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



Love Between the Covers

By: PJ fiala

This past two Saturdays we had showings of the fabulous Documentary, Love Between the Covers by the fabulous Laurie Kahn.  Laurie and her film crew followed several fabulous romance authors and their fans over the course of a couple of years, to see what life it like for romance authors.  To showcase how the fans react to meeting their favorite authors.  To emphasize that some of our most prolific authors are doctors, lawyers, physicists, engineers, and, well, name a profession and there is a romance author in that field.

Romance fans are the same.   Pick a field, any field, and there is a romance fan in that field.  Sometimes shunned, sometimes scoffed at, but these fans are loyal and dedicated to their books and authors.

If you get the chance to see this movie, please take the opportunity.  It’s heartwarming, interesting and eye opening.  I’ve included some pictures from the Green Bay showing.  I took them at the beginning and then got busy, but we had a nice afternoon and got to see a lovely movie.

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Mar

03, 2016 | General, Members, Readers | comment |

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Interview with Laurie Kahn

Love Between the Covers!

Here’s an interview with Laurie Kahn, the LBTC writer/director/producer – AND – find out what the Press is saying about LBTC:

Writer/Director/Producer Laurie Kahn talks about her page turning documentary and “Must See” festival film, LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS, which takes us inside the world of the romance novel. June 10th kicked off the official Opening Night of the 21st Annual 2015 LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL, one of the crown jewels in the global film festival crown.

“Upbeat and heartfelt…”
- Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“The feature-length film takes an affectionate look at the vast, unheralded community of women who have effectively kept the publishing industry afloat by sales of romance novels (more than $1 billion in 2013 alone, according to BookStats).”
- James Sullivan, The Boston Globe

“For romance aficionados, Love Between the Covers will articulate and confirm all the reasons they love romance. For viewers who know little or nothing about romance fiction, Kahn’s documentary will deliver one astonishment after another.”
- Donna Seaman, The Booklist Reader
“Booklist Editors’ Choice: Video, 2015 – TOP OF THE LIST WINNER
Writers and fans demonstrate affection and mutual respect for each other in this well-edited program that will be devoured by romance readers, aspiring writers, and anyone who loves reading.”
- Candace Smith, Booklist
“The documentary was really fabulous!”
- Kristin Wise, RT Book Reviews

“Romance writing isn’t just a billion-dollar industry. It’s also the nicest meritocracy around.”
- Emma Teitel, Maclean’s Magazine
Join us:

February 20th from 1:00 to 5:00

West Allis Public Library

Constitution Room

7421 W. National Ave.

West Allis, WI 53214

414-302-8503

and

February 27th from 1:00 to 4:30

Brown County Library – Kress Family Branch

333 N Broadway

De Pere, WI 54115

(920) 448-4407

Feb

17, 2016 | Members, Readers | comment |

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Coming soon to the West Allis Public Library and the Kress Family Library in De Pere – Love Between the Covers!

Here’s what readers are saying about LBTC:

Amazing. It was incredible… The community of women really surprised me!

— Dina Reeves, romance reader

 “I think that it shows that women are important. Women’s feelings, thoughts, and desires are important.”

— Rebecca J. Haymond, reader

Where and when can you go to see this lovely, heartfelt film?

February 20th from 1:00 to 5:00

West Allis Public Library

Constitution Room

7421 W. National Ave.

West Allis, WI 53214

414-302-8503

and

February 27th from 1:00 to 4:30

Brown County Library – Kress Family Branch

333 N Broadway

De Pere, WI 54115

(920) 448-4407

Feb

02, 2016 | General, Members, Readers | comment |

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Love Between the Covers

LBTC Picture

Calling all readers and writers – Coming soon to Milwaukee and Green Bay – Love Between the Covers!

Yes, you read it correctly.  The feature-length documentary film about the awesome community of women who read and write romance novels will be showing at two locations.  WisRWA is sponsoring both showings!

Where and when can you go to see this lovely, heartfelt film?

February 20th from 1:00 to 5:00

West Allis Public Library

Constitution Room

7421 W. National Ave.

West Allis, WI 53214

414-302-8503

February 27th from 1:00 to 4:30

Brown County Library – Kress Family Branch

333 N Broadway

De Pere, WI 54115

(920) 448-4407

***Not only can you view this great film at the Kress Family Branch of the Brown County Library you can participate in a Reader and Author Q&A!  But wait, there’s more, many of Wisconsin’s finest romance authors will be holding a book signing after the film showing!  Hang around after the show and visit with the authors!***

Love Between the covers teaser Film synopsis:

Love stories are universal. Love stories are powerful. And so are the women who write them. For three years, the filmmakers followed the lives of five published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. Romance is the behemoth of the publishing industry; it outsells mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy combined. Yet no filmmaker has ever taken an honest look at the amazing global community that romance writers and readers have built. Until now.

Check out the trailer: https://vimeo.com/user7053188/lbtctrailer

Here’s some more clips:  http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/full-film-clips/

How about some pictures:  http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/press-kit

Meet the main characters:  http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/main-characters/

***All WisRWA authors are invited to participate in either or both events.  Contact Valerie Clarizio at valclarizio@yahoo.com if you’d like to participate at the Green Bay event or Maureen Welli if you’d like to participate at the West Allis event.***

Jan

20, 2016 | General, Members, Readers | comment |

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Fab Five 25 – Surprise #2

FabFive 25

The Fabulous Five Contest is almost open for entries!  We’re so excited about it that we just had to announce our last surprise!

Every entry entered in the contest will be put into a drawing for a critique by an industry professional of their Fab Five entry (whether they final or not).  Each industry professional will critique one entry.

We are honored to have the following industry professionals offering their time and talent for this drawing:

  • Meredith Rich, an editor at Bloomsbury Spark
  • Carly Silver, an editor at Harlequin
  • Mallory Brown, an agent at Triada US Literary Agency

Winners of the critiques will be announced on April 16, 2016 at which time their Fab Five entries will be sent to one of the industry professionals.  Should they wish to see more of the entry they critique, they will ask for it in their critique.  Critiques will be returned to the winners by late May.

We are hoping to add to the list above so watch this space for more news.  For any questions about the Fab Five contest or any of our 25th anniversary surprises, please email the Fab Five contest coordinator, Molly Maka (fabfivecontest@gmail.com).

Lastly, if you are entering the contest, don’t forget to let us know by using the hash tag #FabFive25 on Facebook and Twitter.  Thank you for helping us celebrate!

Jan

01, 2016 | Members, Readers | comment |

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Fab Five 25 – Surprise #1

FabFive 25

In the spirit of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Fabulous Five contest, we have a couple of surprises in store.  We are delighted to announce the first one.

For each entry into the contest, you have a chance to win a free registration (does not include lodging, food or travel expenses) to the October 8, 2016 WisRWA Workshop in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.  Details on that event are forthcoming, but if you have any interest in going, please check the box to opt-in for that drawing on your entry form.

The winner will be announced on June 1st, 2016.

Dec

26, 2015 | General | comment |

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Fabulous Five Contest

FabFive 25

It’s time to celebrate!  The Fabulous Five contest turns 25 in 2016!  We’re working on a couple of fun surprises to ring in this anniversary.  Until we can share those surprises, we will share our amazing line-up of final judges!

Historical

Elle Keck, Avon

Abby Saul, Browne & Miller Literary Associates

Inspirational

Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House

Claudia Cross, Folio Literary Management

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel:

Chris Keeslar, Boroughs Publishing Group

Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary

Romantic Suspense

Amy Stapp, Tor Books

Lane Heymont, The Seymour Agency

Series Contemporary (Long/Short)

Alexandra Sehulster, St Martin’s Press

Rachael Dugas, Talcott Notch Literary Services

Single Title

Lydia Sharp, Entangled Publishing

Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Agency

Women’s Fiction

Kate Seaver, Berkley Publishing Group

Carly Watters, PS Literary Agency

Young Adult/New Adult

Elizabeth Lynch, HarperCollins

Whitley Abell, Inklings Literary Agency

We are just two weeks away from opening the contest up for entries.  So, start polishing up your first 2,500 words and enter!  Not only will you receive great first round feedback from three judges, but you could be one of five finalists to move onto the final round.

And, watch this space for more information about how we plan to mark this milestone.

 

Dec

20, 2015 | General | comment |

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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

AP_McCullough

Dear WisWRA Friends,

We’re now in the thick of the holiday season, with all its celebrations, including the WisRWA area group holiday gatherings scheduled in the next weeks. This also happens to be a time of year when many of us assess where we’ve been and where we want to go. So it is with WisRWA itself.

Since we’re in our membership renewal season, we can take a look at what we’ve been up to and make some goals for our next year. In addition to expanding our membership over the past year, the WisRWA board and the organization’s many volunteers have been taking care of some basics, while also planning exciting new programs and spreading the word about WisRWA.

If you haven’t already done so, take a look at our beautiful new website, www.wisrwa.org. In addition to being the face of WisRWA for visitors to the site, the site is designed to provide members with:

  • a calendar of events for all the areas
  • a blog open to everyone’s contributions
  • regular updates on WisRWA’s two contests, workshops, and conferences
  • links to all WisRWA’s social media sites

For the first time, WisRWA’s website has a “Members Only” section, and we’re just beginning to develop its potential. But, for example, if your area has had a great program with valuable handouts, then why not post them so all of us can benefit?

The idea for a members’ knowledge bank goes back a few years, but we finally have the first version of “Who Should I Ask?” posted in our Members Only section. A benefit of membership, “Who Should I Ask?” allows an easy way for WisRWA members to be resources for each other—our first line of research. But it’s only a start. Take a look at the directory and feel free to email me (vemccullough@earthlink.net) with questions about contributing to this section and helping us expand it.

WisRWA has also been a prominent presence at various events for authors and the writing community in Wisconsin. In November alone, WisRWA members from all over the state created and served on five panels at the NEW Book Festival at UW Waukesha. We fulfilled our purpose of promoting our romance genre, along with WisRWA. The Green Bay Area Group members served as panelists and while also spreading the word about WisRWA at an all day reader-author event at the Kress Library in DePere.

In the coming year, we’ll continue looking for opportunities to promote WisRWA, the romance genre, and all our authors/members at writing-related events across the state. I think of us as a kind of traveling WisRWA road show. We can’t predict the results of our efforts every time, of course. Still, there’s something wonderfully uplifting about being part of this romance writing community and proudly representing our genre at various gatherings. (And it’s a great way to spend time with our writing pals!)

Continuing WisRWA’s outreach goes hand in hand with our plans to create special programs designed to lure us out to area groups other than our own. I’d like to see 2016 become known as the “year of the caravan,” the year we made a point of traveling to other areas groups to take advantage of enriching programs. Let’s use our membership in this great organization for the simple pleasure of being in each other’s company and learning from each other.

So, watch our website and social media for information about outreach opportunities and programs designed to help us develop our craft and promote our genre.

Meanwhile, thanks for continuing to be a member of this dynamic organization. Your board is working hard, and we need the help and support of every member. As for me, being WisRWA’s president continues to be one of the great privileges of my life.

Virginia

 

 

 

Dec

03, 2015 | Members | comment |

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The FabFive Contest Needs You!

FabFive

The WisRWA 2016 Fabulous Five contest is in need of your help!  Please consider volunteering your time to serve as a category coordinator.  At this time we only have 2 coordinators out of 8 needed.  If we do not have the help needed, we will not be able to have the contest go forward.  If you are unsure if you would be a good fit, please reach out to the category coordinator, Molly Maka, with any questions you may have.

Below, please find the duties of a contest coordinator:

Fab Five Category Coordinator Duties

Each Fab Five Category Coordinator receives ten to thirty-five contest entries by email, checks them for proper format, logs them in, and later performs various sorts and summaries before whisking them off initially to the first round judges and later the final round judges.

During the entry submission period (January and February), only an hour or so of time would be required each week for handling incoming entries.  A flurry of entries always comes in over the last couple days, just before the contest submission deadline, and a few extra hours are required at that time for handling them.  After that, look for about five or six hours preparing and submitting batches to the first round judges.  March is spent looking for returned, graded entries from those judges and filing them.  That doesn’t typically take a lot of time.  Finally, four or five hours are needed in early April, ranking entries and forwarding the top five to the final round judge.  After that, in May, expect a few hours as final judges’ ranked entries are returned.

The Fab Five category coordinator role best suits a person who is comfortable with a computer, is organized, pays good attention to detail, and is good at meeting deadlines.  A coordinator must also be responsive to email questions.   The overall contest coordinator will set up an email loop for category coordinators.  This will be used for sharing helpful hints on how to handle the job, and also to help coordinators when issues arise.  The contest coordinator will also send detailed instructions to all category coordinators for handling each phase of the contest.  Additionally, everything is logged and kept online through a shared Google drive account.

Serving as category coordinator presents an opportunity to meet and network with other writers.  Also, you will have access to critiques of all entries in your category.  By reviewing these, you might pick up tips that may be useful in honing your craft.  Finally, you will work directly with the final round judges – one editor and one literary agent – and they will know you on the day you send queries out for your own novel.

When volunteering to serve as category coordinator, please be aware that if you decide to enter Fab Five, you cannot be a category coordinator in the category you intend to enter.

If interested or if you have questions, please contact Molly Maka (Fab Five Contest Coordinator) at FabFiveContest@gmail.com.

Thank you for your consideration!

Nov

30, 2015 | Members | comment |

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Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books (SEW)

Written by Tina Susedik.

I’ve been to quite a few book signings over the years, not to mention conventions. This past weekend, on November 6th & 7th, I participated in the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books (SEW) in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Fellow author and friend, Beth M. James and I met in Eau Claire, transferred all my goodies to her vehicle, and headed south on I-94.Tina Susidek selling 11 6 15

With all the gabbing we did, the three and a half hour trip went fast, and before we knew it, we were winding our way around the streets of Waukesha trying to get to our hotel. We could see it, but our directions were rather funky so we had to use our “expert” navigational skills.

That evening there was a reception at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha for authors and presenters for the next day’s event. There, Beth and I came across P.J. Fiala and Val Carizio. Neither of us had spent time visiting with them, and found them to both be delightful women. Patti’s knowledge of marketing was invaluable to us. Val’s stories had us in stitches.Val Clarizio selling 11 6 15 2

Dasha Kelly, Friday night’s keynote speaker, followed the reception. Her speech was humorous as well as enlightening. She read from some of her works and talked about working with young people. I believe it inspired all of us authors to write and help others to write.

After the speaker, we met Val and Patti again, spending several hours talking, eating, and having a few drinks. Saturday dawned bright and early. Since my panel as at 9:00, I had to be at the university at 7:30. People were scurrying around getting ready for the event. WisRWA authors had our own room where all our panels were held for day. Beth and I put up our new signs and set out brochures, pens, and pads of paper for those interested in our group.

The tables set aside for WisRWA authors were way – and I mean way, way, way – down a hallway. Originally my table was the last in a long row of tables. When I came back from my panel, my wonderful friends and fellow WisRWA authors had rearranged our area so we were next to and across from each other. It made for a much more cozy setting for us. We were able to talk with each other easier, too.Beth James Selling 2 - 11 6 15

The schedule had each of us at our signing tables for a half an hour after our panels, but after Virginia McCullough talked with the organizer, we were able to keep our tables up all day. It was so much fun meeting and visiting with new authors and those interested in our books.

At the end of the day, we all felt we represented WisRWA well. I know I talked with several authors who’d never heard of us and took our brochures to join our group.

All-in-all, I thought this was a wonderful day. Getting together with WisRWA members is always fun. We have a great, supportive group. I heard over and over how we are not in competition with one another, but need to support each other. And it’s true. Thank you SEW and WisRWA for a day I’ll never forget.Group at SEW 11 6 15

Nov

22, 2015 | Members, Readers | comment |

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