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RomanceLahoma Schedule

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Image by MARK ADRIANE

Below you'll find a schedule of events & sessions for our 2023 RomanceLahoma Conference. Check back often as we're still adding events.

Thursday, August 3rd

6:30pm

Room

TBA

Speaker Welcome Reception

We'll welcome our speakers and thank them for their time.

Friday, August 4th

8:30 - 9am

Room

ABCD

Welcome

OKRWG President, Sabrina Fish, will welcome attendees to RomanceLahoma 2023 & Introduce Our Speakers!

9:10 - 10:10am

Room

A

Agents & Editors Panel

Are you interested in traditional publishing? In this session, you can ask editors, Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press and Allison Lyons of Harlequin, as well as agents, Saint Gibson of Speilburg Literary and Amy Brewer of Metamorphosis Literary all your traditional publishing questions.

9:10 - 10:10am

Room

B

Writing to Market and Other Strategies to Enhance Your Creativity
with Candice Gilmer

Writing is very creative and artistic but the idea of “writing to market” can be stressful, and typically makes many writers flustered. Candice Gilmer will explain how writing to the market still allows you to be creative, while giving the readers exactly what they want.

9:10 -10:10am

Room

C

Better Together: How a Plotting Community Creates Better Storytellers
with Nicole Deese

If you’ve ever dreamed of multiplying your time, energy, resources, and creativity while writing a novel, then a plotting community might be the best tool for you! After nine years of meeting annually with the same five best-selling, award-winning authors, Nicole is passionate about how brainstorming ideas inside a trusted community has strengthened her story conflicts and character arcs, as well as enriched her relationships with fellow storytellers.  

9:10 - 10:20am

Room

D

The Elements of a Great RomCom
with Jamie Wesley

Romcoms are everywhere! But what separates a romcom from a contemporary romance? Is there a difference at all? Join author Jamie Wesley as she explores the essential elements of a great romcom, from meet cutes (or disasters) to dialogue to authorial voice and so much more!

10:20 -11:20am

Room

A

How to Write 50 Books a Year
with Elle James

Having trouble finding the time to accomplish all your work? Or maybe it’s motivation you’re lacking? Come learn how to write 50 books a year (or, seriously, a subset of 50) and get things done!

10:20 - 11:20am

Room

B

Indie Publishing: What's the Big Deal?

with Dan Wood

In the last 15 years, the book publishing industry witnessed not one, but two sea change events. The first was the democratization of the industry, circa 2008. The second was the merger of the two largest self-publishing platforms, Draft2Digital (from Oklahoma!) and Smashwords, in March 2022. The union of D2D and Smashwords created a self-publishing juggernaut overnight, legitimized the indie author movement, and ensured that even more writers will achieve their dreams of becoming published, globally distributed authors. But what does this mean to YOU? In this workshop you’ll learn: 

  • What led to the democratization of the publishing industry 

  • What led to the merger of two of the world’s largest self-publishing platforms 

  • How the merger between D2D & Smashwords benefits you, the author 

  • The advantages of self-publishing 

  • The latest tools available to help you reach more readers and do it faster, easier and more professionally than ever

10:20 - 11:20am

Room

C

What Agents Want in a Romance Query Letter
with Literary Agent, Saint Gibson

"Have you ever wondered how agents approach reading query letters for romance novels? What makes a query letter stand out from the crowd? Take a peek behind the curtain with an agent, and learn how to best utilize tropes, character details, stakes, and plot tentpoles in order to make your query shine."

10:20 -11:20am

Room

D

Sweet Emotion: How to Create Emotion in Your Story While Avoiding Sappiness with Jennifer Archer

In this workshop, Jennifer explores ways to add emotion to your story without becoming melodramatic. You will learn strategies that help you dig deeper into scenes and characters to create a heartfelt experience for readers, rather than simply describing what a character feels. Your readers will “feel all the feels” along with your characters, making for an unforgettable, richer, more meaningful read.  

11:30 - 12:30pm

Room

AB

Set up for Sealed with a Kiss Luncheon

Volunteers assigned to this event should report to Rooms A & B for set up.

11:30 - 12:30pm

Room

C

Author Q&A

with Special Guest, Jodi Thomas

Bring your questions and come ready to soak in the knowledge and experience of NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Jodi Thomas.

11:30 - 12:30pm

Room

D

Creating an Engaging Social Media Platform

with Literary Agent, Amy Brewer

What are the most essential social medias to use to create a well-performing platform? What’s the difference between publicity and marketing? Amy Brewer will explain all, including how to anchor your platform with an author website and how to create Facebook author page. She'll show us why it’s important, and how to get those crucial followers. She’ll also cover Bookstagram’s importance in the romance genre and how to feel like you’re not screaming into the void on TikTok’s BookTok.

12:30 - 1:45pm

Room

D

Sealed with a Kiss Luncheon

Speakers each host their own table. Table Guests receive Free Goodies.

Guests encouraged to bring a gift for their table host.

(Prior ticket purchase required, no walk-ins)

2:00 - 3:00pm

Room

A

Bringing Romance to Audio: A Beginner's Guide to Audiobooks

with Laura Horowitz

Have you ever thought about turning your books into audiobooks, but are unsure of where to start? Or have you looked into audiobooks, but weren't ready to jump in? Join Audiobook Narrator and TikTok's Book Blooper Queen, Laura Horowitz, as she explains the ins and outs of audiobook production. She will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the process from selecting your distributor, to casting you narrators, to marketing your finished audiobook. 

2:00 - 3:00pm

Room

B

Writing Historical Romance for Today's Reader 
with Callie Hutton

Today’s readers want different things in their romance books than what their mothers and grandmothers wanted. Yet, the draw to historical romance is still there. Combining accuracy with the past, yet writing characters that appeal can be a challenge. Using examples from my own books as well as quotes from my other historical authors, we’ll look at various ways we can hold a reader’s interest without re-writing history.

2:00 - 3:00pm

Room

C

Let's Talk about Sex
with Sarah Bale

Does the thought of writing about S-E-X make you want to run and hide? Wonder if it’s too much… or not enough? Never fear. USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah Bale will guide you through the process, making your first time oh-so-special. Find out how to set the mood, words to use/not use, but most importantly how to get comfortable as your characters strip down and bare their emotions and love to each other.

2:00 - 3:00pm

Room

D

Small Edits, Big Impact: Literary Devices and Simple Tricks to Improve your Prose
with Robin Patchen

Learn how to use literary devices you’ve never heard of—but likely have seen—and other simple tricks to improve the emotional impact of your prose. Each device will have examples from speeches, literature, and/or movies to illustrate how they can be used in all kinds of writing.

2:00 - 5:00pm

Pitch

Room

Pitch Room

Interested in traditional publishing and have a book ready to go? Pitch your book to our visiting agents & editors. Pre-Sign ups allowed for 1 appointment per attendee allowed. Check to see what they are looking for and to sign up HERE

3:10 - 4:10pm

Room

A

Adding Spark to Sweet Romance
with Amy Lillard

 Sweet romance and Christian romance are on the rise, but just because there are no love scenes doesn't mean it should be without sexual tension. Amy will share with you the 12 steps of intimacy and how to incorporate them into your books to add a little spark. (This class can also be beneficial to those who write sexy books.)

3:10 - 4:10pm

Room

B

Creating Memorable Dialogue
with Tamela Miles

The flurry of excitement at their first meeting. But, what should your main characters say to each other?? Tamela has been crafting unforgettable dialogue- from witty banter to passionate, tearful declarations- for over a decade as a seasoned author. Spend time with her to  learn (or to refresh your sleeping writing mind!) how to create dialogue that sounds true to each character and will remain in the hearts of your readers long after they close your book. 

3:10 - 4:10pm

Room

C

Booktok and Beyond: Tiktok and Reels for Authors
with Mariah Ankenman

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!

3:10 - 4:10pm

Room

D

You Got Your Chocolate in my Peanut Butter! - The Importance of Romance in Cozy Mysteries

with Moira Bates

Cozy Mystery readers and Romance readers share an important commonality—they are often “whale readers,” reading 5+ books a week. In other words, they are both huge markets. It makes sense that successful Cozy Mysteries have a little Romance in them, and many successful Romances have a little Mystery in them. Some people choose to moan and groan about the situation, but smart authors realize they have discovered the most delicious pairing of all time. In this session, Moira will share the secrets to creating literary peanut butter cups—Cozy Mysteries with Romantic Elements, and Romance with Mystery Elements. 

4:10 - 6:10pm

Bar/Lobby

FREE TIME

Be sure to take advantage of the hotel's complimentary evening reception starting at 5:30pm (for those staying at the hotel).

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6:30 - 9:00pm

Room

ABCD

Keynote Masquerade Banquet w/Scarlett St. Clair 

It's a Masquerade! Our keynote will address us and food will be served!

Dress Code: Formal, Professional, or Sunday Best and a Mask

(Prizes will be given for Fanciest & Funniest Masks)

9:00 - 10:30pm

Room

TBA

After Party Game Time!

Informal, Come & Go, Board Games, Cards, & Dominoes

The bar is only steps away

Saturday, August 5th

8:00 - 9:00am

Room

A

Writing Fiction Inspired by Real Life
with Nicole Deese

A great story can originate from many types of inspiration, but sometimes the very best stories are the ones inspired from our own personal experiences. In this workshop, Nicole will share examples of how some of her own real life experiences have been reshaped into best-selling novels and how you can do the same. 

8:00 - 9:00am

Room

B

Save the "Sexy" Cat: Keep that Creative Edge While Plotting your Romance

with Amy Lillard

What makes a romance great? Is plotting the end of creativity? Come find out how to keep your creative edge while satisfying the romance reader's expectations of story.

8:00 - 9:00am

Room

C

Publishing to Market with a Gorgeous Cover & Other Strategies for Your Self Publishing Journey with Candice Gilmer

Because she’s made all the mistakes, Candice Gilmer will share her experience as a cover artist and author to help you get in good with your readers, and give them what they want – which is your awesome book!

8:00 - 9:00am

Room

D

Maximizing Your Backlist

with Elle James

Focused on creating new content? Don’t forget your backlist—that important part of a sustainable career as an author. Join Elle James for tips on how to maximize your backlist and generate more sales on already established content.

9:10 -10:10am

Room

A

KU vs Wide

with Moira Bates

Some authors swear by Kindle Unlimited as the only way to supercharge your author career. They believe that what they make being exclusive with Amazon is far better than a non-exclusive deal. Others have dumped KU to go wide—they still sell on Amazon, but also sell on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, and a slew of other digital book sites. Is KU a golden goose, or is “bank over rank” with wide the way to go? Let’s settle the KU vs. Wide debate once and for all! (NB, probably not actually settled, but you will have a lot of
information to choose what is best for you.) 

9:10 -10:10am

Room

B

Creating Compelling Characters
with Robin Patchen

Every great story is populated with memorable characters. But inventing those characters—their personality traits, dreams, desires, histories, fears—is no easy task. In this class, we’ll discover tools for creating characters who feel so real and lifelike that our readers will root for them until the very end.

9:10 -10:10am

Room

C

Twitter Pitching #FUN
with Mariah Ankenman

You’ve heard about Twitter pitch parties, but what exactly are they? Come learn the ins and outs of pitching your manuscript to agents and publishers on Twitter with author Mariah Ankenman. Find out which pitch party is right for you, what hashtags to use, and how to craft that perfect 280 character pitch to catch and agent/editors eye.

9:10 -10:10am

Room

D

Writing a Series

with Callie Hutton

Do you want to write a series, but not sure how to manipulate several books? We will cover how to keep your readers interested, the importance of having a series bible, and how to market/launch your series. We will also discuss rapid release, the benefits, and the drawbacks.

10:20 - 11:20pm

Room

A

Branding Yourself
with Tamela Miles

So, you’ve written the book. The journey is finally over, right? Not quite. You not only have marketing your book baby to do, but it’s a great idea to go one step further and brand yourself! Tamela has learned how to accomplish this and is excited to share what she knows about making your author name a successful brand name, from start to finish.

10:20 - 11:20pm

Room

B

Book Launches 
with Jamie Wesley

How do you make sure readers are aware of and actually buy your fabulous book on release day (or better yet pre-order it!)? Organization is key. Author Jamie Wesley will walk you through the myriad steps (with plenty of real-life examples!) to make your book launch as successful and lucrative as possible, all without pulling your hair out!

10:20 - 11:20pm

Room

CD

Author Q&A
with Scarlett St.Clair

Come ready to ask our keynote ALL  your questions!

11:30 - 12:30pm

Room

AB

Set up for Lunch Buffet

No volunteers assigned

11:30 - 12:30pm

Room

C

Young Love: Romance in Young Adult Fiction

with Jennifer Archer

In this workshop, Jennifer will explore: Recalling the magic and heartache of first love, and how to convey those emotions to readers. The elements of YA romance fiction (and all YA fiction). What Jennifer considers the most important element in YA romance fiction (and all YA fiction). Sex, profanity, and mature subject matter – what’s allowed and what’s off limits. Exercises to help you channel your inner teen & reconnect with your teen voice, and much more…

11:30 - 12:30pm

Room

D

Trope it Up
with Sarah Bale

Ever been asked what you write, and you respond, “Romance.”, only to be asked, “What kind?” Does picking a trope or even *gasp* tropes for your book make you sick to your stomach? USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah Bale will guide you through popular romance tropes and sub-genres. Find out how to stay true to your brand, what reader expectations are (and how to meet them), and other helpful tidbits to make your book soar all while using tropes and sub-genres.

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12:30 - 1:45pm

Room

AB

Come & Go Lunch Buffet

For RomanceLahoma Speakers & Officers only

(No walk-ins)

2:00 - 3:00pm

Room

C

TBA

with Rhonda Penders

Join Wild Rose Press Owner & Editor, Rhonda Penders.

2:00 - 3:00pm

Room

D

Audiobook Q&A

with Laura Horowitz

What's the difference between 'Dual' and 'Duet' narration? Or a 'Production House' and a 'Publishing House?' Can I control the price of my audiobook? Join audiobook Narrator Laura Horowitz for this live chat and Q&A and get all your burning (not chafing) audiobook questions answered. 

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2:00 - 5:00pm

Room

Pre-Convene

Hall

Author Come & Love Book Signing Sale

(Must be a paid vendor to sell books)

Open to Public book sale

2:00 - 5:00pm

Pitch

Room

Pitch Your Book

Interested in traditional publishing and have a book ready to go? Pitch your book to our visiting agents & editors. Pre-Sign ups allowed for 1 appointment per attendee allowed. Check to see what they are looking for and to sign up HERE

5:00 - 6:45pm

Bar/Lobby

FREE Time

Be sure to take advantage of the hotel's complimentary evening reception (for those staying at the hotel).

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7:00 -10:00pm

Room

ABCD

Heart Awards Gala

 Announcement of 2022 Heart Award Contest Winners

& 2024 Keynote Speaker

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