Hearts and Shapes

April 18, 2021

9:30-4:30 (MDT)





Do you want your romance to find that happily ever after home as a published novel? Then the 2nd Annual Wordsmith Institute Romance Writing Conference on April 18, is exactly what you need.


This one-day live conference brings together best-selling romance authors to share their expertise and agents who are actively seeking new clients. Get an insider’s view of writing and publishing romance novels from those who have achieved success, ask questions, pitch your book face-to-face via video chat to agents interested in novels like yours.


Our goal is not only to provide you with wonderful sessions taught by bestselling authors, and give you access to agents, but we want this to be a fun online conference that has the feel of an in person event, without having to dress up and leave the house. Throughout the day we plan to have fun giveaways. Register today to reserve your spot at this one-of-a-kind writing conference and move one step closer to your dream of being a published romance author. 



Claire Kingsley

Bestselling author of sexy, heartfelt contemporary romances and romantic comedies.


Sara Megibow

Literary Agent with KT Literary


Angelina Lopez

Romance Author writing sexy, contemporary stories about strong women and the confident men lucky to fall in love with them.


Beverly Jenkins

Recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award,

Event Details

Date: April 18, 2021
Time: 9:30-4:30 (MDT)

Location: Zoom


During this one day live event, the romance authors you love and admire, along with successful literary agents in the industry, will teach classes on all different aspects of writing and publishing romance novels. Our goal is to make this event fun, informative and inspiring. We want you to ask questions, connect with each other and for fun, we plan to give away fabulous prizes throughout the day. This is going to be different than any other online conference you have attended in the past.

Participating in an online writing conference is easy. A couple days before the event, you will receive an email with the link; click on it and you will have access to an exciting day of learning.  

Pitching to an Agent

We are excited to offer you the opportunity to pitch your romance novel to agents and editors who are interested in representing romance authors like you. The 10-minute pitch sessions are done face-to-face via Zoom. Conferences are the one time you get the chance to talk directly with agents about your book, so take advantage of it. The attending agents  are seeking that next best-selling romance author. It could be you!

Exclusive Facebook Group

Connecting with other authors is an integral part of any writing conference, so we have set up an exclusive Facebook group for participants of this event. Through this group you can meet other writers, ask questions, share resources and make new writer friends. During this time when you are encouraged to stay home and in-person events are on hold, this Facebook group allows you the chance to meet and connect with other writers, and provide support. Once your registration is finalized you will receive an invitation to the group. 

Pre-Conference Session

On the evening of April 16, we will have a special session to prepare you for the full day event and answer any questions you may have. We will go over the schedule for the day, how it is all going to work, and share tips on preparing for your pitch sessions. It also gives you a chance to make sure everything is working with your computer and familiarize yourself  with Zoom if you haven’t used it before. 



  • $99 (Full Conference)

  • Pitch Sessions-$15 each



All sessions will be recorded (including the pre-conference session) and you will have access to them for 2 months following the event. So even if you have to leave for a few minutes to pitch your book, you won’t miss anything because you can go back and watch the full session.


Bonus #1-In addition to the recordings of all the sessions, you will get 2 BONUS recordings taught by Kerrie Flanagan. 

  • Improve your Writing-Self-Editing and Self Revision

  • Is Self Publishing Right for You?


Bonus #2 - Pages to Literary Agent Sara Megibow

  • ANYONE who attends Sara's  1 hour workshop is welcome to email  her the first 50 pages of their romance novel + query letter by May 31, 2021 and she will respond to each by July 31, 2021

  • submission must be for romance novel only (again = no YA romance, memoir, women’s fiction, literary fiction or fantasy-with-romantic-elements)

  • submission must be for a book that is 100% complete and never previously published

  • submissions must be to Sara

  • there won’t be any critique involved = only a read of the query + 50 pages with an eye toward representation

  • She is actively acquiring right now!



9:30-10:30-Session 1- Claire Kingsley- Building an Author Brand

10:45-11:45-Session 2- Query Writing Tips and Critique w/Sara Megibow


1:00-2:00-Session 3- Writing Historical Romance w/Beverly Jenkins

2:15-3:15-Sessions 4-Writing the Alpha Heroine w/Angelina Lopez

3:30-4:30-Happy Hour with the Authors-Grab your favorite beverage and join the authors for a fun Ask Me Anything session


Support indie bookstores while supporting our presenters. 

Buy presenter's books at BookShop.org 



How to Write Alpha Heroines


Angelina M. Lopez discusses how to create kickass heroines who are strong BECAUSE of their femininity, not in spite of it. Angelina’s debut novel LUSH MONEY featured a billionaire businesswoman, but she doesn’t believe “strong” women are defined by their roles or their toughness. Let her help you craft women ready to take on whatever stands in their way that readers will root for.

Angelina M. Lopez

Angelina M. Lopez has been writing professionally her whole life: first as a journalist for an acclaimed city newspaper, then as a freelance magazine writer, and now as a romance author. She writes sexy, contemporary stories about strong women and the confident men lucky to fall in love with them. Her debut book, Lush Money, was named a Top 10 Romance Debut of 2020 by ALA’s Booklist. Lush Money and Hate Crush, received rave reviews from Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and Booklist. Her third book, Serving Sin, will be available May 25, 2021.

Query Letter Tips and Critique from an Agent


Bring your pitch! Bring your enthusiasm! We’ll spend about 20 minutes going over the tips and tricks for writing a great query letter for your romance novel. Then, we’ll allow writers to workshop their pitch and query letter with Sara in a group setting. Learn how to focus on explaining your book succinctly and compellingly - this is a skill needed across all journeys in publishing from looking for an agent to landing a book deal to self publishing. We’ll leave time for Q&A also.

Sara Megibow

Sara Megibow is a literary agent with kt literary out of Highlands Ranch, CO. She has worked in publishing since 2006 and has been a romance lover her whole life. Sara represents New York Times bestselling authors including Casey McQuiston, Roni Loren and Margaret Rogerson. She specializes in launching debut authors and working on long-term career development and profit strategy with them. She is a graduate of Northwestern University with degrees in Women’s Studies, Gender Studies and American History. Always LGBTQIA+ Friendly!


Twitter @SaraMegibow

Publishers Marketplace: https://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow/

Manuscript Wishlist: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/sara-megibow/

AAR: http://aaronline.org/Sys/PublicProfile/2176965/417813

Pinterest board of Sara’s romance authors/books:  

Writing Historical Romance


What goes into worldbuilding for historical romance? How do you make readers feel as if they are actually there? How do craft it? What are some of the best sources? Join award-winning romance author Beverly Jenkins as she gives a primer on making Historical Romance come to life.

Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins: Ms. Jenkins is the nation’s premier writer of African – American historical romance fiction and specializes in 19th century African American life. She’s the 2018 Michigan Library Association Author of the Year, a USA TODAY best-selling author, an NAACP Image Award nominee, and the 2017 recipient of Romance Writers of America’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. She has over forty nine published works, and been named to many Best Book of the Year lists, including NPR and the American Library Association. She speaks widely on romance, writing, and African-American history. Her books were recently optioned for film by Sony Pictures and Al Roker Entertainment.

Building an Author Brand


What is an author brand, and why does it matter? Romancelandia is a big place. Knowing who you are as an author and identifying your ideal audience can go a long way toward building a sustainable career. We’ll cover what branding is not, the elements of brand building, and ways to cultivate and support your brand. Whether you’re working on your first manuscript or have a few books under your belt, it’s never too early (or too late) to start pondering the big questions: who am I as an author, who are my readers, and how do we find each other? 

Claire Kingsley is a top 5 Amazon Bestselling author of sexy, heartfelt contemporary romances and romantic comedies. She writes books with sassy, quirky heroines, swoony heroes who love their women hard, panty-melting sexytimes, heartwarming happily ever afters, and all the big feels. She's in love with love and can't imagine life without coffee, her Kindle, or the sexy heroes who inhabit her imagination. She's living out her own happily ever after with her husband and three kids in the Pacific Northwest. 



Register now and you can add additional pitch sessions later.

Plus, everyone attending the conference can send Literary Agent Sara Megibow a query and the first 50 pages of a completed, never published, romance novel.
Read more

Angie Hodapp

Nelson Literary Agency


At this event, Angie is taking pitches on behalf of all four agents at her agency: Kristin Nelson, Danielle Burby, Joanna Mackenzie, and Quressa Robinson. They are looking for single-title romance, romantic comedies, contemporary young-adult romance, #ownvoices and marginalized authors and characters, upmarket women's fiction, and mainstream fiction with a strong romantic plot line. We are not looking for erotica or work for the Christian/inspirational market at this time.

Angie Hodapp


Angie is taking pitches on behalf of all the agents at the Nelson Literary Agency.
What we're looking for:

- Upmarket romance, high-concept romance, fresh, twisty romantic

   plots, and romance that doesn’t shy away from addressing big, real 

   world issues (social justice, cultural identity, the #metoo movement)

- Romance with the potential to cross over into the book-club,

   women’s fiction, or mainstream spaces.

- Well-rounded, independent characters with goals and motivations

   beyond solely finding love.

- Rom-coms for adult and young-adult readers.

-  #Ownvoices leads who are from marginalized communities based

   on their gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and ability.

- Gentle, heartwarming romance & romance with a touch of whimsy

- Novels of any non-romance genres that feature a strong romantic

   plot line.


Eva Scalzo

Speilburg Agency

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Eva Scalzo was born in New Jersey, but lived in Houston, Buenos Aires, San Juan, and Boston before settling down outside of Binghamton, New York. She has been reading romance since the fifth grade when she discovered the Sweet Valley High series. On inheriting her grandmother’s collection of vintage Harlequin Romances, she set a goal to finish reading them all on top of her already massive TBR.

Eva has a B.A. in the Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Since graduating in 2002, she has spent her career in scholarly publishing, working for Houghton Mifflin, Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Cornell University in a variety of roles. She has been with Speilburg Literary since 2013, and started accepting clients in 2017. Eva is a member of the AALA (formerly AAR), RWA, and SCBWI. 

In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance (all subgenres but inspirational) 


Patrick Munnelly


Patrick Munnelly worked with Sandra as an Intern while getting his Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. After graduating, he spent 2 years as an editor with Literary Wanderlust Publishing. He rejoined the BLA team in 2020 as an associate agent, and also works as an Instructor of Writing and Rhetoric for the Community College of Aurora in Colorado.


Patrick is looking for anything romance in the LGBTQ+ genre, including anything from light YA to steamy Adult. He is especially interested in stories told by LGBTQ+ authors that reflect their characters.  


Michelle Grajkowsk

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From the moment Michelle Grajkowski first opened the doors to the 3 Seas Literary Agency in August of 2000, her agency has sold more than 900 books to all the major publishing houses, and has grown from one agent to three! Michelle’s client list includes New York Times Bestselling Authors Katie MacAlister, Cathy McDavid, Kerrelyn Sparks and C.L. Wilson. 


Michelle primarily represents romance, women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction along with select non-fiction projects with a terrific message.  She is currently looking for fantastic writers with a voice of their own.