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Past Workshops

Thinking of joining LIRW or speaking at one of our workshops? Check out our past workshops to see what we offer our members!

June 2023

Krista Venero presents: "Editing is my favorite," said no author ever!

Doing her absolute best to make editing a fun and interesting topic, editor/author Krista Venero will share her best tips for self-editing, finding a good editor, what to expect from the editing process, and all her most-hated grammar pet-peeves!

Krista Venero writes under two pen names, Phoebe Alexander and K.L. Montgomery; edits books for indie authors; and runs the 6000-member Indie Author Support group on Facebook. She lives in coastal Delaware with her husband, sons, and fur babies, but she’s still a Hoosier at heart. You can often find her on the beach or in the pool when she’s not busy writing or editing. Find out more at

May 2023

Mariah Ankenman Presents: Booktok & Beyond

Booktok has revitalized the book buying business. Join author Mariah Ankenman as she helps you navigate the ever changing world of TikTok and the booktok community. Learn how to connect with readers, create engaging videos, and cross post to Instagram Reels for maximum exposure. Grab your book crown authors!

Bestselling author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious children and loving spouse who is her own personal spell checker when her dyslexia gets the best of her.
Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books. To learn more about Mariah and her books, visit her website follow her on social media or sign up for her newsletter.

April 2023

Jeannie Moon Presents: Creating a Living Setting

Settings are more than time and place, or a place to plop down your book’s characters. A setting can be a living, breathing entity whether it’s a small town, or a brand-new world. Settings limit or expand possibilities for your characters, are a catalyst for change, act as a pain trigger or provide comfort. The possibilities are endless.
In this workshop, bestselling, award-winning author Jeannie Moon will take you through the intricacies of creating a setting that will transport your readers to a world of your creation and make them want to return again and again. This is a deep dive into the craft of using time and place to enhance the story’s depth and giving readers a true sense of what your characters are experiencing.

USA Today bestselling author Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. The author of nineteen contemporary romances, Jeannie is married to her high school sweetheart, has three grown kids, two adorable grandbabies, three wacky dogs and is a lifelong resident of Long Island. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

March 2023

Jen Graybeal Presents: What Romance Writers Can Learn from Marvel and Pixar

Marvel and Pixar have combined storytelling and fan service in a way other entertainment companies have not mastered. Whether you write stand alones or series, it is worth looking at what they do to create movies everyone talks about and how they leverage insider knowledge to keep fans interested in what comes next. From building a world that is completely new but completely recognizable, to touching moments that pull our heartstrings, to training their fans to look beyond the story, Marvel and Pixar movies go big. Jen will walk you through what they do and how all of this applies to writing romance novels.

Jen Graybeal (she/her) is a creativity coach, freelance editor, and author cheerleader that has been helping romance authors for eight years. Her encouraging feedback, clever problem solving, and gently applied tough love inspires clients to take their books and business to the next level. She has a degree in English, an ever-expanding TBR, and a furball assistant that is usually on her lap. Visit her website for client testimonials at or follow her on Instagram and TikTok: @JenTheEditor.

February 2023

In-Person Panel with LIRW Authors @ the Bayport Bluepoint Library

Join 8 local romance authors for: The Writers' Journey. A panel discussion for new and experienced writers. Ask us anything about the writing and publishing process to get to your Happily Ever After!

January 2023

Victorine Leiske presents: Making That Emotional Connection

Writing romance can be tricky. You must make your reader believe that your characters are falling in love. It doesn’t work to show surface attraction. Your characters must make an emotional connection in the midst of the internal conflict that plagues them. In this class we will explore how to do this so your reader will swoon when your characters finally decide that love conquers all.

Victorine self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6-week run on The New York Times best-selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine's first romantic comedy novel hit the USA Today Bestselling books list in January 2015. When she’s not writing, she’s watching Korean Dramas, or making something with her extensive yarn collection.

November 2022

LIRW's 2022 Mini Rom-Con

LIRW Mini Rom-Con!
4 Programs 1 Day!
• Olivia Gaines - World Building
• Jeannie Lin - Writing Description for People Who Hate Description...or Who Love it Too Much
• Katie McCoach - Validate Your Book Idea (Before You Start Writing or Pitching)
• Becca Puglisi - How to Raise the Stakes (Without Killing Everyone)

October 2022

Rebecca Slitt : Choosing Your Happily Ever After: Digital Interactive Romance Games

The Happily Ever After is a promise that a romance novel makes to the reader. But the promise that a videogame makes to a player is that their choices will matter. Heart's Choice wants to keep _both_ of those promises. In this presentation, we'll explore the ways in which real choices can coexist with a guaranteed HEA, the challenges of writing a romance where the player (not the author!) decides how the main character feels, and how interactivity can deepen the emotional experience of playing a Heart's Choice game. We'll also take an overview of the digital romance scene, to see what other kinds of games are out there, and how they approach their stories.

Rebecca Slitt is an editor and publisher at Choice of Games and its spinoff romance label Heart's Choice. For Choice of Games, she is the author of the YA paranormal interactive novels Psy High and Psy High 2; and has edited more than 20 interactive novels, including the Nebula finalists The Martian Job, The Road to Canterbury, and The Luminous Underground. She has also contributed to numerous tabletop and live-action roleplaying games, including Timewatch, Noirlandia, and Geist. With her PhD in medieval history, she can advise time-travelers on where to get the best takeout in medieval London, and how to build your castle to account for dragons.

September 2022

Barbara Ankrum : Make Your Book Un-Put-Downable

Is your goal to make the USA Today list? Or to finish writing a draft of that book you’ve been working on forever? Are you trying to get past the gatekeepers in New York, or simply wanting to up your game as a storyteller? Barbara Ankrum will share some simple, tried and true techniques she’s learned over her thirty plus year career in publishing to strengthen your storytelling and get those readers staying up all night reading your story. We’ll talk about how to ratchet up the sexual tension in your story, why incorporating theme is important, how pivots and turning points up the stakes, and why GMC doesn’t only apply to the overall arc of your book. Whether you’re writing romantic comedy or deeply emotional stories, this workshop is going to help you focus your attention on the parts of your book readers crave. Hope to see you there!

Barbara Ankrum is a twice RITA nominated bestselling author of both historical and contemporary romance, who has written for Harlequin, Harper Collins and Kensington Books. She currently writes for Tule Publishing. The third book in her Canadays of Montana series, HOLIDAY HEARTS, was turned into a Hallmark Christmas movie staring Ashley Williams and Paul Campbell. The first book in her Angel Chronicles series, EVERY TIME A BELL RINGS has also been optioned for film by MGM and fingers crossed, it films soon! Mostly a California girl, she now lives in Texas with her husband and sweet dog, but near enough to her grandkids to enjoy every moment.

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