Meetings

Information on NECRWA meetings

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.

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.

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.

A workshop for writers who want to create scorching hot dominant heroes while still incorporating real-life BDSM community values. There are complex and valid reasons why female readers may choose to fantasize about a range of non-consensual scenarios in romance novels, from the classic “kidnapped into a sheik’s harem” to the currently popular “fated to be an alpha werewolf’s mate” and “met a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer.” But I feel it’s very important to distinguish between fantasy scenarios and depictions of real life. These fantasy archetypes are “safe” fantasies for women to indulge precisely because they are NOT real life. But how do real-life BDSM doms fit in the pantheon of romance archetypes? In the real BDSM community, doms who come across as pushy assholes or stalkers rarely last. This workshop will explore the intersections between what romance readers and real-life submissives are looking for in heroes and doms, and how romance writers can bring realistic depictions of domination and male dom personas into their work. I’ll present the results of surveys I took of both BDSM lifestyle submissives and avid romance readers which showed many parallels and a few surprising contrasts.

Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan’s BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers. She is the author of many books including the Magic University Series, Secrets of a Rock Star series, and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, several collections of short stories, and even some nonfiction books on baseball. In 2017 she will launch a new urban fantasy series at Tor Books entitled The Vanished Chronicles. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.

Bestselling author Dee Davis worked in association management before turning her hand to writing.  She is the author of over thirty novels and novellas, including her newest, Cottage in the Mist and the A-Tac series.  When not frantically trying to meet a deadline, Dee spends her time in her Connecticut farmhouse with her husband, and Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

Thinking about wading into the waters of self publishing? Just snagged your rights back? Looking for the next indie trend?

Megan Frampton, an author as well as Pronoun’s Author Community Manager,  shares her experience with Pronoun, a free self-publishing platform that take the mystery and confusion out of self publishing. She’ll give an overview of the essential steps in self publishing a book, and explain the digital tools available to all authors, and answer questions about the traditional-to-hybrid transition.  She’ll also discuss how authors who choose not to publish with Pronoun can take advantage of their analytic tools and what Pronoun’s community site, The Verbs, offers to authors of all types and genres.

Megan Frampton grew up in a remote town in New Hampshire where she devoured every book of fiction in her well-read parents’ library. An English literature major at Barnard College with double minors in political science and religion, Megan wrote and edited reviews for a music industry magazine for fifteen years. Eventually, she became editor-in-chief and went on to develop conference programs for the industry. She worked as the community manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers, a romance novel website and now works for Pronoun. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son. She has written Contemporary Romance for William Morrow as Megan Caldwell and Historical Romance for Random House Loveswept under her own name. She has just concluded the Dukes Behaving Badly series for Avon and is working on her next series.

Are you stuck in your manuscript? Searching for new ideas? Anxious to talk to other writers about what you’re working on? We’ll breakup into small groups on June 26 and talk about our work. It is not necessary to bring pages, but do so if you think it will be helpful. Just be prepared to talk about your work or help someone else brainstorm theirs.

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