WisRWA Calendar

Nov 01
2017
WisRWA 2017-2018 Renewals
Renewals for the upcoming year begin November 1, 2017. Any renewal that is received after January 15, 2018 will be incur a $5.00 late fee. Click the Join tab to renew your membership. Please direct any questions to WisRWA Secretary, Stefanie Dowell.
Oct 06
2018
WisRWA 2018 Fall Workshop
Mark your calendars for the 2018 Fall Workshop on October 5-6, 2018 at the Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort, Rothschild, WI. For more information, click the Workshop tab.
Apr 05
2019
WisRWA 2019 Write Touch Conference
Mark your calendars for the 2019 Write Touch Conference April 5-7, 2019 at the Milwaukee Hyatt in beautiful downtown Milwaukee. More details to follow!

Meeting Times

Dec 09
2017
Chippewa Falls
10:00-??

Chippewa Falls Area Holiday Party

Bring a dish to pass and a gift worth no more than $15 if you wish to participate in the exchange. There will be a contest to see who can write the best 100wd story to go with a picture to be provided in advance. There will be a prize for the best entry as voted on by the group. Please contact Jane Yunker, Chippewa Falls Area Contact for more details.
Dec 13
2017
Green Bay
11:30-??

Green Bay Area Holiday Party

Bring a dish to pass and a gift worth no more than $15 if you wish to participate in the exchange. Please contact Mary Grace Murphy, Green Bay Area Contact, for details
Dec 16
2017
Milwaukee
12:00-3:00 pm

Milwaukee Area Holiday Party

Bring a dish to pass and a gift worth no more than $15 for the gift exchange. Please contact Jennifer Rupp, Milwaukee Area Contact, for details.
Jan 13
2018
Chippewa Falls
10-12:30; Deb’s Café, 1120 122nd Street, Chippewa Falls

Transitions: Scenes, Characters, Time

Winter is here! A cold wind is blowing, snow is falling, and ice makes walking out your own front door hazardous. There’s no better time to hunker down where it’s warm and WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Bring examples, both good and bad, from what you’re reading and be prepared to discuss why it does or does not work.
Jan 20
2018
Milwaukee
11:00-2:30; Mayfair Mall (Garden Suites Community Room, Lower Level)

Up Close and Personal: Achieving Intimacy through Voice and Deep POV with Heather Luby

Point of view isn’t just an element of storytelling—it is the foundation of any captivating story. Diving into a Deep POV and utilizing the tools of narrative voice is how we thrust our readers into the minds of our characters and push them into the fictional dream. In this fast paced, hands-on workshop, you will learn the key elements necessary to write immersive, voice driven prose. Come prepared to learn how character, dialogue, and voice work in tandem with Deep POV to leave your reader emotionally spellbound. It is recommended you bring 1-2 sample chapters of your own work for hands-on learning.

WisRWA Newsletter



Readers

Falling in Love with Romance

By: Lianna Hawkins

The first romance story I read was Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I recall my mother telling me it was one of her favorite love stories. I was a young teen when I snuck Shanna from my mother’s shelf and hid away reading the book that would inspire me not only as I read it, but for many years as I grew into a writer. I read the beautiful, crafted words that swept me off into another world. It was as though I was there, living the adventure. As readers, we not only fall in love with the story, but the characters and the author as well. And to this day, I savor the first delicious words I read as a fresh romance story unfolds beneath my fingertips. I sigh as my world falls away and I escape to another time, a time where happily ever after is merely pages away.

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day

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Written by: Nancy Sweetland

Happy St. Pat’s day to all us wannabe Irish! Actually, according to my grandmother, I’m a bit Irish (very little bit, but her maiden name was Boyle, so maybe she wasn’t kidding).
Thought you might be interested in a blog post from BookBrowsing that came out this morning. Here it is: MARCH 17, 2016: If you’re not scared you’re not trying hard enough…by Nancy Sweetland
Good morning! I’m delighted to be a guest here and hope to give you something to think about as you head back to your computer and your work in progress. Going through my email today I ran across a great blog by Nick Stephenson, whom some of you may know as a coach and teacher. I always read through anything he feels important enough to comment on, and I often come away with a new idea, a different perspective and sometimes even the possibility for a plot.
What I came away with today was two comments that hit home. I’ve been mulling over them; perhaps you will, too: 1) “If you’re not scared, you’re not trying hard enough.” And, 2) “You don’t have to be THE BEST.”
These gave me pause. The first, about being scared of doing the work I really want to do, reminded me of how many times I have found myself discarding an idea for a story, poem or even a novel because of what the ramifications might be if my (friend, mother, neighbor, son…) read it in print. I know the subject in question would be good work because I would be so invested in it. It’s my darling, it’s something so dear to my heart…etc. etc. But writing it would be scary. It’s not just that it’s perhaps controversial. It’s that bleeding it out would open me up to criticism, possibly even ridicule. Scary? You bet.
But…maybe I should rethink that. Maybe I haven’t been trying hard enough, reaching far enough. My romance and mystery novels, even my short stories, are, I’m convinced, adequate, maybe even more than adequate. But they don’t dig deep into that murky basement of things I know. Things that might resonate with a reader in a way a mystery or romance never could. Things that won’t likely see the light of publication.
Nick’s second comment about not needing to be the best also hit home. Maybe we don’t write some things because we’re fearful they won’t be good enough. Maybe we’ve worked hard on something that won’t make that top slot, that may just end up somewhere in the middle of the slush pile.
But isn’t that better than being nowhere at all? It’s not the best, maybe, but it’s not the worst, either, and it’s worth the time I spent in writing it. Whether an editor sees its worth, or whether a reader agrees with it, enjoys or hates it isn’t important. It is. It’s real. It’s there, for better or worse. And it’s mine, darn it. It may not be THE BEST, but it’s MY best. For now. And as I grow as a writer, and as a person, my best will grow, too.
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“The Perfect Suspect” – coming out soon from Soul Mate Publishing:
Twice divorced and wary about relationships, Jen Wright buys a cabin sight-unseen in far north Wisconsin to get away to write her elusive next novel. She doesn’t expect to find her first ex-husband (but with a reconstructed face) shot to death in the bedroom. She also doesn’t expect to be attracted to handsome Deputy Ross Tyler, recently rejected by his fiancé. Like Jen, he’s unwilling to risk his heart again. Is there a chance for a relationship? Do either of them want one? She’s the perfect suspect and the blustery Sheriff isn’t going to let her forget it. When the murder gun is found in her fan, he’s even more convinced of her guilt. The PI she hires to investigate is killed; his ever-present briefcase is missing. Jen’s sure it was no accident but can’t convince the law. She realizes she’s actually living a good plot for her new novel. Unfortunately, she may have to write it from jail.

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Link to my website:
NancySweetlandWrites.com
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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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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

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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

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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.***

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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!

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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

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WisRWA attends the Kress Family Library Event!

In the spirit of taking advantage of every opportunity to promote WisRWA, a few members from the Greater Green Bay Area Group took part in the Reader & Author Fair 2015, held Nov. 14. Sponsored by the Kress Family Branch of the Brown County Library, this afternoon-long event drew well over 100 people, who attended panels and browsed the numerous displays from authors, publishers, writing organizations, and companies that provide author services. Well-known novelist, St. Norbert graduate, and Madison resident, Erin Celello (Miracle Beach & Learning to Stay) gave a keynote address. It immediately struck me that this was an all-Wisconsin event, and drew participants primarily from our Northeast Wisconsin region.

Val Clarizio, Patti Fiala, and I displayed our WisRWA “stuff” and chatted (pretty much nonstop) with attendees, while also having a chance to sell our books. For me, the best part of these events always involves “talking shop” with people who are either writing, or yearn to, or sometimes have partially completed manuscripts and want to know what to do next. We each answered dozens of questions focused on everything from the many faces and nuances of today’s romance market, RWA/WisRWA, our publishing methods, and even inquiries driven by curiosity about the ups and downs of the “writer’s life.” (Many WisRWA members addressed the same kind of issues at last week’s SEW Book Festival held at UW Waukesha. We had a terrific lineup of panelists at that event, too.)

WisRWA was well represented by others in our GB area, too, and showed our broad reach. Mary Ann Rivers and Ruthie Knox had a table featuring their publishing house, Brain Mill Press, and were insightful members of the publishing panel; Mary Grace Murphy displayed her culinary mysteries with the Wisconsin Writers Association and Nancy Sweetland had a table with her books with the Green Bay Writers Guild. TitleTown Publishing and other companies offering publishing services drew considerable interest, too. The afternoon ended with a poetry reading by members of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

Our Green Bay members also had a chance to meet Nicolette Pierce, a WisRWA member who lives in the Milwaukee area. And thank you, Nicolette for posting photos on your blog: http://www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com/2015/11/authors-authors-authors.html

I’m aware that WisRWA members often participate in various community events, and frankly, we sometimes debate their value for both WisRWA itself and individual authors. Yes, it’s true, we know what it’s like to have only a trickle of people at various author events, and to put it mildly, book signings don’t always attract the crowds we hope for! But, that said, I consider representing WisRWA—standing in for all of you—as the best part of being the current president of the organization. We never know what will happen after a conversation, however brief, about romance writing and the value of advocacy organizations for romance authors. We can’t predict what will come of a seed we plant.

Going forward, I encourage all the area groups to keep looking for opportunities to showcase WisRWA and all our wonderful authors. And remember, you don’t stand alone—our leadership is behind you. I sure wasn’t alone yesterday, not with Val, GGBA’s co-contact, and Patti, WisRWA’s VP of Communication, for good company.

So, thanks Patti, for alerting us to this opportunity, and WisRWA also thanks the Kress Library, first for hosting this kind of event, and second, for including us. It was great fun.

Virginia

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New Release – Danny’s War

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PJ Fiala has released her fourth book, Danny’s War.  Published on October 30, 2015.

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