Past Meetings and Events

Examples of past meetings, workshops and retreats presented by the NorCal Romance Writers or our predecessor group, the Sacramento Valley Rose Romance Writers of America, are listed below. NorCalRW members have access to handouts, presentation summaries etc. from these sessions and many others via the private Members' Site.

  • Organizing Your Writing Life--Abigail Owen shared tried and true methods for staying on top of your email, craft notes, social media, and marketing as an author, including Gmail & Microsoft OneNote.

  • Writing Characters of Color--Olivia Gaines presented an hour-long workshop on how to seamlessly integrate characters of social and diverse backgrounds into your story. We learned the best methods of describing skin tones, hair textures, and cultural dishes. 

 

  • Planning and Goal-Setting for Authors--Book coach Jennifer Graybeal shared how to set big goals for your writing career and personal life, and to determine a plan for actually getting them done. 

  •  Writing with a Partner--Ellie Ashe and Mia Marshall discussed things to consider before embarking on co-writing, such as: how creative partnerships can work, how to stay organized and on track with your projects, business and legal considerations, and how to end your partnership and stay friends.  

 

  • Podcasts as Platform: Making the Most of the Newest, Hottest Medium----Betsy Graziani Fasbinder. We covered:

    • What is this new world of podcasting and what are the opportunities for writers?

    • Simple skills to make yourself a better podcast guest

    • Considerations for hosting your own podcast

    • Betsy’s Pet Peeves, or Stuff to do to if You Really Want to Irk Your Podcast Host and Never Get Invited Back.

  • Plot a Novel in an Hour, with Julia Mozingo. Topics included character, goal, conflict, motivation, beginning setup, and conclusion. We learned how to expand the basic structure using the "10-Step Novel Development Plan," a process that focused on asking the right questions that pull information from your mind to discover the story.

  • More than a Place: Beyond World Building: The Setting as a Character, with Tanya Agler. Whether a beginning writer or a published author, a plotter or pantser, this program helped participants make their setting come alive. By the end of the session, we had a new perspective on series writing, world-building, and how to organize our research and character details.

 

  • Crafting the Perfect Title with Gwyn McNamee. Gwyn walked us through selecting the perfect title and provided pointers on how to write a blurb that will attract readers and lead them down the path to purchasing your book.

 

  • Planning your next genre fiction series: turning a writing dream into a writing career! with USA Today Bestselling author Zoe York. Her workshop covered: how to craft the next first-in-series evergreen book that will sell for years and lay the foundation for 5+ books to follow; planning the order of books to build reader momentum; how (and when) to spin-off and take your readers with you, and how to weather the ups and downs of the market when you feel like the tortoise surrounded by hares.

 

  • The How, What, and WHY You Need An Editor with bestselling author and freelance content editor Anna J. Stewart. ​She discussed the various types of editors, and what to look for when hiring your own editor or when working with one at a publishing house. She shared her “cheat sheet” that she uses when working on her own clients’ projects as well as her tips for cleaning up those all-important first 15 pages you might be using to hook your own editor or even an agent.