2017 Speaker Schedule

January 7 – Q&A with FBI officer Michael Banter

Do you write romantic suspense or feature an FBI agent as a character? Just fascinated with the FBI? Get your questions ready for special agent Michael Banter, who will visit the chapter for an informative and entertaining Q&A session. 

February 4 – LGBT panel 

Even if a romance writer doesn't write m/m or f/f stories, many are afraid of "getting it wrong" and thus avoid including gay characters in their writing at all. Authors Xio Axelrod, Bethany Chase, and Andrew Grey will discuss writing gay relationships, stereotypes to avoid, and other topics relevant to the LGBT romance market. 

March 4 – Promo That Works 

VFRW member Stephanie Julian will lead a session on how to get the most out of your book promotions. Come prepared to learn the ins and outs, do’s and don’ts of advertising on Facebook, BookBub, blogs, and newsletters, as well as other paid and unpaid marketing opportunities to explore

April 1 – Contracts 101 for Writers

Understanding publishing contracts can be a source of stress for any author, from newbie to multi-published. Author and attorney Maggie Marr will help demystify contracts and give members tips on protecting themselves and their work.

May 6 – 
Novel in a Nutshell

Learn the elements necessary to make a story work in today’s market and give it that extra something. Don’t know what POV is? Head-hopping? Voice? A hook? From nuts to bolts, learn the elements of craft in this intensive, information-laden workshop presented by VFRW member Judi Fennell.

September 9 – Design as Art: Three Professional Principles of Book Cover Design

Learn from professional design principles to improve your book covers. Author and marketing/branding expert Carol Van Den Hende will discuss the importance of clarity and consistency, delivering break through and meaning, and how to be a great collaborator with designers. This is a hands-on workshop, where we'll assess real-life do and don't book covers.

October 7 – 
Annual General Meeting and Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?: 
                     Character Building Through Astrology 

Following our annual general meeting, VFRW member Jo Crosier will use astrology charts and books to help authors build realistic, fully-formed characters. Whether you start with a birthday and build a character around it, or have an idea for a character and pick an astrological sign that fits, there’s something for everyone in this module. We will focus on what astrology can teach us about characters and also how to use the compatibility charts to make appropriate romantic pairings with someone of a compatible sign, or even how to pit signs that aren’t necessarily compatible against one another to build conflict.

November 4 – Author Branding with Damon Suede 

Identifying, honing, and crafting an author brand and platform that gets the job done is an important cornerstone of any marketing plan. Bestselling author Damon Suede will give tips on how to wield your brand effectively to build a career for long-range goals.

December (date TBD) – Holiday party

Every December, VFRW members gather to celebrate the holidays. Our festivities include good food, great conversation, lots of laughter, and the fabled (and hysterical) gift exchange. Details about the party will be announced on our members-only chat loop and Facebook group.