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.

Enroll Now For:

          

Mark Your Calendars For:

  • 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
  • May 1-26, 2017: What’s a Tweet and Why Should I Care? Diving Deep into Social Marketing
  • May 1-26, 2017: Worldbuilding From An Intelligence POV
  • May 1-29, 2017: Self-Publishing “Where The Heck Do I Start?”

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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July 3-28, 2017

More Than Just Window Dressing: How Secondary Characters Make your Novel Come Alive 

About the Workshop:

Sidekicks, Also-rans, space-fillers. If that’s how you think of the secondary characters in your novel, you’re wasting a great opportunity to use them to not only make your story deeper and more interesting, but to enhance your main characters as well. Let Sinclair show you how to create and utilize secondary characters as methods of characterization and conflict, as well as one of the easiest ways to avoid the dreaded info dump!

About the Presenter:

Winner of the prestigious national book award, the RITA®, as well as the PRISM, PEARL, and SAPPHIRE, author Linnea Sinclair is a name synonymous with high-action, emotionally intense, character-driven science fiction romance novels. Reviewers note that Sinclair’s novels “have the wow-factor in spades.” Her books have claimed spots in the Locus Top Ten and received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly.  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.” She’s the author of the exciting Dock Five Universe series that starts with Gabriel’s Ghost. Other Sinclair novels include PEARL award winners Finders Keepers, Games of Command, and Hope’s Folly (Dock Five book #3).

Sinclair, a former news reporter and private investigator, resides in 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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July 5-30, 2017

Military 101

About the Workshop:

One of the many new markets for contemporary romance is military romance. The military is like a small country. It has its own culture, customs and laws. This workshop touches on branch structure, culture in and out of uniform, the lexicon and slang, tradition and various other details of what it is really like. It will also touch on common myths and misnomers. We will cover why female and male soldiers who work together can be prosecuted if they get involved, as can adulterers and why there is really no such thing as off duty. We will talk about special operations and why females being allowed to enter those fields has generated strong kickback within the services. (Hint: It has little to do with women being able to do the job.)

About the Presenter:

Merien spent a decade traveling the world as a military intelligence analyst. She has multiple degrees specializing in Anthropology, Sociology, English, and Communications Technology.  She is currently a member of the RWA national ethics committee. The last ten years she been an active volunteer with several RWA chapters, to include board member, board liaison, webmistress, and conference committee positions.  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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July 11 – August 1, 2017

A Novel in Four Drafts 

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:

Every draft of a novel can be more than just another version of the manuscript. It can be an ongoing evolution that keeps improving with each stage until the work is finally the best version of itself. Writers in all stages of production will benefit from this detailed and engaging look at the writing and revision process. Participants in this course will learn what they should focus on for each draft, techniques for effective editing, and how to complete that book that never seems to be good enough.

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 they may have on the craft of writing during the course.

Week One: The First Draft – Just Get It Down

No amount of dreaming will make a first draft happen. It takes effort, time, and dedication to create the raw material that will eventually become a finished story. Participants in this class will learn how to handle writers block, how to postpone the need to edit, and how to course-correct midway through the process.

Week Two: The Second Draft – Making the Big Changes

It’s a mistake to call a story done after the first draft. In reality, the majority of the work of creation is still ahead of you. Participants in this class will learn how to evaluate the manuscript as a whole, how to decide between cutting and changing, and when to move on.

Week Three: The Third Draft – All the Little Details

The first draft is written for the writer’s sake, all subsequent drafts are for the reader’s. Participants in this course will learn how to troubleshoot for a variety of narrative issues, including continuity errors, plot holes, logic errors, and showing vs. telling.

Week Four: The Fourth Draft – One Sentence at a Time

After all the major editing has been finished, there’s a temptation to call a story done and move on. But even a fantastic story will suffer if the reader has to fight through a messy narrative to get to it. In this class, participants will learn tips on proofreading, how to avoid “author blindness”, and how to recruit and select additional readers.

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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August 8-29, 2017

Finding Your Writing Process

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:

Everyone has an idea for a book. The tough part is turning that idea into something that readers will want to read, review, and recommend to friends. Whether you’ve just gotten a brilliant idea or are suffering from a year-long bout of writers block, this course is for you. Participants will learn how to develop ideas into plots, how to make the most of their writing time, and how to create a unique writing system tailored to their needs.

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 they may have on the craft of writing during the course.

Week One: The Idea Factory

It isn’t hard to have one good idea, but how does a writer get multiple ideas during each writing session? Whether you’re trying to come up with the plot to your next novel or just trying to figure out what a character should say next, this class is designed to help you. Students will learn effective observation techniques, tricks for removing the boundaries to their imaginations, and the alchemy of idea-making.

Week Two: Turning Ideas into Manuscripts

While the process of getting ideas can be both fun and fulfilling, there comes a time when a writer must begin the work of translating his scattered thoughts into a story that his readers can enjoy. In this course, students will learn the difference between planning and stalling, how to stay organized during the writing process, and how to write with confidence regardless of the need to revise later.

Week Three: Making the Most of Your Writing Time

“I only write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9 a.m.” Come and learn how to turn off your inner critic and make the most of the time that you set aside to practice your craft. Participants in this course will learn how to create a writing-friendly environment, how to manage their writing time, how to prepare for their writing time, and how to set organic goals that will measure success rather than focus on artificial deadlines.

Week Four: Pick Your Process

Writing is an art form, and a writer’s process is as unique as the art they create. In this course, Lindsay will give a variety of ideas and methods that have worked for all types of authors to help you start building your own process. Students will learn a variety of ways to do outlines, organize ideas, revise their work, and get feedback.

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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