Tag Archives: Tucson RWA

October 28, 2017: Defying Gravity – Writing Cross-Genre and Succeeding Anyway

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Genre definitions have a profound influence on writers’ careers. From the first queries where we must specify the book’s genre to long-term decisions about pursuing or giving up on a “dead” genre, dealing with what feels like a false construct is a necessary skill. However, following our hearts and inspiration often means tossing aside these considerations. Or chopping them to pieces in a murderous rage.

But shedding conventions can be what sets a book apart—and can take a writer’s career from midlist to break-out.
So… how do you know? More—how do we find the courage to embrace a bold move?

Jeffe Kennedy will discuss how she went from being a “Crack Ho” – being told that her work fell in the cracks between genres – to receiving a nomination for Book of the Year and an RT Seal of Excellence for the one title each month that stands out from all the rest by an innovative twist on a familiar story or pushing genre boundaries. She’ll discuss genres and sub-genres, where they overlap, how romantic storylines can tip the balance one way or the other, and coloring inside the lines and stepping across them.

Jeffe KennedyJeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has been an Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

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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.

 

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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!”

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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

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February 27, 2016: Vicky Loebel & Michael Petersen

Plot Points for Pansters
(And the Outliners who Love Them)

Morning Session:
Are you confused by story climax and big black moments? Does rising and falling action make you want to shove your characters off a cliff? Do turning points spin your head, and does the thought of filling out pages and pages of scene lists and character questionnaires make your day job look pretty good?

Whether we’re outliners or pantsters who plot as we go, most authors reach the point sooner or later of asking “am I doing this right?” And one of the keys to evaluating your work is understanding classic three-act structure.

In our February morning session,  SRW author Vicky Loebel will draw on her history as honorary “queen of false starts” to show how mastering few basic plot concepts makes novel-writing faster. We will review the basics of plot structure (drawing from K.M Weiland’s Structuring your Novel,  Michael Hauge’s The Hero’s Two Journeys, and James Scott Bell’s Superstructure), banish sagging middles, consider ways to combine plot, character, and setting to make a story stronger, and debate the usefulness of constructing a simple plot grid.

To illustrate plot structure, we’ll do a quick analysis of Romancing the Stone, Pride and Prejudice, and (time permitting) The Wizard of Oz.

About Vicky Loebel

FB PhotoVicky Loebel began her professional life as a systems programmer for NASA and moved through successively more challenging careers before settling in as a writer of tightly-plotted romantic fiction. She lives on the slopes of Mt. Lemmon, AZ with her sister, three dogs, a rotating assortment of offspring, and a husband who has the patience of a saint.

Vicky is the author of two humorous urban fantasy/romances, Keys to the Coven and Speakeasy Dead. Her latest book, Vacation Bride, is a contemporary marriage of convenience set in the tropical paradise of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

It was the subject of several false starts.

Michael Petersen: The Romance Writer’s Business Guide

Afternoon Session:
What is the writer’s cost-benefit analysis of traditional vs self publishing? What advertising avenues give you the best bang for your buck? What is the best price point for your novel series vs your standalone? Is it worthwhile to register as an LLC as a writer? And taxes are coming….how does a writer handle filing taxes best?

Michael Petersen will address these questions and more as he outlines the business side of a romance writer’s life.

About Michael Petersen

headshotMichael Petersen has a Bachelor of Arts from Seattle University and a Masters of Business Administration from Illinois State University. Before retiring from Microsoft at age 35, he worked in various roles including program manager, technical account manager, and technology strategist. He currently manages the business strategy, marketing and production for his wife, USA Today Bestseller Jess Michaels.


Meeting fee of $25 members $30 guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.  Please let us know you’re coming by reserving on  our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting.

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January 23, 2016: Mary Buckham Teleconference

This January, USA Today bestselling author Mary Buckham will be joining SRW via  projected teleconference to present two of her well-known writing workshops.

Active Settings for All Fiction Genres

WritingActiveSettingCover-2Give your setting an active role in your story. Use Deep POV to spin boring descriptions into engaging prose. Find out if you’re writing passive  or active setting and if you are maximizing the setting possibilities in YOUR story. Also discover:

  •  How does setting impact your story?
  •  What is the difference between active and passive setting?
  •  What exactly is setting in a story?
  •  How can setting show characterization?
  •  How can setting impact your conflict…both internal and external?
  •  What does a reader need from a setting vs. what they don’t need?

WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS or
How Many Hooks Are Enough?

WritingActiveHooksBook1_300pxBased on Mary’s best-selling book series: WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS Book 1 and 2.

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantster (seat-of-pants writer), the simplest way to avoid a sagging middle is to understand how to continually build hooks into your story. So how many hooks are enough and where should you use them? Knowing the answer to that question can be the difference between a compelling story and one that drags.

  • Which types of hooks work best in different genres?
  •  Which are the 5 most universal hooks and why.
  • What exactly is a hook and how do they work?
  • Where should you place your hooks in a manuscript?

Based on Mary’s best-selling book series: WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS Book 1 and 2.

About Mary Buckham

MaryBuckhamphotoUSA Today bestselling author Mary Buckham writes the Amazon best selling WRITING ACTIVE series for writers – WRITING ACTIVE SETTING and WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS. She is also the co-author of BREAK INTO FICTION with NYT author Dianna Love and has taught online and live writing workshops to writers of all genres around the US and Canada. Her next non-fiction release: A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting: How to Enhance Your Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings published by Writer’s Digest will be released in January, 2016.

Mary doesn’t just teach writers though, she practices what she preaches, writing Urban Fantasy w/attitude. Love romance, danger & kick-ass heroines? Find it in her Alex Noziak or Kelly McAllister series! Her Sci-Fi, Adventure YA novels are co-authored with Dianna Love under the pen name Micah Caida.

Meeting fee of $25 members $30 guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.  Please let us know you’re coming by reserving on  our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting.

 

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Nov. 21: Kerri Buckley Acquiring Editor for Carina Press & Chapter Elections

In November, Kerri Buckley, editor with Carina Press, will be presenting two talks:

Carina Press 101/An Introduction to Carina Press

An in-depth look at the Carina Press publishing schedule, publishing plan, and team, as well as insight into what Carina has to offer authors, the marketing and promotion they invest in, and answers to your questions.

Self-Promotion for Authors: A Primer

Learn the main points authors can focus on to improve your marketing and publicity skills as you build your readership and sales.

About the Speaker

Kerri Buckley got her first taste of the great editorial adventure during an internship at The Feminist Press in 2001. Thoroughly hooked, she joined Bantam Dell where she edited both fiction and non-fiction for eight years. She was thrilled to go to work for Carina Press in May, 2013, which is Harlequin’s digital-first adult fiction single-title imprint, publishing first in digital, with releases in audio and print as well.

Kerri, on behalf of Carina Press, is actively acquiring across all genres. In particular, is interested in:

  •  Super Sexy Contemporary
  • Erotic Romance – 70,000 words and up
  • Male/Male Romance
  • Romantic Suspense: Real danger, high stakes, and/or total alphas
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Mysteries
  • New Adult
  • Historical Romance

For more information, visit  http://carinapress.com/blog/author/kerri_buckley/

November General Meeting & Elections

November is Saguaro Romance Writer’s official annual general meeting. It is also the month we will be adopting the new (mandatory) uniform RWA bylaws and holding elections for the 2016 SRW Officers and Directors.

See the member’s-only section of our website for more information.

Meeting fee of $25 members, $30 guests and walk-ins includes lunch selected from a menu of three items during Saturday morning check-in. SPACE MAY BE LIMITED. Walk-ins are welcome, but whenever possible, please guarantee your spot by reserving on our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting  .

LUNCH ORDERS ARE COLLECTED AT 10am. If you plan to be late, contact reservations@tucsonRWA.org so we will be prepared to order on your behalf.

This event takes place at our regular venue, the Clarion Hotel, 4550 S. Palo Verde Rd., Tucson & will include a chapter business meeting.

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October 24: Rod McKenna Johnson on Special Forces (program change)

Due to an emergency, Special Forces will be taking over the Saguaro Romance Writers meeting this Saturday!

In the morning, Rod McKenna Johnson will save the day by talking about what types of men become and survive Special Forces. What sort of outlook and focus will they have? What are the different types of special forces? Every branch of our military, even the Coast Guard, has at least one.

Afternoon talk: Fight Workshop

The first rule is we don’t talk about Fight Workshop…. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)  We will indeed be talking about planning and blocking fight scenes.

  • Bring your fight scenes that need help.
  • Ask about which style of Martial  art or weapon your character should use.
  • Learn why a shoulder shot will irritate anyone who actually knows weapons and anatomy.

October Fundraising Raffle

October is also our big fundraising raffle. Every year, chapter members donate amazing goodies that can be won (potentially) for the price of a one-dollar ticket. In the past we’ve had weekend vacations, alpha-smarts, exquisite jewelry, and many fun baskets.

The raffle is 100% member supported and goes to fund chapter speakers and activities, so if you’ve got something special to donate, bring it along. Contact  waysmeans@tucsonrwa.org with any questions, and bring cash!

Meeting fee of $25 members, $30 guests and walk-ins includes lunch selected from a menu of three items during Saturday morning check-in. SPACE MAY BE LIMITED. Walk-ins are welcome, but whenever possible, please guarantee your spot by reserving on our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting  .

LUNCH ORDERS ARE COLLECTED AT 10am. If you plan to be late, contact reservations@tucsonRWA.org so we will be prepared to order on your behalf.

This event takes place at our regular venue, the Clarion Hotel, 4550 S. Palo Verde Rd., Tucson & will include a chapter business meeting.

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