Past Meeting Presentations – 2017


Past Meeting Presentations – 2017

RCRW meetings include presentations on craft, the publishing industry and the writing life.

These are some of the wonderful speakers who visited RCRW in 2017. Please check our main Meetings page for forthcoming presentations.

November 11, 2017

NaNoWriMo write-in

Bring your writing tools and motivation to the meeting. Come and log some words before and after our general meeting. We’ll have to room open at 9 a.m. Our meeting will start at its usual 10 a.m. time, then we’ll keep writing until we have to be out of the room (around 12:30 p.m.). We’ll have sprints and prizes.

October 14, 2017

Building and Using a Mailing List With Thousands of True Fans

By Maggie Lynch

Whether you are traditionally published or indie, building a good mailing list is the #1 predictor of sales success for authors. The hard part is getting thousands of true fans on your list—the types of readers who will consistently buy your next book, do reviews, tell all their friends about you, and clamor for your new releases. Maggie will share how she went from a list of 400 to 12,000 in six months.

This presentation will provide instructions for driving traffic to your mailing list and qualifying the signups as true fans. Maggie will share her drip campaign examples for you to steal and reuse as needed. She will also provide ideas on how to keep your readers engaged with subsequent mailings while you are writing the next book, how to get the most active fans to be part of your street team, and how to keep everyone engaged without becoming a sleazy salesperson. Options are presented both for authors who are just starting out with their first book and for those who already have multiple books available but want to grow their list faster.

Maggie Lynch is the author of 20+ published books, over 60 published short stories and numerous non-fiction articles.  Her fiction tells stories of men and women “making heroic choices one messy moment at a time” through romance, science fiction, fantasy, and suspense novels. Her current nonfiction books are focused on helping indie writers to become career authors with a financially sound business. In 2011,Maggie founded Windtree Press, an independent publishing cooperative, to provide a place for indie authors to gather, share resources and marketing, and continue to make a writing career by learning together and sharing knowledge as the publishing landscape changes. It has grown from 3 authors to 20 and currently has a catalog of over 200 titles. You can find Maggie online at her website,, and her video training courses at

October 1-30, 2017 (ONLINE & MEMBERS ONLY)

Monster Revision & Deep POV

with Suzanne Johnson * Susannah Sandlin

Pull out that WIP, ready-to-revise manuscript, or even a chapter from an already-published book, and get ready to dive into “Monster Revision,” an intensive revision system that’ll take you from Draft Zero to Done.

In this 30-day workshop, we’ll cover a one-week overview series of lessons, followed by three weeks of techniques that will leave you with a lot of tools in your revision toolbox. You’ll get individual feedback on your posted homework (yes, homework!).

We’ll be covering:
• Methodology and color-coding, and why deep POV is an important part of revision.
• The color wheel.
• Setting and description, including timeline, continuity, and backstory quicksand.
• Why telling is sometimes as important as showing.
• Dialogue as Action, and isolating character voice.
• Internal dialogue: pace, voice.
• Emotion: raw, ugly, visceral, internal.
• Talk to the dog.
• DIY Toolbox: manual and online.

About the Instructor:

Suzanne Johnson was happily ensconced in New Orleans as a university magazine editor when Hurricane Katrina sent her adopted hometown underwater. She took her Katrina experiences, added wizards and magic (and the sexy undead pirate Jean Lafitte), and began what has become the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series published by Tor Books. Writing under the name Susannah Sandlin, she also writes award-winning paranormal romance, including the popular Penton Legacy series for Montlake Romance, and romantic suspense and thrillers, including two series, The Collectors and Wilds of the Bayou, also for Montlake. Suzanne grew up in Alabama halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’s birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of college football and fried gator on a stick. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, where she is a full-time author and keeps her OCD sharp by doing copyediting for other authors.

September 9, 2017

Creating a Series Arc

By Saranna DeWylde

 August 19, 2017


Midlist to Mad Money:

A Strategic Plan for Self-Publishing Success in an Ever-Changing Market

Kristen Painter, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Nocturne Falls Series
Roxanne St. Claire, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Barefoot Bay Series

In this two hour seminar, two best-selling, award winning, formerly traditionally published indie authors share the one year process they’ve developed for launching a successful indie publishing career in a crowded and ever-changing market. This is not the only path to self-publishing success, but the program they will teach has been proven to work for them and others.Attendees should come away with a fully formed plan to launch themselves into self-publishing and a better understanding of what it takes to make a living wage as an independent author.

From series concept development through the first six-figure year, the workshop will delve into the specifics of every major aspect of the strategic plan. The authors will share tips, techniques, and proven tactics to teach attendees how to:

  • Create a series concept that meets the market but still stands out
  • Develop a one year production calendar
  • Set a realistic budget
  • Meet all deadlines with multiple third parties (artists, editors, proofreaders) involved
  • Implement effective and affordable marketing techniques
  • Add “passive” income through ancillary programs such as shared worlds, foreign rights, spin-off series, and audio books.
  • Review the greatest challenges and impediments to success, suggest solutions

In addition, the authors will candidly answer questions regarding their successful self-publishing careers and the strategies that have worked for them.

August 12, 2017

 Poison: Is it your cup of tea?

By Shree C. Aier

Find out what decisions and factors should be made in choosing the right poison. Understanding bioavailability, dosages, immediate effects versus long term effects of poison. Allergens and their effects on the immune system. Examples of poisons and every day benign things that can kill. Good sources to research.

July 8, 2017

Microsoft Macros and Pitching Practice

First up, Greg Henry will teach us how to set-up macros in Microsoft Word (bring your laptop or a way to take notes). A macro is a way to automate a repetitive task in Microsoft Word. How can it help your writing? If you have a least of crutch/weak/filler words – you can run a macro to highlight each use of those words for your revisions. You can count the number of times certain words or phrases are used. Struggle with proper formatting on em dashes, en dashes, and hyphens? Create a macro to help with that!

Next, Gina Fluharty and Jaycee Jarvis will lead us in an interactive pitching session. Do you have an agent or editor appointment at RWA and want to practice? Do you need to shine a pitch for your next project to try and get a story with a reporter? Do you have an agent and want to pitch them an idea? Pitching is relevant at all stages of writing. Prepare a pitch and come ready to practice! Not sure how to prepare one? We’ll send some links to articles in advance and Jaycee and Gina will share some tips with you.

 May 13, 20017

Write Fast: Increasing Your Novel Writing Speed Through Art Journaling

by Shea MacLeod

Do you envy prolific writers who seem to pump out multiple novels per year while you struggle to finish one or two?

Are you already fairly prolific and want to become more so?

Are you a pantser who suffers from writers’ block and finds plotting abhorrent?

Or are you a plotter who tends to get lost in the minutiae of plotting?

This is the class for you!

With a unique take on art journaling, I will show you how to increase your writing speed so you can get out more novels faster. WITHOUT the quality suffering.

February 11, 2107

Do I Really Need to Use Snapchat? And Other Important Social Media Questions 

by Lisa Leoni

The variety of social media platforms at our fingertips can be overwhelming, and frankly, daunting. Each have their own place and purpose, as well as a set of best practices to use them well. Lisa will share with you what questions you should ask yourself to determine the best social media platforms to meet your needs, plus she’ll share do’s and don’ts. This class will have useful information for the social media newbie all the way to the pro. Lisa has worked in public relations for more than 12 years, specializing in social media.