September 16, 2018 Meeting – Using the 4-D Wheel to Build Character Conflict with Sionna Fox

The 4-D Wheel was originally created by world-renowned sex therapist Gina Ogden as a tool for helping her patients rewrite the stories of their problems by considering the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their issues while physically walking a circle around a four-quadrant wheel. What started as an intuitive practice has now been supported by neuroscientific findings about neural networks and the way our brains are “wired for story.” When we change the stories we tell ourselves, we can foster change in our bodies and minds.

What does this mean for your characters? By approaching their conflicts from 4 dimensions, we can deepen their conflicts, and better understand the motivations that stem from them. By having your characters rewrite the stories around their past pains–their hole-heartedness, their voids–you can bring them to a more satisfying happily ever after.

BIO:

Sionna Fox is an author of sweet/hot HEAs, die-hard romance fan, and lover of things nerdy and twee. She has a small problem with washi tape and planner stickers, and tagging her in anything involving foxes, llamas, or women in suits is a surefire way to her heart.

August 19, 2018 Meeting – Can-Do Canva for Writers with Jennifer Hallock

Headshot of romance author Jennifer HallockCanva is an online graphic design tool that can help you create book teasers, promos, covers, slides, and more. Learn how to make this software work for you—for free!

Topics include:
• the best templates to use for everything from social media to series pitches;
• how to work around some of Canva’s awkward defaults;
• a free plug-in to color match any element;
• branding with colors, transparencies, logos, & images;
• using your own free graphics instead of their paid ones;
• overlays that make your text pop;
• and much more!
Bring your computers to this practical workshop, good for everyone from beginners to advanced content creators.

BIO:

Jennifer Hallock spends her days teaching history and her nights writing historical happily-ever-afters. She has lived and worked in the Philippines, but she currently writes at her little brick house on a New England homestead—kept company by her husband, a growing flock of chickens, and a border collie mutt puppy who likes to chew computer power cords.

June 24, 2018 Meeting – Craft & Business Working Groups

By the popular vote of our members, our meeting on Sunday June 24th will be craft and business working groups! PLEASE bring your pages to be critiqued, your query letters to be workshopped, your marketing plans for your upcoming book launch, your newsletter and FB ad questions, and of course all of your knowledge to help your fellow writers. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

May 20, 2018 Meeting – Lend Me Your Ears: Getting Started in Audiobooks, with Amy DeLuca

Lend Me Your Ears: Getting Started in Audiobooks

Interested in turning your novels into audiobooks? How difficult is it? How much does it cost? How do you find the right narrator? Author and audiobook narrator Amy Patrick has been on both sides of the equation and offers tips for getting started, from selecting the right narrator to working with your narrator/producer to where and how to sell the finished product.

BIO:

Amy DeLuca has been writing professionally since three weeks after college gradation, working as a TV news anchor/reporter in four different states–Mississippi, Tennessee, California, and Rhode Island. Then she retired from writing true stories and started making them up. Hers have way more kissing.

April 15, 2018 Meeting – Writing Sex that Will Grab Your Readers with Intent and Emotion, with Tamsen Parker

Writing Sex That Will Grab Your Readers with Intent and Emotion
Aka, How to Put the Bang in Your Banging

Sex scenes. Love them or hate them, if you’re publishing at the spicier end of the romance spectrum, you’ve got to know how to write them. And we all know that when it comes to writing sex, romance writers rule. We can make our readers swoon, give them chills, and definitely keep them turning pages.

We’ll talk about why sex is a useful tool in building intimacy between characters, how to convey the intense emotions and physical feelings that can accompany sex by fine-tuning the language we use, and how to use timing and surrounding scenes to add extra oomph to your characters getting it on. We’ll also cover how playing with power dynamics—whether in “formal” BDSM or not—can add extra zing to your books, and discuss writing sex across the rainbow.

Whether you’re a new writer who feels silly or uncomfortable writing sex, or a veteran who’s looking for ways to make your sex scenes more powerful or change things up a bit, this workshop will give you some new tools to add to your amatory arsenal.

BIO:

Tamsen Parker is a stay-at-home mom by day, USA Today bestselling erotic romance writer by naptime. Her novella CRAVING FLIGHT was named to the Best of 2015 lists of Heroes and Heartbreakers, Smexy Books, Romance Novel News, and Dear Author. Heroes and Heartbreakers called her Compass series “bewitching, humorous, erotically intense and emotional.”

She lives with her family outside of Boston, where she tweets too much, sleeps too little and is always in the middle of a book. Aside from good food, sweet rieslings and gin cocktails, she has a fondness for monograms and subway maps. She should really start drinking coffee.

Repped by the fabulous Courtney Miller-Callihan.

March 18, 2018 Meeting – Negotiate Your Way To An HEA: Intensify Your Novel’s Conflict Using Negotiation Archetypes with Alisha R. Bloom, Esq.

This fascinating session uses basic negotiation theory and dispute resolution principles to create a framework for intensifying your novel’s conflict. We’ll start off with an explanation of the six archetypal approaches to negotiation. Then we’ll consider the characters and situations where we can most effectively and realistically deploy each of these approaches. Last, we’ll use specific examples from popular fiction to illustrate how certain negotiating styles and combinations can prolong and heighten conflicts between your characters, while others can help bring about a satisfying resolution.

BIO:

An insightful, detail-oriented lawyer with a passion for creative problem-solving, Alisha Bloom is the founder and principal attorney of Versant Legal, a boutique law firm that provides outside general counsel services to companies of all sizes. Drawing on more than fifteen years of in-house and law firm experience, Alisha specializes in contracts, software licensing, dispute resolution, and HIPAA and healthcare compliance. She also provides literary attorney services, assisting creatives and literary agencies with licensing and protecting intellectual property. In addition, she teaches mediation as an adjunct professor at New England Law and is a trained community mediator.

In her previous career as an economic consultant, Alisha analyzed intellectual property damages and the impacts of mergers on competition. She received Columbia Law School’s highest academic honor and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University, also graduating with honors. When she’s not lawyering, she writes award-winning contemporary romance under a pen name and reads three books a week.

February 18, 2018 Meeting – Social Media Sidekick: 24 Days of Content Created in 24 Hours with Katana Collins

Do you constantly feel like you don’t know what to post on your Instagram? Do you sit in front of a stock site with no direction on the image to choose? Do you find yourself trying to set up a shot with your phone, only to have a weird shadow or a blurry subject matter?

In this presentation, Katana Collins will teach you how to plan out a month’s worth of social media content. You’ll see detailed outlines of how Katana strategizes her posts to match her ideal reader. You’ll learn how to weave in stock photography to your posts, how to create engaging captions to increase your engagement on Instagram and Facebook. And you’ll get a hands-on demonstration of how to be a better photographer with easy tips and tricks to style and take professional-looking photos on your PHONE (not a professional photographer? No problem!). You’ll leave the workshop with a printed outline of steps for the month and photographs in your phone, ready to post (Yep… if you feel up for it, we’ll be setting up photographs for everyone to take! Katana encourages you to bring copies of your own paperbacks to photograph in the flatlays!).

But most importantly? You’ll learn how to do schedule all these images and posts in only ONE day of work. One day of work for an entire month’s worth of social media. It frees you up to write. It frees you up to live.

BIO:

For as long as she can remember, Katana Collins always had one of two things in hand—a pen or a camera. And now, after twenty-nine years, she is lucky enough to have two of the best jobs ever—writing sexy romances, and also photographing sexy boudoir portraits. After writing for years, Katana finally found her niche with hot paranormal and sexy contemporary romances. When not writing, reading or photographing, you can find Katana in Brooklyn with her husband and two dogs where she drinks copious amounts of coffee and red wine and actively volunteers her time and photography expertise to local animal shelters.

January 21, 2018 Meeting – Setting Goals

The most compelling romances feature characters who have specific, concrete goals, things they want or need to achieve (or things they desperately want to avoid). The same can be said for smart romance authors: successful writers set goals, both for their writing and for the shape of their careers. So, what do you want to accomplish in 2018? Finish a manuscript? Join PRO or PAN? Write 100 words a week? Create a newsletter? Publish 5 books?

No matter what stage of your career you are at, thinking about your goals for both the coming months and for the distant future will bring much-needed focus to your writing, marketing, and publicity efforts. During January’s meeting, we’ll brainstorm about goals for our own writing and for our romance writing careers in 2018, and then set specific, concrete, measurable, and achievable steps we need to take to make those goals happen. For those who are interested, we will set up small accountability groups in which we can share our writing and career goals and encourage our fellow writers to follow through on their own.

November 19, 2017 Meeting – How To Be Edited with KJ Charles!

Editor and writer KJ Charles will join us via Skype to talk about the process of editing from both sides: what authors should expect from an editor, what an editor needs from an author, getting through hard edits without tears, how to tell if your editor is being too easy on you, and what to do when edits go bad. Suitable for traditionally published authors, self-pubbers working with freelancers, and people who simply want to be better beta readers/crit partners.

BIO:

KJ Charles spent over 20 years as an editor (development edits, line edits, and commissioning) in various British publishing houses, including Harlequin Mills & Boon, where she edited authors such as Penny Jordan. She recently changed sides to become a full time writer, and has published historical queer romances with Loveswept (Penguin Random House), Riptide and Samhain, as well as self publishing. She blogs on editing, self-editing, publishing and more at kjcharleswriter.com. Her claim to fame is a world-famous author refusing to speak to her ever again…twice.

October 22, 2017 Meeting – Not Just For NaNo: Tips and Tricks for Writing Fast and Keeping on Track

Our speaker for October had to cancel, so we’ll be using our meeting time to prep for NaNoWriMo. Even if you’re not “officially” doing NaNo, there are useful lessons for all of us in the skills it takes to write 50k words in a month. After we go over some helpful hints, Stephanie Kay will tell us more about Word Wars, and we can use the last part of the meeting to split up into groups for critique sessions or brainstorming. Or, if you’re ready to roll, feel free to bring your laptop or a pen and paper and get a jump start on your project.

We hope to see you all on Sunday, October 22nd at 1pm in Bedford!

1. Not Just For NaNo: Tips and Tricks for Writing Fast and Keeping on Track. NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and while it’s not for everyone, it can help develop skills that all writers find useful: writing quickly, focusing on a single project, and sticking to a deadline. We’ll discuss different methods that can help you win NaNoWriMo and also keep you on track all year long. Bring your favorite tips and tricks to share! (Tamsen Parker)

2. Word Wars (Stephanie Kay)

3. Brainstorming/Critique Sessions (small groups)