June 20, 2020

9:30-5:30 (MDT)




Do you want your romance to find that happily ever after home as a published novel? Then the Wordsmith Institute Romance Writing Conference on June 20, 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. 


Kennedy Ryan

A RITA® Award Winner, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies.


Jennifer Probst

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Romance Author of sexy contemporary romance fiction.

Priscilla Oliveras

USA Today Bestselling Author
writing contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor.

Angie Hodapp

Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary Agency

Sarah MacLean

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller author of historical romance novels 

Event Details

Date: June 20, 2020
Time: 9:30-5:30
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 June 18, 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. 



  • $139 (base price)

  • Pitch Sessions-$25 each

  • 10-page Manuscript Critique-$49


10-Page Critique

This option allows you to get a detailed critique on the first 10 pages of your manuscript from one of the Wordsmith Institute founders, Chuck and Kerrie. 



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: In addition to the recordings of all the sessions, you will get 2 BONUS sessions as well, taught by Kerrie Flanagan.


  • Overview of your Publishing Options

  • Improve your Writing-Self-Editing and Self Revision






9:30-10:30-Session 1-Jennifer Probst

10:45-11:45-Session 2-Angie Hodapp

12:00-1:00-Session 3-Sarah MacLean 


2:00-3:00-Sessions 4-Kennedy Ryan

3:15-4:15-Session 5-Priscilla Oliveras

4:30-5:30-Author Panel


Support indie bookstores while supporting our presenters. 

Buy presenter's books at BookShop.org 


A Conversation with Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan

J0in us for this conversation with the talented Kennedy Ryan where we will talk with her about her writing process, the writers who have inspired her, becoming a full-time author and breaking down barriers as the first black woman to win a RITA award. Ryan does not shy away from deep issues like domestic violence and race, we will ask her about this and how her journalism degrees helps her with her writing. 

Kennedy Ryan and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, The Montel Williams Show, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

Visit her website for updates on new releases and to sign up for her newsletter visit: https://kennedyryanwrites.com/


Write Naked: Secrets from a Successful Romance Author and How to Navigate the Path to Success

Jennifer Probst

Have you ever dreamed of writing a romance novel? Have you written a manuscript and now want to take the next step? Are you a multi-published author interested in expanding your reader reach? Let New York Times bestselling romance author Jennifer Probst take you through the process of honing your craft, solidifying your platform, and growing your reader audience. Discuss the ups and downs of being a writer, and embrace the crazy. You’ll learn how to build characters who mesmerize readers, write emotional sex scenes, and develop a deeper experience for your readers through your story’s theme. You’ll also discover the most important elements for romance-writing success and top tips to grow your audience!

Jennifer Probst is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance.  She holds a masters in English Literature and lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, spent 26 weeks on the New York Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a “romance phenom” by Kirkus Reviews. She is also a proud three-time RITA finalist. She loves hearing from readers.

Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

Sign up for her newsletter at www.jenniferprobst.com/newsletter for a chance to win a gift card each month and receive exclusive material and giveaways.

Query Letter Bootcamp

Most writers will tell you that writing a good query letter is more difficult than writing the whole manuscript. How do you distill the essence of your novel into one pithy pitch paragraph? Come find out! Angie Hodapp, author of Query Craft, will divulge why so few query letters lead to requests for pages, and then walk you through how to write a standout four-part query letter while avoiding common pitfalls.

Angie Hodapp

Angie Hodapp holds a BA in English and secondary education and an MA in English and communication development, and she is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. The author of Do You Need a Literary Agent? and Query Craft, Angie has worked in language education and professional writing, editing, and publishing for more than twenty years. The Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary Agency, she is passionate about story and loves helping authors hone their craft and learn about the ever-changing business of publishing.

Starting in the Right Place

There's no denying that the first chapter of your book is the one that sells it. It's also the chapter that can instantly turn readers away from your story. Join New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sarah MacLean as she talks through the dos and donts of making sure that your book starts in the right place to draw readers in...and keep them desperate for the rest of the book.

Sarah Maclean

Sarah MacLean is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. A romance columnist and co-host of the weekly romance novel podcast, Fated Mates, her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com's Sheroes list and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "the elegantly fuming, utterly intoxicating queen of historical romance." Sarah is a graduate of Smith College & Harvard University. She lives in New York City. 

Visit her website to stay up to date on her latest books an to sign up for her  newsletter.  http://www.sarahmaclean.net

Priscilla Oliveras

The romance plot is far more than a simple: boy meets girl, boy gets girl, they live Happily Ever After. Let’s face it, a plot like that makes for a dull story, the opposite of the “keeper shelf” novel we aspire to write.


Using the principles found in the classic textbook A Natural History of the Romance Novel by Pamela Regis as a guide, this presentation will explain the eight essential and three optional elements of a romance novel Regis explores in her book. Then, with the help of scenes from the classic romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail” (as well as from Pride & Prejudice), attendees will see how the eight essential elements, with the help of one of the three optional elements, can be woven together to create a “keeper shelf” novel/film—one that meets your readers’ expectations and has them clamoring for more.

Dissecting the Romance Plot with “You’ve Got Mail”

Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today bestselling author and 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. She and her work have earned praise from the Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, amongst others. Priscilla earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and currently serves as adjunct faculty in the program and teaches the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. While she’s a devotee of the romance genre, Priscilla’s also a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado, who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at prisoliveras.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prisoliveras, or on Twitter and Instagram via @prisoliveras.



More coming soon
Register now and you can add additional pitch sessions later.

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.

Cate Heart

Cate joined Harvey Klinger Literary Agency in 2019 after 5 years with a New York agency where she represented Middle Grade to Adult fiction. She specializes in Historical, whether in Young Adult, Women’s Fiction and Romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, studying Theatre and History, Cate currently lives in Nashville with her children.

Angie Hodapp

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.

Ann Leslie Tuttle

Ann Leslie Tuttle joined DG&B in 2017 after working for 20 years at Harlequin Books where she most recently was a Senior Editor. At Harlequin, she was fortunate to work on an extensive and varied list of bestselling and award-winning titles in romance and women’s fiction. She is actively acquiring women’s fiction, especially beach reads; contemporary romance, rom coms, historical romance, Southern Gothics, thrillers, mysteries, narrative nonfiction and Middle Grade. She received her B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from the University of Virginia. Finding and nurturing talented new and established writers has always been Ann Leslie’s passion

Linda Camacho

Linda Camacho graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication and has held various positions at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon and Schuster, Writers House, and Prospect Agency. She's done everything from foreign rights to editorial to marketing to operations, and received her MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Now at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, Linda is looking for MG, YA, and adult fiction across all genres. She especially has a soft spot for romance and upmarket women's fiction. For romance, she's interested in rom coms, contemporary romance, and historicals. Diverse voices welcome!

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