Check Out Our Lineup of Workshops 

We're very excited about the workshops we have lined up for you. There are some great ones, covering a wide array of topics for Marketing, Self-publishing, Craft and; Career. 

Chat with NYT bestselling author, Heather Graham

·     Marketing on a Budget - Jennifer Ashley 
·     Put Your Money Where Your Readers Are – Maria Connor (2 hours)
·     10 Out of the Box Ways to Market Your WIP – Patricia Fischer 
·     Beating the Facebook Algorithm – Tara September (2 hours)

·     Self-Publishing: Easy As ABC – Meredith Bond
·     E-pub, Self-Publishing, Marketing, and the Future of Publishing – Jen Talty
·     Developing Your Self-Publishing Plans – Victoria Pinder

·     Writing Military Characters – Geri Krowtow 
·     Readability: The Key to Captivating Your Readers – Annie Oortman
·     Building an Emotional Rollercoaster In 8 Steps – Jolene Navarro
·     Conflict: Stealing Hearts and Selling Books – Sasha Summers
·     Chocolate and Champagne: What’s Your Love Language? - Traci Hall/Christopher Hawke

·     Your Personal GMC – Decca Price
·     Working with an Assistant – Jess Michaels / Michael Peterson
·     Crafting Your Editor/Agent Pitch – Karen Kendall
·     How to Write More and Faster – Carolyn Rae Williamson
      Romance Novels and the Hallmark Channel – Teri Wilson

Workshop Descriptions:

-Marketing on a Budget (Marketing)
Presented by Jennifer Ashley (also our Keynote Speaker)

Description: NYT bestselling author, Jennifer Ashley, offers effective marketing techniques that won't break the bank. (2 hours)

-Self-Publishing: Easy As ABC (Self-Publishing)
Presented by Meredith Bond

Description: Yes, it's called self-publishing, but it isn't anything we do alone. You need a team to self-publish your work. Meredith Bond walks you through each step -- with a focus on the formatting -- to show you how to orchestrate your team and publish a beautiful, professional book. 

-Put Your Money Where Your Readers Are (Marketing)
Presented by Maria Connor

Description: A two-hour workshop that provides authors with the resources they need to design, organize, execute and evaluate advertisements and promotional campaigns. (2 hours) 

-10 Out of the Box Ways to Market Your WIP (Marketing)
Patricia W. Fischer

Description: Authors have enough on their plates as they create their newest book, but getting the word out about their WIPs is crucial to keeping readers and finding new ones. Marketing doesn’t come naturally for many authors. It can be excruciating to know what to do and how to get your best bang for your buck, time, and personality. This workshop will cover a variety of ways writers can get the word out either through social, visual, and/or print media as well as how to continue to momentum after the book is on the e-readers or shelves.

-Chocolate and Champagne: What’s Your Love Language? (Craft)
Presented by Traci E. Hall and Christopher Hawke

Description: This interactive workshop will invite participants to deepen their sensory bank by using chocolate, champagne (or sparkling cider), light massage, what we consider to be beautiful, (which is not the same for everyone) and of course, spoken words. We will challenge one another to think of creative ways to convey romance on the page.

-Crafting Your Editor/Agent Pitch (Career)
Presented by Karen Kendall

Description: Award-winning, multi-published author, Karen Kendall, will help you craft an effective pitch for your upcoming editor/agent appointments. 

-Writing Military Characters (Craft)
Presented by Geri Krowtow

Description: Heroes and heroines in the military are very popular in romance, but if you don’t get your facts straight, readers will notice and call you on it. Multi-published author and former Naval Intelligence Officer, Geri Krowtow, draws on her military background and global experiences – as well as the characters she’s created for her Harlequin Romantic Suspense series – to help you develop accurate portrayals of our men and women in uniform. 

Working With An Assistant (Career)
Presented by Jess Michaels and Michael Peterson

Description: Are you ready for an personal assistant (PA)? What can a PA do for you, and how can he/she help diversify your income stream? This workshop will even "train" spouses to become your PA. The workshop will be presented by both the assistant/business manager and writer perspective. We invite and encourage all spouses on the cruise to attend. 

-Readability: The Key to Captivating Your Readers and Ensuring They Buy Your Next Book (Craft)
Presented by Annie Oortman

Description: Readability is the ease at which a reader can read, comprehend, and—this is the most important part—submit to your story. Readability is doing everything you can do within your power as an author to ensure nothing, i.e., nebulous words, weak sentence structure, bad grammar, pronoun confusion, crude punctuation, continuity issues, no real plot, feeble plot flow, insufficient character development, poor pacing, etc., in your manuscript makes a reader stop, question, and/or leave before he or she really wants to. I highlight how to catch and fix things that might make a reader (1) stop reading your book and (2) ensure they never buy another one from you again. 

-Building an Emotional Rollercoaster In 8 Steps: Dodging Plot Holes and Building Characters (Craft)
Presented by Jolene Navarro

Description: Whether you're a plotter, pantster or something in-between every writer needs to understand story structures and plot. This workshop will walk through plotting using storyboard. We will break down the plots of movies and novels then you will create a story that hooks your readers and keeps them turning pages. When you understand how stories are laid out you can use your voice to write a solid story only you can tell. Learn ways to meet reader expectations as your characters move the plot. 

-Developing Your Self-Publishing Plans (Self-Publishing)
Presented by Victoria Pinder

Description: Unless you’re lucky, having a plan is the key to a successful publishing career. In this workshop, successful indie author, Victoria Pinder, will share how she developed her self-publishing plan, including writing schedule, promos and methods of marketing. Then you’ll get takeaways to formulate your own plan plans, including 5-year and 1-year plans, goal setting, and analyzing the success and failures as a learning tool. 

Your Personal GMC (Career)
Presented by Decca Price

Description: Being able to work out goal, motivation and conflict is a critical element of character building and plot, but what about your own GMC? Understanding why you write, what motivates you to put seat in chair, and what keeps you from writing (inner and outer conflict) will help you to deepen your writing and be more productive.

-Beating the Facebook Algorithm (Marketing)
Presented by Tara Settembre

Description: Do you have over 2,000 Facebook page likes, but only 63 people are reading your posts? Did you know by adding a photo to your tweet you can increase click-thrus by 18% and retweets by 150%? Social media maven, Tara Settembre, will share simple tips and tricks for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest that every author and brand should harness to engage and grow your social media channels and reach readers. (2 hours)

-Conflict: Stealing Hearts and Selling Books (Craft)
Presented by Sasha Summer

Description: How can we create gripping, edge-of-your seat stories that have readers lined up and clicking on our pre-order links in droves? Conflict. But not just any conflict. Conflict that both repels and appeals to the audience, forcing them to sit in the audience or read through the night and grieve as the credits role of the last page is read. Sasha Summers, raised in community theater on useless random movie trivia and excessive drama with a weakness for the complicated anti-hero, will use successful films, with powerful and effective conflict to explore what works and why. 

Have an idea but your struggling with the conflict? Bring it with you. Willing to share your book baby with the group? Send your conflicted-conflict three-page synopsis to Sasha before we set sail.  Sasha will select one synopsis for the class to dissect and brainstorm ways to ratchet up the stakes and conflict. Email pages to sashasummersauthor@gmail.com

-E-pub, Self-Publishing, Marketing, Selling and the Future of Publishing for the Writer (Self-Publishing)
Presented by Jen Talty

Description: Publishing is changing exponentially, not linearly and today's writer must be aware of these changes in order to succeed.  This workshop is designed to help authors navigate through the latest information on various forms of publishing options. It will help you develop marketing strategies for yourself as an author and for you books. We will also look at various social media outlets, Google and Facebook ads, and other ways you can help widen your reach as an author.

-How to Write More and Faster – Time Management for Writers (Career)
Presented by Carolyn Rae Williamson

This workshop will help authors develop effective time management so they can produce more books. Topics will include finding more time; making better use of the time spent writing; writing your passion; tips for plotters and pantsers; critique groups; and using contests for feedback.

-Romance Novels and the Hallmark Channel: A Match Made in RomCom Heaven (Career)
Presented by Teri Wilson

Description: Teri Wilson, RomCom-enthusiast and author of UNLEASHING MR. DARCY and THE ART OF US, both now Hallmark Channel Original Movies, explores the relationship between contemporary romance novels and Hallmark Channel films. She dives into what makes a book a good fit for the network and includes tips for authors wanting to pursue this path. She also tells the story of how her own books went from manuscripts to television movies and answers all the many questions people had during the process, from the ordinary to the outlandish.