San Antonio Romance Authors is a chapter of the Romance Writers of America® (RWA), a nonprofit trade association whose mission is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income.
Membership in SARA allows you to connect with other writers who share your love for Romance Writing. More importantly, SARA provides members the opportunity to expand their knowledge base, improve their writing skills, and to encourage their fellow writers in the romance writing industry.
- Monthly Meetings
- Critique Groups
- Access to the SARA discussion groups
- And a group of cheerleaders second to none . . .
Unless stated otherwise, SARA meetings will take place on the third Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m at the John Igo Library, 13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy, San Antonio, TX.
Due to occasional mature subject matter, attendees should be 18 or older. Guests 18 and older are welcome to attend up to two meetings before joining. Note that you must be a member of RWA in order to be a member of SARA.
18 July 2015: Superhero Scenes: Writing Stories with Power. Presented by Joni Hahn, author of The D.I.R.E. Agency Series, and by Suanne Schafer. Joni will show you how to enhance the action and reader reaction in your scenes, and give them the one-two punch that will keep the reader yearning for more. “From the moment I started reading it (Agent I1: Tristan, The DIRE Agency Series), I couldn’t put it down. Literally, I couldn’t put it down.” – Emsy Van Wyck, Fab Fantasy Fiction, thebestreviews.com. Suanne will cover the emotional aspects of writing scenes and will incorporate new material from Donald Maass on pulling that emotionality out of your character. RSVP
15 August 2015: Special closed workshop for paid SARA chapter members only. Angela James presents her All-Day Master Class: Before You Hit Send: A Hands-on Self-Editing Course. This is the condensed version of Angela's 3-week online self-editing workshop. The workshop runs from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with a very short morning and afternoon break, and a one-hour break for lunch. Topics cover everything from the basics of self-editing (punctuation, grammar, adverb/adjective use) to the more advanced topics of pacing, passive voice, overwriting and much, much more! Angela James, Editorial Director of Carina Press, Harlequin's digital-first fiction imprint, has edited bestselling authors such as Shannon Stacey, Jaci Burton, Lauren Dane, Ilona Andrews, Lilith Saintcrow, and Shelly Laurenston. RSVP
19 September 2015: Writing Emotion, presented by Jolene Navarro. Jolene’s life, much like her stories, is filled with faith, family, football, art, laughter, dirty dishes and all of life's wonderful messiness. She knows that, as much as the world changes, people stay the same. Good and evil. Vow-keepers and heart breakers. Jolene married a vow-keeper who showed her that holding hands and dancing in the rain never gets old. When she's not teaching art to energetic middle-schoolers or hanging out with her four kids, she loves creating stories of love and faith in her much loved Texas. RSVP
17 October 2015: Writing Conflict, presented by Sasha Summers. Note: this meeting will be at Barnes & Noble in The Shops at La Cantera. Sasha is part gypsy, stories have always played an important role in her life. Her passions have always been storytelling, Hollywood, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books include a little of each. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive. RSVP
21 November 2015: Fantasy World Building, presented by Andrea Stehle. Dr. Andrea Stehle is a Latin teacher at John Paul Stevens High School in San Antonio, Texas. She earned her BA in Latin with a minor in classics from the University of Texas in 1989. Classical mythology has been one of her great passions her whole life. As a sponsor of a chapter of the National Junior Classical League Magistra Stehle has sponsored Myth Camps for elementary, middle school & high school students many times during her quarter of a century teaching career. Besides writing the Gods of Arcadia series, Dr. Stehle researches and writes articles on Latin Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention. RSVP
December 2015: Closed chapter holiday party. Date and location TBD.
16 January 2015: Presentation by Marjorie Brody, author of Twisted. As a licensed marriage and family therapist for over two decades, Dr. Marjorie E. Brody observed the joy, suffering, and potential of the human spirit. Now in her second career, she transforms her experience and passion for writing into tales of wonder, drama, and suspense. Her award-winning novels and short stories, some of which have been adapted for the stage, are characterized by extraordinary insight, creativity, and understanding of the human condition. RSVP
16 May 2015: Crafting the Ethnic Romance Novel, presented by Chilufiya Safaa, author of Stay the Night, The Art of Love, Passionate Encounters, and A Foreign Affair. An educator and an entrepreneur, her teaching assignments have ranged from preschool to college level. Her business venture, which is intertwined with her background as an educator, is a preschool kindergarten which she has owned and operated since 1989. She is currently completing a PhD in Education with an emphasis in multicultural curriculum development. Her passions are her children and her grandchildren, traveling, studying other cultures, listening to a variety of styles of music, good theater and good conversation.
18 April 2015, 10:30-4:00: Emily McKay and Robyn DeHart will do their half-day character plotting workshop, presenting three tiers of worksheets to guide writers through brainstorming, character development, and character-driven plotting. The worksheets will help writers reveal character growth and keep their focus on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine. Emily and Robyn have presented workshops all over the country to writing groups, librarians and readers and at several RWA National conferences.
21 March 2015: SARA member and retired Trinity teacher of theater arts, Linda Shuler, will speak on how to create interesting visual characters, and how to use the body in performance to bring the character to life. Body language!
21 February 2015: A panel of SEVEN of our published authors will lead a general Q&A session:
Ask our experts your writing-related questions, on topics such as character development, creative process, publishing, marketing, time management, and critiques.
17 January 2015: Jordan Dane on Plotting: One Author’s Epiphany on Structure. Thriller and Young Adult novelist, Jordan Dane will do a two hour presentation for aspiring authors—as well as seasoned pros—on a simple plotting method to flesh out a cohesive structure, write an effective proposal/synopsis in the voice of the novel, and create a storyboard of the main scenes—before you even write one word of the story.
15 November 2014: Presentation by Matthew Sherley. Matthew Sherley will present on creating believable police characters, conflict in police stories, writing the wrongs (the usual suspects that are incorrect in police stories) and will conclude with tactical writing: the special operations approach to publication. Matthew Sherley is retired from a career in law enforcement. He currently works for the U.S. Government as a contract employee and serves Randall County, Texas as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. During his career in law enforcement, he served in many capacities. He worked as a patrol officer, motorcycle traffic officer, Field Training Officer, Crime Analyst, Police Academy Instructor, SWAT Team member, Hostage Negotiator and Sex Crime Detective. Before retiring from the Amarillo Police Department as a Detective Lieutenant, Matt was twice named Officer of the Year and was awarded the Amarillo Police Department’s Life Saving Medal. He is currently seeking representation for his debut novel, Insider Trading, a spy thriller.
18 October 2014: WordPress: How to optimize your website, presented by Grace Coronado. Is your website secured against hackers? Is it listed on all the major search engines? Learn tips and tricks on how to transform your website from ordinary to extraordinary. The workshop will cover plugins, favicons, SEO, contact forms, and more.
20 September 2014: Bestselling Erotic Romance Author Desiree Holt will present a fun, tell-all program about adding sizzling sexual tension, scorching sex scenes and emotional impact to your romance novel. Regardless of the heat level in your books, as Eric Edson ("Story Solution") said, "If there's no sexual tension, it isn't a romance. Period."
10 September 2014, 7-9pm: Online Workshop: Building a Successful Street Team: A Two-Hour Webinar with NY Times Bestselling Author Gina L. Maxwell.
16 August 2014: Members Only Special Event: 10:30am-4pm Workshop, Presented by Adrienne Macintosh, Editor, Harlequin Books. Adrienne will provide tips for submissions, tips for pitches, and career insights. Since joining Harlequin in 2005, Adrienne has worked on a number of imprints and special projects, giving her a great appreciation for the wide variety of stories Harlequin publishes. She is currently an editor for Harlequin American, Blaze and Heartwarming—which can be a very interesting combination! Adrienne lives in Toronto and is renowned throughout the company for her sweet tooth and black thumb.
19 July 2014 Pitch Session Panel and Workshop - Planning to pitch your book to an agent or editor at Nationals next month? Learn the do's and don't's, then break into small groups and pitch authors who've done it before and can give you tips on where to improve.
21 June 2014: Mythology and the Muse, presented by Sasha Summers.
From Homer's The Odyssey to Rick Riordan House of Hades series, readers are still passionate about these characters and their adventures. Why? Explore the connection between iconic archetypes and the Olympians, their classic tropes and themes, and using mythic elements to develop rich conflict and riveting stories for today's readers.
Bio: Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, romance, and travel. She writes both lyrical romantic fantasy, steamy contemporary romance, young adult, and scifi romance. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she's doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.
17 May 2014
Pamela Morsi will share her tricks of the trade and long-term experience on creating small town settings that are as multi-faceted and memorable as the characters who inhabit them.
Bio: RWA Hall of Fame member, national bestseller and two-time RITA winner, Pamela Morsi was duly warned. Lots of people mistakenly think they are writers, her mother told her. She’d be smart to give it up before she embarrassed herself. Fortunately, she rarely took her mother’s advice. Her 27th novel, MR RIGHT GOES WRONG, will be coming out in August, 2014 from Mira Books. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and on her website http://pamelamorsi.com
12 April 2014 10:15-12:30
Jolene Navarro will give a presentation on how Character Drives Plot
March 15, 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Eva Pohler will present, “My Journey as a Self-Published Author,” including how she went from selling 1-2 books a day to 30-50 books a day, and as much money as she makes teaching, in less than a year. She will share how she made the decision to take the leap into self-publishing, the steps she took to make that happen, and the tricks of the trade she has accumulated from writers’ conferences and her own trial and error. She will also share her marketing plan and strategies for increasing her sales in the future. Eva Pohler writes fiction for teens and adults and teaches writing and literature at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where she lives with her husband and three children. http://www.evapohler.com/
February 15, 10:30am-1pm: Writing Rules, Friend or Foe, presented by The POV Players. Mary Brand and Lori Brown will do an audience interactive program on a few of the "rules" of writing. John Igo Library, 13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy, San Antonio, TX.
January 18: Goal Setting and Plotting 2014 - Planning for a successful and productive new year! We'll report on the results of the recent SARA survey and what we'd like to do for SARA. There will be time to talk about group and individual goals, time management, and upcoming conferences and classes in 2014 -- all things to keep us on track!
December 14: The SARA Holiday party will be held Saturday afternoon.
November 16: Ask a PAN! Now's your chance to ask some of SARA's RWA Published Authors Network those burning questions! Our PANel of experts will take questions on character development, finding your voice, creative process, publishing, marketing, time management, critiques, and the importance of writing groups! Featuring:
Jolene Guinther Navarro (Moderator)
October 19: Plotting Workshop
Jolene Guinther Navarro will give a plotting workshop from 10:00 - 11:30. Screenwriter’s secret of storytelling: Inner and outer conflict, ordinary world, call to adventure, crossing the threshold, greatest fear, the black moment and storming the castle. Starting with Greeks and going through every Hollywood movie you can find the same basic story structure. We will look at how you can use them to create an engaging well-paced story of your own. We will be using Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff.
Please Note: The October meeting will be held at the Boerne Middle School North. The address is:
BMSN 240 W. Johns Road
Boerne, Texas 78006
The school is located between HI 10 and Main St.
September 21: To Be Rescheduled: Guest speaker Erin Kirwan, former news anchor, on how to be camera-ready!
Erin Kirwan is a former television news anchor, reporter, and producer - turned proud community volunteer and stay-at-home mom. She is a graduate of Hofstra University in New York. She began her news career fresh out of college at the age of 22, in Missoula, Montana for the CBS affiliate, KPAX-TV, where she produced and anchored the morning and noon newscasts. Erin then moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to the FOX affiliate, KPTM-TV, to anchor a start-up morning news program and noon show. Erin also served the station as a reporter and later, weekend anchor, until her departure from the industry in 2004 to become a stay-at-home mom. During her time at home, Erin kept her professional skills active by serving area schools and the SA Area Mothers of Multiples with communications and public relations. She also started a small at home business editing promotional and family video scrapbooks. Today, with her kids in elementary school, Erin is looking to return to a full-time career.
August 17: SARA write - in. Bring your latest WIP!
July 27: RWA Nationals recap by the SARAs who attended. Hear the latest industry news, who's buying what, who was there, etc, at the La Cantera Barnes & Noble.
June 15: Guest speaker Rachel Simone will teach us how to use Goodreads and Pintrest.
Founder, ZetaBlue Book Marketing, Book marketing expert Rachel Simeone uses her 20+ years of experience in Internet and consumer marketing to help authors accelerate their sales and achieve their dreams. Implementing proven marketing strategies, Rachel develops customized marketing programs that attract readers and deliver sales. She is known for her innovative ideas that exploit hidden opportunities to give authors a marketing advantage. In addition to her work with authors, Rachel also developed a book marketing training program for the online publisher Blurb. Previously, Rachel held strategic marketing positions at Time, Inc., Williams-Sonoma, and Gump’s, where she developed marketing programs and implemented best practices for America’s leading brands.
May 11: In addition to the general business meeting, author Heather Long will speak about Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming An Author. She’ll teach us how to prepare to write, using character profiles, research etc.
A national best selling author, Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. In addition to military romance, Heather writes a wide variety of romance from paranormal historical western romance to contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She loves characters and the stories they have to tell. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.
April 20: Guest speaker Liliana Hart will share how she's become a runaway success using self-publishing and her own marketing savvy.
Guest speaker Liliana Hart will share how she’s become a runaway success using self-publishing and her own marketing savvy. Liliana’s books have won The Daphne Du Maurier, The Suzannah, The Linda Howard Award of Excellence, The Maggie, and many others. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America.