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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Countdown to RWA® Nationals: Top Picks for Writers of Historical Romance

The Romance Writers of America will hold their annual national conference in New York City from June 29th-July 1, 2011. Last month, I posted a blog on how to pick a writing workshop. One of the tips was to look for workshops that focused on your subgenre.

Since scouring through the RWA schedules can be quite time-consuming, I thought I’d highlight those events and workshops of particular interest to the historical author. The workshop descriptions were copied directly from the RWA National website.

Tuesday, June 28th 7:30 am-10:00pm

Beau Monde mini-conference and soiree

Wednesday, June 29th, 8:30-10:00 am

Opening session: Steve Berry and Diana Gabaldon, two NYT best-selling authors with deep historical ties, will participate in a panel discussion.

Wednesday, June 29th, 12:15-2:00pm

Keynote Luncheon: The Keynote speaker will be Madeline Hunter, two-time Rita award winner and author of eighteen historical novels.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2:00-3:00 pm
Keeping it Real: Regency Research Georgette Heyer Could Believe In

New York Times best-selling author Sabrina Jeffries and Jennifer Kloester, author of the definitive Regency reference work Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, explore the secrets to creating an engaging Regency world.

Wednesday, June 29th, 6:30-10:00pm

Hearts Through History Chapter Annual General Meeting

Thursday, June 30th, 8:30-9:30 am

Experiencing Dance Across Time: a Physical Exploration of Dance through the Ages
Participants will be taught the physical and rhythmic components of a dance form unique to one of three time periods by Sarah Shade, a dance expert, and then will be led through a re-creation of each dance.

Thursday, June 30th, 9:45-10:45 am

Here history buffs will have to choose between two workshops:

Chat with Bertrice Small

A beloved RWA Honor Roll member gives a frank and heartwarming look into her journey through the historical romance fiction market.


Fact into Fiction: Using True Facts from History to Spin a High-Concept Story

Learn how to use true facts from history to create a story that grabs an editor’s attention. Guidepost Books Senior Editor Beth Adams will use examples from the best-seller lists to examine what makes a historical stand out.

Thursday, June 30th, 2:00-3:00PM

Familiarity Breeds Success: Recurring Characters, Places, and Themes in Your Historical Series(CRAFT) Sarah MacLean and Lauren Willig
Join two New York Times best-selling authors as they discuss how to create a convincing, consistent world that keeps readers hooked through a whole series of books.

Thursday, June 30th, 3:15-4:15PM
Faithful Retainers, Doddering Butlers, and Pert Housemaids: Busting the Servant Myths(RESEARCH) Janet Mullany
A multipublished author and granddaughter of an Edwardian housemaid explores the lives of Georgian/Regency servants to help you add depth and authenticity to your story.

Friday, July 1st, 8:30-9:30 am

Sex Throughout History Join Delilah Marvelle as she explores the history of sex from prehistoric through Edwardian times.

Friday, July 1st, 9:45-10:45am

Another choice between two historical-themed workshops:

Chat with Mary Jo Putney

Mary Jo Putney, a New York Times best-selling author and RITA winner, answers questions and chats with the audience.


The Historical Romance Market: Advice from the Pros (PUBLISHING) Victoria Alexander, Stephanie Laurens, TBD
Join two award-winning, New York Times best-selling authors and other industry professionals in this informal, lively give-and-take discussion on the historical romance market. Hear from the experts what draws readers to this hot subgenre, where they think the current trend is headed, and why.

Friday, July 1st 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Bottoms Up: a Look at Victorian Women’s Clothing from the Inside Out
(RESEARCH) Deeanne Gist
Ever wonder what Victorian women wore under all those gowns? Find out as a best-selling historical author strips down to chemise and bloomers, and then watch as her lady’s maid dresses her, layer by layer.

Friday, July 1st 3:15-4:15pm

Writing the English-set Historical (RESEARCH) Jo Beverley
RITA award-winning author Jo Beverley discusses the unique aspects to writing a story set in historical England.

So there you have it, my list of workshops and events of particular interest to historical romance writers. I would love to hear your impressions. What are you most looking forward to attending? Did I leave anything out?


  1. Wow, what an awesome selection. I think my brain might explode if I got to hear all of that info! I have Jennifer Kloester's book, so I'm sure that presentation will be filled with lots of great stuff.

  2. Hi Donna! We're going to miss you at Nationals. That's a good idea, though, to look for the speaker's book if you can't attend. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I wish I was going. I would love to attend the Diana Gabaldon panel. I actually talked to her very briefly about it online and thought it was funny that she ad no idea what the panel would be about. She just knew who was on the panel with her. I LOVE Diana Gabaldon.

  4. Hi Anita,I'm looking forward to seeing Diana Gabaldon too. I saw a recorded interview with her once and thought it was fascinating to hear how she approaches her work. Thanks for commenting. :)

  5. I'm most looking forward to seeing my critique partners and friends, but I'm also looking forward to the dance workshop. :)

  6. Hi Samantha,
    Yes, friends are the best part of conference, and the dancing should be fun too. For once, I won't be the only one who doesn't know the moves. LOL. Thanks for commenting. See you there :)

  7. Great summary post, thank you!

    While the Beau Monde conference & soiree is an add-on to the national conference, it's very worthwhile. The focus is, of course, the Regency era and the presenters for the workshops are always excellent and the soiree that evening is a great time, complete with Regency period dancing (and a dance master calling instructions!). So, even if you just arrive in time for the party & dancing, it's a wonderful experience.

  8. Thank you for the extra information on the Beau Monde, Elaine. I'm not a member of the Beau Monde, but I wanted to include it because it's something historical writers would find interesting.

    I should probably mention that the Hearts through History AGM, held in conjunction with the Celtic Hearts, is also an add-on with additional fees.

  9. Thanks for the listing. I'm just going to print it out and put it in my planner. I feel like I need to do some training to get ready for Conference- there is so much I want to do and no time to be exhausted.

  10. Hi Leigh, I'm so glad you found it useful. Of course, the most important item on your agenda will be the GH awards ceremony. Good luck on the GH, and congratulations on your big sale, too.