May 232011

As President and Founder of RWA-WF, I’m thrilled to welcome everyone to our first ever mini-conference. Though I believe the National conference has plenty to offer writers of all genres, I’m especially excited that our chapter will be able to provide attendees with an in-depth look at women’s fiction issues in particular.

What are agents and editors of women’s fiction seeking? What are the recent trends? What is it like to be a working author in the women’s fiction genre? How can writers construct a story around the journey of a female protagonist? What is it about women’s tales, how they’re passed from generation to generation, that makes them singular? Our conference intends to answer those questions and more, in addition to providing attendees with wonderful networking opportunities.

The RWA-WF chapter has come a long way in a very short time. Not quite two years old, RWA-WF is over two hundred members strong and grows stronger by the week. I know I speak for the entire board when I say we are excited, proud, and looking ahead to a wonderful future full of new opportunities for all RWA-WF members.

Write on.

Therese Walsh
President, RWA-WF
Author, The Last Will of Moira Leahy
Co-Founder, Writer Unboxed

As VP of Programs for RWA-WF, it is my distinct honor to Chair the RWA-WF mini-conference. As an online chapter we are constantly trying to stay in contact with one another and to build a sense of community across the electrical impulses of the internet. Our loops, critique groups, web site, programs, newsletter, and blog are all an attempt to not only educate but to create a community of writers that support one another. We cheer each other on and celebrate our successes. We also hand out cyber chocolate and hugs when the rejection letters are received.

It is because of our distance that this day, June 28th, is such a special day for our community. While we do a great job of staying connected via all our electronic devices, this day is the one day that we get to put a face to an email addy. A time when we come together as a community and not only cyber hug but really hug. A moment when we get to celebrate and bask in the camaraderie experienced in local RWA chapters once every month but for us, in RWA-WF, only once a year.

Thank you for attending this event, thank you for volunteering, and thank you for allowing me to serve as your VP of Programs for the last two years. It has indeed been my privilege to facilitate two RWA-WF yearly meetings and the first, of what I hope will be many, RWA-WF conferences.

Maggie Marr
Vice President, RWA-WF Programs

Marilyn Brant is the award-winning women’s fiction author of ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010) and A SUMMER IN EUROPE (coming 11-29-11), all from Kensington Books.

She’s been a classroom teacher, library staff member, freelance magazine writer and national book reviewer. Her debut novel won the Golden Heart, as well as awards like the Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice, Booksellers’ Best and Aspen Gold Reader’s Choice, and her second novel has been selected as a featured alternate for the Doubleday Book Club and Book-of-the-Month Club.

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and son, surrounded by towers of books that often threaten to topple over and crush her. Visit her website at:

Andrea Cirillo fell under the spell of publishing from the day she first interviewed at Delacorte/Dell and saw Kurt Vonnegut sitting in the waiting room. Working in the Dell editorial department, she apprenticed with two of the most respected and gifted editors ever to put pencil to manuscript, Linda Grey and Beverly Lewis, who inspired and nourished her appreciation for commercial fiction.

In 1980 she joined the Jane Rotrosen Agency intending to learn a new perspective, only to discover her true home. An unapologetic optimist, she loves nothing more than the anticipation of a valued client’s manuscript landing on her desk or the promise of a brand new and exciting voice. Her list includes bestsellers in suspense and women’s fiction of all sorts.

USA Today bestselling author Megan Crane has written six women’s fiction novels, a bunch of work-for-hire young adult novels, and a lot of category romances (under the name Caitlin Crews) since publishing her first book in 2004.

Her third novel, Frenemies, was a BookSense Notable in July 2007. She teaches creative writing classes both online at and at UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, where she finally utilizes the MA and PhD in English Literature she received from the University of York in York, England.  Megan lives in Los Angeles with her comic book artist/animator husband and too many pets. For more info visit her at or

Michael Hauge is a story consultant, author and lecturer who works with screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers and executives. He has coached writers, producers, stars and directors on projects for Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Robert Downey, Jr., and Morgan Freeman, as well as for every major studio and network. He is currently on retainer with Will Smith’s company, Overbrook Productions, where he was involved in the development of I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK and THE KARATE KID.

Michael also consults with attorneys, psychologists, corporations and individuals on employing story principles in their projects, their presentations, and their work with clients and patients.

Michael is the best selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read, as well as the new 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book Writing Screenplays That Sell, just released by HarperCollins. A number of Michael’s seminars, including The Hero’s 2 Journeys with Christopher Vogler, are available on DVD and CD at bookstores worldwide, and through his web site below.

Michael has presented seminars and lectures to more than 40,000 participants around the world. For information on his consultation services for screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers, his products or lecture schedule, or to contact Michael directly, go to

Juliet Marillier is a full-time writer of historical fantasy for adults and young adults. Her books have been translated into many languages and have won a number of awards including the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Aurealis Award, the Sir Julius Vogel Award and the Prix Imaginales.

Juliet has loved history, mythology and folklore since she discovered Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books as a small girl, and weaves this kind of material into her novels more or less instinctively. She likes stories that examine women’s personal journeys and the relationships between humankind and the natural world – unsurprising as her own spiritual practice is based on druidry.
Juliet believes she does most things intuitively when writing fiction, and as a result finds writing about the craft of writing an interesting challenge.

Originally from New Zealand, Juliet now lives in Western Australia. She lives in a hundred year old cottage which she shares with a small pack of waifs and strays. Find out more at her website:

Kristin Nelson established the Nelson Literary Agency in 2002. In such a short time, she has sold over a 100 books to all the major publishers. She has landed several film deals and has contracted foreign rights on behalf of her clients in many territories.

She specializes in representing commercial fiction (mainstream, women’s fiction, romance, science fiction, fantasy, young adult & middle grade) and literary fiction with a commercial bent. In general, she does not handle nonfiction projects with the exception of an occasional memoir.

Clients include New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly bestselling author Ally Carter, New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Jamie Ford, New York Times and Locus bestselling author Gail Carriger, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles, USA Today bestselling author Courtney Milan, and RITA-award winners Sherry Thomas and Linnea Sinclair. When she is not busy selling books, Kristin loves playing Ultimate Frisbee and taking hikes with her husband and their dog Chutney. Member: AAR, RWA, SFWA, SCBWI. Please visit our website before submitting and also check out Kristin’s popular blog

Barbara Samuel O’Neal fell in love with food and restaurants at the age of fifteen, when she landed a job in a Greek café and served baklava for the first time.  She sold her first novel in her twenties, and has since won a plethora of awards, including two Colorado Book Awards and six prestigous RITAs, including one for THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS in 2010.

Her novels have been published widely in Europe and Australia, and she travels internationally, presenting workshops, hiking hundreds of miles, and of course, eating.   She lives with her partner, a British endurance athlete, and their collection of cats and dogs, in Colorado Springs.

Jane Porter is the bestselling author of 32 novels (including six for Grand Central Publishing). Jane has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award from Romance Writers of America in 2002, 2003,  2008 and 2010.

Jane’s July ’06 release, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a December 08 Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear.

Jane’s latest release, She’s Gone Country, is in development now.  A busy mother of  three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in Bellevue, Washington where she’s working on her next novel.

Meg Ruley’s career as a literary agent is bracketed by two beautiful book-filled buildings. As a teen bookworm, Meg worked at the Nantucket Atheneum Library, a gorgeous Greek-Revival literary institution. She was geeky enough to be thrilled that “athenaeum” came from the goddess Athena, whose celestial duties included cultivation of wisdom and literature.

Somewhere at the intersection of the novels of Victoria Holt and the Lew Archer mystery series, if such can be imagined, she realized reading and writers were her alpha & omega. After working briefly for a publishing firm, Meg came to a second beautiful building, the Manhattan townhouse where Jane Rotrosen Agency is located. Two decades later, her list of clients reflects those iconic favorites from those Atheneum days, including authors of best-selling women’s fiction as well as suspense, thrillers, and mystery.

Shauna Summers is an executive editor at Ballantine Bantam Dell where she edits all kinds of commercial fiction, particularly women’s fiction and romance.  Some of her bestselling and award-winning authors include Karen Marie Moning, Suzanne Brockmann, Mary Balogh, Sarah Addison Allen, Lara Adrian, and Barbara O’Neal.

Therese Walsh founded RWA-WF in the summer of 2009 in order to raise awareness of romance-friendly women’s fiction, and build a community of like-minded writers who’d support one another and share knowledge.

Her debut novel, THE LAST WILL OF MOIRA LEAHY, a work of romantic women’s fiction, was published in October 2009 by Random House. She is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a blog for writers about the craft and business of genre fiction.

Before turning to fiction, she was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then a freelance health writer. She has a master’s degree in psychology.

12:30 pm: Check In Begins
Carnegie Room, 5th Floor, Marriott Marquis

1:00 – 3:00 pm: Tell A Great Story! Presented by Michael Hauge

In this one of a kind seminar, author and Hollywood story consultant Michael Hauge will use the blockbuster film My Best Friend’s Wedding to illustrate the principles of successful story concepts, plot structure, character arc, love stories, romantic comedy and theme. By showing selected clips from the film, Michael will reveal his unique approach to uniting a hero’s inner and outer journeys in order to create powerful, three-dimensional characters and stories that will maximize a reader’s emotional involvement in your novels or screenplays.

Carnegie Room, 5th Floor, Marriott Marquis

3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm: Women’s Fiction in the Marketplace
Andrea Cirillo, Kristin Nelson, Meg Ruley, and Shauna Summers

Join three agents and an editor as they discuss Women’s Fiction in a shifting marketplace.

Carnegie Room, 5th Floor, Marriott Marquis

4:15 – 5:15 pm: Surviving the Ups and Downs of Women’s Fiction: From Veteran to Newbie
Marilyn Brant, Megan Crane, Barbara O’Neal, Jane Porter, Therese Walsh

Published authors share their stories both on the road to and after publication.

Carnegie Room, 5th Floor, Marriott Marquis

5:15 – 8:00 pm: Break

8:00 – 8:45 pm: RWA-Womens Fiction Chapter General Meeting

Remarks by the President and Board regarding the health and welfare of RWA-WF.

Carnegie Room, 5th Floor, Marriott Marquis

8:45 – 9:30 pm: Kneading Tales, Weaving Stories presented by Juliet Marillier

Women have been passing down wisdom since ancient times, through both storytelling and the work of their hands. Juliet talks about stories by women, about women, for women, from the tale designed to illuminate the darkness beyond the camp fire to the wide-ranging genre we call Women’s Fiction. What is the magic that all women’s stories have in common?

Carnegie Room, 5th Floor, Marriott Marquis

9:30 – 11 pm: Cocktail Reception
Edison Room, 5th Floor, Marriott Marquis

For a printable pdf of the program, please click here: WF Conference Schedule

  2 Responses to “RWA-WF Mini-conference NY, 28 June: Schedule and Event Information”

  1. I have just discovered this much-needed group and am sad to see that the mini-conference is filled. IF you have a waiting list please add my name!!! BTW I was fortunate enough to attend a 2-day workshop with Michael Hauge and WOW, you are in for a wonderful treat!!! All best and see you in NYC! Jo/Anna

  2. Will the workshops for this be included on the regular conference CD? I learn so much from Michael Hauge each time I listen to him.

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