November 20 – A Dom Is Not a Stalker in Leather with Cecilia Tan

A workshop for writers who want to create scorching hot dominant heroes while still incorporating real-life BDSM community values. There are complex and valid reasons why female readers may choose to fantasize about a range of non-consensual scenarios in romance novels, from the classic “kidnapped into a sheik’s harem” to the currently popular “fated to be an alpha werewolf’s mate” and “met a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer.” But I feel it’s very important to distinguish between fantasy scenarios and depictions of real life. These fantasy archetypes are “safe” fantasies for women to indulge precisely because they are NOT real life. But how do real-life BDSM doms fit in the pantheon of romance archetypes? In the real BDSM community, doms who come across as pushy assholes or stalkers rarely last. This workshop will explore the intersections between what romance readers and real-life submissives are looking for in heroes and doms, and how romance writers can bring realistic depictions of domination and male dom personas into their work. I’ll present the results of surveys I took of both BDSM lifestyle submissives and avid romance readers which showed many parallels and a few surprising contrasts.

Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan’s BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers. She is the author of many books including the Magic University Series, Secrets of a Rock Star series, and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, several collections of short stories, and even some nonfiction books on baseball. In 2017 she will launch a new urban fantasy series at Tor Books entitled The Vanished Chronicles. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.

October 16 – You are your own hero: Using Goal, Motivation and Conflict to plan and execute your career with Dee Davis

Bestselling author Dee Davis worked in association management before turning her hand to writing.  She is the author of over thirty novels and novellas, including her newest, Cottage in the Mist and the A-Tac series.  When not frantically trying to meet a deadline, Dee spends her time in her Connecticut farmhouse with her husband, and Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

September 18 – Self-Publishing Made Free and Easy: Spotlight on Pronoun

Thinking about wading into the waters of self publishing? Just snagged your rights back? Looking for the next indie trend?

Megan Frampton, an author as well as Pronoun’s Author Community Manager,  shares her experience with Pronoun, a free self-publishing platform that take the mystery and confusion out of self publishing. She’ll give an overview of the essential steps in self publishing a book, and explain the digital tools available to all authors, and answer questions about the traditional-to-hybrid transition.  She’ll also discuss how authors who choose not to publish with Pronoun can take advantage of their analytic tools and what Pronoun’s community site, The Verbs, offers to authors of all types and genres.

Megan Frampton grew up in a remote town in New Hampshire where she devoured every book of fiction in her well-read parents’ library. An English literature major at Barnard College with double minors in political science and religion, Megan wrote and edited reviews for a music industry magazine for fifteen years. Eventually, she became editor-in-chief and went on to develop conference programs for the industry. She worked as the community manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers, a romance novel website and now works for Pronoun. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son. She has written Contemporary Romance for William Morrow as Megan Caldwell and Historical Romance for Random House Loveswept under her own name. She has just concluded the Dukes Behaving Badly series for Avon and is working on her next series.

August 21 – Storyboarding for Revisions

So you’ve written a book, now what? Where do you start your revisions? How can you analyze your book to know the revisions you make are the right ones? In this workshop, we’ll talk about using a storyboard to analyze your book and plan your revisions.

Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door.

June 26 — Brainstorming

Are you stuck in your manuscript? Searching for new ideas? Anxious to talk to other writers about what you’re working on? We’ll breakup into small groups on June 26 and talk about our work. It is not necessary to bring pages, but do so if you think it will be helpful. Just be prepared to talk about your work or help someone else brainstorm theirs.

April 17 – Why and How You Should Market to Public Libraries with Cynthia Johnson + Conference Prep

Cynthia Johnson, writing as Evelyn Richardson, fell in love with the Regency period when she first discovered “Pride and Prejudice” stuck at home on a snow day in junior high school. She has followed that interest through college (where she wrote her honors thesis on Fanny Burney) and graduate school, and continues to indulge herself with membership in the American Society for Eighteenth Century studies and writing Regency set historical novels.

Cynthia has also been a librarian and library administrator for many years, which is reflected in her meticulous period bibliography and lists of reference resources. Living in the Boston area, she has access to, and haunts (electronically or in person) several of the country’s major research libraries.

Find her at evenlynrichardson.net


 

We will also take part of this meeting to discuss what to expect at the conference.

March 20 — Researching Micro-History: The Convincing Details of Daily Life with Jennifer Hallock

If you write historical romance, part of what you are selling is the chance to live in someone else’s skin. Maybe your character is Marianne, a half-Jamaican hotelier seduced by a spy during the Crimean War; or Laura, a diplomat’s daughter who rescues a wounded American Marine in the Boxer Rebellion. Either way, flat descriptions from encyclopedias won’t cut it. You need to mine primary sources for the convincing details of everyday life. Where else will you learn how Marianne chased off a thief with her rusty horse pistol, primed only with coffee? Or how Laura saved her favorite white pony from becoming dinner for starving Americans in Beijing? This workshop is designed to introduce the writer to primary sources: how to find them, how to assess their reliability, and how to keep track of the information within them. The emphasis will be on free resources found online, including books, memoirs, newspaper articles, magazines, maps, photographs, and note-taking software. Any period of study is possible, but the best online materials are found for the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, including Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, British India, and American Western periods.

Jennifer Hallock is the author of the Sugar Sun Series, historical romance set during the Philippine-American War. 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 two geriatric border collie mutts. She spends her days teaching history and her nights writing historical happily-ever-afters. Before the internet made it easy, Jen worked as a fact-checker for several academic publications. She also researched and published an article on human trafficking for a peer-reviewed journal. These days she teaches generations of history students how to write research papers, and she has even helped a handful of these teenagers get their own work published.

February 21 — Group Critiques

This year, agents and editors at our conference will be reading the five pages in which your hero and heroine meet.  Even if you’re not pitching, this is a great chance to get some feedback on this important moment in your book. Bring five copies of the first five pages where the heroine meets the hero.

 

January 17 — How Deep Can You Go? Deep POV with Barbara Wallace

If POV is the camera lens through which we experience a story, then Deep POV is the extreme close up. In other words, the reader is just reading about your characters, she is experiencing the story’s events along with themas they unfold. When used correctly, this tool can bring added depth and emotion to your writing. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Join Barbara Wallace for a discussion about the various levels of POV and how deep Point of View can be used to enhance your stories. Be prepared to contribute as well, as everyone’s point of view is welcome.

Bestselling romance author Barbara Wallace started writing romance in 1993. She sold to Harlequin in 2010. Today she writes sweet romances for Harlequin Romance and Entangled Publishing. Her work has earned numerous awards including the Golden Heart, the Booksellers Best and New England Readers Choice Awards. When she’s not writing, you can find usually find her on Twitter @BarbaraTWallace talking about writing, her pets, the Boston Red Sox, evil butlers of Downton, her husband and/or her son Tattoo — not necessarily in that order.