Tag Archives: Christmas Party

Virginia Romance Writers

Barbara Vey -- December 14th, 2012
Barbara Vey sign

The beautiful sign outside the party announcing me as a guest. I wish I could have taken it home on the plane.

When the Virginia Romance Writers asked me to do a workshop for one of their meetings, it was a simple yes for me.  My goal is to meet with every RWA chapter in the country.  I’m well on the way.  But when I checked their website, I found out I was scheduled to talk during their Christmas party.  I was sure I had the wrong date.  After offering to come a different date, I was assured that they, indeed, wanted me to talk at their Christmas party.  So, I get to travel to Virginia, meet the authors, talk for a couple of hours and attend a party filled with food and gifts.  Score!!




The get together was held in a park in a colonial style building.  The sun was shining, it was warm  and it was way too nice a day for a Christmas party.  I knew I wasn’t in Wisconsin anymore.  They had a terrific sign welcoming the members.

Virginia RWA officers

Virginia RWA officers Left: Suzy Short, Tracey Livesay, Donna Dalton, Lucy Balch, Alleyne Dickens

Virginia RWA

Virginia RWA members

Although the main focus of my talk was Building Reader Loyalty, there was such an intimate connection with the group that it was soon more like a conversation between friends.  We laughed, we cried, we connected and energized each other.  One of my favorite parts is having someone come up to me afterward and tell me they identified with something I said.

Cathy Maxwell and Barbara Vey

Love this picture! Cathy Maxwell and Barbara Vey

The Virginia chapter also held their awards ceremony thanking members for their service including their part in Lovefest which is the romance part of Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville March 23rd.  In addition, they are now accepting entries for their HOLT Medallion contest through January 31st.  Winners and Merit recipients will also appear in a full page ad in Romance Writers Report and RTBook Reviews magazine.

Tomorrow the Virginia RWA will be participating in the  Celebrate With an Author Book Fair in Richmond, Virginia.  20 authors will be signing books.  I’m telling you, this is one busy chapter.

One of the highlights of the day was the gift exchange.  Everyone was gathered in a large circle holding a gift with Mary Ann Clark in the center.  As Mary Ann read a Christmas story, the women passed the gifts to the right or left as was indicated in the story.  You had to see it to believe it, especially when the family’s name was Wright and their were at least 30 people in the story (I may have exaggerated a little).  Kind of sad, though, that we had to stop a few times because someone would end up with 2 gifts because they had trouble figuring out their right from their left.  It was all in good fun and everyone ended up with terrific gifts.

Bottom Line:  I hope I get a chance to come back and visit this enthusiastic group.  It’s contagious.

Improvising Your Book

Barbara Vey -- December 14th, 2010

Debbie Kaufman

Debbie Kaufman

Cub Reporter Debbie Kaufman sent in this report of the Georgia Romance Writers way of celebrating the holidays while infusing that little extra something into their writing.

Georgia Romance Writers
added a creative twist to their annual Christmas party this year with the inclusion of an improvisation workshop. Allison Gilmore and Elizabeth Beasley of DuMore Improv and the Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy cajoled more than sixty members into quick scenes of structured improvisations, and sparked the creative process for us in a whole new way.  We started with an exercise where two people faced each other and counted from 1 to 3 with each person counting one of the numbers in order.  I would never have thought that such a simple task could demand so much attention and be so funny.

Allison Gilmore Haywood Smith Elizabeth Beasley

Allison Gilmore Haywood Smith Elizabeth Beasley

Besides a workshop filled with laughter, attendees took away valuable insights for the creative writing process. The one main point we all carried away involved the “Yes, and” response structure to ideas that forms the basis of improvisation. By morning’s end, Gilmore and Beasley demonstrated how this positive approach generated more choices in scenarios than its polar opposite, the “No, but” response. Using the positive approach, members created hilarious scenes for the audience’s enjoyment, proving that, just like life, positive is always the better approach. GRW members took away valuable tools and had fun in the process.

What a wonderful way to spend a holiday gathering that left us laughing and more open-minded as we approach everything in life, not just writing.  We shared a breakfast meal and everyone brought a wrapped book we exchanged with each other.  One of the highlights of the morning was handing over a check for almost $1000 to support Literacy.  This money comes from raffle sales at every GRW event.  Everyone left in high spirits and happy to have participated in an unusual holiday gathering.

Bottom Line: I think if parties were given as learning tools, I’d learn a lot more and have loads of fun doing it.

If your group has an event that you’d like considered for the blog, please send it to me at bvey@publishersweekly.com