April 25, 2021 Meeting – Breaking Ground on Your Manuscript: The Editing Phase(s) with D. Ann Williams

Our April 25th monthly meeting will start with a workshop presented by editor D. Ann Williams on Breaking Ground on Your Manuscript: The Editing Phase(s), which will be followed by our monthly business and social meeting.

Headshot of D. Ann WilliamsWorkshop Description: You’ve written the novel, sent it to beta readers and critique partners, and now you’re in editing mode. Revising is hard work and can take multiple passes, but editors are here to help. In this workshop, we’re going to review the different levels of editing, common issues found during edits, finding and working with an editor, and strategies to incorporate developmental edit notes.

Bio: D. Ann Williams (she/her) is a queer Black American, editor, diversity consultant, and writing coach. She started editing at UCLA as the editor-in-chief of two academic journals. For the past ten years, she has edited business and academic writing before expanding into fiction editing. She provides a variety of services (from developmental editing to sensitivity reading to formatting) through Edits By D and Tessera Editorial and is a writing coach for We Need Diverse Books’ Black Creatives Revision Workshop. Her editing clients have included Big 5 publishers, indie publishers, and many authors. She loves to read and edit romance, kidlit (all ages), thrillers, and science fiction/fantasy.

Statement by NERW’s Board of Directors regarding Atlanta Attacks

STATEMENT BY NEW ENGLAND ROMANCE WRITERS’ BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGARDING ATLANTA ATTACKS

When New England Romance Writers became an independent romance writing organization last fall, we strengthened our commitment to embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the face of last week’s horrifying attacks in Atlanta, we cannot now remain silent.

These racist acts of violence are unfortunately just the most recent in this country’s long and shameful history of inequality and bigotry toward Asians and Asian Americans, women, and other marginalized groups. We unequivocally condemn these attacks, and we stand by and support our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members and all romance writers who are part of these communities.

On behalf of NERW, we want to reiterate that NERW welcomes members of all marginalized groups, and we believe that happily ever afters are for everyone. Racism, misogyny, ageism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia, bigotry, othering, body-shaming, and hate in all its forms are not tolerated within our organization. We know we have more work to do, and we join our members in rededicating ourselves to ensuring that NERW embodies its ideals and core values.

To learn more about anti-Asian violence and what you can do to combat it, please visit https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/.

March 21, 2021 Meeting – Overcoming Writer’s Block with Meryl Wilsner

Our March 21st monthly meeting will start with a workshop presented by author Meryl Wilsner on Overcoming Writer’s Block, which will be followed by our monthly business and social meeting.

Headshot of author Meryl Wilsner wearing a yellow shirt with white polka dotsWorkshop Description: There’s not a group of people more adept at procrastinating than writers, which makes it all the more important for us to be able to write when we actually sit down to do so. This workshop explores common reasons behind writer’s block and provides hands-on practice at different techniques for overcoming it.

Bio: Meryl Wilsner writes stories of queer women falling in love. Born in Michigan, Meryl lived in Portland, Oregon and Jackson, Mississippi before recently returning to the Mitten State. Their debut novel, Something to Talk About, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal, as well as being one of Amazon, Kirkus, and NPR’s best books of 2020. Some of Meryl’s favorite things include: all four seasons, button down shirts, the way giraffes run, and their wife.

February 21, 2021 Meeting – Making Feedback Work with KD Fisher

Our February 21st monthly meeting will start with a workshop presented by author KD Fisher on Making Feedback Work, which will be followed by our monthly business and social meeting.

Author head shot of KD FIsherWorkshop Description: This workshop will address feedback–both giving and receiving–with a focus on providing and taking effective, useful notes. Workshop attendees will learn to look at criticism in a sensitive, identity-informed, and productive way.

Bio: KD Fisher is a queer New England-based writer of authentic, heartfelt LGBTQ+ narratives. KD grew up all over the United States, bouncing from North Carolina to Hawaii to Illinois, and finally settling in Maine where they spend far too much time at the beach.

When KD isn’t writing they can usually be found hiking with their overly enthusiastic dogs, obsessing over plants, or cooking elaborate meals. They love classic country, perfectly ripe tomatoes, and falling asleep in the sun. As Kathryn Amato they write young adult and middle grade novels. KD is currently an MFA candidate at Vermont College for Fine Arts.

January 17, 2021 Meeting – “Town Hall” on The State of the Organization

NERW’s first meeting of 2021 will be a Town Hall style meeting focusing on The State of the Organization. President Alexa Rowan will cover what NERW has achieved in the past 12 months, NERW’s successes and challenges, and our plans for 2021 and beyond. The meeting will be held via Zoom starting at 1:00 PM (virtual doors will open at 12:45 PM), and we are investigating whether it may also possible to present the meeting via Facebook Live.

Members, please feel free to send questions to the Board in advance, whether or not you are planning to attend the meeting. We hope to see you on January 17th!

November 15, 2020 Meeting – Before You Quit: Minimizing Anxiety and Maximizing Joy in Your Writing with Olivia Dade

Our November 15th monthly meeting will start with a workshop presented by author Olivia Dade on Before You Quit: Minimizing Anxiety and Maximizing Joy in Your Writing, which will be followed by our monthly meeting.

Olivia Dade author photoWorkshop Description: I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life, although I didn’t recognize it as such until I began writing—most notably, when I spent over a month in 2016 frozen by worry, watching HGTV instead of meeting my deadlines. And once I finally completed my contract, I thought hard about how I could ensure that didn’t happen again. I began to study the conditions under which I wrote most easily and happily, and then I considered whether I could feasibly recreate those conditions in future contracts and/or in self-publishing. After creating a plan that better met my needs, I began writing again and found the process much, much more joyful.

If you’re struggling too, you may want to study your own triggers and needs before creating a similar plan—so you can (hopefully) find yourself writing with more ease and less anxiety, rather than quitting the profession entirely. And if that’s what you want, I’m here to help!

Olivia’s workshop will start on Zoom at 1pm. Virtual doors will open at 12:45pm. The Zoom meeting info is available to members and will be posted in the NERW Facebook Group and NERW email forum. You can join NERW for the remainder of 2020 for only $5, our usual guest fee! Please reach out to Alexa Rowan at president@nerw.org with any questions.

Bio: Olivia Dade grew up an undeniable nerd, prone to ignoring the world around her as she read any book she could find. Her favorites, though, were always, always romances. As an adult, she earned an M.A. in American history and worked in a variety of jobs that required the donning of actual pants: Colonial Williamsburg interpreter, high school teacher, academic tutor, and (of course) librarian. Now, however, she has finally achieved her lifelong goal of wearing pajamas all day as a hermit-like writer and enthusiastic hag. She currently lives outside Stockholm with her patient Swedish husband, their whip-smart daughter, and the family’s ever-burgeoning collection of books.

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)