January 15 – Open Meeting

It’s a New Year and NEC resumes our monthly meetings on January 15, 2012. As usual, meetings are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month, with December and July being vacation months for our chapter. We will also resume meeting at the Old Town Hall in Bedford, Massachusetts. Directions are on NEC’s website.

As 2012 dawns, there are some exciting things on the horizon for many of our members, as well as new ideas, publishing industry changes, the rising popularity of self-publishing and Mayan predictions.

In honor of the New Year, the board thought we’d open up January’s meeting to the membership by opening up a discussion about writing goals and resolutions and how we can obtain those goals. Whether your goal is to create or update a website, join social networks and media, or start a brand new novel, breaking through writer’s block, or switching genres we hope the discussion will be lively, helpful and encouraging. Likewise, we will break into small groups and discuss goals amongst your groups and how you might go about accomplishing those goals. Afterward, share your goals for 2012 if you’re willing and VP Mary Reiber will follow up at the monthly meetings to see how things are progressing.

If you’d like to know what’s coming up from February until August 2012, here’s a look at our meeting speakers and topics:
February – Barbara Keiler – Self Publishing
March – Suzanne Rock – Writing Sex Scenes When You’re not in the Mood
April – Marley Gibson – Writing Fiction and Non-Fiction
May – Karenna Colcraft – Writing a Series
June- Outgoing Board Party w/ NEC and Book Swap

First Kiss Contest Finalists

We are pleased to announce the finalists in the First Kiss Contest!


‘Til There Was You  by  Elle Twifold, Baltimore, MD

Nothing Left to Lose but Me by Lynn Lindquist, Batavia, IL

The Lavender Trail by Cindy Thompson, Thunder Bay, ON Canada

How to Divorce a Vampire by Mimi Jean, Pleasant Hill, CA

The Fire Walkers by Shelley N. Greene, Columbia, MD

Encore by Bobbi Ruggiero,  North Easton, MA

These entries will be sent along to Patience Smith from Harlequin by the first week in January for Judging!

Good Luck to all!

November 20th – Kristan Higgins on Defining and Refining Voice

Two-time RITA Award Winner and New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author Kristan Higgins will be joining us for our November 20th monthly meeting. Kristan’s talk will focus on Defining and Refining Voice. As she says, voice is an element of writing that is often hard todefine. Every editor and agent wants a strong, fresh voice, but no one can identify just why a voice works or doesn’t. This workshop will examine examples of strong voice, definitions of voice, and why voice matters as much as it does. Exercises to define and refine voice will be described, as well as traps that often muffle voice. The revision process will be discussed in depth as well, since voice so often blooms during this phase of writing.

Called “the master of small-town romance” by Romantic Times, Kristan is a long-time New England Chapter member. Her hobbies include baking, eating desserts and stalking Derek Jeter. Visit her website at www.kristanhiggins.com and www.Facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks. Her latest release is UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.

Lions, Werewolves, Birds, Oh My…!

Whether you’re writing Paranormal Romance featuring a badass shape-shifting vampire, werewolf, a spicy Contemporary with a cute puppy, an Historical with horses, dogs, and birds of prey, or Urban Fantasy with modern day dragons, Centaurs or reptilian creature of your own imagination, understanding the animals and creatures within the pages of your book is as essential to ‘world building’ as the setting, time and place.

Oftentimes, a dog or pet in a story can evolve into a secondary character, interrupt a romantic moment, provide a moment of comic relief, or increase tension in a dark Romantic Suspense. Sometimes, animals are portrayed incorrectly or it’s difficult to suspend belief when a person shape-shifts into a bird of prey. How can this be possible? How can you as a writer make the reader believe a full grown man can turn into a gigantic hawk?

Join NYT Bestselling author, Jessica Andersen, and multi-published Ellora’s Cave author, Frances Stockton, as they discuss this topic in depth at NEC’s October 16, 2011 meeting. Bring a pen, notebook or favorite note-taking device and we’ll have an entertaining discussion.

New York Times Bestselling author and multi-nominated RITA and Reader’s Choice nominee, Jessica Andersen has penned more than twenty science-based Romantic Suspense novels, the Mayan-based 2012 doomsday prophecy, Nightkeeper novels, and a four-book miniseries from Harlequin Nocturne with powerhouse authors, Gena Showalter, Nalini Singh, and Jill Monroe. And, believe it or not, there is more to come. To find out more about Jessica visit her website!  http://www.jessicaandersen.com

Frances Stockton is the author of the Panthera series with Ellora’s Cave Blush and spicy Contemporary Romance with Ellora’s Cave. Having spent 12 years as a Veterinary Technician at a small animal veterinary clinic in Fallston, Maryland, earning a degree in History/Secondary Education and a genuine love of big cats, the idea of the Panthera was born during a horse-drawn carriage ride through Dallasduring RWA Nationals a few years ago. But as much as she loves incorporating giant leopards, lions and tigers into sensual romance, she’s been telling stories since kindergarten. Visit http://www.francesstockton.com to learn more!

The First Kiss Contest

Send us the scene from your book where your couple first kisses. The scene should convey the emotion and romantic conflict between the characters, sparkle with creative dialogue, description, and characterization, and move the story forward. As one of our authors said, “Good kiss scenes are essentially emotional discoveries. The first kiss brings a new closeness… but also a new set of complications.”

First Kiss Contest now open and accepting entries. Click here for more information.

Call for Conference Workshop Proposals

The NEC-RWA invites you to submit workshop proposals for our next Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, to be held April 27 – 28, 2012 at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem,MA.

Once again, our conference will feature fabulous speakers, a variety of workshops, individual editor and agent appointments, the Book Fair for Literacy, excellent food, and the opportunity to socialize with authors, friends, and industry professionals.

If you’d like to be part of the 2012 conference, please submit the following form along with an outline of your workshop and a short bio.  Our workshop chair, Hannah Howell, will welcome your proposal at [email protected] until October 1, 2011.

The conference fee will be waived for one speaker per workshop.

If you have any questions or want to volunteer to help with the conference, please contact Kate Sohl at [email protected]

We hope to hear from you!

September Meeting – Unstuck: Stocking Your Author’s Toolkit to Keep Your Creative Juices Flowing

We all have things in our author’s toolkit we use to help us write, but what do we do when we get stuck? This workshop will be centered around ways we can spark our creativity and push past blocks. Charlene Glatkowski will talk about her own “author’s toolkit” and writing process. Pretty much, she often gets stuck and has to find her way out. She’s discovered it helps sometimes to get out of “ye olde” regular groove and try something new. Come to this month’s NEC meeting to try some new tactics for getting unstuck and learn some fun ways to spark your creativity. There’ll be a giveaway too, so you may even win your own author’s toolkit!

Charlene Glatkowski writes young adult and adult fantasy as Lena Goldfinch. Her short-but-sweet romantic fantasy, The Language of Souls, is now available from The Wild Rose Press. You can visit her online at www.LenaGoldfinch.com.

This meeting will be on September 18 at The Old Town Hall in Bedford (directions)