2020 Workshops

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

January 18th

Canceled due to inclement weather. The program has been rescheduled for April

February 15th: Anna Bowling – Play In Your Own Sandbox

  • Please note: due to meeting space availability, this is the third Saturday of the month, not the second

If you’ve ever had new ideas for the plots, worlds, or characters of your favorite entertainments, tell the “real” story behind your favorite song, or work of visual art, then you’ve got a powerful tool for creating your own new, original adventures, in a world all your own, with characters who could belong to nobody else. It’s fun to play in somebody else’s sandbox, sure, but if you play in your own sandbox, nobody can make you leave,  because you’re already home, and you get to keep all the toys. In this workshop, we’ll find out what we love, why we love it, and how we can make it work for us.

Anna Carrasco Bowling made the full commitment to her true writing love, romance novels, after over a decade spent among Klingons, Immortals and Newcomers. In addition to writing historical and contemporary romance, Anna writes for her own blog, Typing With Wet Nails, and various spots around the internet. A former nanny, ear piercer, and family caregiver, Anna is a member of Romance Writers of America, and hospitality co-chair of Capital Region Romance Writers. Anna lives with her Real Life Romance Hero and their family in Upstate NY, where she spends her days plotting world domination…okay, romance novels.

Anna was a regular contributor at Heroes and Heartbreakers  for many years, blogs now at Buried Under Romance, and her own blog, Typing With Wet Nails, all places where she loves to blabber about romance novels and tell people who kissed who on TV. She has also contributed to sites such as XOJane.com and the Unusual Historicals blog. Anna invites readers to connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram

Her other website, melvaandanna.com, will be updated soon, she promises.

March 14

Canceled due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Our program will be rescheduled for a later date.

April 11: Caitlin Sheldon – Costume and Clothing History for Writers (rescheduled)

NOTE: This meeting will be held virtually using GoToMeeting. The virtual meeting will begin at 1:30 pm, with a brief business meeting followed by our regularly scheduled speaker. Details about how to log into the meeting will be made available through the email loop and Facebook group. We look forward to seeing you online!

In this presentation for anyone who wants to add period clothing details to their historical novels, historical costumer Caitlin Sheldon will explain the bits that keep the historically-minded reader completely immersed in the period. Topics covered will include but are not limited to:

  • how many layers, exactly, did women wear and in what eras?
  • “yes, I can breathe in this corset”
  • bodice closures for the bodice-rippers
  • the difference between silk and satin, and why it matters

Hand made examples of some of the clothing items and fabrics in question will be available for examination.

Librarian and historical costumer Caitlin Sheldon has been both an obsessive reader and sewist since childhood. She currently spends her days helping researchers and building collections at a public library, and her nights and weekends sewing historical clothing and traveling to events where she can wear her creations among like-minded friends

May 9: Jeanette Grey – Size Does Matter: Crafting Fantastic Fiction At Any Length

NOTE: This meeting will be held virtually using Webex. Instructions will be sent via our email loop and Facebook group. The video chat room will open at 1pm to allow time to troubleshoot access, with the business meeting beginning at 1:15

From five page vignettes to eighteen volume epic fantasy series, the power of fiction doesn’t need to be limited by its word count.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the creative freedom that comes from tackling different kinds of stories at different lengths, learn how to set the scope of your plot, and identify the secret sauce that makes stories of any size emotionally resonant.

Armed with these tools, we’ll also discuss marketing, pricing, and the best ways to strategically leverage both shorter and longer works to hook new readers—and keep them as avid fans for life.

June 13: Kathryn R. Biel – Ebook Formatting