WisRWA Calendar

May 19
2017
2017 WisRWA Conference
May 19 - 21, 2017
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Featuring best-selling authors Christie Craig, Virginia Kantra, and Sarah MacLean.

Register now under the Conference tab!

Meeting Times

Mar 03
2017
Green Bay
11:30-3:00 - 1951 West Restaurant,1951 Bond St, Green Bay

The Haves and Have-Nots of Website Design for Today's Author: Join Elle J. Rossi of EJR Digital for an interactive discussion on author websites. What works? What doesn't? Learn how to get the most bang for your buck and hear new ideas on how to engage readers at your cyber home.

**Please note this is a FRIDAY, not our usual 1st Wed. of the month.**
Mar 11
2017
Chippewa Falls
10:00 to 12:30, 29 Pines at the Sleep Inn & Suites Conference Center, 5872 33rd Ave. (on Hwy 29), Eau Claire

Whether you’re drafting your first novel or making edits on your twentieth, we all battle the same enemy…TIME. How can we be expected to write with all the demands of social media, contracts and bookkeeping, day jobs and families? Come share your ideas and hear ours.
Mar 11
2017
Wausau
10:30-12:30 - Vino Latte 700 Grand Ave, Wausau

 Character Excavation, presented by Kristan Higgins, Farrah Rochon, Damon Suede from 2016 RWA National Conference: "In this session, the speakers will drill down past arcs and stereotypes into what makes fictional folks burn and shimmer on the page. They'll also unpack some helpful tools: the power of deep characterization to structure your story, how to skirt the swamps of backstory and the traps of tropes, and the source of that essential spark that brings fictional folks to life (and love) on the page."
Mar 18
2017
Milwaukee
9:00-11:30 - Mayfair Mall (Garden Suites Community Room, Lower Level)

TRENDS IN PUBLISHING: Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company says, “I think you can call the talk A bookseller's take on trends in publishing," and yes, he pays attention to things going on outside his bookstore. Daniel will talk about the relationships between publisher/bookstore and novelist/bookstore, as well as field questions about book launches and readings.
Apr 05
2017
Green Bay
11:30-3:00 - 1951 West Restaurant,1951 Bond St, Green Bay

Personal Branding: We all know about product branding - Nike's “Just Do It,” for example - but have you heard about personal branding? Gini Athey will present a Five-Point Personal Branding program and suggest ways to connect it to our writing and promotion of our books.

WisRWA Newsletter



February, 2017

New Release Tuesday! February Edition

Each month, WisRWA will announce the new books our members have published. We call it New Release Tuesday.

Congratulations to the following WisRWA members on their new releases.

 

Wolf and the Moon by Kayla Bain-Vrba

Kayla Bain-Vrba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wolf and the Moon by Kayla Bain-Vrba

 

Building Benjamin by Barbara M. Britton

Barbara M. Britton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Benjamin by Barbara M. Britton

 

Winter Homecoming by Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Homecoming by Lyn Cote

 

Surprise Me Again by Anita Kidesu

Tina Susedik/ Anita Kidesu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise Me Again by Anita Kidesu

 

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Green Bay Area March Meeting – Website Design with Elle J. Rossi

Join the Green Bay area for the March meeting with author and website designer, Elle J. Rossi.  Not a WisRWA member, but interested in seeing what we’re about? You’re invited to join us too. See all the details below.

Green Bay March meeting Author Website

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Revisions: Tips to Polish Your WIP

RevisionsIt’s hard, yet it’s the difference between a sale and “not for us.”

James Michener once said, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”

I think that’s where most of us are, which might be why many writing gurus like Anne Lamott encourage bad first drafts, but we won’t talk about those today. Instead, I’ll focus on revision. I’d like to share my top three tips.

First, put some time between your drafts. At least a few days. A week or a month or two might be better. Most of us fall in love with our stories and we need that infatuation to ebb, so we can read our work without the rosy-everything’s awesome glasses. A little time gives us the emotional distance to view work anew and figure out what’s missing and what might need to change.

Second, have someone else read your work before you upload or send it off to be discovered. Critique partners or first readers can catch story inconsistencies and areas that aren’t understandable in your work. They can tell you which characters they connect to or which one they really don’t understand. Also, they can spot spelling or grammar errors.

At a writer’s conference I attended a copy editor admitted that even she makes mistakes occasionally and when she does, she doesn’t let it bother her because she figures it takes an average of sixteen pairs of eyes to get a manuscript to published flawlessness. Your critique buddies can be one of those first sets of editing eyes. Also, one of the best things about having critique partner or group is that you can become great friends.

My third tip is to try for good or very good instead of perfect. Because being human, and not possessing sixteen sets of eyes yourself, a totally perfect scene or manuscript is unattainable. Too much revision may add hours to your tasks and if you’re like me—it’s a buzz kill. It ruins the fun. So, my advice—do the best you can, look your work over a few times and then stop. Good is good enough.

When I’m not writing, I’m teaching, and I fit the one of the instructor stereotypes. I ask my students to re-think their drafts and to revise more than once. Revision and re-evaluating life decisions are themes that frequently appear in my fiction.

Mia Jo Celesteby: Mia Jo Celeste

Mia Jo Celeste comes from a family of writers and English teachers, so it was no surprise that she decided to pursue both careers. She’s an adjunct instructor, who just published her first release, Other Than, your grandma’s Gothic romance gone uber.

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Milwaukee Area February Meeting – Love Scenes with Laura Zats

Join the Milwaukee area as they welcome literary agent Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary.  Laura will give live critiques of love scenes.  Not a WisRWA member, but interested in seeing what we’re about? You’re invited to join us too. See all the details below.

Milwaukee Area February Meeting

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Promotion Thursday! February Edition

WisRWA Loves RomanceOn the second Thursday of every month, WisRWA will announce where you can find our members.  We’re calling it Promotion Thursday.


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Love Scenes: What Makes Them Tick for Laura Zats

Laura Zats, Literary AgentLiterary Agent Laura Zats with Red Sofa Literary Agency in the Twin Cities will facilitate a Hot Nights Critique Workshop for Milwaukee Chapter WisRWA on Saturday, February 18th from 9am to 11:30. Bring up to three pages of your love/sex scene—from sweet to scorching—to share with the group. Laura will give some feedback and we’ll chat about what makes for a great romance. Hey, it’s what makes the world go ‘round.

Jennifer Rupp, area contact for the Milwaukee area, interviewed Laura in advance to find out what makes her literary mind tick when it comes to love scenes.

J: What do you think makes a sex scene hot?

L: For me, I love to see a really seamless combination of the mental and the physical–it’s the only way to really understand the passion of the characters as a reader. Having lots of the characters thoughts interjected isn’t quite what I mean–instead, I mean the emotions, awareness of what the sex might change, or awareness of how unexpected it is. Awareness of what the other person might be thinking. It takes the fact that a character might be wrapped up in the physical sensations and amplifies it, makes it more than just physics and mechanics.

J: Is there anything you consider taboo?

L: Not a ton, honestly. I’m 100% supporting of kink as long as it’s accurately and consensually portrayed! In fact, it even makes things more fun in a lot of scenes!

J: Do you make a distinction between a love scene and a sex scene?

L: I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of a difference! Since I represent books with a high heat level, no, I don’t distinguish a difference for my list. It’s kind of all the same thing. But now that I’m chewing on it, I think I view “love scenes” as more emotional expressions–declarations of love, a first, passionate kiss. Sex is, well, sex. It definitely (and often is) an expression of emotion, but there’s chemistry and a level of communication that is added on top of that emotional output that I find really interesting, which is why my books have more of those.

J: What kinds of phrases or euphemisms make you weary?

L: Velvet-wrapped steel! No one wants a fuzzy penis. That’s mostly it for the male side of the spectrum (although I do think “length” is overused), unless a writer gets too flowery or too crude. For women, I HATE when they mewl, purr, or do anything that likens them to a housecat. I’m also not a huge fan of natural imagery for the vagina–flowers, caves, etc.

J: What kinds of settings or devices are over or under used? i.e. shower scenes, candles, etc.

L: I don’t think I’ve read a candle scene in months, so I can’t say I’m sick of them, but they’re definitely cliche–I think a more modern version of this one is a fireplace. I love a good shower scene–there’s something wonderfully utilitarian about it–but I definitely see too many hot tub scenes. You get overheated too easily and water is a terrible lubricant!  I don’t see as much oral sex as you would think, especially not to completion, which is a shame, because it has some fun power dynamics an author can play with. I would love to see more clearly-narrated protection (so many condoms just disappear or just never existed at all), and would love to see women bringing their one-night-stands home, rather than always having to make them do the walk of shame. Abs, too, are definitely over-represented, as are blue/green/gray eyes.

Laura represents:

  • Young Adult — Fiction, especially contemporary. I love funny and gritty, especially when the two go together. Interested in geekery, retellings, innovative storytelling, and authentic voices. Please no paranormal romance, contemporary romance, dystopia, Chosen One plotlines, or didacticism.
  • Middle Grade — Fiction, especially contemporary. Prefers smart, literary writing disguised as adventures. Looking for books that are heavy with STEM and will appeal to girls and boys.
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy — Must pass either the Mako Mori or Bechdel tests. Love non-traditional settings, fast-paced storytelling, anthropological elements, and smart humor. Please no high fantasy.
  • Romance/Erotica — Especially contemporary. Must be feminist, have verbal consent throughout, and feature an independent, smart heroine. Please no vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, or mermaids.
  • Wish list for every genre and category: feminism, diversity (in all forms), unconventional storytelling techniques, and voice-driven narratives.

Jennifer Trethewey

by: Jennifer Rupp

Jennifer Rupp is the Area Contact for Milwaukee Chapter of WisRWA. She writes under the name of Jennifer Trethewey. Cassie Hanjian of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency in New York represents her Highland House historical romance series. Jennifer has placed in the SOLA Dixie Kane Memorial Contest, Indiana’s Golden Opportunity Contest, and WisRWA’s Fab Five Contest. She’s a member of Wisconsin RWA, a PRO member of RWA, Red Oak Writing Studio, and Wisconsin Writers Association.

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Chippewa Falls February Meeting – Revisions from Hell

Join the Chippewa Falls Area meeting this month as they tackle Candace Havens’s Revisions From Hell. It will piggy back on what was learned during the January meeting.This program is open to WisRWA members from anywhere in the state. Not a WisRWA member, but interested in seeing what we’re about? You’re invited to join us too. See all the details below.

February Chippewa Falls Meeting - Revisions from hell

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Write Touch Conference Registration Is Now Open!

Royal FlushWisRWA proudly presents the 2017 Write Touch Conference, Love Is In the Cards!  Join us May 19-21 in beautiful Green Bay, Wisconsin at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center/Oneida Casino for a fun-filled weekend you won’t want to miss!

Friday, we’ll kick things off with New York Times Bestseller Christie Craig’s ‘It’s Not Just Adding A Naked Tattooed Guy: Using Humor In Your Writing’ workshop, followed by our Agent/Editor Q&A, a fabulous Hors D’oeuvres & Dessert Reception/Cash Bar, and our always amazing WisRWA’s Got Talent workshop. And for those who like to gamble, Oneida Casino is open 24-7.

Our agent guests are Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, and Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Agency. Editors joining us are Norma Perez-Hernandez from Kensington, and Kathryn Lye of Harlequin.

Bid on first chapter critiques donated by top agents and editors in our Silent Auction, and for the first time also bid on gorgeous gift baskets! All proceeds go to local literacy! We have many great workshops planned for both Saturday and Sunday, including three two-hour workshops by three New York Times bestselling authors – Christie Craig, Virginia Kantra, and Sarah MacLean! We also have a special Saturday evening workshop planned, and then it’s time to eat/drink/mingle in the Hospitality Suite!

Register by Friday, March 3th to SAVE $10 on registration, and to be eligible for our Early Bird Raffle!  Prizes include THREE comped hotel room certificates! For registration forms & full details visit the conference tab on the WisRWA website.

If you have any questions, please send an email to the Write Touch Conference Chair, Donna Kowalczyk.

Donna Marie Rogers

by: Donna Kowalczyk

Donna Kowalczyk writes as USA Today bestselling author Donna Marie Rogers. She inherited her love of romance from her mother, who devoured romance novels like they were Fannie May candies, and never missed an episode of Little House On the Prairie. And though it wasn’t until years later Donna would come to understand her mother’s fascination with Charles Ingalls, her love of the romance genre is every bit as all-consuming.

A Chicago native, Donna now lives in beautiful Northeast Wisconsin with her husband and children. She’s an avid gardener and home-canner, as well as an admitted reality TV junkie. Her passion to read is only exceeded by her passion to write, so when she’s not doing the wife and mother thing, you can usually find her sitting at the computer, creating exciting, memorable characters, fresh new worlds, and always a happily-ever-after.

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