Contemporary Romance Writers 2017 Workshops

Unless stated otherwise, workshops take place on closed Yahoo Loops Forums and are $15 for CRW Members, $25 for RWA Members, or $35 for Non-RWA Members. For more information, contact the VP of Workshops.

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Mark Your Calendars For:

  • July 3-28, 2017: More Than Just Window Dressing: How Secondary Characters Make your Novel Come Alive with Linnea Sinclair
  • July 5-30, 2017: Military 101 with Merien Grey
  • July 11 – August 1, 2017: A Novel in Four Drafts with Lindsay Schopfer
  • August 8-29, 2017: Finding Your Writing Process with Lindsay Schopfer
  • September 1-28, 2017: Character Torture 101—Writing Conflict with Linnea Sinclair
  • September 5-16, 2017: DIY Book Tours with Ines Johnson
  • September 5-29, 2017: Story Bootcamp with Peter Andrews
  • October 2-17, 2017: Surviving NaNoWriMo with Peter Andrews
  • October 3-28, 2017: Serializing: Using the Structure of Episodic Television to Craft Your Serialized Novel with Ines Johnson
  • November 1-22, 2017: Worldbuilding for Contemporary Fiction with Peter Andrews
  • November 1-29, 2017: Book Trailers with Ines Johnson

Past 2017 Workshops:

  • January 2-31, 2017: Getting Results from Your Author Newsletter with Jessie Clever
  • January 2-27, 2017: Characterization: Making Strengths and Weaknesses Work for You with Linnea Sinclair
  • January 14 or January 22, 2017: Bringing Something to the Table: How to Be a Sought After Speaker Before You Publish with Merien Grey
  • January 30 – April 22, 2017: Three Month Course!: Advanced Concepts Thru Genre Film with Sally Walker
  • February 1-17, 2017: Pitches & Blurbs and Tag Lines with Linnea Sinclair
  • February 5-19, 2017: Writing and Resistance: Overcoming Our Blocks to Success with Mindy Hardwick
  • March 1-17, 2017: Pissing Off Editors, Or How Not To Get Published with Linnea Sinclair
  • March 6-30, 2017: The Road To Publication: Queries, Synopses and More! with Chanel Cleeton
  • March 6-31, 2017: Hardwired for Hot with Merien Grey
  • April 3-28, 2017: How’d I Miss That? Self-Editing with Kathryn Jane
  • April 3-30, 2017: Zen & The Marketing Author with Deborah Riley-Magnus

May 1-17, 2017

The Art, Craft, and Business of Writing Genre Fiction

About the Workshop:

Too often, today’s beginning novelist is far more familiar with his muse than marketing techniques. But the competition in commercial genre fiction is tough and unless a writer fully understands the three important aspects of being a published author—the art, the craft and the business of writing— he stands to lose the chance to see his work in print.

Sinclair, a former news reporter turned award-winning science fiction author with Bantam Random House, will discuss how to work all three aspects of writing successfully; including how to increase your chances at publication, how to get your muse to work for you in the business end and what resources are available to help you improve at the craft.

About the Presenter:

Winner of the prestigious national book award, the RITA®, and published by both the Dell and Spectra imprints of Bantam Random House, science fiction romance author Linnea Sinclair has become a name synonymous for high-action, emotionally intense, character-driven novels. Reviewers note that Sinclair’s novels “have the wow-factor in spades,” earning her accolades from both the science fiction and romance communities. Her books have claimed spots in the Locus Top Ten and made the USA Today Extended Bestseller list. Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine consistently gives Sinclair’s books 4-1/2 stars (their highest rating). Starlog magazine calls Sinclair “one of the reigning queens of science fiction romance.” Sinclair was also nominated for SFWA’s respected John W. Campbell award.

A former news reporter and retired private detective, Sinclair’s lively workshops have made her a writing conference favorite nationwide—her recent schedule included workshops in Houston, Denver, Tampa, St Louis, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Dallas. She’s been was featured on Daytime, an NBC syndicated talk show, as well as several nationally syndicated radio features. Her sci fi-police procedural novel, THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES, was optioned for movie production.

Sinclair resides in Naples, Florida with her husband, Robert Bernadino, and their thoroughly spoiled cats. Readers can find her perched on the third barstool from the left in her Intergalactic Bar and Grille at www.linneasinclair.com

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May 1-26, 2017

 

What’s a Tweet and Why Should I Care? Diving Deep into Social Marketing

About the Workshop:

You’ve signed up for Facebook, posted a picture of your dog, and your friends liked it. Now what? With the ever-changing world of social media, it can be intimidating and confusing when deciding what works best for your author platform. In this workshop, we will explore the intricacies of social media, how social media outlets work in concert, and what authors can do to build meaningful relationships with influencers and readers.

Take-aways from this workshop include:

  • In-depth look at the social marketing pyramid
  • Understanding how various social media outlets work together
  • Concrete study of the big social media outlets and what content works best on each
  • How to develop your author social media platform
  • How to construct a social marketing plan that will save authors time and show real results

About the Presenter: 

Jessie Clever always wanted to be a writer. Then she found out you had to market your books.  While she went on to write the bestselling Regency romance Spy Series, Jessie kept to the practical course and earned her MBA with a concentration in marketing, gaining hands on experience in companies ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to multi-channel international retailers. She now uses her knowledge and experience to help authors expand their readership and deepen the loyalty of their readers. Connect with Jessie at jessieclever.com.

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May 1-26, 2017

 

Worldbuilding From An Intelligence POV

About the Workshop:

I spent eleven years in the military intelligence. I learned a lot of things and specifically ways to pick things apart to determine what significance each tiny item has.  As writers, we always look for ways to make our jobs easier. If you are building a world from scratch, you have enough on your plate. One of the things intelligence professionals do is build country studies. They are very similar to what an author does when they build their world. I wanted to teach other writers what they were and how to use them. It is very easy to take one or two country studies that have a characteristic based on something in your story and find dozens of cause and effect relationships to build conflict. All you have to do is know where and how to look. In this class, I teach that. By the time we are done you will know how to build one of your own and how to use the ones already available.

Your setting is a character of its own. It can push characters to kill, love, despair, or feel great joy. Everything in your story stems from and hinges on the world you build it in. When the stakes are high (life, love, money, freedom) the first thing any real organization (military or private) does is do a country study or some version thereof. These studies expose where potential conflicts may arise for those wanting to travel in this new land. As a writer, you are after those potential conflicts, they ground your writing in reality and keep the cardboard out of your characters. This course is to provide you with new insights to how everyday things can change your setting. There are over forty key items intelligence professionals know before anyone goes near new territory. You will be given the perspective to look at your world like an intelligence operative would. Links to real world country studies will be provided along with how to understand them and apply that type of information gathering to your world making it fuller, more believable, and roiling with conflict for you to capitalize on.

About the Presenter:

Merien has multiple degrees specializing in Anthropology, Sociology, English and Communications Technology. She spent a decade traveling the world as a military intelligence analyst, learning and observing all manner of people and their behavior. Before becoming an author and presenter, her occupations ranged from soldier to bartender to a 911 operator for police, fire and medical aid. The last few years she been an active volunteer with several RWA chapters, to include board member, board liaison and conference committee chair positions. She has used that time to gain an understanding of literary romance culture and to teach about her experiences before she entered the world of romance fiction. Her debut release A Treasure in the Darkness is scheduled for Fall 2016. Merien lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier with her husband, incorrigibly lazy dog and a little one who rules the land with an iron hand at least until bedtime.

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May 1-29, 2017

 

Self-Publishing “Where The Heck Do I Start?”

About the Workshop:

You’ve written the book. Kudos! You’ve decided to self-publish. Bravo! But you have no clue what to do next, how to send your baby off into the world alone. Relax. Take a deep breath, and back up a step so we can get you ready to start the process by being well informed. This workshop includes: definitions of terms you’re going to hear; explanations of subjects such as branding and distribution; expertise on how to use social media, loops, signature lines and peripherals effectively; what to expect from the industry professionals you decide to hire; covers and copyright pages explained; series vs. serial vs. stand alone; and much, much more.

About the Presenter:

Presenter Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series about kickass women and the men who dare to love them. Novels filled with mystery, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance–think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat dove into the deep end of self-publishing pool in 2012, and had to learn by experience. In 2014, she began sharing the hard-earned knowledge by offering online classes, and is proud to say she’s helped dozens of authors prepare before they take the plunge.

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June 1-29, 2017

 

“Shoot Me Now!” Write Your Own Back Cover Copy With Confidence

About the Workshop:

Learn fantastic techniques for taking the pain out of writing three simple paragraphs. Arm yourself with the weapons of creativity needed to grab a reader’s attention and drag them between the covers of your book. Get the inside scoop on what a reader wants/expects/needs to get from about a hundred and fifty words on the back of your book.
Not self-publishing? No worries, use your great story description in a query letter instead! Show off your writing chops in a very special way. Give the agent you’re querying concrete evidence that you know how to sell your book.
Presenter Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy. Kickass women and the men who dare to love them.

About the Presenter:

Presenter Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series about kickass women and the men who dare to love them. Novels filled with mystery, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance–think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.
Kat dove into the deep end of self-publishing pool in 2012, and had to learn by experience. In 2014, she began sharing the hard-earned knowledge by offering online classes, and is proud to say she’s helped dozens of writers at all stages of their careers.

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June 5-30, 2017

 

Romantic Screenplays 101

About the Workshop:

Novelist-Editor-Screenwriter Sally J. Walker will walk you through an 8-Session course on the fundamentals you need to understand BEFORE you actually tackle a romantic screenplay.  This is not a course on formatting, screenwriting technicalities, fundamental concepts of screenwriting itself or how to adapt your novel to a screenplay.  This is a course about “how to think” a romantic story in a cinematic structure.  From essentials through character casting to plot outline, this experienced screenwriter and screenwriting TEACHER can explain the mental tools you need to create your own screenplay.

Course Outline
Session One:  Fundamental: Concepts of a Romantic Screenplay
Session Two:  3 Approaches to Romantic Screenplays
Session Three:  The Unique yet Universal Hero & Heroine and Cast
Session Four:  Hollywood’s Need for “Sex & Violence”
Session Five:  Sexual Tension vs. Plot Complications
Session Six:  Considerations: Time-Place and Theme
Session Seven:  THE Romance as Main Plot or Subplot
Session Eight:  Plotting YOUR Romantic Structure

About the Presenter:

Sally Walker’s published credits include literary, romance and western novels, a nonfiction essay collection, several creative writing textbooks, stage plays, poetry, and many magazine articles on the craft of writing, including staff contributions to two international film magazines for 10 years. With 31 screenplays written, several under negotiation at various studios and her novel-to-screenplay adaptation on her plate, Sally has a well-respected manager representing her in Hollywood. In addition to long time active memberships in such national writing organizations as RWA, WWA and SCBWI, she was president of a state-wide writers organization 2007-2011. She keeps to a strenuous writing schedule and still has time to work as Editorial Director for The Fiction Works, supervising acquisitions and sub-contracted editors, as well as Script Supervisor for material sent to TFW’s affiliated Misty Mountain Productions. Sally has taught writing seminars, both on-site and on-line, for over 29 years and is the facilitator for the weekly meetings of the Nebraska Writers Workshop in Ralston, NE.  For more information on her works and classes go to her website at http://www.sallyjwalker.com.

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June 6-27, 2017

 

Crafting a Complete Story

NOTE: This workshop takes place at 7 pm PST each Tuesday via a webinar (see below for details; archive on site for participants)

About the Workshop:

A complete story has it all. A strong hook in the beginning, characters we can care about, ongoing conflicts and questions to keep the reader interested, and an ending that is both satisfying and leaves the reader wanting more. In this four week online course, participants will learn skills like identifying essential establishing information, how to create motivation for both protagonists and antagonists, writing scenes that flow continually between conflict and resolution, and setting up potential sequels while still crafting endings that are emotionally satisfying.

Each week, instructor Lindsay Schopfer will host a live, one-hour, video group chat via Zoom which participants can attend by following a link provided in a private, e-mailed invitation. For those who can’t attend these chats live, all presentations will be recorded and posted on a private page where all students can view them at their convenience until the end of the month. Students will also have access to Lindsay via e-mail for any questions that they may have on the craft of writing during the course.

Week One: Where To Start Your Story

A great story must start strong to get the reader’s attention. Each novel’s beginning must be a balancing act of description, backstory, and action. Participants in this workshop will learn how much backstory to include in their novel, how to identify essential establishing information, and how to effectively drop their readers into the action.

Week Two: Unlocking Character Motivation

Motivation is the fuel that allows a character to make the long journey from a story’s beginning to its ending. No other character trait will prove more useful to the writer in determining a story’s structure, pacing, mood, and theme. Participants in this course will learn how to identify character needs, how to increase pacing through motivation, and how to make a character’s motivation evolve throughout the story.

Week Three: Make Your Novel A Page-Turner

We all know novels need strong beginnings, but what about the rest of the story? An effective story keeps the reader up late into the night because they just can’t put it down. Participants in this workshop will learn how to establish a pattern of conflicts and resolutions throughout the story, how to balance description with action, and how to build up to the story’s climax.

Week Four: Writing Satisfying Endings

A good ending can make a reader beg for more. A bad ending can leave a reader feeling betrayed. This spoiler-free (mostly) workshop will examine what it takes to write an ending that will leave the reader both satisfied and hungry for more. Participants in this course will learn the three traits of a satisfying ending, where to go after the climax, and how to set up a series of books as opposed to finishing a standalone novel with series potential.

About the Presenter:

Lindsay Schopfer is the author of two novels, the sci-fi survivalist Lost Under Two Moons and the steampunk adventure The Beast Hunter, as well as the fantasy short story collection Magic, Mystery and Mirth. His short fiction has also appeared in Merely This and Nothing More: Poe Goes Punk from Writerpunk Press and Unnatural Dragons from Clockwork Dragon. When he isn’t writing, Lindsay is a writing coach and instructor for Adventures In Writing, where he helps writers learn about and improve their craft. His workshops and panels have been featured in a variety of Cons and writing conferences across the Pacific Northwest. He is also a mentor for Educurious, a Gates Foundation-funded program designed to connect high school students with professional writers.

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