2019 Workshops

Unless otherwise noted, meetings take place on the second Saturday of the month at 1pm at the East Greenbush Library.

December 14, 2019 – Annual Member Celebration

November 9, 2019 – Adriana Herrera and Tere Michaels – Writing The Diaspora: Create Diverse Characters with History and Depth

  • ❗️ Please note our November meeting will be held at the Clifton Park library

In this workshop participants will gain insight and tools to better research and render diverse characters in their stories. We will talk about what kinds of stories are appropriate to tell, and how to develop those characters in a way that honors their story

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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Tere Michaels writes happily ever afters in the big city – with heaps of snark, angst and humor. Her focus is on characters and all the ridiculous ways they trip through life and love. She has written fifteen books including her popular Faith, Love & Devotion series and the superhero saga, The Vigilante.  

She has been presenting workshops on the writing process for ten years. She has taught at RT Booklovers Convention, Liberty States Create Something Magical Conference, RWA online classes, and done presentations and workshops for chapters of RWA, Liberty States, Sisters in Crime, and Horror Writers of America. She taught and managed RT Booklovers Convention Boot Camp, and now curates the Professional Development and Boot Camp for the Book Lovers Convention.

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October 12, 2019 – Jennifer Gracen and Jeannie Moon – From Stretch Marks to Hot Flashes: Writing the Seasoned Romance

Romance readers are growing older and so are the heroes and heroines in the genre they love. This workshop will take you through the ins and outs of writing a seasoned romance from the physical realities of age to the subtleties of the older mindset. See how publishers are starting to embrace romances with more mature characters. Topics covered will include both craft and marketing, so authors can explore issues surrounding age, including:

  • The concept of love being ageless
  • How intimacy between older characters can be sexy and fun
  • The myth of eternal youth (and why we don’t need it)
  • Tropes that work well with seasoned romance
  • How to envision and pitch your book in a changing market
  • Fighting ageism in the industry

USA Today bestselling author Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. The author of sixteen contemporary romances, for Tule Publishing and PenguinRandomHouse, Jeannie is married to her high school sweetheart, has three grown kids and a beautiful granddaughter. She lives in her hometown on Long Island, New York with her husband and her pack of crazy dogs. If she’s more than ten miles away from saltwater for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

Jeannie’s books have received a number of honors. In addition to multiple starred reviews, Jeannie has been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best and the Holt Medallion contests. In 2018, Jeannie’s novel, Then Came You, won the Booksellers’ Best Award for best long contemporary romance. Jeannie was the recipient of the 2018 RWA Service Award presented by Romance Writers of America for outstanding service to the romance community.

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Jennifer Gracen was born and raised on Long Island, New York, and lives there now with her two teenage sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and has fully embraced her lifelong passion for writing. Author of 16 books and counting, she loves to write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction for readers who yearn for better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. She’s a member of RWA, LIRW, RWA-NYC, and CTRWA. When she isn’t at her day job as a proofreader, at home being a mom, or talking to friends online, Jennifer writes. She’s shocked her family hasn’t yet staged an intervention for her addiction to social media. But the concerts she gives in her car and the dance parties she has in her kitchen are rumored to be fabulous.

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September 14, 2019 – Albany Book Fest

Members are invited to take part in the Albany Book Fest, either as participating authors, or as readers supporting fellow local writers.

Note: This is not an official chapter event

September 7, 2019 – Satin Russell – How to Be a Badass Book Busker

Offline Marketing for Author Fairs, Expos, and Conferences

In this presentation, Satin Russell will cover how events can be a useful way to build your readership and author network, how to find various events, and tips for having a successful and profitable experience. She’ll also discuss the importance of thinking outside the box when looking for shows to attend.

Satin Russell is the author of The Harper Sisters Series, a romantic suspense trilogy set in Bath, Maine. Other than writing, she loves getting out and meeting readers and potential fans. Last year, she did quite a few events and is eager to share what she’s learned with her fellow writers in this fun and informative workshop.

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August 10, 2019 – Ginny Frost – Apps for Writers (Take Two)

(In March, this workshop was so hot, the fire department evacuated the building — literally! Let’s try it again, this time without the weird burning smell coming from the HVAC system.)

Writing is hard. Finding the right tools to help you create your masterpiece is even harder. Who has the time to sort through the options, much less learn how to use them?

This workshop will demonstrate a curated selection of writing apps to simplify every stage of the writing process, from planning through marketing, and everything in between.

We will organize projects with Trello, create your story/series timeline with Aeon Timeline, take notes with Keep, and design marketing pieces with Canva.

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July 2019 – NO MEETING 

Enjoy your summer. Good luck to our national convention attendees and award finalists!

June 8, 2019 – How Not to Kill your Crit Partner panel

Presenters: Rebecca Grace Allen, Kari Cole, Ginny Frost, and Jean C. Gordon

Description: Killing your darlings is hard. Having a fellow author tell you to kill them? Even harder! Come meet with a panel of Capital Region RWA writers as they talk about the joys of having a critique partner, and on how to give one another feedback on your work in a positive, respectful environment… most of the time.

Rebecca Grace Allen: Rebecca Grace Allen is a Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestselling author of hot, heart-breaking romance, and is a firm believer in happily-ever-afters. A caffeine addict and gym rat, she lives upstate with her husband, two parakeets, and a cat with a very unusual foot fetish. Rebecca is the Vice President of Capital Region RWA.

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Kari Cole: Kari Cole is an award-winning author of paranormal romances. Her action-packed stories have earned several awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, Kiss of Death’s Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and Toronto Romance Writers’ Catherine.

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Ginny Frost: Ginny Frost writes contemporary romance. In her down time, she plays clerk at the local library — the perfect job to feed her reading addiction. She lives in upstate NY with her very own kindhearted ogre, their two smart and sassy daughters, and an evil cat named Flash. Her second book Swindled will be out June 10.

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Jean C. Gordon: 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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May 11, 2019 – Dark Hearts Craft workshop webinar by Damon Suede

Dark Heart – the Root of Character: All characters have pain in their past…a backstory which drives them inexorably into turmoil, jeopardy, and high-stakes choices. Fatal flaw, motivation, wound, scar, trauma, mistake, shadow, ghost…no matter what you call it, that inner void never stops sucking. Accessing your characters’ darkness and danger dramatizes scenes and maximizes emotional legibility. Join Damon Suede for a two-hour RWA Workshop in a Box which teaches you to tap your story’s power and bring any character to life.

April 6, 2019 – Lucinda Race – Taglines, promo and presenting your brand

Author Brand – do those two words cause your heart to beat faster, either from fear or excitement? What we will review today is how you can approach creating your unique brand, one step at a time. We’ll talk about your brands voice, tag lines, swag and book events.

For her alter ego, Lucinda is a marketing manager for a global plastics company. Writing brochures, ad copy and white papers are about as uninspiring as it sounds. Until one day her boss said, can you brush up on your writing skills- we want to have something extra is your copy. The only class she could find had a requirement for half fiction assignments and half non-fiction. The long dormant writer was revived. Happily self published but still looking for a hybrid solution Lucinda writes contemporary romance with a splash of suspense and magical elements.

For her alter ego, Lucinda is a marketing manager for a global plastics company. Writing brochures, ad copy and white papers are about as uninspiring as it sounds. Until one day her boss said, can you brush up on your writing skills- we want to have something extra is your copy. The only class she could find had a requirement for half fiction assignments and half non-fiction. The long dormant writer was revived. Happily self published but still looking for a hybrid solution Lucinda writes contemporary romance with a splash of suspense and magical elements.

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  • NOTE – this will be the FIRST Saturday of the month, not the second Saturday

March 9, 2019 – Ginny Frost – Apps for Writers (rescheduled for August due to problems with the meeting venue)

Writing is hard. Finding the right tools to help you create your masterpiece is even harder. Who has the time to sort through the options, much less learn how to use them? This workshop will demonstrate a curated selection of writing apps to simplify every stage of the writing process, from planning through marketing, and everything in between. We will organize projects with Trello, create your story/series timeline with Aeon Timeline, take notes with Keep, and design marketing pieces with Canva.

February 9, 2019 – Skype workshop with the founders of Book + Main

Meet Tracey Suppo and Melissa Saneholtz, the brain power behind Book+Main. A content-based social media community, Book+Main is the next-generation platform for how readers find books and authors find readers. From debut authors to #1 New York Times bestsellers, Book+Main Bites is where the book world comes to connect. In this workshop, you’ll discover Book + Main’s custom-built platform and statistics proving Bites sell books, find out how to get started, best practices for posting Bites and promotional ideas to kick-start your exposure. You’ll also get a sneak peak on what’s to come from Book+Main!

Tracey Suppo | CEO Prior to co-founding Book+Main: Tracey held the position of vice president of marketing at a national commercial real estate company for 18 years. Clients included GE, Sunoco, BP, 7-Eleven, and more. She built and managed a nine-person marketing team during her tenure. Tracey also owns a romance book blog and reader group with more than 20k romance readers, authors and industry professionals. In 2016, she published her first romance novella, which reached number one in her category on Amazon.

Melissa Saneholtz | CMO: Melissa comes to Book+Main with over 10 years in sales and marketing, four of which have centered around the publishing industry. Having owned and operated a successful PR and marketing company dedicated to romance authors since April of 2014, Melissa has built a strong network of publishers, authors, bloggers, and other industry professionals. Under her guidance, many authors have hit lists such as USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and countless Amazon bestseller lists.

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.

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