"Where love and legends come together"

A special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America

Workshops

Workshops are $20 for non-members/$10 for members for our 4 week classes, $10 for non-members/$5 for members for our 2 week classes. Specialty classes will carry their own fees. If you would like to join us, you can sign up to be a Celtic Heart here: Join Us

PLEASE NOTE:  We reserve the right to open registration at any time prior to the class start date. If you have any questions regarding registration or any problems, please contact the Webmaster.

 

PLEASE PAY FOR YOUR SELECTED CLASS HERE, then fill out the registration form associated with your class (click on THE TITLE OF THE CLASS to register). There is a selection on  the form for you to enter the PayPal transaction number and the amount of the transaction.

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Classes



FEBRUARY 7-28: WELSH & MEDIEVAL COOKERY with Instructor Lily Dewaruile 

A man’s gotta eat. Throughout history, great and heinous acts have happened around the table. From the State Dinner to the Kitchen Table, food and dining have played a role in events that shape our world. From the dawn of humankind, we have explored and experimented with what goes into our bellies. This course will concentrate on the food that fueled Celtic warriors before battles, soothed the political wounds of royalty and fed the tillers and millers through the Middle Ages. More than venison and Baldrick’s beloved turnip, what medieval clerics and princes ate was specific to social status and country of origin. Recipes for modern cooks and attention to historical accuracy—set your table for the woodsman and the duchess. Forget the potatoes. PAY ABOVE, VIA PAYPAL, THEN CLICK THE TITLE OF THE CLASS TO REGISTER.

About the Presenter: Lily Dewaruile (pen name of American novelist, Leigh Verrill-Rhys) lived in Cymru/Wales for thirty years, an immigrant to this Celtic country who fell in love with the language and the history as well as un Cymro arbennig (one special Welshman). While she and her Cymro were raising three fine young men, Lily continued her writing about her adopted country, set in one of her favorite periods in its history, the 9th and 10th Centuries. Her novels reflect her deep admiration for the people whose strength and commitment to their way of life and culture, endure and overpower those who come to conquer. Though none of her characters, nor many of the events of these novels, are real, they reflect the spirit and essence of Cymru.

 

March 2 – 31 WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN A HORSE SHOWS UP?
Do you panic? Hit the brakes? Inform your heroine she can’t have a horse because you don’t know much about equines and don’t want to do a poor job of it? Relax. This month-long workshop will give you everything you need to make that horse shine, even if he’s only in the background of your story. Let Kathryn Jane share with you some basic horsemanship, in-depth equine knowledge, critical terminology, and a bonus list of don’ts to save you from looking like a rookie and making readers toss your book at a wall. Find out why your heroine should be riding a gelding and not a stallion. Decide upon an illness to give the horse so she has to call the oh-so-handsome vet to the rescue. Or find out how she can come to the rescue when the hero’s horse comes up lame. Learn to get the basics right. Like breed-specific color names (a red horse is a sorrel, if he’s a Quarter horse, but a chestnut if he’s a Thoroughbred). Did you know that mules are generally sterile? And that the Quarter horse breed originated in the US? Or that miniature horses although very small, are not ponies? Yes, you can find lots of this information on the internet, but chances are, you’ll find the “correct” terminology, not the words actually used by horsemen.  (Yes, it’s a hoof, but we call it a foot.) Come join us in March and gather a ton of information. PAY ABOVE, VIA PAYPAL, THEN CLICK THE TITLE OF THE CLASS TO REGISTER.

BONUS: As a bonus, all workshop attendees are welcome to email me anytime after March for advice on their use of “horse” terminology. PRIZE: One workshop attendee will win a ten-page edit of horse related material.

 

April 4-30 MEDIEVAL SCOTLAND (AD 1000-1500)

The Middle Ages are the long period between the collapse of the western half of the Roman empire and the Renaissance, that is, AD 400 to 1500. But this course will concentrate on the time between 1000 and 1500. You’ll learn about the different peoples who lived in Scotland: Gaels, Britons, Inglish, Norse and Anglo-Normans, and about the events which shaped the country. Was medieval Scotland that different from England in the same period?? Well, yes and no. The Anglo-Normans introduced their languages, English and French, and feudalism. So much what you read resembles life in England: sheriffs, shires, castles, knights and tournaments. Gaelic Scotland (laterly ‘the Highlands’) was very different from Inglish Scotland (laterly ‘the Lowlands’). No knights among the Gaels, but there were courageous galloglasses. No sheriffs or shires, but petty kingdoms and chiefdoms. The most important social unit was the clan whose chief provided all the necessities of life: start-up tools, seed and beasts, protection from enemy encroachments and food in famine times. And then there was Gaelic secular marriage, abandoned by 1300 in much of western Europe. At a time when divorce was difficult elsewhere, Gaels married and ‘set aside’ their wives with some frequency. Hugh MacDonald of Sleat had six wives and a son by each of them. Henry VIII would have been envious. Learn about life in medieval Scotland through notes, references to websites, optional research projects and a bibliography. Discussion is encouraged but lurkers are also welcome. PAY ABOVE, VIA PAYPAL, THEN CLICK THE TITLE OF THE CLASS TO REGISTER.

 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: While living over eight years in Europe, Sheila learned the languages and history of Scotland, Ireland and France. She received a MA (honours) in Scottish History and Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow. She now lives in British Columbia, Canada and teaches medieval, Scottish and Irish history part-time at university. She has also taught online courses for CHRW, HHRW & Savvy Authors. On regular visits to Europe she haunts many a castle and museum. She is currently writing an historical fantasy set in Scotland–of course!

 

April 4-30 DIY BLOG TOURS 

Workshop Overview: Book Tours are an excellent and cost effective way to spread the word about your new release and gain exposure. However, they can be a costly endeavor for new writers whose dimes have gone to copyedits and covers. Learn how to DIY your blog tour in six steps which include building a media kit, targeting the right bloggers for your book, tailoring your email to each blogger to break through their slush pile, how to keep records of which sites you’re visiting along with what and when to give them materials, promoting your tour on your social media sites, and following up to ensure you’ll be invited back. Using these techniques with each of my book releases, I was able to launch into the Amazon Top 100 during my release week. PAY ABOVE, VIA PAYPAL, THEN CLICK THE TITLE OF THE CLASS TO REGISTER.

Instructor Bio: Ines Johnson is a television writer turned romance novelist. She currently teaches college level courses in scriptwriting and story development. Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books! Ines is best known for her charming fairytale retelling romance Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story. The Cindermama series features single mothers who’ve given up on love after kissing toads, but they each get a second chance at love with a prince charming. Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations. Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

 

May 16-27 CRAFTING COMPELLING AND REALISTIC SETTINGS

As a writer of historical fiction, you will find yourself needing to create settings that do not typically still exist—unless you’ve discovered time travel, that is! How do recreate a pirate ship, a Regency ballroom, a medieval battle, a bedchamber, a kitchen, a wardrobe, a feast, a tournament, a walk in the park, a ride through the woods—you get the point. There is setting in EVERY SINGLE scene we write—even if its pitch black. How can you craft a realistic setting that works for your book and stays true to history? How can you create settings that come alive in the readers’ minds?

This class will teach you:

  • The ins and outs of conducting research in order to create settings that are compelling and realistic.
  • How to open your mind and imagination and use everyday places you visit now.
  • How to write scenes with setting descriptions that flow easily on the page.
  • How much is too much, or too little.

Combined with each lesson, there will be an assignment and an opportunity for you to submit a short setting excerpt from your manuscript for critique. PAY ABOVE, VIA PAYPAL, THEN CLICK THE TITLE OF THE CLASS TO REGISTER.

PRESENTER BIO: Eliza Knight is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance. Under the name E. Knight she pens riveting Tudor and ancient historical fiction. She operates the historical blog, History Undressed. In 2013, she was named RWA’s PRO Mentor of the Year. Eliza lives in Maryland with her own hero, three princesses and one very naughty puppy.

 

May 1-31 2016 UNCLICHE YOUR ROMANCE

Your first draft is probably littered with clichés. Your hero has a heart of gold. Your heroine has the patience of Job with the hero. He saves her in the nick of time from the terrible, horrible, evil serial killer villain. Clichés are more than just dead-beat words and phrases that have lost their original meaning and their cleverness in making comparisons. Genre fiction has clichés in characters and plots that most readers expect and some complain about. How can a writer please all readers? This workshop isn’t about shredding that draft and starting over. MM Pollard will give you lots of ways to create fresh characters and plots from those clichés often found in genre fiction. PAY ABOVE, VIA PAYPAL, THEN CLICK THE TITLE OF THE CLASS TO REGISTER.

Instructor Bio:
MM Pollard puts her training as a certified copy editor, her skills as English teacher extraordinaire, and her experience as editor with Black Velvet Seductions to good use in presenting workshops for writers. She has helped many writers improve their language and writing skills through her fun workshops sponsored by Savvy Authors, Writer U, many RWA chapters, and in her virtual classroom. MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition.
MM presented her first face-to-face workshop during the Florida Romance Writers’ Conference Cruise in February, 2015, and lived to show pictures! She would love to present at more conferences in the future as well as continue her online workshops.

 

October 1-14 PRINCIPLES OF WEBSITE DESIGN FOR AUTHORS

At the end of this workshop you will have a better understanding of what goes into making your author website more appealing and inviting to a visitor and thus more effective for promoting you and your work. This two-week workshop will cover the golden ratio of layout design, web fonts and web-safe colors, using white space, user interface considerations and website organization, web graphics for the artistically challenged, and the importance of testing websites with multiple operating systems and browser applications.

This workshop is aimed at writers who have websites already and want to make them better, or writers who are planning to set up a website and want to know more about how the content should be arranged, either because they plan to do it themselves, or they want to be more informed when hiring a professional designer. This workshop is the perfect follow-up to any class you’ve taken on HTML. When you know HTML, you know how to make a webpage. The “Principles of Good Website Design for Writers” workshop guides you through the NEXT STEP in the website development process by showing you how to take what you’ve learned and make a GOOD web page.

PRE-REQUISITE: Students should be familiar with the basics of setting up a website (domain name, software, etc.). This class focuses on design principles and how to make your website more user friendly, appealing and effective. It is NOT an HTML class on how to program your website or how to use website design software. The workshop will include exercises designed to strengthen the concepts discussed. Students do not need to have an active website to participate, but may find the lessons more “hands-on” if they do. The instructor will offer feedback on any student’s website during the workshop if the URL is offered during the class. PAY ABOVE, VIA PAYPAL, THEN CLICK THE TITLE OF THE CLASS TO REGISTER.

About The Instructor:
Catherine Chant is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. She writes rock ‘n’ roll romantic fiction and stories with paranormal twists for young adults. She worked for fifteen years at Boston College as a computing & communications consultant before becoming a full-time writer and online educator. She began her web design training in 1994, coding websites by hand until Dreamweaver and content management systems came on the market to make designer’s lives easier. She served as the web manager at Boston College for nine years, was involved in two major university-side website re-designs, and assisted hundreds of faculty, staff and students with their website projects. She has also done freelance work for different authors and university professors. You can learn more about Catherine, her books and her workshops at http://www.catherinechant.com

Who We Are

Welcome to the international special interest group of the Romance Writers of America dedicated to all things Celtic and romance. Our chapter has the distinction of being run completely online, which provides us the opportunity to cater to romance writers all over the world. We exist primarily to develop and support writers who have interest in Celtic topics, in every subgenre of romance that exists.
We provide a variety of services to our members, from critique groups to a supportive chat loop. We have invested PAN and PRO members within our groups, including multi-published, award-winning authors and brand new authors who haven’t even finished a manuscript yet; we run an active campus that focuses on Celtic research courses, where all classes are free to our members; we have two annual writing contests that focus on publishing both novel-length and novella-length fiction. Whatever your interest in writing, whether finding a supportive community or a place to develop your craft, this is the place.
Our chapter is a place to connect with other Celtophiles, but also a place to belong. While we offer many services, our top priority is the care and support of our members. We love to provide research resources or have discussions about the rooms in a medieval Scottish castle, but we also celebrate sales and lament bad reviews, share in the joy of new births (of novels, and of babies) and provide support during the difficult times of life. We look forward to having you join us, wherever you are in your writing journey.
Please join us today. Exercise your inner Celt and become one of our Clan. Celtic Hearts Romance Writers is where love and legends meet, and we look forward to meeting you.
Cheers,
Rebecca Lynn – President, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers