Meetings

CR-RWA Meetings are held the second Saturday of the month, unless otherwise noted, at the East Greenbush Library, located at 10 Community Way, East Greenbush, NY 12061. Meetings are open to people 18 years and over.

Noon to 1:00 PM – Reserved for committee and board meetings

1:00 to 2:00 PM – Business/Membership Meeting
This time is to discuss the business of the chapter, hear reports from various board and committee members and to share Member news.

2:00 to 3:30 PM – Program 
This hour and a half is set aside to learn more about the craft and business of romantic fiction writing. Topics are generated from the membership. Presenters who are published authors are welcome and encouraged to bring their books for sale/signing.

MONTHLY PROGRAM SCHEDULE

January 12th, 2019 – Jeanette Grey – Goal-Setting For The Chronically Disappointed Writer
Self-help gurus and life coaches will tell you to think positively and success will fall into your lap. But if that worked, would they still have jobs? If thinking positively hasn’t gotten you on any best-seller lists, maybe it’s time to try something new. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, multi-published hybrid author and experienced self-re-inventor Jeanette Grey will challenge you to probe your darkest depths for the sources of your disappointments and resentments in your writing career. Then, we’ll tackle those issues head-on, discussing the fallacies that keep people barking up the wrong trees, and strategizing how to both harness and silence the Debbie Downers that live in all of our heads. Participants will leave armed with new areas for improvement, refreshed serenity to accept what they cannot change, as well as actionable, concrete goals for how make progress and find more joy in their careers—and their lives.

December 8th, 2018 – Annual Member Celebration
Join us for light refreshments as we recognize our members’ accomplishments of the past year and discuss plans and goals for 2019

November 10, 2018 – Adriana Herrera – Better Writing Through Empathy -Building Community
Empathy–understanding other people’s feelings–is the cornerstone of good writing. In this workshop, we’ll discuss strategies for understanding the experiences of people who may have very different lives than you. We’ll talk about the places people get stuck and how to be aware of them as we work toward being more empathetic as writers. We’ll also take a close look at our own community and discuss ways that we can build empathy as a group.

Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last sixteen years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings.

When’s she not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Her debut novel, American Dreamer, will be out in March of 2019 from Carina Press. You can find her on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and at her website

October 13, 2018 – Jean Gordon – Gone In 60 Minutes
A hands on synopsis-writing exercise that can turn your idea into a fully developed storyThe workshop opens with a short introduction and then goes through nine steps, giving attendees 3-5 minutes to jot down information for each step.

September 8, 2018 – Gwen Hayes – Romancing the Beat all day workshop
Registration for this program is now open! Registration closes September 2, and there are limited seats available. Learn more now!

August 11, 2018 – Autumn Jones Lake – How to run a great Facebook group

July 14, 2018 – No Meeting!
Have a happy and productive summer!

June 9, 2018 – Judith Utz, Marketing Professional
Blogging is a mainstay in books and whether you want to get noticed by a huge name in review blogging or hook up with a site owner who has the same taste in Romance, knowing how to talk to, and meet, bloggers is important, especially in light of an upcoming release. This workshop will cover crafting a new release strategy then drilling down and understanding how blogging and bloggers fit into current literary marketing and release efforts with an aim at understanding the whys of blogging; finding sites and bloggers who fit your brand; making those critical blogger relationships; crafting pitches; and getting your book noticed.

May 12, 2018 – Alexis Daria – Building a Strong Platform Before (Or After) You Publish
As authors, a lot of things are outside our control. We can’t control sales or reviews, but we can control how we position ourselves before we go to market. Whether your goal is traditional or indie publishing, there are things you can do to build your platform for a strong start, strengthen it before your next release, or make the shift to a different publishing model. This workshop will cover: using social media to expand your network and engagement, creating an effective web presence, casting a wide (but targeted) net to boost your publishing odds, buiding your skills, and focusing on the promotional elements that are fun for you.

April 14, 2018  at the Bethlehem Library – Kate McMurray – Revision
You’ve finished the first draft of your novel. What next? Many writers find the revision process daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In this workshop, we’ll discuss practical ways to approach revision. I’ll focus on the big picture, rather than the little details, to make sure you’ve got a great story. This includes what questions to ask yourself as you go back over your manuscript to make sure your book has a great hook, tight pacing, and compelling characters. I’m bringing my editorial experience to the table, too, to discuss common pitfalls authors fall into and how to avoid them to make your book the best it can be.

  • Note: Due to meeting space availability, our April meeting will be held at the Bethlehem Public Library, located at 451 Delaware Ave, Delmar, NY, 12054

March 10, 2018 – Shari Slade and Skye Warren – How to launch a Book
Do you want your next book launch to be BIGGER? Whether you’re a new author or have an established backlist, building excitement for your book and finding new readers is crucial to continued success in this saturated market. Join two bestselling authors as they share serious strategies for releases. Let’s make 2018 your best year yet!

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. Shari Slade is a USA Today bestselling author with a broad network of colleagues and over five years of experience in indie publishing.

February 10, 2018 – Jean C. Gordon – Romancing the IRS
Can I deduct my writing expenses? What can I deduct? Do I have to have writing income to deduct writing expenses? Long-time financial planner and Capital Region Romance Writers member Jean C. Gordon will answer these and other questions you may have about writers’ deductions and taxes—for your 2017 tax filing at least. If information is available at meeting time, she’ll also talk about what may be ahead for future tax years and 2018 tax planning.

January 13, 2018 – Kelli Newby – World Building
Creating complex, dynamic settings is an essential skill for all writers, but fantasy writers take this especially to heart, often describing the setting as the most important character in their stories. In this workshop, Kelli Newby–a Capital Region RWA member who teaches fantasy writing and literature at MCLA–will show attendees worldbuilding techniques and exercises used by fantasy writers and discuss how to create immersive, multilayered worlds for any genre, time period, or reality.

December 9, 2017 – Annual Member Celebration

Join us as we celebrate our members’ accomplishments for the year.

A board meeting to discuss transitions for 2018 will take place at 1pm, followed by our recognition program and party at 2pm.

November 4th, 2017, at the Bethlehem Public Library (Note the date and location change!)

Tamsen Parker and Teresa Noelle Roberts: Throw a Kink in Your Romantic Arc: Using BDSM to Build Complex Characters and Advance Your Plot 

When people think about BDSM, the first thought that comes to mind is usually whips and chains. While physical sensation can certainly be involved, much of the power of kink to participants and to you as a writer can be found in the intense psychological and emotional impacts it can have.

In this presentation, Tamsen and Teresa will explore how to use kink to add dimension to your characters and move your story forward. Much like sex, kink can provide moments of intimacy and vulnerability, and can be revealing of even (perhaps especially!) the cagiest individuals.

They’ll also discuss how some of these same principles can be used in your writing even if you don’t write kink. Elements of BDSM can be used in any genre, and don’t necessarily have to be labeled as such. Indeed, kink is leaking into more and more romance, including historicals and what Jenn Proffitt of Heroes and Heartbreakers coined as “kinktemporary.”

  • Note: Due to speaker and meeting space availability, our November meeting will be held on the first Saturday of the month, not the second, and at the Bethlehem Public Library.

October 21st, 2017 – It’s All About Me: From Core Story to Personal Brand – Group work and discussion led by Marie Lark
What common themes drive the media you consume? What fuels your binge? Do you have a core theme you return to in your own writing? As writers, we try to tell a different story in every book, but we all have themes we come back to, whether we realize it or not. But what can identifying that core story do for your personal brand? How can you turn your core story into a unique story about yourself?

In this workshop, you’ll identify this core narrative in your writing through a series of exercises pinpointing common elements in your favorite films/TV shows. Then you’ll brainstorm ways to use this core story to distinguish yourself both as a writer and as a media presence.

  • Note: Due to meeting space availability, our October meeting will be held on the third Saturday of the month, not the second

September 9th, 2017 – KA Mitchell – Love Scenes: They’re All About the Feels
Maybe you cringe at the thought of penning “another” love scene. Maybe it’s terror at the idea of writing a love scene at all.  Maybe you feel constrained by your genre. But whether it’s something hard and fast and dirty up against a wall a few seconds after meeting, or a sweet soft first kiss on page 400, scenes depicting characters’ intimacy is key to showing the way their relationship is growing and changing.

This workshop is designed to help writers develop a greater level of intimacy and connection to their characters in love scenes of all heat levels. We’ll discuss the purpose of love scenes, what to include (or not to include!), deciding on point of view, the power of word choice and how to make each scene unique and memorable.

Participants should be prepared to work on a love scene (of any heat level) for their characters in a W.I.P.