FILNE Workshop Descriptions
Sex Ed 101: Sex Education for Grown-Ups
Presenter(s): Mia Michele
Most adults are lucky if they have a single semester of a health class that covers sex in high school; some students never get a course on sexuality and sexual health. Bring your notebook and an apple for the teacher to this session where we discuss the things that you didn’t learn in a classroom! No question is too risqué, no topic is off limits. Participants are encouraged to take part in class discussions and an anonymous question bin will be provided prior to the start of the program. This program will focus on giving the background information needed to digest your favorite sexy novels while also encouraging you to understand your own sexuality.
Presenters: Lena Lane and JC Brown
We’ll be talking about how we decided to be coauthors, how we work together, how we address conflicts of opinion, and how we split costs/profits. The “working together” will include our differences in processing, ie: she’s a planner and I’m not. It also includes the systems we use for outlining as well as applications we use for sharing our work, ie: OneDrive/Google Docs. We finish with a conversation about whether working with someone is a good idea.
Small Town Series
Presenters: Kari Lemor and Peggy Jaeger
Come chat with Peggy Jaeger and Kari Lemor as they meander through the small New Hampshire towns of Heaven and Squamscott Falls. Visit the families of these popular series and find out why readers love stopping by. Meet the recurring characters as you wander down Main Street and into some of the stores and businesses in town. Peggy and Kari will help you navigate through the quaint streets and homes and answer any questions you have on how they set up an inviting town filled with wonderful people that you want to call on over and over.
Build A Supernatural Book Boyfriend
Presenters: Temperance Dawn, Torri Heat, and JC Brown
What makes a story paranormal? Let's discover why sometimes we need more than our everyday lives. Come learn the elements of a paranormal romance, and build your own supernatural boyfriend or villain profile.
Presenters: Morgan Malone and Jo McNally
Seasoned Romance This workshop explores why readers fall in love with characters 35+. Often people put off finding that special relationship to pursue a career, but why do we want to write and read about characters who are more mature? Stop by and hear for yourself why these four authors write books with Happily Ever After’s for us all.
Romance Mad Libs
Presenters: Kari Lemor and Marianne Rice
Mad Libs is a word game where the players randomly fill in the blank prompts with parts of speech without knowing what the rest of the sentence is. In small groups, readers will work together to fill in the blanks in sections of books by attending authors. Once filled, each group will read aloud the section with the new vocabulary. Always fun for a barrel of laughs!
What’s Up Doc?
Presenters: EJ Towler and Linda Edmonds
Cartoons are, for most of us, part of our childhood memories. Many animated heroes, villains, and cartoon characters suffer from mental disorders. Think about Pooh and his fixation with honey and repetitive counting, why Lucy keeps pulling the football from Charlie Brown. Is Ariel a hoarder? I can’t even begin to explain Pepe’ Le Pew. Come laugh and learn why you’ll never view these beloved characters the same and how authors use disorders to shape characters. There’ll be a game, candy, and prizes. (Disclaimer: For those who suffer from glossophobia you will not have to stand up or come to the front of the room to take part in the game.)
The Hat Game: Literary Version
Presenter(s): Stacey Wilk and Linda Parisi
Give everyone 4 or 5 slips of paper and get them to write down one person – real or fictional – on each. Since this is a literary version, they should all be authors or characters. Fold the pieces of paper and put them all in a hat. Or bowl. Or any receptacle you can find. Split into teams of four to five.
One person from team 1 kicks off by grabbing a slip from the hat. She can use as many words as she likes to describe the name on the slip; her teammates must correctly guess who she is talking about. Once they have, it’s onto the next slip from the hat, until 1 minute is up. Depending on how confident you’re feeling, you might decide to only allow one pass per round…
The team gets one point per correct guess in each round. When the minute is up, it’s the next team’s go. This keeps going until all the slips from the bag have been read out.
Round two: put all the names back in the hat. This time, you’re only allowed one word to describe the person on the piece of paper.
Round three: names back in again. This time: all acting, no words.
The winning team is the one with the most points across all three rounds.
Setting in Romance Novels
Presenters: Janet Raye Stevens, Kari Lemor, and Artemis Crow
Setting in a romance novel is as important as characters and plot. Join Janet Raye Stevens, Kari Lemor, and Artemis Crow on a journey through the various settings of their novels, from the picturesque New England towns to the bustling cities of the World War II American home front to the dark seedy Underworld as the authors explore how they use setting to create the mood, enhance the plot, and sweep the reader into exciting new worlds.
The ABCs of BDSM
Presenter(s): Mia Michele
Do you love reading kinky romance but can’t figure out the countless acronyms and names thrown around? Are you new to the BDSM Community but need more information? Are you just curious as to the hype? Then The ABCs of BDSM is for you! Join Mia as she talks everything from ABDL to TPE and beyond. With her natural, friendly style, you can learn the basic vocabulary to help you with your writing and reading, ask questions for personal play, and feel comfortable in an environment tailored for beginners and experts alike.
Who Am I? (Also literary version!)
Presenter(s): Stacey Wilk and Linda Parisi
We write down the name of a character from a famous romance book or movie on Post It notes. Everyone gets one placed on their backs. They cannot see whom they have. Then they go around the room asking other people yes or no questions only until they guess. It’s a great icebreaker/connecting game. I’ve done this (in various forms) with kids and adults. It’s easy and they love it.
Falling for a Superstar - How to avoid the burn 🔥
Presenter: Stephanie Queen
Rock star, movie star, or sports romance? Who doesn't daydream about a kiss--or let's be honest--a sizzling romance with a larger-than-life superstar?
But superstars are daunting and so challenging to bring down to earth.
Except for these romance writers have figured a way--and you can play along!
Readers must guess how the lucky ladies/men in select stories overcome the hurdles to harness their star.
Wait until you see the Multiple choices and see if you can choose the right one when it's your turn!
Or will you win the fill-in-the-blank family feud style?
There will be Prizes!
Inside One Author’s Head: Do you Hear The voices Too?
Presenters: EJ Towler and Linda Edmonds
Come meet EJ Towler and her service dog Huckleberry Hound to hear about her journey to becoming a published author. Discover how she uses everyday interactions and the voices in her head to create heroes, villains, heroines, and plot twists. She hopes to challenge readers to set their sights on writing their own stories. There will be lots of laughs, games, prizes, and candy.
Book Craft: Fall Pumpkins
Presenters: Lori DiAnni, Jean Grant, and Andi Ramos
Are you looking for something that combines your love of reading with the atmosphere of Autumn? Then come to the craft workshop where we’ll make Decoupage Pumpkins using book paper and decorative accents. You’ll leave with a decorated pumpkin to adorn your table, writer's space, or any other room in your home. The class will cap at first 36 people.
The Matchmaker – the original SWIPE RIGHT of Romance
Presenter: Peggy Jaeger, Judy Kentrus, Kristen Strassel, Brittannie Nicole and Christine Donovan
The Yenta, the Babhdoir, the Shadchan…Whatever you call her, the modern, professional Matchmaker is alive and well and romance readers just love a good matchmaking-themed story.
This panel will discuss
1. The role of a matchmaker in a romance story
2. Historical uses and needs of a matchmaker
3. How contemporary matchmakers work
The authors on this panel will explain, using their own matchmaking romance stories, how they utilize this age-old tradition to give their clients a HEA.
We’ll play a fun game of name the matchmaker movie at the end and have room for reader questions.
Steam Scenes Live!
Presenter: Elle Greco
Steam Scenes is a podcast hosted by contemporary romance author Elle Greco, where she talks to other romance authors about writing the naughty bits. Funny, informative, and sometimes awkward, Elle and her guests take a deep dive into writing love and intimacy that give us all the feels. For this special Fall In Love New England podcast, Elle is joined by Lisa Olech to record an episode in front of a live audience, which will include interactions and questions from the audience. Get ready to set your ears on fire live at FILNE!
Love In Jeopardy
Presenter: Marianne Rice
Ready to test your knowledge of all things romance? From books to movies to our favorite one-liners to the most delicious leading men and ladies, this trivia game is sure to test, stump, and entertain you.
Bring an electronic device (phone, tablet, laptop) so you’ll be able to log into the game. And of course, there will be prizes!
WARNING: This game WILL get competitive. Knowing the wild and crazy readers and authors who attend FILNE, there WILL be lots of banter and lighthearted smack talk. If you don’t like to laugh and have fun, this game isn’t for you. But then, if you don’t like to laugh and have fun, you wouldn’t be at FILNE.
To Trope or Not to Trope
Presenters: Stacey Trocchia Wilk, Lori DiAnni, Kari Lemor, Peggy Jaeger, Judy Kentrus, and Daphne Elliot
Friends to Lovers. Secret Baby. Fake Relationship. Forced Proximity. Opposites Attract. Reunion Romance. These are all tropes used in romance novels. Join Stacey Trocchia Wilk, Lori DiAnni, Kari Lemor, Peggy Jaeger, Judy Kentrus, and Daphne Elliot as they discuss the pros and cons of many popular romance tropes and give examples of books and tropes they enjoyed and ones they didn’t. Readers can share their opinions and examples of stories they enjoyed using these tropes.
Gangsters, Girls, and Good Reads
Presenter: Mia Michele
Mafia fiction has been around for decades, with readers being fascinated with organized crime and romanticizing its criminals. What is it about this type of bad boy that intrigues romance readers and writers alike. Join Mia as she discusses the origins of Mafia fiction, creating realistic but romanticized antiheroes, and the differences between different types of organized crime syndicates. **This session will have a book giveaway for participants.**
Hunky Hero’s Bingo
Presenter: K.M. Fawcett and Stacey Wilk
Bingo with Hunky Hero’s, it’s Bingo but instead of numbers on the ball, there will be a hunky hero.
What Makes a Great Love Scene
Presenters: Judy Kentrus, Lisa Olech, Kari Lemor, Peggy Jaeger, Sara Stewart
Ever read a love/sex scene in a book and you can actually feel your heart pound from the emotion and words crossing the page? Know exactly how the heroine feels as the hero touches her? Get a little hot and bothered?
What makes a great love scene?
These 5 authors will read a small love scene from one of their works and explain how they wrote emotion and passion with their words- even in a sweet romance.
Worldbuilding Your Life
Presenter: Parker Rose
Surround yourself with what you love! Bring the passions and things that excite you into your home (but in an understated way, so your partner and kids don't even really know it!). A dragon here, a gargoyle there if you love fantasy. A guest room with a bowl of faux apples and a forest print on the wall if you love fairy tales. Your house can become a nod to all your passions, in a way that only those on the "in" will know. (And impress the best designers!) We'll talk about creating nooks to let your imagination run wild and cozy spots where you can relax and recharge. If there are authors in the room, we'll talk about providing our fans with tokens from our book's world, some branded, some not. Every time your fan lights that oceanside candle, they will think of your books and your world! Everyone will leave with an exclusive token from Stone's Throw Island!
Writing LGBTQIA+ Characters
Presenter: Morgan Malone and Dr. Leah Hallow
When you ask Dr. Daughter a question, you get a workshop! Morgan Malone, a cis het author who writes later-in-life romance and romantic fiction, and Dr. Leah Hallow, a Clinical Psychologist, with specialty training in LGBTQIA+ issues, will discuss writing LGBTQIA+ characters, with a focus on avoiding stereotypes, representing this community fairly and accurately, and addressing the specific issues arising in writing historical romance involving characters from this community. There will be a presentation by Ms. Malone and Dr. Hallow, followed by the opportunity to ask questions.
Things That Go Bump in the Night: Paranormal Heroes and Why We Love Them!
Moderator: Kristen Strassel
Participants: Frances Stockton, Artemis Crow, JC Brown, Lena Lane, Lisa Carlisle
Description: A fun Q+A session with the authors about paranormal romance, growly heroes, strong heroines, and why we love them! Readers, bring your questions!
Sex Ed 201: Sex Ed for Grown-Ups (Kink Edition)
Presenter(s): Mia Michele
Even if you were lucky enough to know the basics of sex, exploring the still-underground sexuality of kink is a whole new class! Grab your whips and blindfolds, and settle in for this session where we discuss an introduction to kink! No question is too risqué, no topic is off limits.
Participants are encouraged to take part in class discussions and an anonymous question bin will be provided prior to the start of the program. This program will focus on expanding participants' sexuality with tips for how to introduce kink into sexual relationships and solo play.
Feel free to bring your favorite kinky novel passages for discussions on how to realistically add scenes into your love life. A variety of items will be brought in for view and discussion.
A live spanking display to discuss a safe introduction will take place.
A Day in the Life of an Author: A humorous, yet charming, drama sketch
Presenter: Karen Coulters
Karen is an international, award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her storytelling writing style and acting create authentic characters that cut to the heart and move her readers on pathways toward hope, healing, and new beginnings with her York Harbor Series Novels and drama sketches. Join Karen as she speaks about the ups and downs of being an author, and portrays a cleaning lady with a knack for spreading joy and a writer struggling to focus. Q & A to follow.
The Right Amount of Spice: How Booktok has amped up the Spice in Small-Town Romance
Presenters: Brittanee Nicole, Daphne Elliot, and Jenni Bara
Small-town romance has always been popular with readers for the feel-good vibe of the trope. Sometimes they are called pallet cleansers. But as with the appearance of BookTok, readers' expectations of small-town heat levels have shifted. We will take a deep dive into typical scenes from our small-town romance books prior to the booktok explosion compared to the current small-town spicy scene we put out today and discuss the changes. Then we'll explain how we keep the small-town feel-good vibes and laughs coming while marketing the heat level readers want so books end up being exactly what current readers are craving.
Join Amazon best-selling authors Brittanee Nicole, Daphne Elliot, and Jenni Bara to discuss their own unique spin on small-town romance.
How To Park Your Pirate Ship
Presenter: Lisa Olech
Come join the pirate crew led by legendary Pirate Queen, Lisa Olech as she sets sail into the watery depths of historical research. Learn how to dig deep for that buried treasure, be bold and walk your own plank, and watch out for historical bilge rats! Have fun creating your own pirate flag and maybe learn to sing a shanty or two! No parrots allowed! B.Y.O.R. (Bring your own rum!) Eye patches will be provided.
The Ultimate Book- Boyfriend Dating Game
Presenter: Marianne Rice plus guest
Who is the Ultimate book boyfriend? It’ll be up to YOU, the readers, to decide! Come listen and participate as some of your favorite (and new to you!) authors introduce their favorite book boyfriends in “The Ultimate Book- Boyfriend Dating Game.” There will be visuals (because, well, duh!), and things may get heated as authors answer your questions directed toward their favorite heroes. There will be a lot of fun banter, tons of one-upping, and many, many visuals. In the end, it’s up to YOU, the reader, to decide who the ultimate book boyfriend is. Laughter, banter, eye candy, and prizes to be had!
The Meet Cute
Presenters: Sara R Stewart, Lori DiAnni, Temperance Dawn, and E.S McMillan
In every romance novel, there's a moment when the reader witnesses the first meeting of the two main characters. Sometimes that meeting is a conflict, sometimes it is romantic or erotic, and sometimes a tray of ice water lands in someone's lap. However it happens, that meeting sets the tone for the interactions of the two main characters throughout the novel and is called the 'meet cute'. During this session, you will learn more about meet-cutes, hear authors read examples of meet-cutes from their novels, play a game that will ultimately define how two characters meet in an upcoming novel and get a mention in the acknowledgments of said novel.