classes

Master classes are in-depth sessions designed to thoroughly explore topics relevant to the craft or business of romance writing. Please note: Classes and presenters are subject to change. 

Romance Your Brand

Instructor: Zoe York

Note: This is an all-day, extra-fee ($25) webinar on Thursday, July 23.

1. Understanding the digital marketplace and choosing publishing paths

  • Self-publishing vs traditional publishing—which projects should you shop to agents, and which should you publish yourself to maximize return on investment and protect your intellectual properties?
  • When talking about self-publishing, there are the various paths: wide distribution, libraries, ebook, paperback, retailer relationships, Kindle Unlimited and Amazon exclusivity. There are a myriad of options, and they all make sense in different circumstances. In this workshop, we’ll talk about goals and business plans that make sense for your specific book projects.

2. Writing a genre fiction series: turning a writing dream into a writing career

Start planning your next series to build on your brand and take you to the next level. We’ll cover:

  • How to craft the next first-in-series evergreen book that will sell for years and lay the foundation for 5+ books to follow.
  • How (and when) to spin off and take your readers with you.
  • How to weather the ups and downs of the market when you feel like the tortoise surrounded by hares.


1. Marketing (a year without writing much)

Every writing career will have ups and downs, and there will be stretches of time without new releases. In this block, we will discuss:

  • Marketing beyond ads.
  • How to plan ahead for a known break in the release schedule.
  • How to recover from an unexpected bump off course, and get back into reader visibility without writing new words.
  • What a year-long plan could look like for you and your backlist.

2. What comes next: planning a better frontlist

You have a plan for a new series. You understand your backlist better, and have a plan to manage that in an ongoing way.

In this last block, we’ll focus on the future. The five-year plan focused on what you want to have written down the road…and what course-corrections need to happen now to get on the right path.


Instructor: Kathy Lyons / Jade Lee

Not the typical fill-out-this-character-sheet class! Explore Core Wounds, Key Strengths as they come from Trauma, Verbs, and Imagery Sets. You’ll finish with over a dozen different directions to explore your characters. Some techniques naturally lead to more plot, others inform the setting, and each add to that all important love story to make your book rich with emotional resonance. Join USA Today Bestseller Kathy Lyons / Jade Lee in her Master’s Class in Characterization and get the character solutions you need to bring your people to life.

Write Better White People

Instructor: Jen Prokop

This workshop is for romance authors who want to learn how inclusion in romance strengthens the genre and how learning to be an ally to authors of color will in turn help them to not write problematic characters or be reductive in their rendering of PoC characters.

Jen will talk a little about this work and why it’s so important, and introduce some key ideas/facts/statistics about the state of publishing to lay some groundwork. She’ll raise the question that often comes up, “Wouldn’t it be better for white people to ‘write diversity,’ and explain why that’s actually troubling for lots of reasons: the goal isn’t for white people to write diversely, it’s to provide a space for #OwnVoices authors to tell their own stories.

So what can white writers do to help make the world a better, more just place: write better white people. She’ll end by talking about the urgency of white people learning from each other rather than always asking people of color to do the burden of “teaching us.”

Write Fast Write Now

Instructor: Vanessa Riley

Some authors can whiz through their manuscripts, completing tomes of 60 to 80K in a matter of weeks.

Others can do 90K+ in a matter of months, while others stay stuck on page one, or buried in middle chapters, or waded down in the morass of a draft that one’s agonized soul believes should have been completed by now.

Stop the Guilt.

Authors should work guilt free. With the proper tools and techniques, anyone can master any draft. The Write Fast, Write Now approach teaches writers how to discover their natural writing pace, the tools to increase success, and the fast synopsis method, which will guide their plots to completion.

This class will include:

  1. Exercises to Determine Your Writing Speed
  2. Concepts of the Fast Draft, the Fast Outline, and the Fast Synopsis</li.
  3. Building Your Writing Environment
  4. Writing Regimens and Schedules
  5. The Philosophy of Owning Your Speed and Process
  6. Going from Draft to Done

Getting the Most Out of Scrivener

Instructor: Virginia Van Vynckt

Many writers swear by Scrivener—with good reason. The digital equivalent of a word processor plus well-organized filing cabinet, the popular software can help you organize your manuscript, ideas, research, and notes. It even tracks your writing progress, and can sync your work across multiple devices. Its complexity does require a fair amount of learning. Join “creative geek” Virginia Van Vynckt as she guides you on an in-depth tour of Scrivener. Whether you’re an absolute beginner to the software or you’ve been using it as a glorified word processor and would like to take better advantage of its many features, this class is for you. All Spring Fling attendees will receive discounts on Scrivener software and on a Scrivener video course on Udemy.