Lisa Mondello spent fifteen years trying to get traction in traditional publishing, had some success writing for Avalon Books and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Romance line, but never fully getting there.  She self published her first Indie book in September 2011 and hasn’t looked back.  She will discuss how to get started in Indie, how to stay on track, how to avoid pitfalls, and how to navigate the ever changing Self Publishing world.

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa Mondello, has held many jobs in her life but being a published author is the last job she’ll ever have. She’s not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she’d still be penning stories with paper and pen. Her book The Knight and Maggie’s Baby is a New York Times Bestseller. Her popular series includes TEXAS HEARTS, DAKOTA HEARTS, Fate with a Helping Hand and the new SUMMER HOUSE series. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence series made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List and was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012. You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at


Prior to her writing career, author Jen Malone was the New England Head of Publicity and Promotions for 20th Century Fox and Miramax Films, charged with creating localized, grassroots campaigns to compliment the mass marketing efforts of the studio. In this seminar, Jen draws on those strategies to discuss outside-the-box techniques authors can employ to get their title noticed in a cluttered marketspace. We’ll examine why the target audience influences most of the marketing decisions and unique ways to specifically reach those readers. Finally you’ll be shown examples of marketing campaigns that managed to create that elusive “buzz” and examine ways you can do the same for your title!

Jen Malone writes books for tweens and teens, including At Your Service, the You’re Invited series, and the forthcoming The Sleepover with Simon & Schuster, as well as Map to the Stars and the forthcoming Wanderlost with HarperCollins. She is a former Hollywood marketing exec who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. You can learn more about Jen and her titles at

Are you confused when we talk about “voice” in writing? Editors say it’s what they’re looking for, and agents say it can make the difference between a mid-list and a best-selling career. It’s often defined as “a writer’s personality on the page,” but how do we put it there? Is it something natural, organic, or something related to our writing craft?

This workshop will explore the integrated writing elements that make up voice, such as style, tone, and content (each with its own sub-elements) and what choices we make that affect our voices. We’ll analyze recognizable samples of strong writing voices, and through discussion and exercises, map out some ways to strengthen our own voices for greater writing success.

Award-winning author Gail Eastwood started writing stories as soon as she learned to string words together on paper. After detours into journalism and rare books, she finally found her path writing “traditional” Regency romances acclaimed for pushing the genre’s boundaries with emotional depth and innovative plots. Published by Signet and twice nominated for Romantic Times Magazine’s Career Achievement award, Gail had to put writing on hold to deal with family health issues, but honed her teaching skills in the interim. Now she is back doing what she loves best, but still enjoys helping to nurture the writing gift in others. Most of her backlist is now available and she has new books in the works.



The New England Chapter of RWA invites you to submit workshop proposals for our next Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, to be held April 29-30, 2016 at the Boston Marriott in Burlington, MA.

If you’d like to submit a proposal, please complete our Workshop Proposal Form. Our workshop chair, Cathryn Parry, will also accept proposals and questions at until October 31, 2015.

You may also submit your workshop proposal using our printable form and mail it to:

NECRWA Workshops

1770 Massachusetts Ave., #189

Cambridge, MA 02140


The conference fee will be waived for one speaker per workshop. For more information, please visit our Conference Page.


A storyboard is a visual of your book, a  quick overview, of the flow of your story. It allows you to quickly see an overview of your book without having to read paragraphs in a synopsis or notes in a notebook. It also facilitates plot brainstorming and helps keep you writing during the process. In this session, we’ll discuss how to design a storyboard that works best for you and then how to use it for plotting, revision, and brainstorming.

Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She’s also a master procrastinator–if only her cocker spaniel mix, Josie, would let her focus on writing instead of playing ball all day!

Judith Arnold will lead a panel of authors to discuss the pros and cons of various options open to authors right now.

Judith Arnold is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly one hundred romance and women’s fiction novels. She’s been a multiple finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Rita Award
and the EPIC Award for electronic fiction, and she’s won four RT Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Awards and the New England Readers Choice Award. Publishers Weekly named her novel Love in Bloom’s one of the best books of the year.

A lifelong New England resident, Victoria Morgan lives in a suburb of Boston. There she juggles (with differing degrees of priority) a part-time job, writing, watercolor classes, her husband, a teen-ager and college student, and a mini-golden doodle with a Napoleon complex. Published with Berkley Sensation, a Penguin Random House Group, she is an insatiable reader who loves to see the magic of a world taking shape through the words of a book or the beauty of a painted picture. You can contact her through her website, or through FB. Leave a comment as she loves to hear from readers!

Frances Susanne Brown is an accomplished writer of both nonfiction and fiction. A graduate of NYIT, she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Frances began her career writing magazine articles. She is a still a regular feature contributor for Renaissance Magazine, as well as being one of their book reviewers. Her memoir, Maternal Threads, was released May 1, 2015 from High Hill Press. Writing under the pseudonym Claire Gem, her debut novel was released in February 2015. Addressing the themes of May-September romance and the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s, Phantom Traces combines a modern love story, a historical tragedy, and a spooky paranormal in a multilayered, fast-paced plot guaranteed to take the reader on an emotional ride.
Her other novels include Memories of You, Book 1 in The Lake George Series, coming soon from Lachesis Publishing. Her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, recently won first place honors in FCRW’s The Beacon Contest. Originally from upstate New York, Frances has also lived in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. She presently resides in Massachusetts with her husband of 36 years.

Kristen Strassel prides herself on having not one, but two of the coolest jobs in the world. She’s a makeup artist for film and television as well as an author of paranormal and contemporary romances. She writes off-beat heroines who find their happily ever after where they least expect it. Her latest novel, The Fire Dancer, a vampire dark fantasy, was released May 21.

We all love novels, rich with complex characters and plot twists. But novels take a long time to write, and–let’s face it–not all the stories in our heads are 400 pages long. With the advent of digital publishing and the ease of self-publishing, there has never been a better time to write novellas and short stories. Even better, they can be fun to write!

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer code before discovering that writing fiction was far more fun. Eleven years, fifteen books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC-RWA Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, NJRW’s Golden Leaf award, and RWA’s RITA Award.

Erotic Romance – Kate Baum for Funny Girl

2nd Place – Mia Gabriel for Lord Savage

3rd Place – Anna Jeffrey for The Cattleman and Teresa Noelle Robers for Out of Control


Futuristic, Fantasy Paranormal or Time Travel – Lauren Smith for Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall

2nd Place – Lisa Belcastro for Shenandoah Dreams

3rd Place – Stephanie Feagan for Crazy for You


Best First Book – Patience Griffin for To Scotland with Live

2nd Place – Janie Crouch for Primal Instinct

3rd Place – Maria Imbalzano for Unchained Memories


Romantic Suspense – Toni Anderson for A Cold Dark Place

2nd Place – Tiffany Snow for In His Shadow

3rd Place – Dana Marton for Forced Disappearance


Short Contemporary – Emily Harper for My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero

2nd Place – Jean Joachim for To Love or Not to Love and Amanda Renee for Blame it on the Rodeo

3rd Place – Leigh Duncan for Second Chance Family


Long Contemporary – Kim Sanders for The Ex Lottery

2nd Place – Nancy Herkness for The Place I Belong and Terri Osburn for More to Give

3rd Place – Patience Griffin for To Scotland with Love and Sophie Moss for The Wind Chime Cafe


Historical – Darlene Marshall for The Pirate’s Secret Baby

2nd Place – Isabella Bradford for A Wicked Pursuit and Megan Frampton for The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior

3rd Place – Lauren Smith for Wicked Designs

Winners will be announced at our Let Your Imagination Take Flight Awards Breakfast on April 25.



Kate Baum, Funny Girl

Mia Gabriel, Lord Savage

Anna Jeffrey, The Cattleman

Teresa Noelle Roberts, Out of Control



Lisa Belcastro, Shenandoah Dreams

Stephanie Feagan, Crazy for You

Lauren Smith, Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall


First Book

Janie Crouch, Primal Instinct

Patience Griffin, To Scotland with Love

Maria Imbalzano, Unchained Memories


Romantic Suspense

Toni Anderson, A Cold Dark Place

Dana Marton, Forced Disappearance

Tiffany Snow, In His Shadow


Short Contemporary

Leigh Duncan, Second Chance Family

Emily Harper, My Sort-of, Kind-of Love

Jean Joachim, To Love or Not to Love

Amanda Renee, Blame it on the Rodeo


Long Contemporary

Patience Griffin, To Scotland with Love

Nancy Herkness, The Place I Belong

Sophie Moss, The Wind Chime Cafe  

Terri Osburn, More to Give

Kim Sanders, The Ex-Lottery



Isabella Bradford, A Wicked Pursuit

Megan Frampton, The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior

Darlene Marshall, The Pirate’s Secret Baby

Lauren Smith, Wicked Designs


Hannah Howell, New York Times and USA Today Bestseller, has been published for twenty-six years.  She now has two Historical Romance series published by Kensington books.  The 20th book in the Murray series set in medieval Scotland came out in December of last year.  The other series is the Wherlockes, set in eighteenth century England.  If He’s Noble, the sixth book in the Wherlocke series will be out in September

In this workshop, Hannah will speak on the importance of the words you use in your writing.  How the change of one simple verb can take your sentence from adequate to powerful.  Or how you can give the reader a good picture of a character with just a few well-chosen words instead of pages of description.  Even how the use of such things as simile and metaphor can add texture and depth.  A story has a plot and characters you hope will catch a reader’s attention but it is the words you use that will hold it fast.  There will be handouts and book recommendations.

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