My Report: RWA 2017



Romance Writers of America Annual Conference 2017


I attended the Romance Writers of America national conference two weeks ago in Orlando, Florida. It was great. Here is a list of the wonderful workshops I attended:


“Savvy Marketing for the Experienced Author” presented by public relations guru and author Mark Dawson. His ideas are everything they say—practical, functional, and results driven. I will have to look at my life and schedule in more marketing time to use his game plan to the best advantage.


“Writing Emotion: Opening a Vein” presented by author Virginia Kantra. This was very helpful about writing from deep point of view to increase the emotion in our stories. The best piece of advice was that all character motivation boils down a.) saving yourself or b.) saving another.


“Seducing Your Readers in Chapter 1” presented by the one and only Michael Hauge. Instead of grabbing/hooking readers, Hauge made a great case for seducing readers in the first chapter with hints of what is to come.


“How a Lady Does It: Sex in Historical Romance” was a panel discussion with helpful research information led by authors Valerie Bowman, Julie Johnstone, Madeline Martin, and Joanna Shupe. A good piece of advice here was to remember your characters’ backgrounds when writing their responses to anything.


“How to Gut Your Readers and Make Them Love It” presented by speakers Sonali Dev and Kristan Higgins handed out this valuable piece of advice: People may not remember what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. Make the reader feel along with the character on every page.


“The Golden Heart Awards Luncheon with Emcee Sherrilyn Kenyon.” This was the first year to hold the Golden Hearts as a separate event with a meal. I loved it this way. Focusing on the nominees and winners was great.


“Self-Promotion on Steroids” presented by veteran authors Winnie Griggs, Catherine Mann, and Joanne Rock was a great workshop. The authors offered practical tips on self-promo that they have used successfully. They inspired me to revive my blogs and start a newsletter (finally.)


On Friday morning, I pitched my work-in-progress to two editors. More on that in a future post.


“The Historical Kitchen” presented by Sara Dahmen was fabulous. She is a walking encyclopedia of early American pots and pans!


“History Undressed” presented by Victoria Vane was fun and informative. She dressed up in a Regency gown and showed us several versions of corsets.


“Writing Inclusive Historicals” presented by Alyssa Cole offered great information about language and word choice. Being inclusive means being respectful.


“Writing the Sweet Romance” presented by Susan Meier was jam packed with good information, and I won a free novel of hers! The handout she provided “13 Questions to the Selling Synopsis” is an absolute gold nugget.


“Focusing the Lens Through POV” presented by Winnie Griggs and Liz Talley provided a very helpful look at how to choose point of view and why.


After three and a half days of splendid workshops, I attended the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing extravaganza. I’ve never seen so many romance authors and readers in one giant room. It was exhilarating. I bought books from historical author Tessa Dare, contemporary author Lee Tobin McClain, and the amazing author Brenda Jackson. Jackson told me that her Granger brothers series has been made into made into a series of movies on Passionflix and will start airing April 2018. Can’t wait!


Did you attend the conference? Tell us😊


See you next summer in Denver? It is worth it.




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