Romantic Novelists' Association

Hints & Tips For New Writers #19

6 September 2019

Welcome back! After the last blog a reader asked what writing courses/workshops were available specifically for writing romance so this month we’ve compiled a helpful list. Whilst the RNA cannot recommend or endorse any specific courses, all of the (randomly listed) ones below are run by RNA members who responded to a Facebook request for information. Please note, this blog is for information only. If you have any queries, please contact the organisers directly. Thank you! Jenni x

Workshops with Nell Dixon

Workshops for larger groups and writing groups. Ideal group size 4-6 people.

Where: In and around the Black Country

Cost: £30 ph half day, £60 ph full day, includes tea/coffee. Lunch can be arranged at small extra cost.

Contact for details

Relax and Write Weekend 

‘Beat the Block’ – Are you stuck on your story? Polish Your Popular Novel and get it moving again with Kate Walker. (Also that weekend – A weekend with Stephen Wade ‘The Book Doctor’ covering The Craft of Writing & on Markets for Writing)

When: 6th October 2019

Where: The Hayes, Swanwick, Derbyshire

Cost: £255 all inclusive


Critiquing group with Virginia Heath and Liam Livings

When: The last Tuesday of every month from 7pm

Where: The Optimist Pub, Upminster, Essex

Cost: Free!


Writers’ Holiday 

Assorted workshops, including Advanced Contemporary Romance Workshop with Kate Walker. More details available at

When: Friday 21st February – Sunday 23rd February 2020

Where: Fishguard Bay Hotel, Wales

Cost: £249 all inclusive


Residential courses run by Alison May and Janet Gover

Time to write in peaceful surroundings, unhampered by distractions. Our retreats are all-inclusive allowing you to focus entirely on your writing. Emerge inspired and renewed with fresh insights into the writing process and your writing career. Whether it’s your first novel or your tenth, these retreats are designed to help you focus on your work in progress or the one you’re about to start. The weekend is a mixture of workshops and exercises, writing time and discussions on the art of writing and the publishing industry.

When: Autumn 2019 Retreat: 11th-13th October, 2019 (limited places still available – contact organisers for prices)

Early Spring 2020 Retreat – 31st January-2nd February 2020

Summer Retreat 2020 – 12th-14th June 2020

Autumn 2020 Retreat – 30th October-1st November 2020

Where: Kings Court Hotel, Kings Coughton, seven miles outside Stratford-upon-Avon.

Cost: The full price for each 2020 retreat is £370.  A deposit of £80 is to be paid at the time of booking, the balance to be paid 6 weeks prior to the retreat.


Plot Your Novel workshop with Jane Lovering and Rhoda Baxter/Jeevani Charika

When: 14th September 2019, 9.30am-12.30pm (right before the RNA afternoon tea!)

Where: Friargate Friends Meeting House, York

Contact for details 


1- Day EDITING WORKSHOPS for groups up to 10 – Libertà Books, a.k.a Joanna Maitland and Sophie Weston

SPARKLE 1- HOOK AND HOLD – working on that vital first 10% first look, so that a reader just HAS to buy your book.

SPARKLE 2 -BLING IT UP! – to tone the whole 100%, so you become a reader’s auto buy.

Where and When : your choice: you organise venue, we travel!

Cost: £250 + some contribution to travel, depending on distance from London or West Midlands

For more details and participants’ comments:


1- Day CREATIVITY WORKSHOPS for  3-4 people – Libertà Books, a.k.a Joanna Maitland and Sophie Weston

EXPLORERS – refreshment for experienced writers, whether they need just a bit of a lift or a real steer out of the fog, to rediscover the magic of their writing adventure

When: for negotiation

Where: London, Hereford, other venues by arrangement

Cost: London £150 per person; Hereford £100 per person; Other places possible but venues need to be arranged/funded by participants.

Details and participants’ comments:


Alison May (RNA Chairperson and published novelist & short story writer)

Available for short workshops  and one-day or half-day courses for writing groups and RNA chapters, offering one-to-one mentoring and manuscript critiques. Currently taking bookings for all of those for Autumn/Winter 2019 and 2020. All the details are here: or you can contact Alison for more information here:


If any RNA members would like to add details of courses (ones that are already scheduled and available please) let me know at and I’ll add you to the list. 


Jenni Fletcher writes Historical Romance novels for Mills & Boon and is extremely behind with her current deadline. Fortunately she has coffee and biscuits, but she really must hurry away…