Get Pumped for Nationals, Part 1: Workshops

rwa_graphicWelcome to the first installment of a five-part series entitled Get Pumped for Nationals! We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s 2016 RWA Conference, especially because they’re taking place in our hometown of San Diego! So what better way to get ourselves excited than to review all the amazing things we have to look forward to in July.

Today, we’re talking about workshops. Designed for writers in every stage of their creative and publishing journeys, there will be over 100 educational and inspiring panels, discussions, and lectures for attendees to choose from. RWA has broken them down into several different “tracks,” for people who are interested in gearing their workshop experience toward a specific topic or topics. The tracks featured this year are:

  • Craft. As writers, we can never stop striving to improve our skills. Here, you can explore the elements of fiction by delving into topics such as character building, point of view, dialogue, conflict, revisions, and “high concept.”
  • Career. Once you’ve written that book, you’ve still got to sell it. With these workshops, you can learn all about what it takes to do that, including marketing, networking, branding, organization, and productivity.
  • Research. A chance to investigate specific topics that may be of interest to romance writers, such as history, sports, and the military.
  • Self-Publishing. For all you indie and hybrid authors out there, you’ll want to check out these workshops on planning your production schedule, building an audience, and navigating self-pub options with Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks.
  • Wellness & The Writer’s Life. Being a successful writer means taking care of yourself, which is why these workshops focus on working through adversity, managing your time, and even getting out of your chair and into a Zumba workout!
  • Chat. This is your chance to ask questions of some of the biggest names in romance right now. Current authors scheduled to conduct chats include Sylvia Day, Nalini Singh, Radclyffe, and the inimitable Nora Roberts.
  • Publisher Spotlight. Editors gather to discuss what different publishing houses are looking for, what’s trending, and what they see for the future of their imprints.

As an added bonus, there will also be several workshops led by our very own RWASD members!

  • Melissa Cutler will be presenting The Total Package, in which she will walk participants through the process of writing queries and synopses to help their submissions stand out from the slush pile.
  • Lisa Kessler will be speaking about Black Moments: Make Them Earn Their Happily Ever After, which will examine how to bring conflicts to a climax in order to maximize the impact of the happily ever after.
  • Sarah Richmond will be discussing and presenting costumes from the nineteenth century in Dressing the Part: Costuming Romantic Characters of the 19th Century, a Fashion Show.
  • HelenKay Dimon will be taking part in a panel called Fast and Furious: Staying Productive When Life Gets in the Way, in which several multipublished authors will explore the challenges of writing several books every year without sacrificing quality or losing their minds.

You also have the opportunity to volunteer to moderate any number of available workshops. Moderators retrieve speaker packets from workshop rooms, set up the speaker name tents, read speaker bios and disclaimers to the audience at the beginning of each session, and may help facilitate Q&A segments. If you’re interested in being a moderator, you can check out the following list of workshops that are still in need.

If, like me, you’re itching to figure out which workshops you’re attending and when, you can download the RWA 2016 app onto your smartphone, and start planning your schedule today! (If you’re already registered for the conference, you should’ve received an e-mail from Erin Fry with instructions on how to download and login to the app. If you haven’t, or you’re having issues, please e-mail conferenceapp@rwa.org for more information.)

Stay tuned for our next installment of Get Pumped for Nationals, in which we’ll explore the vast array of networking opportunities available to you at the conference!

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