2022 Full Program

The programme for ‘Writing for Keeps’ is below.

Please note that this programme is still a draft and subject to change

Thursday 4th August

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Registration – come to the registration desk on level 16 of the hotel and get your lanyard and goodie bag
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Presenter: Steffanie Holmes

Casual Readers to Ride-or-die Superfans

Having readers is awesome, but die-hard fans who become emotionally invested in our story worlds are how authors build sustainable careers. Discover how you can stoke the fires of fandom in your readers and keep them coming back for more.

This free workshop will cover the science of fandom, examples of how romance authors build and sustain rabid fandoms, and examples of how you can create fun fan experiences for your readers, including:

  • Why fans are the most valuable asset a career author has.
  • How to use fandom to build multiple income streams beyond the pages of your books.
  • Creating a cohesive fan experience.
  • Giving your fans more more more of what they crave.
  • Social media as fan-building.
  • Bonus material, discrete and limited-edition books, merchandise, and other fan service. I’ll show you examples from other authors, including my own book box Kickstarter campaign.

Friday 5th August

08:30 am – 09:30 am Registration – come to the registration desk on level 16 of the hotel and get your lanyard and goodie bag
09:30 am – 10:15 am Conference begins – Powhiri, opening welcome from Melissa
10:15 am – 11:00 am Keynote: Rachael Herron

My Journey As a Hybrid Author

Rachael Herron took a strange route (via Australia and New Zealand!) to hybrid publishing, but she couldn’t be happier with where she is now. She’ll share not only which route she prefers, but she’ll talk real numbers because she believes in increasing transparency around the finances involved in the publishing industry. No matter where you are in your publishing journey, Rachael will encourage you to keep pursuing the dream of being an author who not only follows her heart but makes money doing so!

11:00 am – 11:30 am Morning Tea
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Keynote: Leeana Morgan

Plotting a Great Story

Learn how to combine Michael Hauge’s 6-stage plot structure with a grid board and Postik notes to create the perfect visual reminder of where your story is going. Great for all authors at any stage in their writing journey.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm


Adapting Your Book For the Screen
Fight the good fight
Who doesn’t dream of seeing their book adapted for the screen?  Join award-winning screenwriter Kathryn Burnett (The Tender Trap) to learn about the process.  A fascinating and helpful session for anyone who wants to understand how writing for the screen differs from writing prose. Sword Fights and Street Fights: How armed and unarmed combat works and how to write it. In this presentation Mollie Smith and Matthew Mole will explain with practical demonstrations how armed combat, armored combat, and street fights actually work, the principles behind the martial arts involved, and will give hints and tips for writing realistic fight scenes.
Kathryn Burnett Matt Mole & Mollie Smith
02:30 pm – 03:30 pm Q&A Panel with Rachael, Kathryn and Leeanna
03:30 pm – 04:00 pm Afternoon tea /Close for the day
04:00 pm – 05:30 pm Registration
05:00 pm – 05:30 pm Newbies meet and greet
05:30 pm Romance the Night Away Cocktail Party

This is a wonderful chance to meet the people you’ll be attending conference with over the weekend. Enjoy this fairytale themed event with tasty canapés and drinks while you socialize with your friends and meet some new writers you can connect with.

Saturday 6th August 2020

07:45 am – 08:45 am Registration Opens
08:45 am – 9:00 am Welcome and house-keeping – special welcome to the weekend attendees + First raffle draw
9:00 am – 10:00 am Keynote: Leeanna Morgan

Love Wins

Inspirational address about her writing journey.

Join Leeanna as she talks about her writing journey, the choices she made early in her career, and how her experiences have shaped the books she writes today.

10:00 am – 10:05 am A clip from one of our sponsors – Draft to Digital
10:05 am – 10:35 am Romance Writers of NZ Annual General Meeting (open to all members)
10:35 am – 10:45 am NZSA – Jenny Nagle

PLR and funding opportunities for NZ authors

10:45 am – 11:15 am MORNING TEA
11:15 am – 12:15 pm


The Hype is Real: Learn How to Rock #BOOKTOK!, Part 1
Psychology of Great Characterisation
In the past two years, Booktok has jumped to the forefront of social media platforms. #Booktok is a subculture in the world of TikTok and it’s the home of some of the most voracious and loyal readers an author will ever find….but it’s not about simply downloading an app and posting. It helps if you know what to do when you arrive because everything we’ve ever thought about social media has been turned on its head with the arrival of Booktok.

Join authors Anne Kemp and AK Mulford for this two-part workshop where they will share tips, tricks, and best practices as they get everyone posting on TikTok and ready to rock #Booktok as part of your author marketing strategy!

A memorable character is one whose back story is defined enough and their motivations clear enough, that a reader can’t help but be drawn to them. Particularly in romance, the relationships a character has had before they meet their hero or heroine can have a profound effect on how they behave and how they develop.

In this workshop you will learn how to use psychological theory to create compelling and unforgettable characters who leap off the page.

Anne Kemp & AK Mulford Barbara DeLeo
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm LUNCH
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm


The Hype is Real: Learn How to Rock #BOOKTOK!, Part 2
Writing Above the Noise (online workshop via Zoom)
A continuation of the #BookTok workshop, including practical application. Post a TikTok video within the session and get on-hand help and advice while doing so. This workshop, ‘Writing Above The Noise’, is aimed at authors who feel a little overwhelmed with current hot ‘tropes’. Pepper proves you don’t have to write what’s ‘in’ currently to be successful, and reminds you how to stay true to your voice if you’ve lost faith in your own story-telling. Pepper Winters has experience in writing in a ‘hot’ genres but she’s also not afraid to pen in genres that aren’t, purely because she doesn’t have a choice when the muse strikes. With guidance from her personal experience, Pepper hopes to teach all authors – new and established – how to trust in themselves, even when sometimes that seems impossible.
Anne Kemp & AK Mulford Pepper Winters
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm


Working Together for Greater Success: Author collaborations
Perfecting Your Pitch
Romance writers in the same genre can work together to create cool things, bring in more readers and leverage their joint audiences. This workshop profiles a variety of author collaboration projects you could be involved in or run, (for both indie and trad-pubbed authors) and includes a list of DOs and DON’Ts for a successful collaborative experience.

Examples of collaborative projects: 1-day and 5-day sales, free boxsets, limited edition boxsets, social media profiles, genre-focused and audiobook newsletters, book boxes, co-writing, shared worlds.

Need help writing a pitch that will sell? One thing Soraya has learnt over the past decade is how to sell to editors from a pitch, and during her workshop ‘Perfecting Your Pitch”, she will share all her secrets on how to craft a short blurb and a longer pitch that will help you stand out from the slush pile.
Steffanie Holmes Soraya M Lane
03:15 pm – 03:45 pm AFTERNOON TEA
03:45 PM – 04:45 PM


YouTube Live Streaming 101
Q&A Panel: Marketing
How to increase productivity and find your community.

In this workshop, Jamie Sands and Gillian St Kevern will share what they have learned about YouTube live streaming. From the tech set-up, to what to talk about, how to run writing sprints and how to build up a community of people we’ll share our dos and don’ts from over a year of trying it out.

Bring along your marketing questions and asks these established career authors how they have succeeded in the publishing world. You can ask anything to do with marketing – from websites and newsletters through to social media and branding.
Jamie Sands & Gillian St Kevern Soraya M. Lane, Barbara DeLeo, Anne Kemp, AK Mulford
05:00 PM CLOSE

Join your fellow RWNZ members in this fun event where you’ll be able celebrate romantic storytelling with a room full of talented writers. Not only can you enjoy a delicious three-course meal, but you’ll also have a chance to network with passionate writers like yourself. There is plenty of time for talking in between the various award presentations and speeches. Whether you’re a conference newbie or veteran, this is an event you don’t want to miss!

Sunday 8th August

9:00 am – 9:15 am Welcome/housekeeping + 2nd raffle draw – one more to go at the end of the day!
09:15 am – 10:00 am Keynote: Rachael Herron

Bringing Out The Best In Your Manuscript: Revision Tips & Tricks

Revision—the kind during which you take apart your book on the operating table and then put it back together—isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s a necessary skill that’s seldom taught. Rachael Herron is passionate about sharing the tools she’s learned how to use (the hard way), and you’ll come away from this session excited to start the operation that will take your book from good to great

10:00 am – 11:00 am


There’s an APP for that
KOBO Life – Global trends in Digital Marketing
When the tech world and the writing world collide, it can make our lives as a writer a whole lot easier. In this workshop we will explore some of the most useful (and sometimes free) writing aids aroundfrom devices to help with long hours at the keyboard, those that increase organisation, productivity and creativity—even ones that provide a road map for your work in progress. In this workshop Nick Coveney from Rakuten Kobo will run a live real time demonstration of the quick and simple process to show attendees how to use Kobo Writing Life online portal for Indie Authors to self-publish their content globally within just 72 hours. There will also be a run through of tips and tricks to promote your title via KWL and a walkthrough of our the opportunities to offer your content via our innovative all-you-can-eat subscriptio
n service Kobo Plus. Nick will be very happy to answer any questions you might have about how to get the most out of KWL for your content!
Barbara De Leo Nick Coveney
11:00 am – 11:30 am MORNING TEA
11:30 am – 12:15 am Leeanna Morgan

Package Your Book to Market

Join Leeanna as she discusses some of the key things you might want to consider before writing/publishing your book. During this keynote address, Leeanna will discuss; genre choice, branding, cover design, keywords, pricing, and much more! Suitable for all authors at any stage in their writing journey.

12:15 pm – 01:00 pm LUNCH
01:00 pm – 02:00 pm


The more the merrier: The power of read through in a book series
Amazon Advertising Case Studies
Romance writers have long understood the power of a series to hook readers, improve sell-through, and create a story world readers can get lost in. In this workshop we look at how to think strategically about your book series to make it work for you, including:
• What is sell-through, how to calculate it, and why does it matter.
• Different types of series structures.
• Ideas for improving readthrough on a series.
• What to do if your series is a flop?
• What to do if your series is a success?
• Spin-offs, second-generation, interconnected worlds, multiple entry points, and other series options.
• Lots of examples across different romance genres.

In this session, Amazon ads authority Deb Potter and Kindletrends creator Nat Connors team up to answer the big questions for romance writers about advertising on Amazon and everything connected to it. Deb and Nat will work through a series of case studies in different romance subgenres, live in front of the audience, and show romance writers how to take a systematic approach to making and optimising their ads.

The session will include:
• Optimising ad spend for existing ads
• Launching new ads for non-English-speaking markets
• Comparing the impact of different advertising platforms – how do you know which ones are value for money?

There will be an audience Q&A session at the end, so come prepared for plenty of discussion and audience participation.

Steffanie Holmes Deb Potter & Nat Connors
02:00 pm – 02:45 pm Keynote: Kathryn Burnett

Setting Killer Goals: Making the most of your time & career

It doesn’t matter what your writing goal is – what matters is that you give yourself a fighting chance to achieve it!  Join award-winning writer Kathryn Burnett for an inspiring keynote on setting the right goal for you right now – and how to create a writing plan that gives you the best chance to smash it.

02:45 pm – 03:00 pm Closing/raffle winners/2023 conference