February 25, 2017: Kristin Ashley

Indie vs. Traditional Publishing, Why I Adore One but Stay with Both

Kristen will give a brief history of her experience as a hybrid writer, starting out independently published, then taking on traditional contracts with Grand Central Publishing and St. Martin’s along with her self-published work. She’ll share what she feels are the pros and cons of each and what the future might bring. She’ll also invite attendees to share their own experiences, opinions and advice and ask questions.

Luck and Work, You Need Both

After writing for fifteen years and being rejected (or ignored) by every publishing house and agent she submitted to, Kristen will explain how she continued to write, submit, and lay the foundation of what would become a career where she (so far) has sold over two million books. At the end of the presentation, Kristen would be delighted to take questions about her journey.

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashleyristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least), but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

January 28, 2017: Sara Megibow of kt literary

Making Money in Romance Publishing

Romance readers are voracious consumers so how do you match your romance novel with a business strategy to make money in romance publishing? Agent Sara will discuss profitable business strategy by evaluating formats, distribution and subsidiary rights. What role does social media play in profit and how do authors capitalize on that? How should each writer evaluate what’s best for their career based on their personality, how quickly they write, in what sub-genre they write and their backlist? How does an agent strategize for an author’s profit?

Query Letter Cold Reads

Those who follow Sara on Twitter know that she can quickly and succinctly provide her expert opinion on query letters. Saguaro Romance Writers will take advantage of that skill by having Sara provide feedback on cold reads of several query letters from SRW members and other event attendees as time allows.

Sara Megibow
Sara Megibow

Sara Megibow is a Literary Agent at kt literary with over 10 years experience in publishing. She represents New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance authors including Roni Loren, Ashlyn Macnamara, Tiffany Reisz, Maggie Wells and Jane Kindred. As an agent, Sara specializes in representing debut authors who write in these genres: middle grade, young adult, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. Within the romance genre specifically, she represents absolutely all sub-genres of work, including (but not limited to!) contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, historical, erotica, new adult, young adult, and steampunk.

Director of Communications Info:
Here is a Pinterest board showing Sara’s romance authors and their books:
https://www.pinterest.com/saramegibow/saras-romance-authors-and-their-books/

Sara is on twitter @SaraMegibow where she tries hard to answer professional questions as time allows.

The kt literary website, including submission guidelines, clients, books and a helpful blog, is: www.ktliterary.com

Finally, Sara’s Publishers Marketplace site (sales, clients and more info) is here:
http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow/

December 10, 2016: Holiday Party

After another successful year of writing and networking and learning, we welcome all members of the Saguaro Romance Writers to join us for our Holiday Party. We’ve been fortunate to have several new faces sign up for membership this year, so we will take time to get to know each other. Be prepared to share your genre and other fun writerly tidbits about yourself. We’ll also recognize the volunteers who made 2016 such a fantastic year for SRW, taking time to highlight outstanding service to the chapter with the Barbara Award. If you are a SRW member, we’d love to see you in December for a chance to celebrate another great year of the romance genre in Tucson.

Meeting fee of $25 for members (those that have paid 2017 dues) includes a single-entree buffet lunch. Please let us know you’re coming by reserving on our page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting.

Have a safe and fun holiday season!

November 19, 2016: Liz Pelletier

Edit a Bestseller Like a Pro

I’m going to share a little secret with you… Editors typically consider the mechanics of your writing only if they’re truly horrible, but that’s only after they decide if they can sell your story, if they love your voice. In the history of publishing, I don’t think anyone has ever lost a book deal due to a missing comma or over-usage of adverbs. If you can write a story that a reader can’t put down, even despite grammatical errors… Now that’s a bestseller.

With that in mind, during this workshop we’re going to focus on both the big picture and line edits, but we’ll be focusing on concepts that will help you craft a bestseller: How to review your book through the standard three pass editing structure used by professionals, how to evaluate character growth arcs and story structure, how to peel away those bad writing habits to reveal your voice, and how to refine your writing style so a fluid and engaging story emerges. By the end of the day, I hope everyone will have the tools they’ll need to “Edit a Bestseller Like a Pro.”

Query Letter Cold Reads

Liz will bring her bestseller editor skills to practical application as she reviews query letters from Saguaro Romance Writers. These cold reads will be open to other event attendees as time allows.

About Liz Pelletier

Liz PelletierLiz Pelletier co-founded Entangled Publishing in 2011. Over the past 4 years, Entangled has gone from a small start-up to a bestselling romance publisher, with more than 17 NY Times bestsellers and 39 USA Today bestsellers. Her out-of the-box approach to everything from pricing strategies to marketing to editorial allows Entangled to be both disruptive and agile within a dynamic publishing landscape. Liz continues to disrupt the publishing business with her launching of Entangled Music in 2015, where stories come to life through the extension of music. You can find her on Twitter at@Liz_Pelletier.

 

October 22, 2016: Jessica Watterson (Special Event)

In the Trenches: Query Letters

The Saguaro Romance Writers are excited to welcome Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency to our October Special Event. She’ll provide an “in the trenches” look at all things query letters. Join us for tips, tricks and an inside look at the elements of a query letter and what makes a good one. Then she’ll put that advice into action with cold reads of several query letters from SRW members and other event attendees as time allows.

About Jessica Watterson

Jessica Watterson, Agent
Jessica Watterson
Jessica is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in sociocultural anthropology and English. Jessica has made books a serious part of her life for many years. During college, she started an indie review blog that has featured author interviews and has reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list. Jessica is actively building her list and is most interested in all genres of romance, especially historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, and paranormal. She greatly enjoys romance novels with strong characters that jump right off the page and a plot that stays with the reader long after the book has finished.

September 24, 2016: Pamela Tracy

War of the Words
Are adverbs really bad? And, just who gave the word “said” such a bad reputation? Besides writing for Harlequin and whoever else will snatch up her books, Pamela Tracy is an English professor who not only spends her romance writing hours wrangling with words, but she also spends her classroom hours instructing the next generation that “You can paint the world with words.” Come hear what she has to say about tags, repetition, and fragments. Wait! It’s not just what she says; the truth is in the pages of the books by our favorite authors.

Pamela Tracy
Pam Tracy

Pamela Tracy is an award-winning author who lives with her husband (He claims to be the inspiration for most of her heroes) and son (He claims to be the interference for most of her writing time.) She started writing at a very young age (a series of romances, all with David Cassidy as the hero. Sometimes Bobby Sherman would interfere). Then, while earning a BA in Journalism at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, she picked up the pen again – only this time – it was an electric typewriter on which she wrote a very bad science fiction novel. First published in 1999, she has since published more than thirty books/novellas and has sold more than a million copies. She’s written contemporary, historical and suspense – all in the romance genre. Her 2007 suspense, Pursuit of Justice, was a Rita finalist. Her 2009 suspense, Broken Lullaby, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the year award.

RWA 2016 National Conference Catch-up!

We had so many great stories to share about our experiences in San Diego that we couldn’t get to them all in August. From reader retention rates to all the swag and anything else we can squeeze into our second session, stop by and listen to more fantastic lessons from RWA 2016.

August 27, 2016: RWA National Conference recap and prizes!

Maybe you weren’t able to make it to the RWA National Conference in San Diego this year. Or maybe you went but left your cloning machine behind and couldn’t attend all of the amazing sessions. While nabbing the recorded sessions is a great substitute, we’ve got more than a dozen chapter members who made the trip and want to share some of the highlights of their experience and the sessions they attended.

From the impressions of a group of first-timers to the musings of a few conference veterans, we’ll talk about everything from the fabulous authors we met, to the bounty of workshops offered, and through to the many lines and crowds we had to navigate to get to that coveted signing or talk. We’ll cover thoughts on the endless bounty of the author goody room: what caught our eye and whether there is such a thing as too many pens. Attendees from a wide range of sessions will share our big takeaways: A Myers Briggs-type test for writers; Series Branding & Facebook Advertising; Deep POV; Amazon Worlds; Rocking Reader Retention Rates; Michael Hague’s sessions; the Secret Ingredient in a Page Turner and more.

In addition to sharing what we learned, we will also be sharing the goodies we got in SRW’s annual Raffle Event this meeting. Free books, signed books, e-book cards, pens, buttons, and much more. The SRW attendees of RWA 2016 want to reveal everything that made this conference exciting, educational, and rewarding. Join us for a recounting of our excellent adventures in San Diego.

Meeting fee of $25 members, $30 guests and walk-ins includes lunch.

May 21, 2016: Rose Ortiz

The Art of Writing Body Language
Pulling readers into our stories is vital. We want them to fall in love with our characters and our world, because if they don’t, they won’t read what we’ve written. There are many tools we have to draw readers in, and body language is one that too many authors fail to use. Rose Ortiz will talk about body language, its components, and how writers can use it to add depth to characters, dialogue, and emotions. We will look at how other authors have used body language, and how we can use it to make our writing stronger.

About Rose OrtizRose Ortiz2b
At the age of ten, Rose was given access to the Young Adult room of the library. That’s when she fell in love with Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and—when no one was looking—Rosemary Rogers. The result was a love affair with books, especially romance novels. After retirement, Rose split her time between reading and writing. She has won awards for her writing and currently is writing two series, one contemporary set in Minnesota and the other historical set in Georgian England.

Block Busters & Creative Prompts
So far in 2016, we’ve had talks about writing active hooks & settings, about building plot bridges, about using Tarot and other cards to brainstorm, and writing reviews. For our second session in May, we’ll work as a group and at our tables to devise character arcs, plots, story ideas, and all manner of creative inspirations to keep you engaged in your writing. Come prepared to tie all this year’s meetings together with the help of chapter member facilitators.

June 25th Special Event: Laurie Schnebly Campbell

MEETING VENUE:

Viscount Hotel
4855 East Broadway, Tucson
9:30 am – 3:00 pm
 
Special Event Meeting fee of $30 for members $45 for guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.

Perfecting the Pitch

Part of your job is overcoming the fear most writers feel when it comes to selling themselves and their work. (If we were the naturally outgoing type, we wouldn’t BE writers!) So this session begins with a look at the seven fear-fighting techniques. Next comes the pitch itself, with hands-on work to prepare what you’ll tell the agent or editor during a formal appointment or an elevator meeting. Finally, we’ll cover the tricks for improving your presentation…and following up for the best chances of success. If you’re not planning to pitch anytime soon, you’ll get to choose an editor / agent’s role and play it for all it’s worth!

Letting “Mad Men” Write Your Synopsis

Whether or not you’ve met the editor / agent face-to-face, at some point they’ll need a synopsis to convince their superiors “we want this book.” So you’ll need to put on your Dan Draper hat and use some proven techniques from Madison Avenue that get people wanting to buy a particular product. We won’t get your entire synopsis written during this session, but you’ll learn every step you need for creating a synopsis that makes people eager to see your book.

About Laurie Schnebly Campbell Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves speaking to writers about issues that draw on her background as an advertising copywriter, a counseling therapist and a romance novelist who beat out Nora Roberts for Best Special Edition of the Year. Along with romance and how-to books for writers, Laurie writes scripts for videos and commercials (some of which feature her voice) at a Phoenix ad agency. She also enjoys teaching a catechism class, narrating at Talking Books, playing with her husband and son in Sedona (the red-rock town named for her grandpa’s mom), and teaching online classes every month except July & December. “People ask how I find time to do all that,” Laurie says, “and I tell them it’s easy.  I never clean my house!”

April 23, 2016: Amylynn Bright, Kellie Hazell & Vicky Loebel

Do You Want to Write a Review?

So, you want to write a review? Or you feel like you should write a review. Or maybe you just want to support your fellow writers. Maybe you read something that was so enjoyable, life altering, paradigm shifting, that you simply must tell strangers about it. You’re saying you can write a book, but a book report scares the bejesus out of you. Amylynn will walk us through the basics. We’ll look at writing a few reviews of well known books and how to hit the highlights. We’ll have fun.

About Amylynn BrightAmylynn Bright

A vigorously voracious reader, and a former literary snob, Amylynn been known to write a few reviews in her time over at The Examiner.  Amylynn’s books take place in Regency England where the lovely ladies and rakish gentlemen of the haute ton weave stories of high passion and true love. And lately Amylynn’s woven romance stories in with contemporary American life.  Welcome to her world where, against all odds, everyone lives happily ever after – if they’re brave enough to see it through.

The Tarot-Designed Plot Bridge

In February, Vicky Loebel shared her plotting techniques to streamline the drafting process for the pantsers among us. In March, Kellie Hazell outlined how to use tarot decks and other cards and kits to brainstorm our way through writing. Now Vicky & Kellie will combine their toolkits to demonstrate how to build your plot bridge using tarot cards. Come prepared to participate with your big brainstorming and outlining questions!

About Vicky Loebel & Kellie Hazell

Vicky & Kellie have endured each others’ company for almost as long as the Saguaro Romance Writers have been around, including serving together on the SRW Board of Directors not once, not twice, but three times – and volunteering together in other ways more than either can recall. Over the years, they took breaks from chapter activities by brainstorming plot snarls, character foibles, and revision speed traps using any card deck they could find and all manner of plotting techniques. They have even been known to watch movies such as The Fifth Element together as an exercise to analyze story structure. Ply them with enough allergen-free chocolate and bourbon, and they may even share the story analysis experiment that was their viewing of Upstream Color.Vicky LoebelKellie Hazell

Romance Writers of America® Chapter 58