Contemporary Romance Writers 2020 Workshops

Unless stated otherwise, workshops take place on closed Groups.IO 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.
For monthly updates about upcoming CR-RWA Workshops, sign up for our workshop newsletter. 

Enroll Now For:


Mark Your Calendars For:

  • March 1-14, 2020: Active Rest for Creatives with Merien Grey
  • March 2-27, 2020: Where Craft And Marketing Collide! with Deborah Magnus
  • March 1-27, 2020: Don’t TELL Me That with Leslie Scott
  • April 6-30, 2020: Writing Sex in Contemporary Romance with Kay Harris
  • April 6-30, 2020: Emerging Publishing Platforms with Kilby Blades
  • April 6-30, 2020: When Two Authors Are Better Than One, a Co-writing Class with Midnight Voss and Ivy Quinn
  • April 21, 2020: WEBINAR – What Your Crit Partners Won’t Tell You with Grace Burrowes
  • May 19, 2020: WEBINAR – The Secrets to Getting More Book Reviews with Penny Sansevieri
  • May 4-29, 2020: Be A More Productive And Vibrant Writer! with Deborah Magnus
  • May 1-29, 2020: Press Kit “Trust Me, You Need One Now!” with Kathryn Jane
  • May 1-29, 2020: Keeping Your Characters – And Readers – On Edge: Tension And The Contemporary Romance with Beth Daniels
  • June 1-26, 2020: Getting Started in Audio with Kerri Canyas
  • June 1-26, 2020: The Sexy Synopsis with Shannon Donnelly
  • June 1-26, 2020: Catching “Oops” Elements In Your Story: Editing That’s Got Nuthin’ Ta Do With Grammar with Beth Daniels
  • August 3-28, 2020: Feminism in Romance with Kilby Blades
  • August 3-28, 2020: Adapting Your Novel for the Screen with Ines Johnson
  • August 1-28, 2020: Self-Publishing “Where The Heck Do I Start?” with Kathryn Jane
  • August 1-28, 2020: Website Tips & Tricks – 15 Lessons to Supercharge Your Author Website with Barb Drozdowich
  • September 15, 2020: WEBINAR: Building Your Street Teams – The Secrets to Selling More Books with Penny Sansevieri
  • September 1-25, 2020: Hardwired for Hot with Merien Grey
  • September 1-25, 2020: Inadvertent Mentors: Stripping Others’ Published Work To Build A Genre Niche Template Of Your Own with Beth Daniels
  • September 1-25, 2020: Dialogue: Don’t Let ‘Em Say What You Mean with Shannon Donnelly
  • October 5-30, 2020: Marketing 101 with Ines Johnson
  • October 1-29, 2020: So You’ve Finished a Novel, Now What? with Leslie Scott
  • October 4-24, 2020: Prep for NaNoWriMo the Bare Bones Way with Cathy Chant
  • November 17, 2020: WEBINAR: Mastering Amazon: Ads, Your Backlist, and the Perfect Book Launch with Penny Sansevieri
  • November 1-29, 2020: Shuffling The Cards: Dealing Yourself More Writing Time In The Game Of Life with Beth Daniels
  • November 1-24, 2020: Blurbs and Tag Lines with Linnea Sinclair
  • November 1-29, 2020: Fights in Fiction with Merien Grey

Past Workshops



January 7-18, 2020


How Can Evernote Help You Write? with Denise Alicea

About The Workshop:

Evernote brings your life’s work together in one digital workspace. Evernote is the place to collect inspirational ideas, write meaningful words, and important documents. Evernote is a diverse tool. Can be used online, on the go, and makes taking notes as simple as possible!

Day One

  • What is Evernote?
  • Free vs. Paid
  • Register for a Evernote account
  • Download the application on your computer and mobile devices.
  • Download the Evernote Webclipper

Day Two

  • Learn about the Evernote layout
  • Creating Notes
  • Creating Notebooks

Day Three

  • Using the Webclipper
  • Using Search
  • Writing a post and it’s features

Day Four

  • Tips for saving articles with webclipper and clearly.
  • Using Notebooks to keep organized.
  • Sharing your documents, notes, etc.

Day 5

  • Open day for questions.

About The Instructor:

Born to the great lively city of Manhattan, NY, and raised in Connecticut. Denise started writing when drawing and painting were not enough. Deciding to try a new type of medium, she thought to start with poetry. After her first success and first reading at the age of fifteen. Her writing began to take on new life with her own worlds of fantasy, time travel, action, adventure and of course romance.  She draws inspiration from her favorite childhood cartoons and experiences to her current day ones.

A member of Romance Writers of America and several of its chapters since 2005, Denise has won two awards for her short stories and several finalist nominations. She always finds the time to help others through RWA and also her book review blog, The Pen & Muse Book Reviews. When not writing, Denise loves technology, reading (romance, YA, anime, nonfiction, fiction, Technology, Social Media) , watching movies and TV shows.



January 5-31, 2020


Creating a Social Media Content Plan with Lisa Catto

About The Workshop:

Do you ever struggle with figuring out what to post on your author social media accounts? Or, how much to “sell” versus how much to talk about yourself? Or maybe you’re unpublished and aren’t sure what to even talk about. Lisa Catto, a social media coach for authors, will walk you through her three-step process. You’ll leave the class with a solid and customized plan for what to post on your social media accounts.

About The Instructor:

Lisa Catto uses her 15 years of public relations and social media experience to coach and train her fellow authors on using social media to build lasting relationships with readers. She has a podcast for authors called Social Media Deconstructed and coaches authors through her business, Caledonia Creative. She writes contemporary romance and cozy mysteries as Lisa Leoni.


January 5-31, 2020


Inside Out: Crafting Your Character’s Internal Conflict with Linnea Sinclair

About The Workshop:

It’s the bottom of the iceberg. The fuel for the fire. Internal conflict—that illusive and often ignored element in your character’s GMC. Yet, like fuel, it’s a powerful element in crafting your character and your story, and it will keep your readers turning pages. In this workshop, RITA® award-winning author, Linnea Sinclair, will show you how to dig deeper to unearth your story’s hidden power by writing to this primal force. (A working knowledge of GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict is helpful for this class.)

About The Instructor:

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


January 5-31, 2020


Writing the Romantic Novella with Cathy Chant

About The Workshop:

In this workshop you will learn what a novella is, how it’s more than word count that separates it from a novel, and how to successfully craft one of your own.

Lesson topics include: Scope and Pacing, Character Development, Conflict, Plot and Format. At the end of the workshop, you will have a brief outline of a novella you can start working on this year, a list of prospective publishers to submit your work to, and some tips for self-publishing your novella at Amazon, if you prefer to go the indie route.

The workshop includes exercises with every lesson designed to strengthen the concepts discussed.

About The Instructor:

Catherine Chant is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. She writes rock ‘n’ roll romantic fiction and stories with paranormal twists for young adults.

Catherine worked for 15 years as an IT computing & communication consultant at her alma mater Boston College before becoming a full-time writer. She teaches several online workshops for writers throughout the year and provides instructional articles on computing, gaming and crafts to different websites.

Catherine is currently working on a new young adult suspense novel, and the next book in her Soul Mates series.

You can connect with Catherine at her website, on Twitter @Catherine_Chant or on Facebook CatherineChantNovels.


February 1-14, 2020



(Note: prices for this workshop are $30 for RWA members and $40 for non-members; CRW Chapter members pay $20.)

Motivate Your Character to Create the Plot with Alicia Rasley

About the Workshop:

Motivation is the point where character intersects with plot. Motivation is, ideally, what makes the character get involved in the events of the story, and what keeps that character from bailing out when things get dicey. Motivation engenders goals, and goals cause conflict, and conflict causes action, and pretty soon you have a terrific plot there– and it all starts with your characters wanting something for some reason even they might not understand.

Motivation is fuel, powering the characters as its close relation conflict powers the plot.

In this interactive workshop, Alicia Rasley will help you figure out your character’s motivation and how you can use that to individualize the character and the plot.
We’ll explore these six important distinctions:
  1. Goal vs. motivation.
  2. Author motivation vs. character motivation.
  3. External motivation vs. internal motivation.
  4. Proactive motivation vs. reactive motivation.
  5. Backstory vs. forestory.
  6. Action vs. motivation.
So let’s discuss how to use motivation to develop characters with that complex mixture of values and goals and internal issues that makes up human nature.
You’ll have the chance to work through your character’s motivation and ask questions.

About the Instructor:

Alicia Rasley is the author of The Power of Point of View and The Story Within Plotbook. She earned her MA in English Literature from Butler University, with the thesis “The Family Vault: Women Buried Alive in Poe’s Short Fiction,” and now teaches English and writing at the university level. Her major online course, Blueprint Your Plot, is now available at:


February 3-28, 2020


Scrivener Scene by Scene with Ines Johnson

About the Workshop:

This course will focus on the basic building blocks of every story; the scene. It’s a course that works bests for plotters, writers who outline their story, and plantsers, writers who have a mental hold on the scope of their story but perhaps not a detailed outline. Writers will learn how to set up each scene in Scrivener, what metadata they should consider to strengthen the structure of each and every one of their scenes, and tips to increase productivity using the software’s myriad of tools.

About the Instructor:

Ines Johnson is a television writer turned romance novelist. She currently teaches college level courses in scriptwriting and story development.

Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Ines is best known for her charming fairytale retelling romance Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story. The Cindermama series features single mothers who’ve given up on love after kissing toads, but they each get a second chance at love with a prince charming.

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.
Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.



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