Events 2016 to 20202019-05-05T06:25:54-04:00

ORWA previous events

2019 – 201820172016

See 2010-15 or current year events.

Selling Books with Kobo Writing Life: Global Distribution & Exclusive Promo

Want to distribute your books globally, from your local library to big box retailers like Walmart?

With Kobo Writing Life, you can sell your book in over 190 countries, and access promotional opportunities puts them in front of millions of Kobo users. This free distribution tool lets you keep the rights to your books and distribute on other platforms (no exclusivity needed to participate).

April 2019: Finding Your Unique Author Voice with Stefanie London

In this workshop, USA Today Bestselling Author Stefanie London will help authors assess their skills and where they fit in the marketplace. She’ll also provide guidance on how to make your stories more creative and unique by focusing on the three main areas of a manuscript: Concept, voice (writing style and tone) and execution (themes and tropes).

March 2019: Full day writing workshop: Show, don’t tell and scene/sequel

ORWA was thrilled to host an all-day writing workshop from NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Shirley Jump! In the morning workshop Shirley presented “Show Me You Can Write, Don’t Tell Me” and in the afternoon she presented “The Basics of Scene and Sequel.”

Feb 2019: Successful Author Mindset with Heather Elliott

Successful authors are those are able to overcome decision fatigue, imposter syndrome, and burnout. They push past the pressures and fears and create their art. With so much advice out there telling us what to do, how do we know what to focus on? In this workshop, Heather Elliot, Mindset Expert, will explain how to get in touch with the internal voice that helps successful authors make the decisions that are best for them and their creative endeavors.

January 2019: WIP into Shape FREE Workshop

New year, new WIP? Join us for our January brainstorming event and get your work-in-progress moving! Four of our experts will host small-group activities to help you in whatever step of the writing and publishing process you’re in. 

2018 Events

December 2018: Prolific Authors Share Their Secrets

The road to releasing a book into the world is different for everyone. Join us for this panel discussion where four of our most prolific authors share their secrets to releasing a book (or more) a year. Carey Decevito, Lucy Farago, Eve Langlais, and Mandy Rosko will discuss their personal process for drafting and revision, and how they approach crafting a romance novel. Moderated by Jennifer Carole Lewis.

November 2018: The Reality of a Private Investigator and Security for Hire

Learn what life is like for an investigator and private security agent, including the secret life in hotels, presenting cases in court, and inter group tasks. Workshop lead by Andrew, a former private investigator and private security agent (bodyguard and chief of security in a hotel and a bank).

October 2018: Five Secrets to Painless Revisions

What do you do when an editor with a New York house—or your most-trusted beta reader—gives you the bad news? Your heroine is unsympathetic, your characters have no conflict, and the last half of your book has gone completely off the rails? What you do is revise your book. But what if you need to do it fast? Where do you even start? The answer is surprisingly easy. Sharon Page will reveal 5 secrets to make the revision process painless

September 2018: Tanya Huff Special Event

Tanya offered an unbeatable piece of advice for any aspiring author: “The best way to be a successful writer is to keep writing.”  At the end of the day, it is the readers who decide what they want to buy and read and the most important thing for them is that authors continue putting out great books.

August 2018: Romancing the Capital Writing Workshops

RTC, hosted by Eve Langlais, has writing workshops on Thursday, August 2nd 2018, and they are free to attend for RWA members! There is also a free book signing on August 4th (4-6pm).  Location: Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa/Kanata (101 Kanata Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, K2T 1E6).

July 2018: RWA Nationals Conference in Denver

ORWA members attended the RWA annual conference, held this year in Denver, Colorado. This event offers a chance for authors to grow their professional network (making new friends, meeting editors and publishers), learn in educational workshops, socialize at parties, and attend the Rita awards ceremony. 

June 2018: Member’s Social

Attend the ORWA spring social on June 11, 2017. It will be our last official event until we reconvene in the Fall. We will be awarding members with our annual awards, including the Audrey Jessup Award, Jo Beverley First Book Award, Indie First Book Award, Phoenix Award, and First Impression Award.

May 2018: Page-Turning Fiction with Kelley Armstrong

Genre fiction is all about entertaining and engaging the reader.  This workshop will focus on ways to keep readers up into the night, turning the pages.  #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Kelley Armstrong, will provide strategies for maximizing reader engagement starting with the planning stages and continuing through to tips and tricks for picking up the pace in a completed manuscript.

April 2018: Self-Publishing Tools Explained by Eve Langlais

Join Eve Langlais and discover what tools are out there to help you succeed in self-publishing! Workshop presentation PDF.

March 2018 Workshop: Writing Realistic Fight Scenes

Local blackbelt Rick Lutes gave a fantastic and comprehensive look at hand-to-hand combat, as well as practical demonstrations of the techniques with his student, Jim Johnston.

February 2018: Social Media for Authors

ORWA’s own Jessica Ripley gave us a comprehensive tour through the constantly shifting landscape of social media, particularly the big three sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  With hundreds of different sites and apps to choose from, authors have a plethora of options for keeping in touch with readers and finding new ones.  Social media allows an author to build upon the platform of her website and newsletter, bringing her books to a new audience.

January 2018: Back to the Plotting Board

After a well-enjoyed holiday break, ORWA hosted our January workshop, Back to the Plotting Board, as a way to encourage us all to get back to the keyboard.  We broke into small groups and spent time helping one another with plot challenges, title ideas, and general inspiration.

2017 Past Events

December 2017: Writing Realistic Danger

In December 2018, ORWA had the privilege and pleasure of learning the ins and outs of making things go bang with a member of the Ottawa Tactical Response Team.

November 2017: Twin-Stranded Storylines with Susanna Kearsley

When Susanna Kearsley came to talk to the Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association about how to weave multiple story lines together, she launched right into the good stuff.  Using a twin-stranded story approach allows an author to skip over the boring parts, provide exposition in an interesting way, and build tension within a story. 

October 2017: Beyond the Furrowed Brow

Our own Jennifer Carole Lewis presented “Beyond the Furrowed Brow, How to Let Your Characters Speak Without Saying a Word,” her class on nonverbal communication. She’s presented it for our chapter in the past, for other RWA chapters, and for the annual RWA conference in California last year.

September 2017: Advanced Writing Workshop with Alicia Rasley

Our September workshop was an all-day (retreat-style) workshop. This meant we had one workshop from 10am-12:30pm, broke to all go to lunch together, and had a second workshop from 2:30-4pm. The presenter, Alicia Rasley, is a bestselling and award-winning author of romance and women’s fiction. She has taught hundreds of writing courses online, also teaches writing at two state colleges, and advises students in a university writing center.

August 2017: RTC

This year was the third annual Romancing the Capital event, organized by Eve Langlais. It was held at a great time for us, since July and August are months our meetings and workshops are on summer hiatus, so it was nice to have an event where we got to see each other.

June 2017: ORWA’s Member Social

Every June, the Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association gets together and spends an afternoon laughing, celebrating one another’s achievements and enjoying each other’s company.  This year was no exception.

May 2017: Writing Active Setting with Mary Buckham

ORWA officers gave us the great opportunity of participating in a webinar with Mary Buckham on writing active setting in May 2017. It was a two-part webinar, with an initial presentation followed by a Q&A session a week later. This gave us plenty of time to review the information she gave us, re-watch the presentation, try our hand at re-writing our own setting descriptions, and come up with any questions we’d like her to address.

April 2017: You’ve written a book… now what?

Our April 2017 workshop this week was “You’ve written a book… now what?” and was led by two bestselling and prolific ORWA authors, Eve Langlais and Mandy Rosko. They discussed the pros and cons of traditional and indie (self) publishing, and what to do if you want to submit to a small, medium or large publisher, or what to do if you plan to indie publish.

March 2017: Serialized Success with Linda Poitevin

Serialized fiction goes back to the time of Charles Dickens and is currently undergoing a revival in today’s digital world. Savvy authors around the globe are exploring this “new” way of publishing and reaping significant dividends. Join author Linda Poitevin for a look at Wattpad and Radish, two of the models currently available for serializing fiction, and learn how you can grow your own readership (and make money!) by joining the movement.

February 2017: Bloody Believable With Sgt. Ugo Garneau

Those of us who braved Ottawa’s February weather for ORWA’s meeting got a real treat.  Sgt. Garneau of the Ottawa Police show us how he can use even the tiniest traces of blood to build up a timeline of events and prove whether or not a suspect was at the scene.

January 2017: But What Comes Next?: ORWA’s Brainstorming Workshop

All writers have had the horrible experience of staring at a blank page and wondering: what comes next?  For our January 2017 workshop, ORWA authors got together to help answer that question for one another.  Sitting close at a table, we brainstormed ideas for a suspense-filled escape through isolated woods and for a reunion romance on a tropical island.  We talked about titles, promotion strategies, and our own tricks for overcoming writer’s block.

2016 Past Events

December 2016: Six Secrets to Create a Successful Bestselling Franchise

What do Star Wars, J. D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series have in common? They are all highly successful franchises.  Join NYT bestselling author Sharon Page to learn six crucial secrets to develop and plot a successful, bestselling book series.

November 2016: Building Your Readership

USA Today and New York Times Bestseller Eve Langlais answers all your questions about how to engage your readership to create a dedicated fan base to drive your books to the bestsellers list! 

October 2016: From Idea to Execution: Plotting Your Next Bestseller

Today’s publishing marketplace is more competitive than ever, demanding consistent—and accelerated—output from authors. Award-winning author Vanessa Kelly shows you how to plot and write your next book, novella, or short story with a minimum of angst and a maximum of efficiency.

September 2016: So You Want to Write a Romance Novel?

This meeting, organized by members of the Ottawa Romance Writers Association, is your chance to come out and meet other writers just like you, plus some of Ottawa’s most successful romance writers. Here, you’ll connect with other romance writers, learn how to get started writing your first manuscript and find out about local resources you can take advantage of.

June 2016: Prose in the Park and Social

Join ORWA members June 4 for Prose in the Park. Several of our published authors will be present so be sure to drop by Parkdale Park between 11 AM and 6 PM to say hello. June is also the month we hold our traditional social before breaking for the summer months. The June social is open to ORWA members only.

May 2016: Facebook: A Self-Help Workshop for Writers

Join the Pub-Craft Team as they delve into the tips and tricks of making Facebook work for you – and how to have fun while doing it! This workshop will share insights on optimizing your Author FB Page, reaching more readers with your posts, using Facebook to drive traffic to your website (and your newsletter!), and how to make the most of Facebook parties by sharing sample cover photos, promo posts, and FB party scripts – including a little interactive fun with games and contests!

April 2016: Edit Like a Pro with Laura Byrne Paquet

In addition to writing eight Regency romances for Zebra and four non-fiction books, Laura Byrne Paquet worked as a freelance copy editor for Harlequin for several years. A member of the Editors’ Association of Canada, she also writes freelance articles and runs a local travel website called In this workshop, she’ll teach the techniques that professional editors use to make novels more realistic–and how to catch those pesky mistakes.

March 2016: Slay Your Writing Dragons to Make your Personal Goals Happen!

Cynthia Boyko is a Co-Active Life Coach based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada who works with clients across North America. Coaching is something that comes very naturally to Cynthia. Her calm presence easily invites people into a process of clarity, balance and fulfillment. 

February 2016: Legal Issues for Writers

Can you quote song lyrics in your book? What should you do if someone plagarizes you? Can you name a character after someone you don’t like? In today’s face-paced digital world, writers face a variety of legal issues, and it’s not always easy to get them right. This workshop can help.

January 2016: Beyond the Furrowed Brow

Tired of reusing the same expressions over and over for anger, love and surprise? There is a wide range of postures and subtle expressions which can convey your character’s emotions and reactions. Learn the subtle difference between being startled and being surprised, between contempt and disgust and the wide range in which we express and experience happiness. Presented by Jennifer Carole Lewis.