April 21 – Conference Primer

The NECRWA Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference is right around the corner. Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, we all know conference can be a bit overwhelming. We’ll discuss the ABCs of making sure you get the most out of it.  Topics will include (and are not limited to):

Choosing Workshops
Meeting New People
Agent/Editor Appointments
Book Fair
Proper Attire

This is an open forum style meeting, so be sure to come prepared with your questions (and answers)! 

March 17 – Know Your Man-Beast with Cara McKenna

We’re all familiar with the basic hero taxonomy—alpha or beta, right? But do you know what really makes an alpha-wolf hero? How about a coyote hero? An owl? A cat? A crow? A yellow lab disguised as a pit-bull?
This workshop will use animal archetypes to reveal the subtler nuances of characterization, applicable to heroes, heroines, villains, and supporting players of all kinds. Think your hero’s an alpha wolf? Maybe not, if the man’s a loner—after all, every wolf needs a pack, and every alpha lives in fear of the day he’ll be bested by a stronger, younger, hungrier rival. Maybe your hero’s a jaguar, instead. If so, he better not be stomping around the scene, barking orders! Instead he’ll prowl or stalk in fluid silence, biding his time. Sound too cool and calculating? Then perhaps you’ve created a mustang hero—a bit wild, hesitant to trust but loyal once broken.
This will be a fun, interactive, multimedia workshop! Cara will outline a variety of animal archetypes and their traits, and members will be encouraged to apply them to their own characters—and to identify new species—as we embark on this fiction writers’ safari.
Cara McKenna writes smart erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave and Penguin / Intermix, and her evil conjoined twin Meg Maguire writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Blaze and Samhain. This workshop was inspired by her post for the Wonkomance blog, titled “McKenna’s Field Guide to Heroes of North America.”


Goldrick Award: Celebrating Chapter Volunteers

Each year at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, the Goldrick Service Award is given to a deserving New England Chapter member.

The award, first awarded in 1996, is given in honor of the late Bob Goldrick who, along with his wife Emma, wrote as Emma Goldrick for Harlequin. They were longtime chapter members who generously volunteered their time, knowledge, and help to the chapter and their fellow members.  Upon his death, it was decided to create a service award that would annually celebrate a member whose contribution to the chapter exemplified the service and cooperation among fellow writers that so characterized Bob’s legacy.

The Board encourages the membership to nominate any member they feel promotes the best of what the chapter is about, in particular those who have given their time, energy and emotional/mental stamina to the chapter, especially those unsung members who so quietly give of themselves. Current Board members are not eligible.

The Board will review all the nominations and choose a recipient. The award will be presented to the winner in a special presentation during the conference luncheon. There is no formal nomination submission process for the award. You can simply email or mail your nominations to any member of the board. However, please include a detailed statement as to why you have nominated a particular member since this will help the Board during the selection process.

If you have any questions, contact Myretta Robens, Chapter President, at [email protected].

Past award recipients are:

1996: Neringa Bryant and Jo Ann Ferguson (joint recipients)
1997: Terri Pino
1998: Blanche Marriott
1999: Betsy Eliot
2000: Michelle Drosos
2001: Lori Lotti
2002: Katy Cooper and Cindy Jachrimo (joint recipients)
2003: Barbara Wallace
2004: Lesley Mathews
2005: Jessica Andersen
2006: Liana Dalton
2007: Cathryn Parry
2008: Barbara Keiler
2009: Jessica Smith
2010: Tara Holt
2011: Hannah Howell
2012: Myretta Robens

February 24 – When and How to Break the Rules of Point of View

Everyone’s heard the so-called rules of point of view (POV): stick to one POV per scene; don’t switch POV mid-scene; always use the POV of your main characters; never start your story in the POV of a character the reader will never see again. Katy Cooper believes there’s only one rule when it comes to writing fiction: Everything you do has to serve your story. As for for POV, she thinks the so-called rules are good guidelines to follow…but not every time. Join her as she talks about instances where writers didn’t follow the guidelines, why those instances worked and how you can use POV to strengthen your story.
Although she has been a writer her entire life, Katy Cooper did not begin seriously pursuing fiction writing until the winter of 1995. Her first novel, Prince of Hearts, was a Golden Heart finalist and subsequently sold to Harlequin Historicals. Her second short historical romance, Lord Sebastian’s Wife, was also published by Harlequin Historicals. Both novels were re-released as ebooks in 2012.  Katy has spoken on numerous occasions, offering workshops at chapter meetings for the New England Chapter, Connecticut Chapter and the New Hampshire Chapter, at the New England Chapter’s Let Your Imagination Take Flight and the New Jersey Chapter’s Put Your Heart In a Book conferences, and at Romance Writers of America’s National Conferences.

Congratulations to our First Kiss Contest finalists

Congratulations to the six finalists in NEC-RWA’s First Kiss Contest.

Katy Regnery: “It’s You”
Susan Chambers: Dragonfly **
Crystal Eliot: Lessons in Scandal
Tina Evans: One More Night
Virginia Frost: Prop Girl
Anna Richland: The Soldier

These entries will now move on to the final round and be judged by Patience Bloom, Editor at Harlequin.

We would also like to thank all of the judges and our contest coordinator, Janet Louise Campbell, who did a fabulous job on this contest.

**NEC member

January 20 – Using Writing Prompts to Get Yourself Unstuck

Deborah Bluestein, a local author and trained facilitator of the Amherst Writers and Artists Method (AWA), will show us how prompted writing can keep the lengthy, and often times arduous, process of novel writing fresh and surprising. Bring a pen and paper for this enlightening hands-on workshop, Using Writing Prompts to Get Yourself Unstuck

Deborah holds a Master’s Degree in Fiction Writing from Emerson College. Her fiction has appeared in several literary journals including River Oaks Review and Happy Magazine whose editor nominated one of her short stories for a Pushcart Prize. She has published numerous personal essays in national and local magazines and newspapers. She founded Juiceboxartists in 2003 as a home for teaching writing according to the AWA (Amherst Artists and Writers) method and has offered workshops in greater Boston and as far away as Tuscany. She recently completed an historical novel set in Renaissance Tuscany and is now at work on a book about a Civil War heroine who served as a double agent for the Union Army.

Sign up to receive conference and registration updates.

Subscribe to our conference mailing list. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

November 18 – Self-Publishing Update

Marie Force, bestselling author of 14 self-published original books—including the popular McCarthys of Gansett Island Series—as well as nine and counting traditionally published books, will provide an update on the latest tips for authors interested in self-publishing. Like all industries, self-publishing has a lingo all its own. Find out where to use Mobi files vs. ePubs, how to upload directly to Kobo and Apple, and whether your ePub is validated—and how that can make a difference. Do you need an ISBN? How about CreateSpace? What’s the deal with Smashwords? Do you need an agent? Do you still need a publisher? Can or should you do both self-publishing and traditional publishing at the same time? Is your mind boggled? So was Marie’s until she figured out the way forward. She is looking forward to sharing her know-how with NEC members.

In addition, Marie is happy to take questions on anything you’d like to know more about, including maximizing social media to sell books, when to hire an accountant, when to incorporate your business, what conferences you should (or shouldn’t attend) and how to write four series at the same time. (Wait, she’s still trying to figure out that last one!) Join Marie on November 18 to answer these and any other questions you may have.

Marie is heading into book 8 of the McCarthys of Gansett Island Series, book 6 of the Fatal Series with Harlequin, book 4 with the Treading Water Series and starting book 1 of her new Green Mountain Country Store Series with Berkley. A member of NEC since 2007, Marie lives in Rhode Island with her husband of 20 years, two teenagers and two feisty dogs.