June 23, 2024 — How and Where to Use Goal, Motivation, and Conflict

Our June 23, 2024 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop entitled “How and Where to Use Goal, Motivation, and Conflict,” presented by Bonnie Edwards, which will be followed by our general business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description:

These cornerstones of storytelling are the foundation for page-turning fiction that readers love. With story and character goals on the page, with strong motivation for every decision, conflict will be clear and will demand a powerful resolution. GMC is often discussed in terms of story, or plot in the larger context of fiction.

This is not what you’ll hear from me.

In this webinar we’ll discuss GMC in scenes and sequels…the small blocks of prose that move your story and take your reader to its conclusion. In romance, that’s a happy ending.

In this webinar I’ll explain the practical side of GMC theory:

  1. How to put GMC in every scene you write
  2. How to avoid reader boredom and keep them engaged
  3. The nuts and bolts of page-turning fiction

THINK SMALL STEPS THROUGH YOUR STORY TO THE END

Command of these elements can help you find readers who will put you on their auto-buy list. If you’re submitting to agents or traditional houses, they’ll be more likely sit up and take notice.

Bio: Bonnie Edwards has been writing all her life, starting with a poem about Santa suffering with gout. She was seven, Santa was a thousandteen years old. Delighted with writing, she went on to write family sagas, humorous contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic paranormal ghost romances and more.

She may jump around within romance, but all her stories come with a tear, a laugh, and a happy ending. Published by Kensington Books, Harlequin Books, Carina Press, and Robinson (UK) Bonnie’s stories stretch from short stories to novellas and novels. Now, she’s happy to be publishing her work herself.

With 40+ titles to her credit, she has been translated into several languages and sold books worldwide. Aside from standalone romances, she has romance series that include Christmas romances and beach reads. Contemporary family sagas find a home in Return to Welcome set in a fictional town. Learn about more exciting releases and get a free romance by subscribing to her newsletter, Bonnie’s Newsy Bits

May 19, 2024 — Feeling Extra Crispy? When Writers Burn Out

Our May 19, 2024 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with our general business and social meeting, to be followed at 2:00 P.M. with our May workshop, titled “Feeling Extra Crispy? When Writers Burn Out,” presented by Liz Lincoln. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description: “Feeling Extra Crispy? When Writers Burn Out” will help authors navigate the challenges of creative burnout. Discover practical strategies for renewing inspiration, from mindfulness techniques to playful writing exercises. Engage in a supportive environment where you can share experiences and learn from fellow writers. Leave with actionable tips on setting realistic goals and maintaining a healthy, creative rhythm. This workshop isn’t just a session; it’s the beginning of your journey back to joyful and productive writing. No sales pitches, just genuine support and guidance tailored for writers by a writer who’s been there.

Bio: Liz has been concocting stories as long as she can remember, and from the beginning they involved two people falling in love.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time hanging out with her family, cheering on the US and pro women’s soccer leagues, embroidering sassy sayings, and drinking too much Diet Coke. And of course, reading romance.

She lives in Milwaukee, WI, with her husband, two kids, three cats, and a turtle.

April 21, 2024 — 6 Techniques for More Compelling Plots

Our April 21, 2024 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop titled “6 Techniques for More Compelling Plots,” presented by Shirley Jump, which will be followed by our general business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description: If you want the reader to be turning the pages as fast as they can, you need a compelling plot. You might think a compelling plot is one filled with car chases and gun fights and a lot of action. The truth is, what keeps readers glued to your book, is an emotional connection with the character. But how exactly do you create that? Join New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump, who has published 85 books in 24 countries, for this workshop on how to take your book to the next level with a page-turning plot!

Bio: New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump didn’t have the willpower to diet nor the talent to master under-eye concealer, so she bowed out of a career in television and opted instead for a career where she could be paid to eat at her desk–writing.

She turned to the world of romance novels, where messes are (usually) cleaned up before The End and no one is calling anyone a doodoo head. In the worlds Shirley gets to create and control, children listen to their parents, husbands always remember holidays and housework is magically done by elves.

Though she’s thrilled to see her books in stores around the world, Shirley mostly writes because it gives her an excuse to avoid cleaning the toilets and helps feed her shoe habit.

March 17, 2024 Meeting — In My Cinnamon Roll Era

Our March 17, 2024 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop titled “In My Cinnamon Roll Era,” presented by Teri Wilson, which will be followed by our general business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description: The appeal of the supportive and kind romance hero and how to write him, using moments from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s real-life romance as examples.

A cinnamon roll hero never goes out of style! Recent trends in romance publishing show that readers love a sweet, kind and supportive hero. Cinnamon roll heroes (sometimes called Golden Retriever heroes) are swoony on the outside, but have a soft, gooey center. In this workshop, we will examine this character archetype and how to incorporate it into your manuscript, using moments from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s real-life romance as examples. We’ll also have a bonus discussion about why their relationship has captivated so many people and what romance authors can learn from #Traylor in terms of getting readers emotionally invested in our stories.

Bio: USA Today bestselling author Teri Wilson writes heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of whimsy. Three of Teri’s books have been adapted into Hallmark Channel Original Movies, including UNLEASHING MR. DARCY (plus its sequel MARRYING MR. DARCY), THE ART OF US and NORTHERN LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS, based on her book SLEIGH BELL SWEETHEARTS. She is also a recipient of the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction and a 2022 inductee into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame.

When she’s not writing, Teri enjoys visiting schools and health care facilities with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel Charm, a registered therapy dog and reading education assistance dog. Teri also loves pretty dresses, cupcakes, going to the ballet and following the British royal family. Visit her at www.teriwilson.net or on Instagram @teriwilsonauthor.

February 18, 2024 Meeting — Making Silence BOOM!

Our February 18, 2024 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop titled “Making Silence BOOM!” presented by Margie Lawson, which will be followed by our general business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description: Silence happens—in real life and on the page. But sometimes when writers share silence on the page it’s blah-blah bland. Powerless. It’s stated, then the scene continues.

No power there. That’s a massive missed opportunity to add emotion!

In real life, what happens when a room goes silent?

Hellooo subtext.

Hellooo instinctive reactions and visceral responses.

Hellooo glances, gaze aversions, and loaded facial expressions.

Good start. But how you convey silence on the page needs to be fresh and powerful.

We’ll cover how silence can:

Strengthen emotion.
Elicit a visceral response.
Share relationship dynamics.
Add tension or release tension.
Create a chance to slip in backstory.
Add big-time power to pauses and hesitations.
Deepen the scene by sharing how it impacts the POV character.

Come on, join me! You’ll learn lots of ways to empower silence. You’ll also learn some deep editing gems that will make your writing bestseller strong!

Bio: Margie Lawson left a career in psychology to focus on another passion—helping writers make their writing bestseller strong. Using a psychologically based deep-editing approach, Margie teaches writers how to bring emotion to the page. Emotion equals power. Power grabs readers and holds onto them until the last page. Hundreds of Margie grads have gone on to win awards, find agents, sign with publishers, and hit bestseller lists.

A popular international presenter, Margie’s taught over 200 full day master classes in the U.S., Canada, France, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as multi-day intensives on cruise ships in the Caribbean. She’s taught over 220 5-day intensive Immersion Master Classes across the U.S. and Canada, and in France, Scotland, and seven cities in Australia too.

She also founded Lawson Writer’s Academy where you’ll find over 30 instructors teaching online courses through her website. And you’ll find lots of webinars on her website too. She developed 35 webinars that share her deep editing techniques and more! To sign up for Margie’s newsletter, visit www.margielawson.com.

January 21, 2024 Meeting — How To Write Media Tie-ins

Our January 21, 2024 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop titled “How To Write Media Tie-ins,” presented by Mari Mancusi, which will be followed by our annual general business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description: Dream of being a Disney Princess? A Marvel superhero? Do you want to expand on the world of your favorite fandom—and actually get paid to do so? In this presentation, Disney author Mari Mancusi takes you behind the scenes of media tie-in writing and demystifies this unique niche of traditional publishing. She’ll explain how to break into the world, give you the pros and cons of writing for a property/company versus your own works (Fun fact: it’s still super creative!), and walk you through the entire process from hire to finished book.

Bio: Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession –journalism — instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys.

When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys traveling, cosplay, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure–videogames. (World of Warcraft is her all time favorite.) A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon, and their two dogs.

Twitter: @marimancusi

Instagram: @marimancusi

TikTok: @marimancusi8

November 19, 2023 Meeting – Storytelling Secrets of East Asian Narratives and Kishōtenketsu for Modern Romance Writers

Our November 19, 2023 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop titled “Storytelling Secrets of East Asian Narratives and Kishōtenketsu for Modern Romance Writers,” presented by A.M. Lau, which will be followed by our annual general business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description: Kishōtenketsu is an East Asian narrative structure that differs but is complementary to the more traditional three-act structure used in the west…and in romance novels. Join A.M. Lau to learn what this structure is, and how you can use it in developing your own work

Bio: A.M. LauA.M. Lau is a graduate of Vassar College and the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop. After nearly a decade reviewing for Publishers Weekly, she became a ghostwriter, indie author, and story consultant. Her current professional memberships include the National Book Critics Circle, the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Golden State Romance Writers and Bay Area Romance Writers.

As a professional book critic who has judged the now defunct Amazon Break Out Novel Contest, taken part in book nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award and voted in many book awards including the Nebulas, Hugos, and RITAs, she has a deep understanding of what makes a book addictive or award-winning.

is a graduate of Vassar College and the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop. After nearly a decade reviewing for Publishers Weekly, she became a ghostwriter, indie author, and story consultant. Her current professional memberships include the National Book Critics Circle, the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Golden State Romance Writers and Bay Area Romance Writers.As a professional book critic who has judged the now defunct Amazon Break Out Novel Contest, taken part in book nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award and voted in many book awards including the Nebulas, Hugos, and RITAs, she has a deep understanding of what makes a book addictive or award-winning.

October 15, 2023 Meeting – The Craft of the Short Story

Our October 15, 2023 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop titled “The Craft of the Short Story,” presented by best-selling author Anthea Sharp, which will be followed by our monthly business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Workshop Description: The ability to write short fiction is an important part of an author’s toolkit. Short stories are perfect for newsletter magnets and bonus material to treat our readers. We can sell our short fiction into traditional markets, or band together with other authors for a cross-promo anthology or collection. But how does a short story work? How does a writer go about crafting a compelling piece of short fiction? What’s the difference between a short story and a novella? The great news is that you already have all the tools you need! We’ll explore how to shift your mindset into writing shorter pieces and you’ll come away with the confidence to start crafting shorter works of your own.

Bio: Anthea Sharp is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of the Feyland series. Her short fiction has sold to anthologies from DAW Books, Fiction River magazine, and numerous other publications. Anthea also writes historical romance under the RITA-nominated pen name Anthea Lawson. Those short stories have appeared in the Mammoth Book of Regency Romance and Heart’s Kiss magazine, among others. Anthea is an enthusiastic and articulate instructor who is excited to share her tips for crafting solid and entertaining short fiction.

September 17, 2023 Meeting – How to Make Sure Your Book Has Butter and Doesn’t Suck with Theodora Taylor

Our September 17, 2023 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop on outlining titled “How to Make Sure Your Book Has Butter and Doesn’t Suck” presented by best-selling author Theodora Taylor, which will be followed by our monthly business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Theodora Taylor headshotWorkshop Description: Best-selling author Theodora Taylor will be providing a friendly introduction to Universal Fantasy™ Storytelling Butter and how to “proof” for it with your blurb.

Bio: Theodora Taylor is the bestselling author of the 50 Loving States Series. Despite writing within a niche genre (interracial romance), she has earned six KDP All-Star bonuses and grown a fanbase of rabid readers through the power of Universal Fantasy™. Her book, 7 FIGURE FICTION: How to Use Universal Fantasy™ to SELL Your Books to ANYONE was an instant #1 non-fiction bestseller in the Writing Category on Amazon and has since been certified as Great by the world’s largest online bookseller. She adores discussing Universal Fantasy™ and can’t wait to talk with you about it.

June 25, 2023 Meeting – Romance Tropes and the Shifting Sands of Time with Kathryn Le Veque

Our March 19, 2023 monthly meeting will start at 1:00 P.M. with a workshop on outlining titled “Romance Tropes and the Shifting Sands of Time” presented by USA Today best-selling, award-winning author and publisher Kathryn Le Veque, which will be followed by our monthly business and social meeting. Not a NERW member but want to attend the workshop? Join NERW now and receive access to our monthly workshops, private email forum, and Facebook group!

Headshot of author Kathryn Le VequeWorkshop Description: USA Today best-selling, award-winning author Kathryn Le Veque will be discussing the different tropes of romance novels – past and present. What may have worked even twenty years ago has evolved as readers’ tastes change. We’ll talk about what works today, what doesn’t, what can be tweaked and twisted, and what can’t be. We’ll talk about what’s popular by genre (Historical Romance in this case, but this can be expanded into Contemporary and beyond) but also what tends to be universally popular. We’re going to talk about the fun part of tropes – making them our own, as an author, and how the reader looks for the author’s unique touch on a common trope. We’ll talk about how tropes work for ALL romance – because love is love. We’ll also talk about No-No tropes and how to avoid them. Trope’s the word!

Bio: Kathryn Le Veque is a critically acclaimed, USA Today Bestselling author (having hit the list 30 times), an Indie Reader bestseller, a charter Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance with over 140 published novels. Kathryn is also the CEO of Dragonblade Publishing, Amazon’s #1 small press for Historical Romance ebooks.