Past Meeting Presentations


Past Meeting Presentations

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

These are some of the wonderful speakers who visited RCRW in 2018 & 2019. Please check our main Meetings page for forthcoming presentations.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

11 AM

From Arousal to Zipper; Writing the Best Sex of Your Life

with Linda Mercury

Why add sex to your writing? Why bother with arousal, fascination, or just plain interest? A lot of people get weirded out by writing sex, as though their work will be seen as less intellectual, less important, or even less marketable.

If the sex isn’t thoughtfully written, it can. The sex scene, like every scene in a book, has to move the character’s journey forward. You don’t want people skipping your sex scenes to get back to the plot.  This workshop covers not just the physicality of writing sex, but also the yearning, the hope, the joy, and the vulnerability that sex brings.

October 13, 2018

Workshop in a Box: Markicity 101
Presented by Jessie Edwards, RWA Marketing and PR Manager

Congratulations, your book will soon be in the world for readers to enjoy! Now is not the time to sit back and relax, though–how will readers know your book is available to be enjoyed if you haven’t told anyone about it? In this workshop, we will discuss a basic overview of where to start in terms of marketing and publicity, or “markicity.”  We’ll take a look at your most important marketing and publicity tools, community-building strategies, pitching–your book and you, how to determine what to spend your time on, as well as some tips for working with a traditional publisher to enhance their efforts.

    • What is Markicity?
    • Most Important Marketing Tools
        • Website
      • Email newsletter
  • Building Community
      • How important is social media?
      • Networking
    • Reader groups/street teams
  • Pitching you vs pitching your book
    • Reviews
    • Trend pieces
    • Blogs
  • Hiring a publicist
  • Events
  • Working with a traditional publisher on publicity + marketing
    • Timeline
    • Expectations
    • Helping your publisher help you

September 8, 2018

Beating Your Story Into Shape: Using Todd Klick’s Something Startling Happens Story Beats (with Scrivener) to Draft Your Novel with E.J. Russell

We’ve probably all heard about the three act structure, the Hero’s Journey, Save the Cat, or other “macro structure” methods. But what if the macro structure isn’t enough for you? What if you look at that vast, yawning space between the First Turning Point and the Midpoint and your muse runs screaming from the room?

Some of us need “micro structure”—which is where Todd Klick’s screenwriting book, Something Startling Happens, comes to our rescue. We can use the story beats he’s identified from analyzing hundreds of films to bushwhack our way through the first draft of our novel—whether we plan the route carefully first, or simply fly by the seat of our pants.

E.J. Russell–grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst and happy endings.

Reality? Eh, not so much.

E.J.’s M/M paranormal romantic comedy, The Druid Next Door, was a 2018 RITA® Finalist. She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. also loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and B) would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and Satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).

E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

August 11, 2018
How to Write Short Stories and What to Do With Them with Sarina Dorie

Short stories are great ways to promote yourself, build a fan base, and make money. Learn how to write a short story, discover what makes a short story successful, some differences between a short story and a novel, and test out different techniques to find what works for you.

Bring a laptop or notebook for some in class exercises to hone your craft and try out different methods. Sarina Dorie has sold over 150 short stories to magazines and anthologies. You can find out more about her here:
First place winner of: Golden Rose RWA Award, Golden Claddagh RWA Award, Allasso Humor Award, and Penn Cove Literary Award. Author of over 150 short stories published in markets like Analog, Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Abyss and Apex, Cosmos, Bards and Sages, Neo-Opsis, Flagship, Allasso, New Myths, Penumbra and Crossed Genres. Sarina Dorie’s steampunk series, THE MEMORY THIEF and her fantasy series WOMBY’S SCHOOL FOR WAYWARD WITCHES, along with other novels, can be purchased on Amazon.

July 14, 2018
“Nazi Snuff Porn” or How to handle bad reviews with Linda Mercury

Ever gotten a negative comment on something you wrote? Linda Mercury is presenting a workshop on how to handle bad reviews.

In her own words:
My very first reviews on my very first book were horrible and nasty, and yes, one called my book Nazi Snuff Porn. I recovered quickly from the horrible comments and have kept writing. This workshop teaches you how to overcome the rotten things people can say about your books.

June 9, 2018
Overcoming Burnout with Lucy Monroe

Burnout can happen to any author, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your career. You CAN write again and get back on that proverbial horse. Join Lucy as she talks about the struggles of writer’s burnout and provides tips and tricks for overcoming it and getting back to what you love: telling stories.

About Lucy Monroe:
With more than 7 million copies of her books in print worldwide, award winning and USA Today bestseller Lucy Monroe has published over 70 books and had her stories translated for sale all over the world. While she writes multiple subgenres of romance, all of her books are sexy, deeply emotional and adhere to the concept that love will conquer all.

May 12, 2018
Scene and Sequel

Wondering whether the scene-sequel structure can help your writing flow better and keep the reader engaged? Local author and RCRW member Terri Reed will be teaching about these structural units from Dwight Swain’s book Techniques of a Selling Writer, showing how scenes and sequels work and providing examples of how they affect the pace of a story.

Terri is an award winning author whose romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on “Publishers Weekly” Top 25, Nielsen s Bookscan Top 100, and Amazon’s Top 100, and have been featured in “USA TODAY”, “Christian Fiction Magazine”, and “RT Book Reviews”. Her books have been finalists in Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, and the ACFW Carol Awards. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, children, and dog.

April 14, 2018
How to Make a Great Audiobook

Want to convert your novels into audiobooks for your readers who prefer to listen? Audiobook narrator Matt Haynes will be joining us to talk about what makes a good audiobook narration, how to choose a narrator or audiobook service, and what it takes to DIY your audiobook well.

Matt has narrated over 30 books in different genres, including romance. He is based in Oregon. Find out more at ynesnarration/

March 10, 2018
Effective Feedback: How to Give It and What to Do with It

As we enter contest season, it’s a good time to look at feedback. When you receive it, what should you do with it? When you’re giving it, how can you make sure the writer is able to use it to make their story better? What kind of feedback is most useful at different stages in the writing process? Who should you ask to give feedback, and why?

Join us for a panel including Golden Rose Coordinator Laurel Newberry, third place finisher in the 2017 Golden Rose contest Disa Dawn, and writer and editor Shea McLeod.

We will be looking at the specifics of the Golden Rose contest score sheet and offering ideas for how to give constructive comments that build better writers. This discussion will help with the Golden Rose and other contests as well as when you serve as a critique partner or alpha or beta reader — or just try to incorporate feedback from your writing network or editor.

Bring your questions about the editing process, how to analyze and incorporate feedback, and how to provide useful feedback to your fellow writers.

February 10, 2018
Effective Advertising Using Facebook and AMS by Maggie Lynch

Most authors look at advertising and shiver in fear of losing what little money they’ve budgeted for Marketing. Perhaps you’ve even tried some ads and felt that you just threw away $50 or more because you saw no sales. The seemingly simple software interface for both Facebook and Amazon ads is deceiving. You can follow the steps and think you are doing everything right and see zero return on your investment. The most important part of advertising is the hardest to master—understanding how to effectively target your audience in each platform. Maggie will show you how to research and do the prep work to get it right the first time, so you make money instead of throwing it away. 

Maggie will share what works and does not work with Facebook and Amazon Ads. Each platform works very differently. Each serves different author goals, and each presents different audiences and reach. She will share her own experience and analysis on when to use ads on each platform and when NOT to use them; how to create appropriate images (for FB) and copy that sells well; and how to use keywords and custom targeting to get the ads delivered to YOUR audience. Finally, she will show which metrics to monitor to know how your ads are doing; and provide advice on budgeting at the beginning of the ads and then scaling if they are doing well.

January 13, 2018
After the First Draft by Jessa Slade

Writing is rewriting. Which is simple to say (and sorta cliché!) but not always so easy to do. Learn self-editing tips and tricks for commercial genre fiction from Jessa Slade a.k.a. Elsa Jade, romance novelist and RITA-award-winning editor. We’ll re-envision stories from the big-picture thematic overview down to those much-maligned adverbs and everything in between so you can send your very best work to New York, your freelance editor, your critique partner, and/or — eventually — your readers.