Our speaker for October had to cancel, so we’ll be using our meeting time to prep for NaNoWriMo. Even if you’re not “officially” doing NaNo, there are useful lessons for all of us in the skills it takes to write 50k words in a month. After we go over some helpful hints, Stephanie Kay will tell us more about Word Wars, and we can use the last part of the meeting to split up into groups for critique sessions or brainstorming. Or, if you’re ready to roll, feel free to bring your laptop or a pen and paper and get a jump start on your project.

We hope to see you all on Sunday, October 22nd at 1pm in Bedford!

1. Not Just For NaNo: Tips and Tricks for Writing Fast and Keeping on Track. NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and while it’s not for everyone, it can help develop skills that all writers find useful: writing quickly, focusing on a single project, and sticking to a deadline. We’ll discuss different methods that can help you win NaNoWriMo and also keep you on track all year long. Bring your favorite tips and tricks to share! (Tamsen Parker)

2. Word Wars (Stephanie Kay)

3. Brainstorming/Critique Sessions (small groups)

The NECRWA Conference, to be held April 27-28, 2018 in Burlington, MA, is accepting workshop proposals now through October 15th!

Do you have a great workshop or panel idea? We are looking for a wide variety of panels and instructional sessions focused on craft, business, and lifestyle topics that will appeal to authors in all sub-genres and with all levels of experience. Please fill out the submission form here: https://docs.google.com/…/1phcKY-ek4r8AeAwPkjVeQeJ…/viewform. If you have any questions, please reach out to Tamsen Parker, our workshop chair, at conference_workshops@necrwa.org.

In this workshop, Kristen will discuss strategies to build a newsletter that helps authors sell books. A newsletter is the only social media that belongs to the author. She will talk about how to start a newsletter, including newsletter services and things authors need to get started—no book required. She’ll look at the best ways to build a newsletter list—including building an organic list, using reader magnets, and multi-author promotions. She’ll also discuss best practices on sending newsletters, working with other authors to maximize sales and profits, and how to increase backlist sales using your newsletter. These techniques can be used by indie and traditional authors.

BIO:

Kristen Strassel is far cooler than she’ll make herself sound in this bio. The prolific author of many paranormal and contemporary books, she enjoys spending time with the voices in her head—nudging the characters toward those bad decisions and seeing if she can get them a happily ever after. When she’s not writing, she’s often still in the land of make-believe—doing makeup for film and television. And when she’s not doing any of that, she enjoys making her house look like a Pinterest board, watching football, and road trips to the middle of nowhere. Kristen doesn’t have any kids, but she does have a very opinionated cockatiel.

Ever see a book teaser with an amazing graphic and a quote that makes you smile, pulls at your heartstrings, or revs your…engine? In this workshop, you’ll learn the basic steps of graphic design. Marianne will share sites that have royalty free high-quality pictures and free programs to create your teasers for social media sites, website banners and blog posts. By the end of the session, those who choose to participate will leave with an epic teaser formatted and ready to post on all social media, blogs, and websites.

**You are encouraged to bring taglines or quotes from a WIP or published work so you can use them to create teasers during class.**

BIO:

Marianne Rice loves to write fun and spicy contemporary romances set in small New England towns. If she’s not writing, it’s because she’s stuck at high school attempting to teach her juniors and seniors to appreciate literature, and maybe even write a complete sentence or two. Marianne spends the rest of her time chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, writing, shoe shopping, eating chocolate, and when there’s time, relaxing with a glass—or bottle—of wine and a romance book. You can find her all over social media and on her website at www.mariannerice.com

By popular request, after Gabriela Pereira speaks to us about marketing for creatives, we’ll have a marketing and promotion roundtable.

We’ll talk about what’s working for you (newsletters, FB ads, BookBub, etc.)–or maybe not so much–and do some networking to try find possible cross-promotion buddies. We’re sure Gabriela will have given us some great fodder for our discussion!

Hope to see you on Sunday!

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.

 

 

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