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.

October 18, 2020 Meeting – Five SEO Wins for Authors with Sarah Cassell

Our October 18th monthly meeting will start with a workshop presented by digital marketer Sarah Cassell on Five SEO Wins for Authors, which will be followed by our monthly meeting.

Sarah Cassell headshotWorkshop Description: Search Engine Optimization. It’s an effective way to improve your web traffic. But when it comes down to it, where should we even start, what has the most impact and–how do you know if you’re even doing it right? In this workshop we’ll review five easy ways you can get more search traffic to your website, regardless of your web skill level.

This workshop is for you if you …

  • have a website or plan to launch a website soon
  • write, publish and manage your own website content (or plan to)
  • want to improve traffic on your site, or grow your readership online

Pre-workshop questions for consideration:

  • Who do you see as the audience of your website? (i.e. who do you want to visit your site?)
  • Why would this audience come to your site? What are you offering that is unique, special or of value to this audience?
  • What do you hope this audience learns on your website?
  • What action(s) do you hope this audience takes on your website?
  • If you were searching for a website like yours, what keywords or brief phrases might you enter into search?
  • Now, spend 5-10 minutes brainstorming. What additional keywords or phrases might someone use to find your content?
  • Go incognito on your browser and then Google those phrases and keywords. Does your site appear?
The workshop will start on Zoom at 1pm. The Zoom meeting info has also been posted in the NECRWA Facebook Group, the NECRWA chapter forum on RWA, and will be posted in the new NERW Facebook Group and NERW email forum after October 1st. Virtual doors will open at 12:45pm. Please reach out to Alexa Rowan at president@necrwa.org with any questions.

Bio: For more than a decade, Sarah Cassell has weathered the tides of digital marketing. In this fast-paced growing world of technology, Sarah is passionate about sharing what she’s learned with others to help them build authentic and meaningful relationships with their audiences. She is the Director of Digital Marketing at City Year, a national nonprofit, where she designs, builds and implements marketing and advertising strategies. She has experience managing social media for both large and small nonprofits and experience managing email and loves to scroll through Instagram every spare minute she has. She holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism from Ohio University and a Master’s in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Learn more about Sarah at sacassell.com.

September 20, 2020 Meeting – Top Ten Tips for Tightening Tension with Molly O’Keefe

Our September 20th monthly meeting will start with a workshop presented by Molly O’Keefe on Top Ten Tips for Tighter Tension, which will be followed by our monthly chapter business meeting.
Headshot of author Molly O'KeefeWorkshop description: Tension is what keeps pages turning and makes a book of any genre satisfying. The tighter the tension, the more rewarding the ending. Incorporating internal and external tension into your characters and plot at every stage of writing from brainstorming to editing will keep the pages turning and the books selling. In this highly interactive workshop we’ll discuss how to create characters that create tension, how to manage backstory and plot and what are the ten best ways to keep the tension as tight as possible in your manuscript.
The workshop will start on Zoom at 1pm. The Zoom meeting info has also been posted in the NECRWA Facebook Group and the NECRWA chapter forum on RWA. Virtual doors will open at 12:45pm. Please reach out to Alexa Rowan at president@necrwa.org with any questions.

BIO: Molly O’Keefe is the USA Today Bestselling author of over 50 romance novels. She’s won two RITA Awards and four RT Reviewers Choice Awards. She also writes USA Today Bestselling women’s fiction under the name Molly Fader. Her books have been selected book club picks by Women’s Day Magazine and the Brenda Novak book club. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, two kids and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.

Learn more at Molly O’Keefe’s website.

Please note that NECRWA meetings are online.

August 16, 2020 Meeting – WriteFAST! with Siera London

Our August 16th monthly meeting will be in two parts.
Siera London headshotPart 1 will be a Workshop in a Box presented by Siera London on WriteFAST!
Workshop description: A straightforward method to transform your story idea into a first draft FAST!
The pre-recorded workshop will start promptly at 1pm and will be presented on Gotowebinar. Registration information has been posted in the NECRWA Facebook Group and the NECRWA chapter forum on RWA. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Please reach out to Alexa Rowan at president@necrwa.org with any questions.

BIO: Siera London is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She crafts stories of diverse characters navigating the challenges and triumphs to find lasting love. Intelligence, wit, emotion, drama, and sensual romance are between the covers of every Siera London novel. Siera lives in California with her husband, and a color patch tabby named Frie.

Learn more at Siera London’s official website.

Part 2 will be our monthly chapter business meeting, which will be held on Zoom. The Zoom meeting info has also been posted in the NECRWA Facebook Group and the NECRWA chapter forum on RWA. Again, please reach out to Alexa Rowan at president@necrwa.org with any questions.
Please note that NECRWA meetings are online.

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)

April 19, 2020 Meeting – Online Promotion for Introverts with Bree Bridges

Bree Bridges It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an author in possession of a book to promote, must be in want of a place to hide.

Okay, maybe it’s not universally acknowledged. But plenty of authors love the peaceful hermit life of writing a book and freeze in the face of going out and actually asking someone to buy it. Whether you suffer from anxiety, introversion, shyness, or any combination of the above, sometimes it seems like nothing is more terrifying than telling the world, Hey! Look at me!

Bree Bridges (the painfully shy half of Kit Rocha) has spent a decade perfecting the art of building an online brand and a marketing machine while being, to put it gently, straight up freaking terrified of talking to people.

Join her for a free-wheeling adventure through tricks and strategies to get your name out there, build long-term relationships with reviewers, maximize the potential of every terrifying human interaction, survive the pressure to Do All The Things on social media, and find ways to navigate the high-pressure world of actually selling that book you just wrote.

Whether you’re self-published, traditionally published, hybrid, or just getting ready to start building your brand, you’ll leave with some new ideas on how to get the most from doing the least. (At least when it comes to scary things!)

Extroverts are also welcome. Plenty of the tricks will work for you, too! Just don’t make any sudden movements. We’re shy.

BIO:

Kit Rocha is the pseudonym for co-writing team Donna Herren and Bree Bridges. After penning dozens of paranormal novels, novellas and stories as Moira Rogers, they branched out into gritty, sexy dystopian romance.

The Beyond series has appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, has been nominated for best erotic romance in the RT Reviewer’s Choice award five times, and won in 2013 and 2015. Their new Mercenary Librarians series from Tor debuts in 2020.