2018 Workshops

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.

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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.

For Amazon Bestselling sweet and inspirational romance author Jean C. Gordon, writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. She and her college-sweetheart husband tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to their native small-town Upstate New York, where she sets many of her books.

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September 8, 2018 – Gwen Hayes – Romancing the Beat all day workshop

Whether you are a plotter or a pantser, in writing or revisions, Romancing the Beat Workshop can help you nail the romance arc of your book. Come armed with a pen or pencil, or your preferred electronics or notebook, and one of the following: a general story idea you’re percolating, a story you’re revising or currently writing, or a blank slate ready for your new, next great idea.

This all-day intensive workshop will be a blend of lecture, writing exercises, and workshopping/brainstorming. (As an introvert herself, Gwen will not force you to participate out loud if you don’t feel it.) We’ll cover the twenty beats in the book, Romancing the Beat, and you’ll leave with a road map for your writing, your outline if you’re a plotter, or a plan for your revisions.

Please note that the beats don’t care if you are writing erotica or sweet, short story or 20-book series, straight or LGBTQ. We will cover the romance arc—not the entire external plot.

Gwen Hayes lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real life hero and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world. She is traditionally and independently published and has two sooper sekrit pen names for her dirtier stories. In addition to writing, Gwen is a freelance editor at www.fresheyescritique.com. You can also check out Romancing the Beat and order it in advance at http://gwenhayes.com/romancing-the-beat/!

Website: http://gwenhayes.com/
Romancing the Beat Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/romancingthebeat/
Gwen’s fiction on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/gwenhayesauthor/

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

Autumn Jones Lake is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over twenty novels including the popular Lost Kings MC series. Her past lives include baking cookies, slinging shoes, and practicing law. Playing with her imaginary friends is her favorite job so far. Autumn prefers to write her romances on the classy side of dirty, and she believes true love stories never end.

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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.

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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.

Alexis Daria is an award-winning contemporary romance author, former artist, and native New Yorker. Her debut, TAKE THE LEAD, was a 2018 RITA® Award winner for “Best First Book” and was named one of the Best Romance Novels of 2017 by The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. She loves social media, and you can find her live-tweeting her favorite TV shows at @alexisdaria.

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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.

Kate McMurray writes smart romantic fiction. She likes creating stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. She advocates for romance stories by and for everyone. When she’s not writing, she edits textbooks, watches baseball, plays violin, crafts things out of yarn, and wears a lot of cute dresses. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with two cats and too many books.

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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 – On Taxes and Being a Writer

For Amazon Bestselling sweet and inspirational romance author Jean C. Gordon, writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. She and her college-sweetheart husband tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to their native small-town Upstate New York, where she sets many of her books.

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January 13th, 2018 – Evi Kline – 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.

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