Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Favorite RWA Workshops

Missy, here. I attended some amazing workshop at the RWA National Conference last week! I thought I'd share my favorites as well as some I heard about from others. That way if you decide to buy some of the recordings, you'll have an idea of some good ones.

Attracting the Biggest Audience: How to Tailor Your Book for Worldwide Distribution. This is excellent for published writers and for an inside look at Harlequin retail, direct-to-consumer, and foreign sales.

11 Senses--Who Knew? I didn't attend this one but heard that it was interesting.

How Do you Mend a Broken Scene? Excellent workshop from Roxanne St. Clair where she reads actual before and after scenes from her own work. VERY enlightening!

Writing the Bestseller: Six Magic Words. I didn't attend this year but have attended two previous years. Excellent info from Susan Elizabeth Phillips, one of my favs!

Building Theme. Very interesting take on theme from Suzanne Brockmann and Sara Frantz.

Behind the Big Book Franchise: How to Build an Author Brand. This was a fascinating look at how two YA authors have built their brand around long running series.

Sense and Sensuality: Tightening Tension Through the Five Senses. LI author Stephanie Newton and Silhouette Desire author Catherine Mann share examples that show how similar their books are when it comes to using the senses. Also, a Q&A from Krista Stroever and Melissa Endlich.

If you're interested at all in YA, you'll learn a lot from YA: Like Romance, but Different with authors Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, and Kathryn Smith.

Digging Deep to Unearth Characters. Very informative class from long-time LI author Margaret Daley on laying a firm foundation.

This Little Light of Mine. Debbie Macomber and Marie Bostwick. I'm so sorry I missed this one! I've heard it's excellent and very motivational.

And last but not least is The Cinder-Bella Theory: Learn Basic Plotting from Cinderella and Twilight. Taught by Lindi and me! :) We broke down the two stories into 12 stages and tied it in with the Hero's Journey.

I hope this is helpful if you decide to buy some of the recordings. You can have your own mini-conference at home.

I'd love to hear recommendations from others!


  1. Hi Missy:

    Your workshop on plotting would be at the top of my list. I tend to be a plotster! (Have you ever seen that world in print?) I’ve also viewed the “Hero’s Journey” twice now. I’ve also been to James Scott Bell’s workshops on plotting. I’m looking forward to leaning what you and Lindi have to say about the subject.

    Do you know if they will be selling audio from single workshops? And if so, would you please post a link to where people can order it?

    I’d also love to hear about your experience as workshop providers.


  2. Hi, Vince! I hope you'll check out our workshop on mp3. The recordings won't be available for a bit, but you can find a link at the RWA website. They're done by Bill Stephens Productions.

    Okay, for you, Vince, I'm going to attempt to insert a link for the very first time. I went and dug up an old email from Mary Connealy telling me how to do it. I hope it works! :)
    RWA handouts and recording info

  3. Okay, I don't think it worked. Hmmm...

    Well, just type in this link, adding the www. before it:

  4. It just hit me that you may have to sign in the members only area to do this. Give it a try. they'll post links once the mp3 recordings are available. And yes, they'll sell them individually for $10-12. I wanted to buy 6 or 7, so I ended up ordering the whole set, which is a much better deal.

    As to how the presentation went, we were really nervous! I think there were maybe 75-100 people in there. Our 50 handouts ran out quickly.

    Overall, it went well. It was fun, and we got good feedback. :)

  5. Glad you and Lindi had so much fun! Thanks for sharing some of the best workshops, for us who couldn't be there, to check out.

  6. I'm glad it was helpfful, Eva Maria. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Hi Missy:

    I read your ‘Cinder-Bella’ handout but the audio of the workshops is not ready for sale yet. I will order yours and some other workshops as soon as they are ready. There seems to be many workshops I’d like to hear. Did you go to the workshop called: “The Secret Life of Pantsters”? If not, check the handout. It is excellent.

    BTW, did your workshop cover ‘choke points’ – that’s those points in the plot where the hero goes past a point of no return and can never go back to his old life? I think there needs to be three choke points.

    Thanks for the link.


  8. Vince, our workshop is very basic, so we didn't go into that much depth. We did include one point of no return, though.

    Mainly what we did was to break down the stories as they're written and figure out what was happening at each point. Then we looked at the Hero's Journey to see if the structure was similar. It was, so we talked about those points.

    Thanks for the workshop recommendation! I'll be sure to check it out. It looked really interesting, so I'll be sure to listen to it and look at the handout.