Please note: Workshop presenters MUST register and attend the conference at their own cost.

If you want to receive news and updates about the conference, please

Sign up for our newsletter! 

If you are presenting a workshop, please make sure your handouts and headshot are emailed to

2017 Workshops

Intro to Editing 101: Tips to a Tighter Manuscript (PRO-Only)

Tanya Agler

When I first heard the advice “Write Daily,” I thought that meant I had to produce new words for fresh pages every day. Then I realized there’s more to writing than first drafts. Editing your manuscript is a way to make every word count. There are no rules of writing but, as you write more and edit more, you’ll develop your own system. Here are some tips on editing that have helped me and I hope will help you as well.


The Business of Selling Books A to Z

Susan Carlisle

Ever wonder if you can handle the business side of book writing? If so, this workshop is for you. Learn ways to manage your records to keep the IRS happy, gain tips for selling your own books and discover fool-proof ways to increase your book sells.


Speaking to Your Public Will Not Kill You

Vicki B. Dabney

Techniques on how to speak to your fans and not feel nervous or anxious. Authors feel secure in their office cubbyhole writing the next great American Novel in solitude. But when that novel is released, the author is now out of their comfort zone in speaking to their prospective audience and fans.


How Opposites Attract

Christine Glover

This workshop will give writers practical ways to develop the hero and heroine’s internal emotional growth arcs. It combines the novel’s structural turning points, elements of the mythological hero’s journey, along with incorporating the romance novel’s tropes with an emphasis on the central themes that fulfill reader expectations.


Doing More with Less: Time-Saving Websites for Writers

Kristi Hancock

Are you facing shorter deadlines to meet the demands of anxious readers? Do you need to do more in less time without cutting corners? Meet the Internet, your new best friend for producing better work and running at the speed of the industry. I will review our favorite online tools for authors so you can reach your potential!


Pantser Versus Plotter Smackdown

McCall Hoyle, Denny Bryce, Amy DeLuca, Jessica Ruddick, & Kristi Ann Hunter

Are you a hardcore plotter? A carefree pantser? Or still struggling to find your groove? Join this panel of 2014 Golden Heart Finalists, many of whom are now traditionally and/or self-published, as they discuss the benefits of various methods and how to find what works best for you.


Discovering Your Plotting Style

Kristi Ann Hunter

To outline or not to outline. That is the question. Whether you’re a pantster or a plotter at some point you have to create a story. It doesn’t matter if your scrawl a basic idea on a napkin or create a spreadsheet with a detailed scene plan, at some point you have to plan your story on some level. Perhaps you’ve decided that planning needs a bit more structure. With so many different methods out there to choose from, how do you know which one to try next?


This class will look at the pros and cons of several different plotting methodologies as well as touch on the basics of different plotting practices that can work for each one. We’ll also discuss how to figure out which ones are more likely to work for you so that you can create your own personal plotting strategy.


More Than A Story: How to make a point with your writing

Kristi Ann Hunter

Whether you want to save the trees, save the children or simply save a Yankees fan from making a terrible life choice, there are times when we want our stories to do more than entertain. We want them to make a point, convey a message, or convince a skeptic. This class will walk through how to layer a pointed message into your story without turning off your reader. We’ll look at how to define your message as well as how to weave it seamlessly into the story.


So You Want to Self-Publish? – 2 hrs

Renee Lovins

Overview of what you need to know, where to find the information, and the tips and tricks to arm yourself for the scary world of self-publishing. A presentation designed to show people where to find information about the business of publishing, craft of writing, and how to actually get your book out there.


Writing After Loss

Renee Lovins

When death shatters your life, how do you get back to writing?


Writing with Passion!

Barbara Keaton

Writing with Passion! Is an inspirational session for aspiring writers and those writers who sometimes question where they are … to realize why and how doing most things in life – including writing – with passion and zeal is the key. Barbara infuses a touch of humor with a dose of “things learned” during her journey as an author.


Grammar and Punctuation, Necessary Editing Tools

Mary Marvella aka M.M. Mayfield

As an editor for Gilded Dragonfly Books and for freelance clients, Mary sees some of the same mistakes in many authors’ manuscripts. These mistakes repeat in most manuscripts and take away from the stories. Some of us have critique partners and English major friends who read our work but still miss mistakes. We can avoid the embarrassment of submitting work with obvious typos and other mistakes. This session will help authors sharpen their editing skills and show attendees how to spot such errors in their work and correct them.


Google Analytics for Authors: Intro to Web Analytics

La-Tessa Montgomery

If you’re not looking at your website analytics, you are possibly missing out on critical information that may be impacting your promotional efforts, reach, sales, and the growth of your subscription list.  Join me as I walk you through the basics of Google Analytics and give you some tools on how using this free service can help you better reach your intending audience.


The Care and Keeping of Readers

Jillian Neal

Street Teams, Reader Groups, ARC groups, and fan pages – In this workshop I’ll show you how to find your fans, build your platform, and most importantly keep readers coming back for more. We’ll also cover how to set up groups that will constantly be marketing for you.


He Said, She Said

Jillian Neal

There is nothing more engaging in a novel than dialogue. It is one of the single most important elements in character development and will either make your readers certain they know your characters better than most of their friends or will leave them with a bad taste in their mouthes. Learn how to write conversations that leap off of the page and how to write dirty talk that will make readers drool.


Compelling Reasons to Abandon Word and Use Scrivener

James Rehg

Word is the most widely used software for creative writing, but Scrivener is the best product. Scrivener’s steep learning curve often prevents users from moving away from Word. Join me in this session to help you climb that curve and learn how to configure Scrivener for romance story development. The presentation also covers the features in the software that will convince you to switch from Word to Scrivener. The session will show current Scrivener users program features to improve your productivity in all phases of your story development: plotting, outlining, drafting content, editing, and compiling for publication.


Time is a Non-Renewal Resource: Write More Efficiently and Power Up Your Productivity

Jessica Ruddick aka Jessica Linden

In today’s publishing landscape, productivity is key to succeeding and flourishing. However, time is finite and many writers struggle to juggle writing with day jobs, families, and numerous other responsibilities. This workshop will teach participants how to write more efficiently, therefore increasing output without necessarily increasing time spent writing.


5 Bones: How to Skeleton Outline Your Story

Nicki Salcedo

Are you having trouble finishing your story? Don’t know where to start? Think of your story as a body and discover the elements that you need to create a strong story in the beginning, middle, and end. There are five bones that every story needs. Learn these foundation elements and come prepared to write. This workshop will help you brainstorm new ideas or make the story you are already working on shine!


Name Recognition – Making Social Media Matter (PAN-Only)

Nicki Salcedo

Social media is more than Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It is how you interact with your current and potential audiences. Figure out who you know and make a plan to maximize your networks. Learn ways to develop real life and online connections. Create strategies to get your name recognized in new reader communities.


Show v. Tell: The Battle of Characterization

Dianna Shuford

Do you want to write characters that come to life on the page? Do you want to create memorable characters that stay with your readers long after they finish your book? One way to accomplish both of these scenarios is to understand and use characterization effectively when developing your story. This workshop will explore various ways that both direct and indirect characterization can draw in your reader, allowing your stories to come to life with rich and remarkable characters. Bring excerpts of your current work to use for individual analysis and revision during the workshop.


Loosing Your Inner Vixen: Writing Character Driven Love Scenes

Naima Simone

Many authors find writing those scenes—the love scenes—intimidating or frustrating for a number of reasons. Yet, they are important not only to the story and romance, but also to the relationship between the hero and heroine, as well as the characters’ personal growth and arc. Connecting characterization with sex scenes will offer the author an alternate way of approaching them that may make writing the scenes more fun and a little easier.


The Bullet Journal [tm] — Get Control of Your Life and Your Writing

  1. Snow

The Bullet Journal is a highly flexible, customizable combination of to-do list, planner, and journal. It can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. Anyone can benefit from using a Bullet Journal, but B. Snow especially recommends them for people who, like her, are intimidated by to-do lists, traditional planners, and technology. If your life and your writing are slipping through the cracks, try this fun, creative, and low-tech method of organization.

Starter journals will be provided to the first ten people.


Books Don’t Write Themselves: How to Master the Art of Self-Discipline

Kelly L. Stone

The book won’t write itself. This workshop will present a tried-and-true skill set gleaned from the presenter’s interviews with more than 150 published authors on how to carve out time to write, set and meet writing goals, create a long-term action plan, and overcome self-sabatoging behaviors and thinking and get your book written in a year or less.


Married to a Romance Writer

James R. Tuck and some of our writers spouses

Join us as James R. Tuck leads a panel of spouses as they tell all about what it’s like to be the significant other of an author. Because, let’s face it. If you love a writer, you don’t just get them but all of the people in their head.


Cattle Ranching for Dummies

Becke Turner

This hands-on workshop is designed to provide authors the basic tools to create an authentic ranch scene, including the sights, the smells, and the dangers of working a commercial cow/calf operation with horses and the opportunity to build ranch scenes.


Worldbuilding with Storyboarding

Kim Turner, Sherrie Lea Morgan, & Carrie Nichols

Hang out with three published authors and work actively on a storyboard to help you map out the GMC of your story and or the path your story will take. Leave this hour-long session with your own start on a board to help you head home to write our your plans.

Leave a Reply