July 19, 2020 Meeting – “Workshop” Your WIP

Workshop Your WIP!

We are holding an informal (virtual) meeting this month, with no presenter. We’ll be breaking into small groups to “workshop” the aspects of our works-in-progress (manuscript, blurb, etc.) that we’re struggling with or that are stymieing us. Sometimes talking these issues through with supportive writer friends and colleagues can help us figure out how to solve them. Or, if you don’t feel like workshopping anything, you can hang out and socialize while others are in the breakout rooms.

Please note that NECRWA meetings are online.

June 14, 2020 Meeting – Your Protagonist’s Job workshop with Rose Lerner

Rose Lerner

Make Your Protagonist’s Job Work for YOU!

Our work shapes us.

Whether your protagonist is a scientist, a homemaker, a fast food worker, or a demon hunter, they spend countless hours every week working and thinking about work, and they have for most of their life. If you take the time to really think about how your protagonist’s profession affects their personality and worldview, you’ll see the results in the added depth, naturalism, and uniqueness of your characterization.

In this workshop, you’ll have a chance to partner up and create a character together! Then I guide the group through a series of interactive exercises and brainstorming sessions. You’ll use the character’s job as a lense to build characterization, covering everything from job skills and the economic nitty-gritty to deep POV and story structure.

Please note that NECRWA meetings are online.

BIO: Rose Lerner discovered historical romance when she was thirteen, and tried her hand at writing one a few years later. Her writing has improved since then, but her fascination with all things Regency hasn’t changed. Rose is a tour guide by day (at least, she was before lockdown…), and by night she writes romance! Her protagonists include a chemist, an innkeeper, an army officer, a con artist, a valet, a maid-of-all-work, and a confectioner. Books in her small-town Lively St. Lemeston series have been featured in NPR’s Book Concierge and Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. Visit RoseLerner.com to find out more. (Rose also freelances as a book doctor, editor, and research assistant at RoseDoesTheResearch.com, helping authors tap into their creativity and realize the full potential of their ideas!)

 

May 17, 2020 Meeting – Character Archetypes with Anju Gattani

Bree Bridges

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.” –Khaled Hosseini

Fiction may be little white lies for some but characters are real. A story may get over when you reach THE END but characters have the power to live in our hearts, minds and leap off the page and into our lives.

Join fiction author and international freelance journalist, Anju Gattani, in a power-packed workshop (complete with handouts) as she dissects character archetypes and deep-dives into the different dimensions of your characters. Anju will explore how to make your protagonists and villains sparkle on the page, amp up the tension and drive story forward. Join Anju as she summons protagonists to THE END so you can lead them toward THE BEGINNING of a sequel or series.

Please note that NECRWA meetings are online.

BIO: A fiction author, freelance journalist, fiction writing instructor, blogger and former newspaper reporter, Anju was born in India but grew up in Hong Kong. She has also lived and been published in Singapore, India, Australia, New Jersey, Connecticut, and finally dug her roots in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, with her husband, 2 dashing boys and a rebel lion-head rabbit. Anju has been published in cover stories, fiction, feature, news, interviews, travel, perspective pieces and more.

‘Duty and Desire’ the debut in her Winds of Fire series, is slated for release on June 2, 2020. Anju hopes her books will Bridge Cultures and Break Barriers.

Anju Gattani website

 

Congratulations to Winners of 2020 New England Readers’ Choice Awards!

The New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America® is pleased to announce the winners of the New England Readers’ Choice Awards:

ROMANCE NOVELLA
3rd: Bernadette Walsh, See Me
2nd: Juno Rushdan, No Way Out
1st: Sandra Owens, Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish

EROTIC ROMANCE
3rd: Jordyn Kross, Winter’s List
2nd: Mia London, Accidental Tryst
1st:L. A. Witt, Assist

HISTORICAL ROMANCE
3rd: Nancy Yeager, Third Husband’s the Charm
2nd: Elizabeth St. Michel, Lord of the Wilderness
1st: Karen Muir, Fated Beginnings

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS
3rd: Dana R. Lynn, Hidden in Amish Country
2nd: Laurel Blount, Hometown Hope
1st: Laurel Blount, A Rancher to Trust

PARANORMAL/FANTASY/TT ROMANCE
3rd: Patricia Barletta, Moon Bright
2nd: Lisa Rae Roman, Fae Touched
1st: McKenna Dean, Bishop Takes Knight

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
3rd: Jeanine Englert, Lovely Digits
2nd: Leslie Marshman, Goode Over Evil
1st: Kaylea Cross, Covert Vengeance

SHORT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
3rd: Susannah Erwin, Wanted: Billionaire’s Wife
2nd: Claire McEwen, After the Rodeo
1st: Jo McNally, It Started at Christmas…

LONG CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
3rd: Miranda Liasson, All I Want for Christmas is You
2nd: Kilby Blades, The Secret Ingredient
1st: Ellie Finch, The Search for Prince Charming

GRAND PRIZE
And our grand prize winner, 6 weeks of author coaching with Mel Jolly, is: Jo McNally, It Started at Christmas… (short contemporary romance)
 

April 19, 2020 Meeting – Online Promotion for Introverts with Bree Bridges

Bree Bridges It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an author in possession of a book to promote, must be in want of a place to hide.

Okay, maybe it’s not universally acknowledged. But plenty of authors love the peaceful hermit life of writing a book and freeze in the face of going out and actually asking someone to buy it. Whether you suffer from anxiety, introversion, shyness, or any combination of the above, sometimes it seems like nothing is more terrifying than telling the world, Hey! Look at me!

Bree Bridges (the painfully shy half of Kit Rocha) has spent a decade perfecting the art of building an online brand and a marketing machine while being, to put it gently, straight up freaking terrified of talking to people.

Join her for a free-wheeling adventure through tricks and strategies to get your name out there, build long-term relationships with reviewers, maximize the potential of every terrifying human interaction, survive the pressure to Do All The Things on social media, and find ways to navigate the high-pressure world of actually selling that book you just wrote.

Whether you’re self-published, traditionally published, hybrid, or just getting ready to start building your brand, you’ll leave with some new ideas on how to get the most from doing the least. (At least when it comes to scary things!)

Extroverts are also welcome. Plenty of the tricks will work for you, too! Just don’t make any sudden movements. We’re shy.

BIO:

Kit Rocha is the pseudonym for co-writing team Donna Herren and Bree Bridges. After penning dozens of paranormal novels, novellas and stories as Moira Rogers, they branched out into gritty, sexy dystopian romance.

The Beyond series has appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, has been nominated for best erotic romance in the RT Reviewer’s Choice award five times, and won in 2013 and 2015. Their new Mercenary Librarians series from Tor debuts in 2020.

 

2020 New England Readers’ Choice Award Finalists

Please join the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America® in congratulating the finalists in the 2020 New England Readers’ Choice Awards contest!

ROMANCE NOVELLA
Sandra Owens, Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish
Juno Rushdan, No Way Out
Bernadette Walsh, See Me

EROTIC ROMANCE
Jordyn Kross, Winter’s List
Mia London, Accidental Tryst
L. A. Witt, Assist

HISTORICAL ROMANCE
*Karen Muir, Fated Beginnings
Elizabeth St. Michel, Lord of the Wilderness
Nancy Yeager, Third Husband’s the Charm

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS
Laurel Blount, Hometown Hope
Laurel Blount, A Rancher to Trust
Dana R. Lynn, Hidden in Amish Country

PARANORMAL/FANTASY/SF/TT ROMANCE
*Patricia Barletta, Moon Bright
McKenna Dean, Bishop Takes Knight
Lisa Rae Roman, Fae Touched

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Kaylea Cross, Covert Vengeance
Jeanine Englert, Lovely Digits
Leslie Marshman, Goode Over Evil

SHORT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Susannah Erwin, Wanted: Billionaire’s Wife
Claire McEwan, After the Rodeo
Jo McNally, It Started at Christmas…

LONG CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Kilby Blades, The Secret Ingredient
Ellie Finch, The Search for Prince Charming
Miranda Liasson, All I Want for Christmas

Be sure to join us at our annual Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference, April 25-26, at the Boston/Woburn Hilton, where the winners in each category will be announced, as well as the winner of the Grand Prize: Six weeks of author coaching by Mel Jolly ($600 value!)

A special thanks to our contest coordinator, Jackie Horne.

* denotes an NECRWA member

March 15, 2020 Meeting – Copyedits and Revisions Head-On with Isabel Ngo

Isabel Ngo Isabel will discuss grammar and Chicago Style basics, common mistakes in manuscripts, and pointers to get you through the editing and revision process. This presentation will include copyedit examples, practical tips, and a short Q&A.

BIO:

Isabel Ngo (she/her) is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles, California, with experience in journalism and literary publishing. She graduated in 2018 from Loyola Marymount University, where she studied theatre, English, and studio arts. Isabel offers copyediting and sensitivity reading services through Tessera Editorial, a company of BIPOC committed to diversifying the publishing industry. You can find Isabel on Twitter @isabelsprout and learn more about Tessera at our website: www.tesseraeditorial.com

 

Notice of Special Meeting of NECRWA Chapter and Disaffiliation Vote

UPDATE: DUE TO COVID-19, WE ARE UNABLE TO USE THE OLD TOWN HALL IN BEDFORD FOR OUR SPECIAL MEETING. THE MEETING WILL BE HELD VIRTUALLY VIA ZOOM, AND THERE WILL BE NO IN-PERSON MEETING. PLEASE CONTACT ALEXA ROWAN WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

By unanimous written consent, NECRWA’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) has voted to approve a resolution for NECRWA to disaffiliate from RWA by no later than September 30, 2020, and to set a special meeting for a disaffiliation vote by the NECRWA membership. The Board will be issuing a statement regarding its disaffiliation vote after the chapter meeting on Sunday, February 16th.

This message serves as notice that a Special Meeting of the Membership will be held on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 1:00 PM in the Great Room at Old Town Hall, 16 South Road, Bedford, Massachusetts. The purpose and agenda for this Special Meeting will be for the membership of NECRWA to vote on disaffiliation of the chapter. In accordance with NECRWA’s bylaws, NECRWA’s Board of Directors has fixed the record date for determining the members entitled to vote at the Special Meeting as February 13, 2020. Only General chapter members in good standing as of February 13, 2020 are entitled to cast a vote. Eligible members may vote in person at the Special Meeting or by electronic ballot prior to the Special Meeting. Electronic ballots will be distributed within the next few days.

The Special Meeting will be followed by NECRWA’s regular monthly chapter meeting.

Please contact Alexa Rowan at president @ necrwa.org with any questions or concerns.

February 16, 2020 Meeting – The Taoist’s Guide to Staying Sane in the Writing Business with Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy Feel like one more workshop on promo might send you over the edge?

Anne Lamott famously noted that while writing, as difficult as the process may be, delivers gifts publication makes people crazy. Many writers get into the business first out of love, however, love doesn’t pay the bills and it can take a while for writing to pay a living wage. The writer who has no other financial support often has no choice but to work one or more “day jobs” to keep the money coming in. The dream, of course, is quitting that day job to make a living entirely as a writer. What can happen, however, is that intense focus on bringing in money from writing – from scrutinizing the marketplace, to constantly checking Amazon rankings, to jealous obsession with other writers’ sales figures – can suck all the joy out of what was once a dream, and even reduce the art of writing into an algorithm. The Taoists believe that focusing on monetary gain instead of on their concept of virtue “maddens the mind.” Jeffe Kennedy, a comparative religious studies major who did her honors thesis on the Tao Te Ching, and a practicing Taoist for most of her life, will discuss these concepts and encourage round table discussion of people’s experiences. It’s not that money is the root of all evil, but that the love of money is. There’s nothing wrong with plying our art to gain wealth, but there are ways to refocus our attention on the core values that truly matter, such as telling a memorable story while navigating the tumultuous publishing world.

BIO:

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award.

Her award-winning fantasy romance trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms hit the shelves starting in May 2014. Book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose received a Top Pick Gold and was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books followed in this world, beginning the spin-off series The Uncharted Realms. Book one in that series, The Pages of the Mind, has also been nominated for the RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and won RWA’s 2017 RITA® Award. The second book, The Edge of the Blade, released December 27, 2016, and is a PRISM finalist, along with The Pages of the Mind. The next in the series, The Shift of the Tide, will be out in August, 2017. A high fantasy trilogy taking place in The Twelve Kingdoms world is forthcoming from Rebel Base books in 2018.

She also introduced a new fantasy romance series, Sorcerous Moons, which includes Lonen’s War, Oria’s Gambit, The Tides of Bàra, and The Forests of Dru. She’s begun releasing a new contemporary erotic romance series, Missed Connections, which started with Last Dance and continues in With a Prince.

In 2019, St. Martins Press will release the first book, The Orchid Throne, in a new fantasy romance series, The Forgotten Empires.

Her other works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion; an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera; and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, which includes Going Under, Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

 

November 17, 2019 Meeting – Sally meets Harry: Creating Memorable Rom-Coms from the Ground Up with Farah Heron

Farah Heron Romantic comedies have always been popular in the movie theater, but in recent years they seem to be everywhere in bookstores, too. This trend in Romance publishing doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. In this workshop, Farah will delve deep into what makes a great rom-com, and help you craft them from the ground up. With tips on how to develop high-concept storylines that lend themselves to comedy, to writing biting and witty banter, and finally layering in even more laugh-out-loud one-liners. And most importantly, retaining that emotional romance arc that will keep your readers swooning between the belly laughs.

BIO:

After a childhood diet of Jane Austen, Monty Python and Bollywood, Farah Heron writes romantic comedies full of huge, loving South Asian families, loyal friends, delectable food, and most importantly, brown people falling stupidly in love.The Chai Factor, released in June by HarperCollins Canada, has been named one of the summer’s best books by The Globe and Mail, and has been praised in Book Riot, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Bustle and more. Farah has two more rom-coms contracted with Forever/Grand Central books: The Right Spice, out early 2021, and another unnamed rom-com after that.