Please note that this programme is still a draft and subject to change.
Tanya Nellestein (1 hr)
Conference is here! The extroverts are talking loudly but can’t remember anyone’s name, and the introverts are trying not to make eye contact with anyone as they do some laps of the room, read the evacuation signage and get another drink before shooting off to the loo (again). But, everyone can find their people, whether it’s your first or your tenth conference. Join us for a special pre-conference webinar to learn tips for networking and making meaningful connections that last beyond the conference, including the benefits of social media and online forums to start or continue a connection.
Rachel Bailey (3 hrs)
Whether you’re writing flirting lovers, sibling rivals, bantering buddies, odd-couple cops, devoted best friends or paranormal archenemies, you want them to click. To vibe. To have chemistry that leaps off the page. But what makes characters spark together? Couples with chemistry speak to each other differently, they understand each other differently, they change each other, and their personalities are perfectly and unmistakably matched. We’ll break down the concepts using lots of examples, with opportunities to work on your own dynamic duos, so come along and bring your characters with you!
Rachel Bailey (3 hrs)
Want to give your readers all the feels? Ready to level up the emotional power of your story? Then let’s get started! We’ll cover the big picture, including embedding deep emotion in your premise, then strategies to hit your story’s key emotional points at the scene level, and then move on down to the micro level of paragraphs and sentences to maximise emotional payoff. We’ll go through lots of examples, with opportunities to apply the content to your own story, so join us in getting emotional!
Becca Syme (3 hours)
With all the discussions of tropes out there right now, one thing is getting lost. Tropes are like houses, and they have an architecture that keeps the readers inside them. Come and join Becca as she discusses the architectural elements of tropes, how to recognize them, and how to create more compelling stories with that architecture.
Becca Syme (3 hours)
Have you ever taken a workshop (marketing, plotting, productivity) and no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t make the outcomes happen that the workshop promised? Ever wondered why that happens? If you join us for this masterclass in success alignment, you’ll not only learn *why* this happens, but how to maximize your capacity for better success in the future. Anyone can tell you what worked for them, and they can say “it might not work for you,” but they can’t tell you why. I can tell you why. Join me for a day of success alignment, specifically designed for writers, that will unlock many of the answers to “why is this not working” and “how could I do this better” that you’ve been seeking. Workshop taught by Becca Syme (MATL), Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, who has coached nearly 6000 individual authors to success alignment and better career satisfaction.
Theodora Taylor (Keynote, 30 mins)
Theodora talks about how to connect with yourself and your audience to achieve your fantasy writing life.
Sacha shares her writing journey – from corporate hellhole to full time writer. Taking risks and defying convention, only to discover that her biggest success has come from being herself and leaning into what she loves to write. “Somewhere out there, someone is waiting for your words, told in your voice, to change their life.”
Theodora Taylor (1hr)
Identify and wield the butter in your stories, so that you write blurbs that attract way more readers. Workshop includes hands on writing.
Angelique Jurd (1hr)
Writing neurodiverse characters into your romance novel does not have to be scary – as long as you pay attention to some important points. Should you use a sensitivity reader? Should your ND character be rescued? Should you leave out sexy times? Here’s a hint: neurodiverse characters in romance fiction can do everything their “normie” counterparts do – they just do it a little differently.
Get to know the styles and moving trends within ‘cartoon cover’ romance. Is it right for your book? How do you go about commissioning illustrated covers? We’ll cover (excuse the pun) all options, from DIY, AI-generated, and pre-made to custom illustration. Bring your burning questions!
Sacha Black (1hr)
Writing to market isn’t new. But when teachers talk about it they focus on understanding the market, advertising, brand and pitch. But what about the writing and craft of writing to market? In this session, I’ll explain:
Sadie King (1hr)
If you’re curious about writing short romance then this workshop is for you!
I’ll introduce you to the wonderful and varied world of short romance, the Amazon categories where short romance readers hang out, and the main points to consider when writing short. We’ll take a look at how to hit the romantic beats in under ten thousand words while still delivering an emotional hit. I’ll share the strategies and tactics I used to grow my readership and income to hit six-figures with short romance.
Louisa Duval (1hr)
In this workshop, Lou brings twenty-five years of working as a career counsellor, freelance writer, radio content creator and romance writer into one workshop: how to design a sustainable writing career. This workshop is designed for aspiring and emerging writers. Participants will use a ‘Career Tarot’ card sort and Lou will share insights on:
Participants will leave with an actionable plan for their writing career.
Rachel Bailey (1.5hrs)
It’s a story as old as writing itself: your manuscript’s beginning is captivating and polished, and the end is powerful and satisfying. But the middle? Oh, the middle. You sigh and start to wonder if anyone will even notice if it sags…. In this workshop we’ll shower middles with some much-deserved love and attention. We’ll talk about turning points, midpoints, subplots, making your conflict work harder, and surprise plot twists. So, if your middle is feeling a little sad and neglected, this session will give you some tips and tricks to help it shine!
Michelle Somers (1.5hrs)
Learn how to construct an engaging and fresh synopsis containing all vital information while
hooking the reader and maintaining tension and emotion. Simply Synopsis formulates the building blocks of the synopsis—the orientation, the major turning points, the resolution and the conclusion—piecing them together in a way that is engaging and exciting for the reader. It covers tone, vocabulary, point of view and pacing. It looks at backstory—how and where does this fit in? Secondary characters and secondary plots—yes or no? World-building—how much is enough?
The Simply Synopsis strategy is simple and straightforward, a step-by-step process that makes the daunting task of synopsis creation much less daunting.
Amy Andrews (20 mins)
Amy Andrews talks about her journey through burnout – what happened, why it happened and how it’s reshaped her career.
Becca Syme (Keynote, 30 mins)
When we look at the future of publishing and what’s coming for authors, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. In this talk, Becca will break down the steps needed to have an author career for our lifetime, and how to proceed with that endgame in mind.
Amy Andrews (1.5hr)
The humble rom-com is having somewhat of a moment right now – thank you TikTok! Consequently, there are more publishing opportunities and more voracious readers for this genre than ever before. So, what exactly is a rom-com? What distinguishes it from a romance book that’s funny? Amy takes you through the 5 classic elements of romantic comedy to help you craft your very own LOL masterpiece.
Sofia Aves (1.5hr)
Anthologies are wonderful marketing tool to increase brand and author awareness, as well
as offering a networking opportunity to work with authors in your genre. But there can be more cogs and pieces involved than expected, and often organisers come away burned out from the experience. Learn how to host a romance anthology that hits a market, how to wrangle authors, and build a community of loyal authors that lasts for your next anthology run…all without setting your sanity aside.
Amanda Ashby (1hr)
Whether you’re writing a domestic thriller, a cozy mystery, crime, or a paranormal suspense, at some point your main character will likely stumble across a bit of murder or mayhem. So what happens after the screaming subsides? You’ll want to weave in twists and turns, a pile of suspects, theories, dark secrets, and lots of misdirection. To help with your nefarious plotting, we’ll cover tips, tricks, strategies and secret handshakes for writers of all levels.
Sacha Black (1hr)
Discover how to write the perfect unlikable protagonist or villain-protagonist. This session will give you all the structure, arc, and characterisation tips you need to master the unlikable character. In the session, I’ll explain:
Theodora Taylor (1hr)
Review and fix 2-3 blurbs. Bring a blurb that needs some love with you for the optimum experience.
Samara Parish (1hr)
Plotter vs pantser myths: Outlining will make you write faster (false). Pantsers don’t follow structure (also false). One is inherently better than the other (again, false). But when you don’t understand how your intuitive writing process works, it can be difficult to replicate it efficiently and impossible to trust it. This workshop will help you understand the different types of intuition, how to feed it, guide it, and take back control when it’s leading you astray. You’ll learn know what information you need into order for your intuition to move forward, and strategies for getting unstuck when it grinds to a halt.
Panel: Sacha Black, Amy Andrews, Theodora Taylor. MC: Amy Blythe (1hr)
Writing sex scenes can be daunting. In this panel, sex-positive authors of hot and emotive sex scenes will open the door on their approach. Stay true to your characters, delve into the sensory details, get playful with pillow talk and satisfy your readers!