Savvy writers know that producing a great book is just the first step. To make an impact, you need to build an author platform so you can get your work in the hands of your readers. Yet oftentimes it can feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions. With new social networks popping up every day, it’s easy to get distracted by latest marketing gimmick—or worse, give up on building a platform altogether.

Don’t worry. Platform doesn’t have to be painful and you don’t have to sell out to sell books. In this session, you will learn concrete steps for building your online brand so you can forge meaningful connections with your readers. You’ll also discover a game-changing technique that will help you understand and research your audience, whether your platform is huge or nonexistent. Finally, you’ll learn strategies to help you focus your energy and resources on the things that matter most, so your platform will be sustainable for the long term.

BIO:

Gabriela Pereira is a writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed word nerd who wants to challenge the status quo of higher education. As the founder and instigator of DIYMFA.com, her mission is to empower writers to take an entrepreneurial approach to their education and professional growth. Gabriela earned her MFA in creative writing from The New School and teaches at national conferences, regional workshops, and online. She is also the host of DIY MFA Radio, a popular podcast where she interviews bestselling authors and offers short audio master classes. Her book DIY MFA: WRITE WITH FOCUS, READ WITH PURPOSE, BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY is out now from Writer’s Digest Books.

You asked, and we’re answering!

Due to member feedback, we’ll be incorporating a critique session into our regular meetings. Held after the main speaker, the session will switch up topics, and we’re open to suggestions! This is YOUR chapter, what would add the most value for YOU?

On Sunday May 21st, after our own Barbara Keiler/Judith Arnold speaks to us about writing our 101st book, we’ll have our first critique session. We’re setting aside some time to split up into groups and do critiques of pages.

If you’d like feedback on your work, please bring copies of an excerpt of no more than 5 double-spaced pages. Think about if there’s anything in particular you’d like people to read for. We’ll break off by genre this time, and even if you don’t have work you’d like feedback on, please feel free to stay and lend an extra pair of eyes.

The best-selling author of more than 100 books, Judith Arnold will be presenting How to Write Your 101st Book at NECRWA’s May 21st meeting.

Writing a novel is a major accomplishment. Writing two novels is the start of a career. How do you keep going after two novels? How do you sustain your enthusiasm, your energy, and your creativity over the long haul? How do you keep your family from forgetting who you are, your neighbors from thinking you’re that weird, pale hermit who emerges only to grab the mail and drag out the trash, and your muse from filing for divorce? This talk will offer suggestions, encouragement, and reassurance.

Writing under the pen name Judith Arnold, USA Today bestselling author Barbara Keiler knew she wanted to be a writer by the time she was four. With one hundred and one published novels to her name, she has been able to live her dream. Four of her novels have received Reviewers Choice awards from RT Book Reviews, and she’s been a multiple finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA™ Award. Her novel Love In Bloom’s was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, and her novel Barefoot in the Grass has appeared on recommended reading lists at hospitals and breast cancer support centers. Married and a mother of two sons, Barbara lives near Boston in a house with four guitars, three pianos, a violin, an electronic keyboard, a balalaika and a set of bongo drums.

NECRWA would like to congratulate the 2016 New England Readers’ Choice contest winners, who were announced at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference awards luncheon on April 8, 2017. And the winners are…

SHORT CONTEMPORARY

First place: Anna DePalo, Second Chance with the CEO

Second place: Barbara Wallace, Winter Wedding for the Prince

Third place (three-way tie): Peggy Jaeger, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights, Robin Perini, San Antonio Secret, and Barbara Wallace, Christmas Baby for the Princess

LONG CONTEMPORARY

First place: Babette deJongh, Angel Falls

Second place (tie): Melynda Price, Beneath the Surface and Melynda Price, Fighting for Control

Third place: Rissa Brahm, Catching Preeya

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS or SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

First place: Olivia Rae, Redemption

Second place: Laurel Blount, A Family for the Farmer and Dana R. Lynn, Interrupted Lullaby

Third place: Kat Brookes, His Holiday Matchmaker

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

First place (tie): Tamra Lassiter, Guiding Fate and Tara Wyatt, Necessary Risk

Second place: Robin Perini, Forgotten Secrets

Third place (tie): Cate Beauman, Deceiving Bella and Katie Reus, Love Thy Enemy

HISTORICAL

First place: Loretta Chase, Dukes Prefer Blondes

Second place: Megan Frampton, One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild

Third place (tie): Linda Broday, To Love a Texas Ranger and Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher, Wild Lavender

EROTIC

First place: Laura Baumbach, The Dark Side

Second place: Shana Figueroa, Vengeance

Third place: Christina James, Operation Persuade Me

PARANORMAL

First place: Nadine Mutas, Blood, Breath, and Desire

Second place: Marissa Doyle, Skin Deep

Third place: Michelle Miles, In the Tower of the Wizard King

NOVELLA

First place: Tessa Gray, My Dearest Chloe

Second place (tie): Jessica Linden, Bodyguard and Debra Jess, A Secret Rose

Third place: Katie Reus, Merry Christmas, Baby

 

Thank you to our entrants and our judges for helping make our contest great!

If you’re a reader interested in judging next year’s contest, please fill out our online Judges’ Information Web Form. If you’d rather print and snail-mail or email the form, you may use these links Judges’ Information Form.pdf or Judges’ Information Form.doc and send your form to our contest coordinator.  All instructions and contact information are on the form.

Pat Barletta will be presenting Lying, Cheating, and Making Love: Using Body Language to Zing Those Characters and Slay Those Plots at NECRWA’s April 23rd meeting.

How do you create multi-dimensional characters without going into long paragraphs of exposition? One method is to use body language, an integral part of character development. As a component of dialogue, it allows the writer a means to show rather than tell, and it provides a multi-purpose tool that can be used for subtext, conflict, and characterization. We’ll examine the uses of body language in fiction, and Pat will provide some specific examples you might find useful in your writing.

Pat is a native of the Boston area. Its history has inspired her writing, and probably influenced her decision to become a high school British Literature teacher. She’s also been an accounts receivable clerk, a receptionist and telephone operator (before cell phones), head of an elementary school library, and president of a food pantry, not in that order. Long ago, she published three historical romances in another life where she called herself Amy Christopher. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree in Popular Fiction at the fabulous Stonecoast program in Maine, where she met many talented writers, who encouraged me and made my writing better. And now she is an author writing about dark heroes, feisty heroines, magic, and other fantastical things.

 

 

NECRWA’s Annual Conference, “Let Your Imagination Take Flight,” is happening earlier than usual this year—on April 7th and 8th. Are you ready? At this month’s meeting, members of NEC’s Conference Committee will help you prepare, giving brief presentations on

• What’s new at conference this year

• What first-time attendees can expect/should do to get ready

• What to expect during an agent/editor appointment (including some role-playing between your President and your conference Editor/Agent Coordinator)

• How to preparing for a book signing

• How not to lose your mind/cool at conference, especially if you are an introvert

We’ll then break out into smaller groups to talk about these issues in more depth; you choose which topic group to join.

And we’ll end by practicing elevator pitches. Even if you are not meeting with an editor or agent at conference, it helps to have an “elevator pitch” ready to share with fellow conference goers. (Elevator pitch = the two or three sentences you offer when you meet a fellow conference attendee in the elevator, or in line for dinner, or waiting in the bathroom, and that person asks, “So, what are you working on?”) Bring your own elevator pitch for your current WIP and we’ll practice by sharing them with each other, and giving each other constructive feedback.

NECRWA is pleased to announce the finalists in the 2016 New England Readers’ Choice contest! Winners will be announced at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

 

LONG CONTEMPORARY

Rissa Brahm, Catching Preeya

Babette deJongh, Angel Falls

Melynda Price, Beneath the Surface

Melynda Price, Fighting for Control

 

HISTORICAL

Linda Broday, To Love a Texas Ranger

Loretta Chase, Dukes Prefer Blondes

Megan Frampton, One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild

Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher, Wild Lavender

 

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS or SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

Laurel Blount, A Family for the Farmer

Kat Brookes, His Holiday Matchmaker

Dana R. Lynn, Interrupted Lullaby

Olivia Rae, Redemption

 

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Cate Beauman, Deceiving Bella

Tamra Lassiter, Guiding Fate

Robin Perini, Forgotten Secrets

Katie Reus, Love Thy Enemy

Tara Wyatt, Necessary Risk

 

PARANORMAL

Marissa Doyle, Skin Deep

Michelle Miles, In the Tower of the Wizard King

Nadine Mutas, Blood, Breath, and Desire

 

SHORT CONTEMPORARY

Anna DePalo, Second Chance with the CEO

Peggy Jaeger, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights

Robin Perini, San Antonio Secret

Barbara Wallace, Christmas Baby for the Princess

Barbara Wallace, Winter Wedding for the Prince

 

EROTIC

Laura Baumbach, The Dark Side

Shana Figueroa, Vengeance

Christina James, Operation Persuade Me

 

NOVELLA

Tessa Gray, My Dearest Chloe

Jessica Linden, Bodyguard

Debra Jess, A Secret Rose

Katie Reus, Merry Christmas, Baby

 

Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Tamsen Parker and Teresa Noelle Roberts will be presenting How to Throw a Kink in Your Romantic Arc: Using BDSM to Build Complex Characters and Advance Your Plot at NECRWA’s February 19th meeting.

When people think about BDSM, the first thought that comes to mind is usually whips and chains. While physical sensation can certainly be involved, much of the power of kink to participants and to you as a writer can be found in the intense psychological and emotional impacts it can have.

In this presentation, Tamsen and Teresa will explore how to use kink to add dimension to your characters and move your story forward. Much like sex, kink can provide moments of intimacy and vulnerability, and can be revealing of even (perhaps especially!) the cagiest individuals. They’ll also discuss how some of these same principles can be used in your writing even if you don’t write kink.

As we embark on a new year, and inaugurate a new NECRWA Board, let’s take this month to talk about what makes for a good beginning. Incoming NEC President Jackie Horne will lead a full-group discussion about the best beginnings for romance novels, and for your local RWA chapter. For the first half of the discussion, bring your favorite opening sentence from a romance novel, and an opening sentence from your current work in progress, to share with your fellow writers. For the second half, bring your thoughts about how your new Board can best make NECRWA work for you—-ideas for monthly meeting workshops, conference goals, web site design, advocacy for the romance genre, and any other suggestions for how NECRWA can best serve your needs as a romance writer.

Early bird registration is now open for the 2017 NECRWA Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference! Click here to register! The conference will be held on April 7-8, 2017 at the Boston Marriott hotel in Burlington, MA.

The Friday master class will be on “Writing Sexual and Romantic Tension for All Heat Levels” taught by Molly O’Keefe. Keynote speakers will be Joanna Bourne and Zoe York. A full list of the workshops and panels can be found on the Workshops page. And check out the agents and editors who will be taking your pitches!

Questions? Email conference@necrwa.org. We hope you can join us!

2017 FEE SCHEDULE
Fee Schedule NEC Members Non-NEC Members
EARLY REGISTRATION

December 1 – January 31

$199 $219
REGULAR REGISTRATION

February 1 – April 1

$209 $229
LATE REGISTRATION

starting April 2

$234 $254
MEALS ONLY (FOR GUESTS NOT ATTENDING CONFERENCE) $110 $110
MASTER CLASS: DOUBLE RITA WINNER MOLLY O’KEEFE (FOR CONFERENCE ATTENDEES ONLY)

Friday April 7

$40 $40

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