October 13 – Motivating Our Characters and Ourselves with Jane Lesley

Over the past twenty years or so psychological research has ascertained that motivation and behavior change in a particular and consistent pattern, and they have named the steps involved ‘The Stages of Change’.  As novelists we can use elements of the Stages of Change to assist us with character development and to help us understand how to maximize productivity in our writing lives.

Jane Lesley, MSW, is a retired clinical social worker and lecturer at Boston University.  Over her twenty years of practice she used Motivational Enhancement (the Stages of Change) in her clinical practice and with her students; she is now using it in her writing.

It’s not too late to submit your workshop proposal for our 2014 Conference

The New England Chapter of RWA invites you to submit workshop proposals for our next Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, to be held May 2-3, 2014 at the Boston Marriott in Burlington, MA. If you’d like to be part of the 2014 conference, please submit the Online Workshop Form. Our workshop chair, Katy Cooper, will also accept proposals and questions at [email protected] until October 1, 2013. You may also submit your workshop using our printable form.  Mail to forms to NECRWA Workshops P. O. Box 560223 Medford, MA 02156-0223 The conference fee will be waived for one speaker per workshop. For more information on the conference, visit Our Conference Page

September 15 – The Future of Publishing with Eric Ruben

Join literary agent and attorney, Eric Ruben, for an informative discussion about the future of publishing. Publishing is now going through the same technology driven changes that film, music and TV have gone through, and are still experiencing. Find out how this affects you as a writer and learn ways to navigate this new landscape. Eric will open up the floor to a Q&A discussion after the workshop.

Eric Ruben is an attorney and literary agent with over twenty-five years of experience. Among his clients are authors in numerous genres. He is also an award-winning performer and writer who has appeared in films, commercials, and Off-Broadway theatre. His experience gives him a unique perspective that benefits all his show business clients. You can follow him on Twitter at @RubenAgency

Propose a Workshop for our 2014 Conference

The New England Chapter, RWA, is now accepting workshop proposals for
the 2014 Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, to be held at
the Burlington Marriott, Burlington, MA, on May 2 and 3, 2014. We are
looking for submissions for workshops on craft, career, writer’s life,
and research. If you have a meaty topic you’d like to share with our
conference attendees, we’d love to hear from you.

Please submit your proposal at
https://www.nerw.org/blog1/conference/conference-workshops. The deadline
for submission is Tuesday, October 1, 2013. For more information on
the conference, visit https://www.nerw.org/blog1/conference, and if you
have questions about the submission process, email
[email protected].

August 18 – Pantsing & Plotting Round Table

We’ll kick off our 2013-2014 series of meetings with an old favorite:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

We all know the feeling… that point in our manuscript where we take our hands off the keys, and think, now what? For those of us who plot our books to the final chapter, these moments may be few and far between. But what about those of us who fly by the seat of our pants; who don’t know what the end will be until we actually type it? Is there a wrong or a right way to get your book finished? Or, can we be both, successfully?

We’ll discuss the pros and cons for plotting and pantsing, and find out what tools and prompts help us out along the way, no matter what your process. Do you use Scrivener or other writing programs? What about Pinterest , collage and vision boards?  Bring your questions and ideas and be ready to have a lively discussion!

June 23 – Plotting with Panache

Boring beginnings?  Sagging middles?  Flat endings?

Both plotters and pantsers need well-structured stories.  Plotting with panache—confidence, flamboyance, courage—will cure what ails your story.  Learn the plotting secrets that keep readers turning pages and preventing reviewers from using deadly adjectives—boring, sagging, flat—to describe your masterpiece.

We will analyze the structure of JAWS (#1) and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Please view these movies if you haven’t seen them.

Patricia Grasso is the author of 18 historical romances that have won various awards: National Readers’ Choice Award, New England Readers’ Choice “the Beanpot”, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice and KISS Awards, as well as B. Dalton and Bookrak Awards for bestselling first-time author.

May 19 – When and How to Break the Rules of Point of View

Everyone’s heard the so-called rules of point of view (POV): stick to one POV per scene; don’t switch POV mid-scene; always use the POV of your main characters; never start your story in the POV of a character the reader will never see again. Katy Cooper believes there’s only one rule when it comes to writing fiction: Everything you do has to serve your story. As for for POV, she thinks the so-called rules are good guidelines to follow…but not every time. Join her as she talks about instances where writers didn’t follow the guidelines, why those instances worked and how you can use POV to strengthen your story.

Although she has been a writer her entire life, Katy Cooper did not begin seriously pursuing fiction writing until the winter of 1995. Her first novel, Prince of Hearts, was a Golden Heart finalist and subsequently sold to Harlequin Historicals. Her second short historical romance, Lord Sebastian’s Wife, was also published by Harlequin Historicals. Both novels were re-released as ebooks in 2012.  Katy has spoken on numerous occasions, offering workshops at chapter meetings for the New England Chapter, Connecticut Chapter and the New Hampshire Chapter, at the New England Chapter’s Let Your Imagination Take Flight and the New Jersey Chapter’s Put Your Heart In a Book conferences, and at Romance Writers of America’s National Conferences.

Congratulations to Our Contest Winners

Winners for the Readers’ Choice Beanpot award and the First Kiss award were announced Saturday at the Conference Awards Breakfast.  Here they are:

First Kiss

First Place – Katy Regnery for “It’s You”
Second Place – Crystal Eliot for “Lessons in Scandal”
Third Place – Virginia Frost for “Prop Girl”
Honorable Mention – Tina Evans for “One More Night”, Susan Chambers for “Dragonfly” and Anna Richland for “The Soldier”

Bean Pot

First Place – Radclyffe for Crossroads
Second Place – Elise K Ackers for The Man Plan
Third Place – Laura Kaye for One Night with a Hero

Romantic Suspense
First Place – Marie Force for Fatal Deception
Second Place – Casey Clifford for An Island No More
Third Place – Radclyffe for Oath of Honor

First Place – Michelle Marcos for Lessons in Loving a Laird
Second Place – Heather Snow for Sweet Deception
Third Place – Margaret Mallory for The Warrior

Erotic Romance
First Place – Karen Stivali for Marry Me
Second Place – Elle Saint James for Unbridled and Unsaddled
Third Place – Lauren Gallagher for Who’s Your Daddy?

Futuristic; Fantasy; Paranormal or Time Travel
First Place – Cristy Gibson for Tangled Web
Second Place – Kaylea Cross for Darkest Caress
Third Place – Sara Humphreys for Untamed

Mainstream with Romantic Elements
First Place – Anna Lee Huber for The Anatomist’s Wife
Second Place – Mary Ellis for Living in Harmony
Third Place – Barbara Claypole White for The Unfinished Garden

Young Adult
First Place – Katie McGarry for Pushing the Limits
Second Place – Marissa Doyle for Courtship and Curses
Third Place – Chloe Jacobs for Greta and the Goblin King

April 21 – Conference Primer

The NECRWA Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference is right around the corner. Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, we all know conference can be a bit overwhelming. We’ll discuss the ABCs of making sure you get the most out of it.  Topics will include (and are not limited to):

Choosing Workshops
Meeting New People
Agent/Editor Appointments
Book Fair
Proper Attire

This is an open forum style meeting, so be sure to come prepared with your questions (and answers)! 

March 17 – Know Your Man-Beast with Cara McKenna

We’re all familiar with the basic hero taxonomy—alpha or beta, right? But do you know what really makes an alpha-wolf hero? How about a coyote hero? An owl? A cat? A crow? A yellow lab disguised as a pit-bull?
This workshop will use animal archetypes to reveal the subtler nuances of characterization, applicable to heroes, heroines, villains, and supporting players of all kinds. Think your hero’s an alpha wolf? Maybe not, if the man’s a loner—after all, every wolf needs a pack, and every alpha lives in fear of the day he’ll be bested by a stronger, younger, hungrier rival. Maybe your hero’s a jaguar, instead. If so, he better not be stomping around the scene, barking orders! Instead he’ll prowl or stalk in fluid silence, biding his time. Sound too cool and calculating? Then perhaps you’ve created a mustang hero—a bit wild, hesitant to trust but loyal once broken.
This will be a fun, interactive, multimedia workshop! Cara will outline a variety of animal archetypes and their traits, and members will be encouraged to apply them to their own characters—and to identify new species—as we embark on this fiction writers’ safari.
Cara McKenna writes smart erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave and Penguin / Intermix, and her evil conjoined twin Meg Maguire writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Blaze and Samhain. This workshop was inspired by her post for the Wonkomance blog, titled “McKenna’s Field Guide to Heroes of North America.”