All Genre Writing Conference by Heather Novak

Every single RWA conference I’ve been to, without fail, has been supportive, encouraging, and enlightening. I always leave energized, ready to work, and with a backlog of friend requests on social media. But what about the genres, who, unlike romance writers, don’t have a national group? Who may not have a place to go to learn and make connections?

This is why I am SO EXCITED for my RWA chapter’s all genre writing conference!!

Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America presents: The Word Nerds Writers’ Conference!

Why is this *SO* exciting? Well, first and foremost, because I designed the ad. I mean LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS!!! *pets computer screen*


Here’s the low down:

We have the phenomenal Debra Dixon, who literally wrote the book on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Ms. Dixon will be teaching workshops throughout the day to strengthen your writing and really make your story jump off the page.

Debra Dixon has published with major publishers, written ten books, contributed to twelve anthologies, and served as Vice President of RWA, and her popular GMC:Goal, Motivation, and Conflictworkshop spawned a book that has become a how-to bible for writers.

These days, she’s better known as Publisher for BelleBooks and its imprint Bell Bridge Books, which tackles a broad spectrum of genres in both print and ebook formats.  A 2011 company highlight was holding the # 1 spot on the full Paid Kindle list for more than two weeks.  Their titles have been picked up in translation and by major New York publishers in subrights deals for mass market paperback, book club, audio and large print.  The company has published work from NYT’s bestselling authors: Anne Bishop, Susan Addison Allen, Deborah Smith, Sharon Sala, Sabrina Jeffries, Sandra Hill, Jill Marie Landis, and Jill Barnett.  As well as USA Today bestseller Kalayna Price.

Debra lives in the South with her husband and son. When she’s not working in publishing or Corporate America, she moonlights as an award-winning quilter. The current home-remodeling-project-that-will-not-end began because Debra thought it would be nice to have a quilt studio for her art.

Our breakfast keynote speaker will be the incomparable Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning.Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street JournalPeople Magazine, and NPR.


For those looking for an agent or editor, we will have live pitch sessions! We will have an agent/editor panel so you can get the answers to all those questions you were too afraid to ask. So far, our agents and editors include:

Janna Bonikowski – The Knight Agency

Janna Bonikowski came to the Knight Agency with several years of experience as both an independent editor and a freelance editor for Lyrical Press/Kensington. Though her Bachelor’s degree focused on business and economics, her passion for books made a career in publishing inevitable.

Raised on a steady supply of books, Janna has a wide range of literary loves. Her current wish list includes romance of all types, women’s fiction, cozy mystery, suspense, and historical fiction. She’ll also consider exceptional projects in contemporary young adult or middle grade. She’s not the right fit for horror or SF/F projects. Bold, take-charge women are her favorite characters, and she loves stories that evoke strong emotion, whether laughter or tears.

Stephanie Doig – Carina Press

Assistant Editor for Carina Press, Stephanie began her career at Harlequin eight years ago and has been working with the Carina Press team since 2011. In her time at Harlequin she has worked as a proofreader, copy editor, and author liaison before moving to the editor’s desk. Stephanie reads across genres, but is especially interested in contemporary romances with smart, sharp dialogue; fast-paced romantic suspense; and paranormal/urban fantasy series with continuing characters and solid world building.

We are thrilled to have representatives from Carina Press and Entangled Publishing join us! And Ms. Dixon will also be taking pitches for BelleBooks.

Need some critique or pitch polishing help? Come on by on Friday night for a casual, low-key session with successful writers leading feedback groups.

Hate your author photo? We will also have a photographer available for headshots/author shots for a very affordable price!

Best part? The hotel has a fabulous bar. Not gonna lie.

YES YES YES! You want to come. I’m so glad! Here are all the nitty-gritty details:

The Word Nerds Writers’ Conference Schedule

October 20th – 21st
Friday, October 20, 2017
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm: Registration

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Preglow: This includes write-in, group critiques, and pitch practice.

Saturday, October 21, 2017
7:30 am – 8:30 am: Registration

7:30 am – 9:00 am: Continental Breakfast Served

8:30 am – 9:00 am: Keynote Address and Conference Kick Off –
Ms. Beverly Jenkins
Acclaimed Author
Recipient of the 2017 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime achievement award

9:00 am – 12:00 pm: Presentation: GMC – Goal Motivation Conflict
Ms. Deb Dixon

10:30 am – 10:45 am: Morning Break

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch Served

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm:
Session A: Deb Dixon: Integrating GMC with the Hero’s Journey
Session B: Agent/Editor panel

3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Author Network & Mixer

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
10 Minute Pitch Sessions


Visit for complete information and registration.

Pricing (Early Bird Registration, before July 31st)
GDRWA Member : $85/Early Bird $75
RWA Member (Non-GDRWA): $110/Early Bird $100
Non-RWA Member: $120/Early Bird ($110)

Hotel Information:
Detroit Troy Marriott in Troy, Michigan
200 W Big Beaver Rd., Troy MI 48084
(248) 680-9797

Don’t forget to reserve your hotel room for the weekend! A block of rooms will be held for a limited time under “GDRWA writers conference.”

You can call 1.877.757.7131 or go online to

On this day in 1953 – Jackie Cochran becomes the first female pilot to break the sound barrier.

Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,BannerWithInfo_ForWeb
Heather Novak
Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Instagram: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak

Hunting Witch Hazel: Now available
I was happy with my West Coast life – 24-hour pizza delivery and bikini-clad bodies as far as the eye could see. Now I’m in the small-ass town of 
Hayvenwood to extract a ransom to save my little brother’s life. And that ransom is locked inside of the sexiest witch I have ever met, Hazel Evanora.


About Heather Novak, Author

Bold, Breathtaking, Badass Romance. When she’s not pretending to be a rock star with purple hair, Heather Novak is crafting romance novels to make you swoon! After her rare disease tried to kill her, Heather mutated into a superhero whose greatest power is writing romance that you can’t put down. When she’s not obsessively reading or writing, Heather is trying to save the world like her late mama taught her. Heather lives in the coolest city in the world, Detroit, Michigan, with her very own Prince Charming. (He even does dishes.)
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