Notice of Special Meeting of the Members – June 30, 2021 at 7:00 P.M.

By unanimous written consent, NERW’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) voted today pursuant to Section 6.1.2 of NERW’s Amended and Restated Corporate Bylaws to hold a Special Meeting of the Members at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 (via Zoom). The purpose and agenda for this Special Meeting will be for the membership of NERW to vote on proposed amendments to NERW’s bylaws and articles of organization. Eligible members may vote live at the Special Meeting or may vote by providing their completed proxy form to a member attending the meeting. Members eligible to vote at the Special Meeting are all General members of NERW, as of the record date of June 30, 2021. Proxy forms must be received on or before Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 5:00 P.M. Proxies may be revoked at or before the Special Meeting if a General member wishes to vote live.

If you are a General member of NERW and you wish to vote by proxy, the proxy form and instructions have been emailed to members who have joined NERW’s email forum and were also posted to NERW’s private member Facebook group.

If you wish to attend the Special Meeting, Zoom information has been posted to NERW’s email forum and private member Facebook group, or you may contact NERW’s President via the Contact Form. You may also use the Contact Form to contact us with any questions or concerns.

CANCELED DUE TO (GOOD) WEATHER [June 13, 2021 Meeting]

Because so many of NERW’s members have indicated they will be away this coming weekend, and because we have been unable to source a speaker for our June 2021 meeting (likely for the same reason), NERW’s Board of Directors has decided to cancel our June meeting, originally scheduled for June 13, 2021. We will let you know the topic for our meeting on July 18th in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

The Board hopes you all have a wonderful, relaxing and/or fun weekend! We look forward to seeing you in July.

Alexa Rowan, President
Pat Barletta, Treasurer
Katy Kingston, Secretary
Rachel Madbury, Director-at-Large

May 16, 2021 Meeting – Nice Girl’s Guide to Conflict with Sally Kilpatrick

Our May 16th monthly meeting will start with a workshop presented by author Sally Kilpatrick on Nice Girl’s Guide to Conflict, which will be followed by our monthly business and social meeting.

Headshot of author Sally KilpatrickWorkshop Description: Do your manuscripts get comments like “your story is too quiet” or “you have too much external conflict”? Do you find it hard to put your characters in sticky situations? Sally Kilpatrick relays her own journey to creating conflict even when, in real life, she prefers to run away. Starting with the tried and true concept of GMC, she’ll expand upon the concept and guide you through adding internal conflict and other strategies for making sure that your story has layers.

Bio: Sally Kilpatrick is the USA Today bestselling author of six novels. She has won multiple awards, including the 2018 and 2019 Georgia Author of the Year, the Maggie Award of Excellence, the Booksellers’ Best, and the 2016 Nancy Knight Mentorship Award. She lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, two kids, and two cats. You can find her at sallykilpatrick.com or on Twitter as @superwritermom.

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.

It’s Official—NECRWA Is Now New England Romance Writers!

We are thrilled to announce that, effective October 1, 2020, we have disaffiliated from Romance Writers of America (RWA) and are now operating as an independent tax-exempt romance writing organization under the name New England Romance Writers (NERW). NERW will continue to serve our members through education, networking, and advocacy, and will continue to educate the public about the breadth and diversity of the romance genre.

NERW’s disaffiliation from RWA is a major milestone for our organization, which had been an RWA chapter since 1987. We began discussing our future in January 2020, voted in March 2020 to disaffiliate from RWA by no later than September 30, 2020, and are now fully separated from RWA. This step represents many months of hard work and steadfast leadership by our present and former officers and directors.

NERW is proud that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a cornerstone of our newly revised bylaws, mission, and values. But our journey isn’t over. Our leaders and members will be continuing our efforts to embed DEI within and throughout the organization.

We look forward to welcoming back former members and to meeting everyone newly joining us. If you write romance, you are invited to join NERW, regardless of your race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, body size, age, religion, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, immigration status, employment status, marital status, pregnancy status, ability or disability, genetic information, veteran status, socioeconomic status, and political affiliation. Give our friendly and knowledgeable community a try—dues for the remainder of 2020 are only $5. We hope to see you at one of our virtual meetings soon!

To learn more, visit our new website at https://www.nerw.org. You can receive important announcements by joining our interim email loop at https://groups.io/g/NERW-Interim, following us on Twitter at @NERomWriters, and liking our Facebook Page at @NERomWriters. Please reach out to NERW President Alexa Rowan with questions at president@nerw.org.