NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book

Barbara Vey -- October 24th, 2013
Stacey and Morgan

Stacey Agdern and Morgan Doremus


Today’s Cub Reporter is Stacey Agdern.  Stacey is a New York book seller and aspiring author.  She runs the romance section and hand sells many of the books in her store.  Stacey recently attended the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book conference.


“The state of the industry is you,” said Virginia Kantra as part of a speech she gave during the Published Author Retreat at the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book conference this year.  “The industry is changing so quickly,” Kantra elaborated, that authors need to focus on themselves.


And you only need to look at the various workshops given at this year’s conference to know that she’s right.  There were workshops on how to use scrivener, workshops on how to format books for self publishing and tons of workshops, including one given by the fabulous Morgan Doremus on how best to market yourself and your books, amidst the tricky world of social media.
“There’s no magic bullet,” said Doremus to her audience. And she’s right too. Because when dealing with book promotion, not every strategy will work for everybody. That is very important.


Connie Brockway

Connie Brockway

In fact, said the amazing luncheon speaker, Connie Brockway “One thing you can control is the story.” And to that end, there were other sorts of workshops. Madeline Hunter did a wonderful workshop on building conflict in a story, and how this can help you create a synopsis. Shiloh Walker did an introduction to erotic romance Anybody who is interested in writing in the genre should take if they have the opportunity. Shiloh knows her stuff, and she is a very good teacher.

But as anybody who attends conferences knows, it isn’t just about the workshops. Keynote speaker Diana Cosby reminded her audience to ‘surround themselves with people who inspire you.’ Which brings us to the fact that attending conferences allows us to catch up with other writers and industry people. Amongst others, I was able to sit down with fellow RWANYC member and debut author Lydia Hill, and caught up with Harlequin Historical AND Nocturne author Jenna Kernan.  Dee Davis celebrated as she won her 3rd golden leaf award and I danced the night away with the multi talented Megan Frampton and even met Harlequin author(and fellow hockey fan) Brenda Harlen for the first time, courtesy of the ever gracious Virginia Kantra.  Jane Porter, who has an amazing perspective on the industry, offered insight.


Virginia Kantra and Brenda Harlen

Virginia Kantra and Brenda Harlen

My final day of the conference was spent at the bookseller’s lunch. This year’s edition of the annual tradition was organized by the wonderful CH Admirand. Attending the lunch gave me the chance to talk to fellow booksellers, including Lexie Cenni (she of the book blog Poisoned Rationality), and spend more time with the authors I hadn’t really had much time with during the conference, like Laura Kaye and Eloisa James.

Connie Brockway’s  speech to the booksellers attending the lunch was heartfelt and moving.  “Thank you for being part of my story,” she said in closing.

Bottom Line:  Thank you, Connie and the rest of the people who were involved in some way with this year’s NJRW Put Your Heart in a book conference, for letting me in.

9 thoughts on “NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book

  1. Shirley Hailstock

    Stacey, what a great write-up. Thank you for doing this. As an NJRW member, I love our conference. All the work that goes into it (not from me) is well worth it when so many old and new friends show up.

    I attended Susan Meier’s workshop on writing romances without sex that are just as compelling as those with it. It was insightful and informative. I just finished reading one of her books where she put the workshop into practice.

  2. Diane Gaston

    One of the things I loved about the conference was that it was so positive in tone. Sometimes topics in speeches and workshops spend the time forecasting doom, but everything I heard there gave an “I can do it” feeling.

    I haven’t attended the NJRW in years and it was wonderful to see old friends and make some new ones!

  3. Diana Cosby

    Stacey, a wonderful write-up. Loved NJRW’s Put Your Heart in a Book conference. Fabulous people,workshops, and excellent y information. I always leave having met new friends and inspired.

  4. zirolion duop

    I was recommended this website by way of my cousin. I am not sure whether this submit is written by way of him as no one else recognize such specified about my trouble. You’re wonderful! Thank you!

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