Next Meeting – September 12, 2015

Romance Tropes and Feminism

This workshop will address some common romance concepts through the lens of how romance novels can help support positive relationships among women. Where does our writing fall into unconscious patterns that perpetuate harmful ideas? Jealous “other women,” slut shaming narratives, even the careers we choose for our protagonists all affect the way our novels are perceived in today’s market. We’ll discuss how to avoid these tropes and how to develop conflict without relying on the narrative that women are always in competition for a man’s affection, The workshop will also address body positivity in romance, how to write convincing women of a variety of sizes without body-shaming and why these characters are important.

Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness.

Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets, where she writes geeky, kinky romance.

Meeting: June 6, 2015

Fifty Shades of Green: How to Write Smut for Fun & Profit

This workshop is Lori’s  favorite lecture and teaches how to work your erotic fantasies into sellable smut. She has taught this at writers’ conferences, feminist gatherings, senior centers, a farm women’s collective and a bachelorette party (she was the entertainment) and every time people have told her they were inspired by it.

Lori will prove that smut will set you free, and smut will save the world.

Lori Perkins is the Publisher of Riverdale Avenue Books. Prior to that, she was a founding partner and Editorial Director of Ravenous Romance, and has been a literary agent for 25 years.  She is also a published author, has been an adjunct professor at N.Y.U.’s Center for Publishing.

Riverdale Avenue Books is an innovative hybrid company which published 100 titles in the categories of publishing pop culture, erotic romance, erotica, LGBT, horror, science fiction and fantasy, sports, gaming and mysteries a year.  IN 2013, RAB won the Publisher of the Year by from the Bi-Writers Association,

Perkins is President of L. Perkins Agency, which has 5 agents on staff and has foreign agents in 11 countries and its own film agent in L.A.

Perkins has had 9 books on the NY Times best-seller list including HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE A PORN STAR: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson, which made theNew York Times best-seller list for 7 weeks and THE HUNGER GAMES COMPANION by Lois Gresh.

Perkins is the author of FIFTY WRITERS ON FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.  She is also the author of four books -THE CHEAPSKATE’S GUIDE TO ENTERTAINMENT; How to Throw Fabulous Parties on a Budget, which was excerpted in Redbook and Family Circle Magazines; THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO GETTING A LITERARY AGENT, which was chosen by as one of the top 100 books on writing; and THE EVERYTHING FAMILY GUIDE TO WASHINGTON D.C. and THE EVERYTHING FAMILY GUIDE TO NEW YORK. She has also written numerous articles on publishing for Writer’s Digest and Publisher’s Weekly.

Perkins has edited twenty erotica anthologies, including HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE, a Zombie Romance anthology, which was published by St. Martin’s Press.

Her Wikipedia page can be found here:



Meeting: May 2, 2015


The Fifty Shades of Green workshop has been rescheduled for the June meeting.

The May 2nd meeting will be a roundtable discussion.

Meeting: April 11, 2015

Join author Sara Humphreys for a fun, lively chat about writing, getting published, and balancing family with work. She’ll share the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a romance writer in today’s ever-changing world of publishing.

Sara Humphreys is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me. In 2013 Sara’s novel UNTAMED won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best.

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with her husband, their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook. For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website:

Meeting: March 7, 2015

Creating Realistic Characters

Our scheduled speaker is unable to attend our meeting due to a family emergency, we are going to take the opportunity to share our own ideas about how to create characters!
Amanda Torrey, program director, will begin by sharing strategies, tools, and techniques she has discovered for building characters from the inside out. The rest of the meeting will consist of a round table discussion where we all share what works for us. Please feel free to bring handouts to share, helpful books, or any other tools you’d like to show the group.

Meeting: January 3, 2015

Oh My Blog!!

Are you puzzled by the concept of blogging? Do you have a blog but have the distinct feeling no one is looking at it? Do you face the thought of a blog tour with dread, because you can’t think of what to write about over the course of 20 or more articles? Help is on the way!
Join freelance publicist Melanie Meadors as she demystifies the world of blogging, whether it be on your own blog or someone else’s. Learn how to get started, how to find a bigger audience, and what to write about. Find out how to design a blog that is distinctly you–no web design skills needed! And learn how to plan and execute a successful blog tour to attract more readers. Are blogs dead? Heck no! You just have to know how to utilize them for maximum impact.
Melanie Meadors is a publicist for Market or Die Author Services and Publicity Coordinator for Ragnarok Publications. She is also a regular contributor to the GeekMom website. A writer of speculative fiction and lover of geeky things, she lives in 100-year-old New England home as quirky as she is. She’s been known to befriend wandering garden gnomes, do battle with metal-eating squirrels, and has been called a superhero on on more than one occasion. You can learn more about Melanie and her madness at

Meeting: December 6, 2014

Lisa Cheever: The Author and the Librarian Relationship

In this workshop, Lisa Cheever will describe the author and librarian relationship. She will discuss strategies that authors can do to raise their visibility/chances of name recognition within libraries. Lisa will explain how libraries choose the books they add to their shelves, and ideas for fostering the author relationship with libraries, including an author’s local library and libraries of other communities.

Since becoming a library director nine years ago, Lisa Cheever has been an advocate for local authors. She believes that every person has a story, and the library community should support our patrons who have an interest in writing, and foster that interest through writing workshops, poetry events, and au-thor visits.

Lisa Cheever is currently the Library Director of the Blackstone Public Library, and the previous Director of the Millville Free Public Library. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in English from Worcester State University, and is an amateur poetess who someday would like to publish these observations of human nature. Lisa has been married to Jeff, the greatest guy on earth, for nineteen years; and she has two wonderful adult children.

Meeting: November 1, 2014

BJ Hill: There’s an App for That: Technology That Can Make You a More Productive Writer

Taught by someone who is both an I.T. professional and a freelance writer, this meeting will cover practical computer solutions you can apply to your craft. Topics will include how to make your files accessible across devices, how to restore your data from a crashed hard drive, and how to decipher specs when shopping for a new computer.

The session will exhibit useful apps which will “turn off” the Internet, turn off certain parts of the Internet, and eliminate ads from web sites. Audience participation is encouraged, so please bring your questions and your own favorite tips and tricks. This afternoon will deal mostly with PCs, but most solutions will apply to Mac OS and Android systems.

BJ Hill is an I.T. consultant for several non-profit agencies in the Worcester area. He also writes human interest stories for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, including a recent series on hiking across Massachusetts.

Meeting: October 4, 2014

Ashlyn Chase: Writers Be Crazy, Secrets of the Creative Mind

You always knew you were a little different from so-called normal people right? Did you ever wonder why some of those normal types just didn’t seem to ‘get’ you? Or why a group of writers can sit in a box of rocks, and a good time will be had by all?

It’s because we’re hard-wired a certain way. The bad news is, we’re a little crazy.

The good news is, we’re a little crazy—and only another creative mind would get that.

Someone once told Ashlyn, “You don’t think like other people.” She was a fellow writer and didn’t mean it as an insult. She meant it to help…and it did. Ashlyn hopes this workshop will help others who think differently to understand themselves and their unique gift a little better.

Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an Almond Joy bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet, wanting only to give her readers a satisfying experience. An RN, she holds a degree in behavioral sciences and chose to work in the psych field because the mind is still largely uncharted territory and uncovering its secrets is a fascinating privilege. To keep her creative mind out of trouble she became a multi-published, award-winning author of humorous erotic and paranormal romances, represented by the Seymour Agency.



Meeting: September 6, 2014

Barbara Keiler: The Writer’s Journey

In “The Hero’s Journey,” Chris Vogler outlines the nine stages a hero goes through to get from the beginning to the satisfying conclusion of a story. In “The Writer’s Journey,” Barbara discusses how our journeys as writers parallel the journeys of the heroes and heroines we create, and also how our journeys are very different from those of our heroes and heroines. She has come up with nine lessons of her own that guide writers from the first step they take onward.

Since her first publication thirty-one years ago, USA Today bestselling author Barbara Keiler, who writes as Judith Arnold, has sold more than ninety traditionally published novels and several original indie-published novels. She’s been a multiple finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Rita Award, as well as the EPIC Award for electronic fiction, and she’s won RT Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Awards for best Harlequin American Romance, best Harlequin Superromance, best Series Romance and best Contemporary Single Title Romance. She has also won the New England Readers Choice “Bean Pot” Award for Long Contemporary Romance. Publishers Weekly named her novel Love in Bloom’s one of the best books of the year, and her novel Barefoot in the Grass has appeared on recommended reading lists at hospitals and breast cancer support centers. Married and a mother of two, Barbara lives near Boston in a house with four guitars, three pianos, a violin, an electric keyboard, a balalaika and a set of bongo drums.