2021 Workshops

January 9, 2021 – Sally KilpatrickLaughter is Serious Business

Adding humor to your work is no joke. A best-selling author shares her tried and true tricks for tickling your readers’ funny bones–and for keeping those readers turning pages.

Born and raised in a small town in West Tennessee, Sally Kilpatrick writes to go home.  She lives with her husband, a Georgia boy, and her two kids in Marietta, Georgia, but her heart has never left Tennessee, and her books reflect the small-town shenanigans and memorable characters she grew up around. Her latest novel, Oh My Stars, was described by RT Book Reviews as written in a way that “makes readers feel as if they are hanging out with their best friend.”  With five novels under her belt, Sally has been a Golden Heart® Finalist and has won multiple awards, including the 2018 and 2019 Georgia Author of the Year, the Maggie Award of Excellence, the Booksellers’ Best, and the 2016 Nancy Knight Award for Mentorship.  Visit her author website at sallykilpatrick.com or follow her on Twitter as @SuperWriterMom.

February 13, 2021: Bria Quinlan – Hooks & Anchors

Do you want to suck readers in immediately and keep them reading?

Are you tired of hearing that your action-packed open started too slowly OR that your slow burn was “hard to get into”?

Are you using mental movies to destroy reader exhaustion and keep those pages turning?

Want to make every scene open fresh and hot and ready to roll?

We’ll handle all of this and more in Hooks and Anchors.

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March 13, 2021: Y. M. Nelson – Finessing The Story (Or: What Do Editors Want Anyway?)

Wondering how to take a good story and make it great? What does having a “fresh voice” really mean? And why should I care about filter words, anyway? This presentation shows how those annoying grammar “rules” and writing foundations can take a story from okay to “must-read,” and gives you practical examples so you can do it, too.

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April 10, 2021: Anna Bowling – Play In Your Own Sandbox

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

May 8, 2021: Kathryn R Biel – Draw ‘Em In: Writing Effective Blurbs

You’ve written the whole book. Now onto the hardest words: the blurb. In this workshop, we’ll explore different techniques for writing effective blurbs to draw your readers at a moment’s glance. Bring what you have and we’ll work on it together.

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