2019 Member Retreat


Workshops: Stepping into your Character’s Shoes, Balancing Emotion and Pacing or Unforgettable Fiction, Tackling the On-Going Search for Discoverability

Presenter: Priscilla Oliveras
Location: Montgomery Bell State Park
DATES: Feb 15-17, 2019
Cost to attend: $25, registration open November 19th

Friday night: Dinner together at the Inn Restaurant for those who can make it. The Board is not paying for the meal if you are organizing your budget!

Saturday: workshops galore!

Stepping into your Character’s Shoes: At the heart of every romance novel, no matter the subgenre, lie the characters. They’re the ones we befriend, fall in love with, and, for many readers, the reason why we place a book on our “keeper shelf” to revisit again and again. Actors and writers are cousins in the art of bringing characters to life. This presentation discusses and demonstrates several techniques and exercises found in Brandilyn Collins’ how-to text Getting into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors to help writers succeed in their quest to create believable, unforgettable characters.

Balancing Emotion and Pacing or Unforgettable Fiction: As authors we know that emotion is the key to engaging readers in the story, but we’re often urged to trim backstory and inner dialogue and focus on driving the story forward. This presentation shares practical tips and tools to help us get that critical emotion on the page while maintaining the right speed of pacing. When it comes down to it, properly balancing emotion and pacing can help you deliver the emotional impact your story needs to keep readers turning pages and push a scene or novel beyond competent to unforgettable.

Tackling the On-Going Search for Discoverability: Discoverability, visibility, cross-promotion, marketing…these are all buzz words we often discuss, maybe even stress about, with fellow authors and industry professionals. And while writing can be a solitary endeavor, promotion doesn’t always have to be. In fact, cross-promotion with the right individuals can be beneficial and fun! From author self-evaluation intended to help you discover your own strengths and brand, to identifying comp titles and authors, to ways you might be able to pinpoint authors with whom you share commonalities that might lead to cross-promo opportunities… this presentation shares tips, tools, and lessons learned in the bid to crack the age-old discoverability code.

Bio: PRISCILLA OLIVERAS is a 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. All three books in Priscilla’s debut (Matched to Perfection) series, His Perfect Partner, Her Perfect Affair, and Their Perfect Melody, earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Since earning an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she serves as English adjunct faculty at her local college and teaches an on-line course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. Priscilla is a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

Follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life at www.prisoliveras.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prisoliveras  or on Twitter & Instagram via @prisoliveras. 


Sign up for the retreat by paying $25 via PayPal here:


Member Name:

Please contact the board if you have questions or concerns. To account for the fact that some members' names are not exactly like their PayPal emails, please please put your name in the notes section above or by emailing our treasurer, Susan Bickford, to give her a head's up!


For lodging, you will independently make and control your reservations with Montgomery Bell. There are various types of rooms, cabins and suites. The hotel does require a one night deposit, which is refunded when you check out so that appropriate charges can be made if you shared your accommodations. For the discounted rate the code is 9280. The phone number to call for reservations from their website is 1-800-250-8613. And the website is  https://tnstateparks.com/parks/montgomery-bell

Direct other questions to Charissa Weaks at charissaweaksauthor at gmail.com