Workshops – 2020

Business

The Subtle Science and Exact Art of Publishing Romance

Presenters: Mary Altman and Stefani Sloma, Sourcebooks

Level: Advanced

Every writer has a voice and every book has an audience. Join Sourcebooks senior editor Mary Altman and assistant marketing manager Stefani Sloma as they transfigure tricky questions every author must face (Who is my audience? How do I position my book to reach that audience? Where does my cross-genre book fit on the shelf? What is working for my subgenre?) in a bid to bring the magic back to publishing romance. Please note: Volunteers will be pulled from the audience, so if you’d like to participate, come prepared with your 50 words or less hook, two authors who are writing books similar to yours, and the genre you believe best describes your book.

Building Your Street Teams – The Secrets to Selling More Books

Presenter: Penny Sansevieri

Level: Advanced

How to build your fan base from the ground up and how to engage them so they will help you market your book!

Rocking That Hybrid Life

Presenter: Vanessa Riley

Level: Advanced

Explore the options and paths an author will encounter when choosing to straddle the fence and build a career with Indie and Traditional Releases.

Self-Publishing: Mountain, Molehill, or Money Pit

Presenters: Vanessa Knight, Amy Alessio

Level: Advanced

This is an introductory class on how to self publish complete with lists.

Stephanie Scott – Instagram for Authors

Presenter: Stephanie Scott

Level: Intermediate

With 1 billion monthly worldwide users and growing, Instagram is a major league social media platform – and it’s full of readers! Learn strategies how to reach them.

Working with Romance Media

Presenter: Danielle Dresser

Level: Advanced

Trying to promote your book can be a daunting task, but by creating meaningful relationships within the ever-changing romance media landscape, getting the word out about your book can not only be successful and make an impact, but also be fun while doing so!

The Not-So-Magical Care and Feeding of Readers

Presenters: Shae Connor, Sasha Devlin, Dylan St. James

Level: Advanced

This panel will explore ways to handle everything from negative reviews to overly invasive inquiries without straying into the realm of the Badly Behaving Author.

The Not-So-Magical Care and Feeding of Authors

Presenters: Shae Connor, Sasha Devlin, Dylan St. James

Level: Advanced

This panel will discuss how authors can support each other at every relationship level, from fan to professional acquaintance to friend.

Planting the Seeds of Your Brand and Building a Strong Platform

Presenters: Melonie Johnson and Alexis Daria

Level: Intermediate

An in-depth discussion of steps writers at any stage in their career can take to create a brand and build a platform designed to reach and engage readers.

Marketing on a G-String

Presenters: Dylann Crush and Christina Hovland

Level: Advanced

A fast-paced workshop by two recovering marketing entrepreneurs on how to sell books, brand your best self and blow your goals out of the water without busting the bank.

How to Debut Like a Pro—Even If You’re Indie

Presenter: Scarlett Peckham

Level: Intermediate

Build buzz for your debut like a professional publicist…whether you’re going indie or traditional.

How Do I Get My Book in the Library?

Presenters: Monique Flasch and Karen Toonen

Level: Advanced

How to work with your library for events and programming, and getting your book on the shelf.

Falling in Love with Facebook Ads

Presenter: Christina Hovland

Level: Advanced

In this fast-paced workshop, Christina will show what works and what doesn’t, Facebook ads setup, and how to determine your budget.

The Success of PIE (Performance, Image, and Exposure

Presenter: Regena Bryant

Level: Intermediate

In this workshop, participants will identify and address the necessity of balancing each of the elements of PIE (performance, image and exposure) throughout their career.

Cross-Promo: Teaming Up for Discoverability & Visibility

Presenter: Priscilla Oliveras

Level: Advanced

This presentation shares tips and tools learned through various cross-promotion efforts. We’ll start with author self-evaluation and move into topics such as identifying comp titles and authors, pinpointing common contributions to the market, and how/when to know it might be a good idea to team up with an author(s).

From Page to Screen

Presenter: Erin Hennicke

Level: Advanced

Learn the process for taking your book/story off the page and onto the screen, both big & small.

Craft

Conflict, Characterization, and Dialogue

Presenter: Alyssa Cole

Level: Intermediate

How to use these elements to create memorable characters and romances that readers don’t want to put down.

Ten Tips for Tighter Tension

Presenter: Molly O’Keefe-Fader

Level: Intermediate

Whether you’re writing women’s fiction, young adult or the steamiest erotica, there’s only one thing that keeps readers turning pages: tension. This workshop will help you dig deep into your manuscript so you can turn up the tension and write can’t-put-it-down books.

The Emotional Arc

Presenter: Tere Michaels

Level: Intermediate

This workshop focuses on the emotional arc; how to craft, analyze and revise the heart of your story.

Going Deep: Quick and Dirty Tips to Deepen POV

Presenter: j. leigh bailey

Level: Beginner

This workshop will provide quick and dirty tips to deepen point of view by understanding character awareness, limiting marks of authorship, cutting filter words, and focusing on showing vs telling–letting the character own the page by leaving barely a trace of the author.

What to Do When You’re Stuck: 4 Methods to Plot Your Way Out of Writer’s Block

Presenter: Alyssa Alexander

Level: Beginner

When your previous plotting methods no longer work and you need to shake things up, you can try new ways to get past that writer’s block.

Riding the Train of Scene and Sequel

Presenter: Terri Reed

Level: Intermediate

Learn to drive your story forward through disasters and new decisions by utilizing Dwight Swain’s Scene and Sequel, modified for romance novels, with award winning author Terri Reed

Finding Your Voice: Five-Star Reviews from the Future

Presenter: Jennifer Stevenson

Level: Advanced

Use free-writing, guided workshop, and brainstorming to identify four or five specific elements of your voice, the things people pay money for; to choose what markets are friendliest to your voice, especially if you are considering moving into a new genre; and to sharpen your awareness of your own uniqueness when developing marketing materials.

Actions and Reactions: Emotional Chemistry to Drive Your Plot Forward

Presenter: KD Garcia

Level: Intermediate

In this hands-on workshop, we’ll use the character’s actions and reactions to move from one plot point to the next and maximize emotion on the page.

Dynamic Dialogue

Presenter: Allie Pleiter

Level: Intermediate

Multi-published author Allie Pleiter leads you through all the ways you can use dialogue within your story to pack a far bigger punch than “she said.”

Writing Queer Sex: Getting It Right

Presenters: Brenda Murphy, Megan Hart

Level: Intermediate

How to write queer sex that won’t have readers closing your book for the wrong reasons.

Heat Up the Pages: A Deeper Look into Erotic Romance

Presenters: Measha Stone, Livia Grant

Level: Intermediate

Shed the light on erotic romance and expose all of the elements that make it a best-selling subgenre of romance.

Outside the Lines: Writing What You Don’t Know

Presenter: Eliza David

Level: Beginner

Writing what you don’t know is easier than you think!

Building Believable Worlds

Presenter: Ava Cuvay

Level: Beginner

Effective Worldbuilding for everyone… the Why, Who, and How to do it.

Secrets of a Meticulous Plotter

Presenter: Tracy Brogan

Level: Intermediate

Plotting tips and tricks to show how knowing the ending will help you craft the beginning-and the middle!

All About Character: Using Character-Themed Word Choice to Power Your Manuscript

Presenter: Elizabeth Essex

Level: Intermediate

Using examples from best-selling authors, Elizabeth Essex gives writers powerful tools to optimize characterization through ‘character-themed’ word choices in their individual genres or sub-genres, and to help them built a mindset and vocabulary that empowers characters on the page.

8 Easy Hacks for Page-Turning Prose

Presenter: Robyn Bachar

Level: Beginner/Intermediate

8 Easy Hacks to Help You Write Page-Turning Prose teaches both beginning and intermediate authors simple ways to sharpen and strengthen their craft to create winning contest entries, queries and submissions.

Better, Faster, Stronger First Drafts

Presenter: Kate McMurry

Level: Intermediate

This workshop covers how to plan your manuscript and your time to write stronger first drafts in less time.

Don’t be a Jerk: Critiquing for Better Writing

Presenter: Sarah M. Anderson

Level: Beginner

Writers at every stage of their journey can benefit from a fresh set of eyes and honest, constructive feedback. Join award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson as she demonstrates tips, tricks and techniques to help writers learn how to give effective critiques, how to take them, and how to apply them to their writing, all without being a total jerk about it.

The Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire’s Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride: A Workshop on Tropes

Presenter: Carrie Lofty

Carina Press editor Carrie Lofty looks at tropes from the perspective of both author and editor, including what they are, where they fit into the current romance landscape, what she’s looking for when acquiring trope-based romances, and how to find the sweet spot between “more please” and “not that again.”

Culture Building Is Not Just for Multiculturals

Presenter: Sonali Dev

Culture Building is World Building between the cracks and under the foundation of your story. Learn how to layer your storytelling with the nitty gritties of human existence that make up the world your characters live in.

A Novella Approach

Presenter: Suleikha Snyder

Using examples from current romance publishing, her own work, and beyond, Suleikha will show you what works and what doesn’t work —and outline the best ways to train yourself to write an effective novella.

Mastering the Art of Great Conflict

Presenter: Sarah MacLean

We know that the wallflower makes the perfect heroine for the rake; that the vampire makes the perfect hero for the vampire hunter; that the thief makes the perfect match for the detective. These matches work because of their innate initial conflict, but how do we keep conflict alive for an entire book? Join New York Times best-selling author Sarah MacLean for a workshop on how to build and maintain great conflict as you write your romance.

Conflict, Characterization, and Dialogue

Presenter: Alyssa Cole

In this workshop, Alyssa Cole will discuss how you to use these elements to create memorable characters and romances that readers don’t want to put down.

Research

Domestic Violence in Romance: Write the Story Survivors Deserve

Presenter: Adrianna Herrera

Level: Intermediate

In this workshop authors will learn how to responsibly write survivor stories that are informed, respectful and live up to the promise of an HEA.

What Did You Do in the War, Granny? Why WWII Should Contain More “Herstory”

Presenter: Barb Deane

Learn about all the ways in which American women took on many new roles and changed the outcome of World War II: from Rosie the Riveter, the Atomic Girls, Canteen Girls, and Code Girls, to American Red Cross “Clubmobile Girls”, driving to the front lines in a mobile club, with doughnuts, coffee, and good old American friendliness.

Writer’s Life

Even Superman Had a Day Job

Presenter: Maggie Wells

Level: Beginner

An updated version of my 2018 ‘Don’t Quit Your Night Job’ workshop – reformatted for more class discussion and brainstorming exercises.

Beyond Diversity 101: How to Check Your Privileges, Examine Our Biases, and Move Forward

Presenter: Sasha Devlin

Level: Beginner

This workshop will be a frank discussion on the intersection of marginalizations and romance and ways that we can all be better allies and audiences to make the genre a more inclusive space.

The Happy and Healthy Full-Time Writer

Presenter: Erika Allerton

Level: Intermediate

This workshop will explore every author’s dream—to write full-time—by showcasing ten habits that will serve writers before and after they achieve that dream.

Running on Empty

Presenter: Jeannie Moon

Level: Advanced

If you’ve been pushing yourself too hard, find a healthy work-life balance using smart goal setting techniques and self-motivating tools.