My 4 Fave Workshops at the 2014 RWA Nationals

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Among the two thousand plus attendees and hundreds of workshops, it’s impossible to be everywhere at an RWA Nationals. As a result, these aren’t THE four  best workshops. They are my favorite four that I attended.

1. The Villain’s Journey presented by Allison Brennan

I can never get enough Allison. She’s not only a great writer, she’s a maverick at pulling apart what makes stories work and explaining it in understandable language. Her humor and humility are epic. I think many of us want to be her when we grow up. In this workshop she talked about how to create a good bad-guy.

2. The Fabulous, Sexy, Selling Novella presented by Connie Brockway, Eloisa James and Julia Quinn

These ladies really know how to write good novellas, and they shared lots of tips, steamy and pragmatic.

3. Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space presented by Amazon reps and a panel of Indie Writers

Fascinating. I think we’ve all felt the shift in the winds of publishing, but the stats blew my mind. I learned about the new programs Amazon is rolling out, and kept getting the message: “You can Indie publish and succeed.”

4. Deconstructing Alpha Heroes presented by Eloisa James

I came away with lots of ideas about how to tweak my main guy. A great resource.

In the weeks to come, I’ll re-listen to these workshops on tape and write up more detailed posts.

My One Crotchety Note:

We all paid big bucks to be there and expected to attend whatever workshops we wanted, but the rooms weren’t large enough. The big names drew so many people, attendees stood along the wall at the back and sides and were ten deep at the door. I passed on several workshops as a result and quickly learned to arrive early if I wanted a good seat.

Your Turn

Tell me about a favorite workshop you’ve attended recently.

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

Jo-Ann Carson writes a saucy mix of fantasy, adventure and romance. Her latest stories are in the Gambling Ghosts Series: A Highland Ghost for Christmas, A Viking Ghost for Valentine’s Day, Confessions of a Pirate Ghost and The Biker Ghost Meets his Match. An anthology of the novellas will be coming out this summer. Currently she is working on Midnight Magic, A Ghost & Abby Mystery, the first book in a spin-off series from her Viking ghost story. Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, playing Mah Jong and drinking good coffee. You can chat with her on social media: You can find all her links on her website - http://jo-anncarson.com

20 thoughts on “My 4 Fave Workshops at the 2014 RWA Nationals”

  1. I have to say that I attended most of the workshops put on by Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy and appreciated their openness in sharing their experiences and the info they gave out. Another of my favorites was with my idol Susan Elizabeth Philips. She clarifies everything that even I GET IT!!! LOL

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    1. Mimi
      Thanks for sharing. I’ve put Bella Andre, Baraba Freethy and Susan Elizabeth Philips on the top of my listening list. It sure was fun seeing you at the Nationals.
      Best Wishes
      Jo-Ann

      Like

  2. I really liked the one on Adobe Photoshop. And one a lot of people walked out on about creating titles using Amazon and Google had some great stuff in it, just had to glean through. One about men and women was good too. A lot of people said the rooms were too crowded. Answer the survey.

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    1. Hi Vick
      The survey. That’s a good idea. Where would I find it?
      I sure could have used the photoshop workshop. I’ll check to see if they taped that one. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

      Like

  3. I went the Marketing route. I particularly enjoyed “If You Build It, They Will Come: Five Strategies for Building Reader Loyalty” by Stella Cameron, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sheri Brooks and Cissy Hartley. It was very informative to get the POVs of both two authors and two of the social media/marketing gurus they work with. I also got a lot out of “The Care and Feeding of the Social Media Beast” led by Tyra Burton and Jana Oliver. Next year I’ll have to get back to the Craft track. Hopefully, most of those sessions were recorded, since I decided at the last minute to buy a flash drive of the entire conference.

    Barbara Barrett

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    1. Hi Barbara
      Thanks so much for commenting. The marketing workshops you attending sound awesome. I’m writing them down and looking forward to listening to them taped.
      Every workshop I went to was taped and I suspect most of them were. I like to listen to them when I go for a walk along the harbor in the afternoon.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.
      Best Wishes
      Jo-Ann

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  4. Joann, looking forward to your detailed notes. I didn’t get a chance to attend any of those workshops. I liked the social media workshop. Very dynamic. And the Pinterest. Those were basically my only marketing workshops. I’d love to hear more about the novellas. Would love to know how they are developed differently.

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    1. Hi Susan
      I’ll be sure to listen to th SM and Pinterest tapes. I’ve had a Pinterest account for some time, and am just now getting active on it. Lots to learn. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  5. I attended mostly Self-Pub and Marketing workshops, and learned lots! But the best moments by far were sitting in the front row (got there 30 mins early) for the Nora Chat…. it was my ultimate conference goal 🙂 … My second goal was to get to know at least a few people, as I’m well known for being the wall-flower… I also accomplished this one, so the conference was a fabulous experience for me, and on top of that, I can sit and listen to a workshop on tape every evening. Money well spent? Yep.

    As for the room sizes – Fail. And the lack of raised platforms at the front of the room for the panels – another fail. But I did remember to note all of that on the survey 🙂

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    1. Hi Kathryn
      You are so focused. Good for you!
      I went in with goals, but didn’t achieve half of them. It’s more than a wee bit overwhelming sharing space with so many writers.
      I’m going to listen to the Nora chat for sure. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  6. I can’t wait to listen to the tapes of the ‘Fabulous, Sexy, Selling Novella and ‘Deconstructing Alpha Heroes’ presented by two of my favorite authors, Eloisa James and Julia Quinn. See you on the 9th.

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    1. Hi Helena
      And I can’t wait to see you and hear about your summer so far.
      The session is great. I promise it won’t disappoint.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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    1. Hi Pat
      Sorry you’re missing our Saturday meeting. Darn life does get in the way. The tapes are great.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann
      who will miss you

      Like

  7. I’m with Barbara – I really enjoyed “If You Build It, They Will Come: Five Strategies for Building Reader Loyalty” by Stella Cameron, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sheri Brooks and Cissy Hartley.
    My other favorites were:
    – “Marketing: Work with what you have” by Eileen Dryer, Maggie Mae Gallagher and Barbara Vey
    – “The Secret to Powerful Writing: Activate, Activate, Activate” by Claire Cavanaugh and Robin Perrini.
    It’s interesting that all of your favs, Jo-Ann, were ones I hadn’t attended. Makes it even more apparent that I must listen to the audio recordings. And thanks to you I now know which recordings to listen to first 🙂

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  8. The conference was a fabulous experience. I agree with you Jo-Ann, some of the workshops were too crowded. No one should have to sit on the floor.

    I enjoyed Writing Faster, Writing Better by Cindi Myers. It was either go to that one, or choose the one on Writing Slow. Go figure. I wish I could have gone to both -just to hear the contrast.

    The presenter gave lots of tips to kick-start one’s creativity. Also, rituals for starting, plotting strategies, ten things that could happen next in one’s novel etc. Also, adding 500 words per day in order to create more output, writing sprints (ten minutes of quick writing, with a timer) then a five minute break etc.

    Fascinating stuff.

    Like

    1. Hi Jodie
      Welcome home.
      I’m adding your list to my TBR pile. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.Love the idea of adding 500 words to my daily count!
      I hope to see you Saturday at our meeting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

      Like

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