2015 MEETING TOPICS
JANUARY 24: Passport to Greater Writing Success in 2015
- 2015 Programs/Goals and Updates
- SSRA & RWA® administrative information & updates
- Your 2015 Writing Goals: How to set your writing goals for this year and achieve them.
- (10-1pm General mtg/program; Board mtg 9-10am—all Committee Members please attend)
** FEBRUARY 21: Which Publishing Path is Right for You – Know Before You Submit
9:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park (Classroom)
Learn the inside secrets to which publishing path is right for you. Join multi-published author, Loretta C. Rogers as she walks you through a comprehensive workshop that takes the mystery out of the many different publishing avenues, and will help you decide Which Publishing Path is Right for You. LIMITED CAPACITY.
MARCH 28: How to Work Smarter, Not Harder
- Ane Ryan-Walker hosts an informative workshop on How to Work Smarter, Not Harder. She brings invaluable tips to the table for all writers seeking a career in publishing.
- Prod Your Muse (PYM) internal contest begins on March 1! SSRA Members register online to ‘birth’ a novel in 2014!
- (10-1pm General mtg/program; Board mtg 1-2pm—all Committee Members please attend)
APRIL 18: Show Don’t Tell
- REMINDER: This month’s meeting will begin and end 1 hour earlier this month. We will meet from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
We have a bunch to get through at our general meeting, followed by a fantastic program, so mark your calendar to be sure you’re ready to start early—at 9am SHARP.
- SHOW DON’T TELL: SSRA President and Paranormal Romance / YA author Dylan Newton reveals tips and tricks to spot the “Tell” in your work, and how to fix it! Conquer passive writing to create a strong storytelling experience.
Guest Speaker Journalist Buster Thompson joins us to share his experiences writing for the Citrus County Chronicle, including how to write to a deadline and what editors look for in quality writing.
- Where is your career taking you? Have you taken control and do you know what you want to accomplish? Join New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Lexi Post as she walks us through Strategic Career Planning for the Romance Writer!
- (10-1pm General mtg/program; Board mtg 1-2pm—all Committee Members please attend)
JULY: No general meeting this month due to the 2015 RWA® National Conference
AUGUST 22: Synopsis Workshop
- The dreaded synopsis is a huge tool in getting published, but many writers fail to utilize it to its full potential! Multi-published author Connie Mann will present a workshop on writing a synopsis that will be sure to catch an editor’s eye and put you on the path to publication!
- Author Jennifer Taylor presents a workshop on using the senses in your writing.
- Board mtg 1-2pm—all Committee Members please attend
**OCTOBER 16-18: SSRA’s First Writer’s Retreat (SSRA Members Only)
Is your laptop dusty because you’ve been doing laundry and mopping floors? Do you stare at the blank screen, waiting for inspiration to strike? If so, you may be in need of a retreat! A writer’s retreat, that is. Join your SSRA writer friends in creative plotting exercises, relaxing walks through nature and delicious snacking while soaking up the communal spirit of story crafting. REGISTRATION via myRWA (rwa.org login required).
NOVEMBER 21: A Veteran’s POV on Writing Military Romance
- Program: USMC Veteran and Romantic Thriller writer CT Charles discusses the military mind, customs, terminology, and subculture with information on how to find the resources you need to make your military heroes or heroines and situations realistic and accurate in your writing.
- Annual General Meeting
- Board of Directors (2016-2018) Elections
DECEMBER 12: Annual Holiday Party
Once again it’s time for our annual SSRA Members’ Holiday Party. Make sure to bring your completed Prod Your Muse manuscript (digital or printed) to the party for verification and for your chance at the PYM winner’s pot! This year’s menu is ‘Store-Bought’ Pot Luck. Bring your favorite dish from your local deli or grocery (no home cooked items due to library restrictions).
2014 MEETING TOPICS
JANUARY 25th: Writer’s ROAD MAP to SUCCESS 2014
Are you SERIOUS about your writing career? This FREE seminar by multi-published, paranormal author Dylan Newton is for writers ready for success in 2014. With useful handouts and real-world writer’s tips, this personalized training will plan your way to first publication or to the best seller’s list.
**All genres welcome!
** FEBRUARY 22nd: Crafting a Novel BOOT CAMP
Multi-published, best-selling author Loretta C. Rogers conducts this fast-paced, information-packed seminar on plotting, goal, motivation & conflict, plus tips to create characters and settings to enhance your book. This incredible workshop is applicable to all genres. Lunch provided!
MARCH 29th: Prod You Muse Madness!
Prod your muse into production! This FREE workshop with Inspirational Romance author Jessica Nelson will give you REAL techniques to eliminate writer’s block, keep your creative juices flowing, and motivate your muse to meet deadlines.
** APRIL 26th: Book Video Trailers, Branding, Blogging and Book Marketing WORKSHOP
The time to set up your author platform is BEFORE your first contract! Learn from our published authors and subject matter experts the secrets to successfully:
- Brand yourself and your writing
- Leveraging your writing network
- Blogging and websites—how to start now to build your reader platform
- Book video trailers—tips on making yours and what NOT to do.
- Book promotion and marketing—once you have that contract, how to put your marketing dollars to the best use for your genre and to increase exposure. Free ways to gain a readership (and reviews!), and tons of real-life samples from authors of all genres!
MAY 17th: BREAKING Down BAD Guys (and Gals)
What makes a good villain? How do you create the kind of bad guy your readers will love to hate and never forget? Our own C.T. Charles (aka Cheryl) will discuss archetypes and stereotypes, what makes a believable and unique villain, and why we’re so fascinated by them. You’ll learn tips for how to flesh out your characters so that they will not only resonate with your readers, but make their skin crawl. Whether you write romance, fantasy, thrillers, or children’s books, you’ll be able to use these techniques for your current WIP or future novels.
JUNE 28th: Pitch Perfect!
Mock Pitch Session/Critique Session– Gear up for 2014 Conferences and get tips to perfecting your pitch so you can get that coveted request for submission. Get feedback to improve your pitch! Led by RWA® PRO and SSRA members Ronnie Allen and Judith Kammeraad.
JULY 26th: Members Only Critique & Beta-Reader Training
- No general meeting due to the RWA® National Conference July 23-26
- Led by Loretta C. Rogers, we will train interested members on how to be effective critique partners and beta readers for other SSRA members, as well as how to use your critique partner and beta reader’s comments to improve your own writing.
AUGUST 30th: Writing Great Dialogue
With several books under her belt, Anna Small knows how to write GREAT dialogue that adds dimension to a book! Her training will help you write dialogue that drives your plot/book forward, and she will give you tips for writing believable male dialogue and you will practice turning regular speech into exciting dialogue. Not to be missed!
SEPTEMBER 27th: What Makes a Good Beta Reader?
A good beta reader can help make a writer’s manuscript ready for the submission process. To be an ideal beta reader, you must first learn the characteristics of an ‘ideal’ beta reader. This workshop involves a hands-on practice story followed with questions, answers and discussion. Our incredible Loretta C. Rogers will be leading this not-to-be-missed workshop.
NOVEMBER 15th: World-Weaving: Keep the Data, Avoid the Dump
Our guest speaker, science fiction romance author Linnea Sinclair, delves into the exciting world of research! No matter the genre, research is imperative for our fiction. Come join SSRA on November 15th as we learn the best ways to incorporate our research into our stories, while maintaining accuracy.
DECEMBER 13th: Annual Members’ Only Holiday Party
Registration for our 2014 HOLIDAY PARTY is now closed. December 2nd was the VERY LAST day to sign-up. Members who have registered to attend — we’ll see you there!
2013 MEETING TOPICS
JANUARY 26: General mtg immediately followed by Board mtg—all Committee Members must attend
- 2013, and SSRA 2013 Programs/Goals and Updates.
- Your 2013 Writing Goals: How to set your writing goals for this year and achieve them.
- SSRA Loop Treasure Map: Overview of the resources and content available in our member’s only loop.
- “Nuts and Bolts”: First Page Do’s and Don’ts: What should your first manuscript page do, and what will cause it to fail.
- Multi-published erotic romance author Evangeline Anderson will be taking us through How to Write a Love Scene, answering your questions on writing love scenes from the steamy to the erotic–a great Valentine’s gift, indeed! Author signing after the event.
- 2013 SSRA Budget for your review.
** MARCH 23: Prod Your Muse internal contest begins.
- You’ve Written a Novel…Now What? Query Letters, Synopsis and Pitch Workshop. This program will walk you through the key pieces necessary to query…and snag an agent or editor. Applicable to every author/genre, this will provide in-depth guidance for writing the query and synopsis and crafting an effective face-to-face pitch for those attending summer conferences.
APRIL 27 (Board meeting from 2-5pm—Committee Members must attend)
- Costume & Character. How you dress your character is crucial to how they are perceived by your reader. our very own Anna Small will give you a very insightful examination of how costume helps MAKE your character well-rounded, and how dress speaks volumes.
- Researching the Historical Romance. Do you know the difference between a chemise and a shift? What were the rules for dancing? What’s the difference between a Regency Novel and a Regency Historical Romance? If you’re writing an American historical, what timeframe qualifies? All this and MORE in Anna’s detail-rich presentation, including a handout on fantastic online resources for those of us writing historicals.
** MAY 25th
- Romantic Suspense with Connie Mann—PAN Workshop In this members workshop, we are honored to host romantic suspense author Connie Mann who will speak about her writing journey, and be available to sign books.
- Contest Training—Required for all SSRA Members. Training for judging our 2013 SSRA Show Me Your Covers Contest.
Brainstorming: Workshops, Schedule and Events for 2014—This month’s program, originally Platform Building and Gaining a Readership, as been tabled for a later date due to upcoming conferences and board duties taking precedence. Instead, we will be using the time to solidify our workshops, schedule and events for 2014.
This will give us a much-needed breather from constant programming, and much-needed brainstorming so that we can ensure we’ve taken the time to get your input on next year’s events. To that end, please be thinking about the following for the meeting:
- What workshops would YOU like to see offered in 2014? What would benefit YOU most as a writer?
- Thinking about our community, and of our continuing mission to get writers published, what would help you on your journey to becoming published?
- What sorts of programs would you like to see offered as a PAID workshop?
- Who do you know if our community (or nearby) that might be willing to come in and offer an ‘expert’ program (such as those from the female veteran, and the ghost hunters that we had last year)?
- Are YOU willing to be a speaker at one of our programs next year, and if so, what skill/area of expertise would you be able to offer our members?
Dylan, our VP and Programs Director, looks forward to hearing your opinions and to chatting with you about all of the outstanding programs we will have planned for 2014. See you there!
JULY 27: (General mtg immediately followed by Board mtg—all Committee Members must attend)
- Navigating & Utilizing the SSRA Website with SSRA Webmaster, C.T. Charles (aka Cheryl)
- Re-cap of RWA Conference from July 17-20; Nominating Committee responsibilities and 2013 Open Board positions.
- Guest speaker Luis F. Aran for Crime/Suspense genre: Retired Police Officer turned Private Investigator and Security Specialist, will speak about his experiences on the job. This is a great opportunity to ask questions as it relates to the crime/suspense genre!
- Nominating Committee Selected
** SEPTEMBER 28: (General mtg immediately followed by Board mtg—all Committee Members must attend)
- Women’s Fiction by Terri DuLong—PAN Workshop: In this members workshop, we are honored to host women’s fiction author and New York Times Bestseller Terri DuLong who will speak about her writer’s journey and be available to sign books.
Self-Editing Session: This is a do-not-miss workshop on self-editing your manuscript. Useful for both new writers and veterans alike, SSRA President and Paranormal Romance Author Dylan Newton will be walking you through all you need to know to take your manuscript from Snore to “More!”In this month’s workshop, you’ll learn the following:
- Clues on how to know where you’ll need to make surgical cuts in your manuscript to give you a tighter, better novel.
- When you need to kill your darlings, and how to ‘recycle’ them for future works.
- A walk-through of how to use MS Word editing features to help in your self-editing process.
- How to spot passive voice and (even better) how to correct it.
- Getting out of the telling vs. showing habit.
- and more!
PLUS…at the end of this workshop, we will be testing our new skills and you will get to see a real-life example of edits on a manuscript before and after edits!
- The Secrets To Pacing In Your Novel: Presented by Loretta C. Rogers, President of Sunshine State Romance Authors, and an award-winning, multi-published author. The pace of a novel in any genre is important. During this free seminar, she will show how to strengthen a weak plot through the use of pacing to keep readers turning pages and coming back for more.
- Elections for 2014 Officers
- Holiday Party
2012 MEETING TOPICS
- Re-cap of Silken Sands Conference
- How to Successfully Critique/Receive Critique on a Manuscript by Loretta Rogers. In this seminar, you will learn how to give a helpful critique, and how to use feedback given to you to get the most out of your critique comments.
- Taxes and the Writer, by Mike Gearhart, Liberty Tax Service. Did you know that writers (entertainers) are the most audited by the IRS? This seminar will give insight as to legitimate deductions.
- Beta Reader Workshop & Forms. What are Beta Readers, and how can they help me?
- Introducing the Prod Your Muse Book Challenge Internal Contest! Want a way to prod your muse into action, and be eligible to win a cash prize? Then this member’s only contest is for you!
- Email and Track Changes Workshop. This member’s only workshop will help you understand and utilize your email program, and teach you the Microsoft Word ‘track changes’ function—essential for critique partners!
- Hook the Reader by Dylan Newton. Tips and tricks to hook your reader (and agent/editor) from Page 1.
- How Librarians Choose Books for Libraries by Flossie Benton Rogers. Insider’s look at the process
- Genre Workshop by Jessica Nelson. Ever wonder what it is you’re writing? What exactly is expected of each genre? Jessica’s genre workshop will give you an overview of all of the genres.
- Ask a Published Author Panel. Ask all your questions about writing, publishing and the secrets to success of our very own five SSRA traditionally published authors!
- Plotting Workshop Part 1 by Loretta Rogers. All you thought you knew about plotting…and didn’t! Seminar will cover the 3 major plot points and 14 sub-plots. PAN Workshop is free for SSRA members, $39 for pre-registered visitors.
- Plotting Workshop Part. 2 by Loretta Rogers. Using plot guidelines, we will pair by genre so YOU can plot your novel the right way (and the first time!). PAN Workshop is free for SSRA members, $39 for pre-registered visitors.
- Spice Up Your Paranormal presented by Arlene Hale and members of the Old Gilchrist Jail Ghost Hunters. Arlene and her team will tell you of their personal and group encounters with the paranormal, and will bring EVP and video evidence and equipment! If you’re considering writing a paranormal, this is the program to attend!
- War is Hell. Air Force veteran, Gabriella Daniellson, speaks about challenges women face in military service. War-themed romances are ‘hot’ now, so don’t miss this opportunity to ask all of your questions!
- 10 Steps to Better Writing by Barry Denham. A great program on improving your craft. Ideal for writing novices, or published authors, Barry’s program has something for every level.
- SSRA Members’ Holiday Party! Book Challenge Payout Winner Awarded, Chapter Awards, food, fun & drink!
** Offsite Workshop; Fee to attend