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HEA WTF Virtual Writing Workshop

A Romantic Comedy Bootcamp

101: Saturday, May 21, 10am PST - 2:30pm PST

AND

NEW 201: Saturday, June 4, 10am PST - 2:30pm PST

Taught by: Zan Romanoff, Aminah Mae Safi, and Amy Spalding

Have you started a romance novel but aren't sure how to keep going after the meet-cute? Have you already written a romantic comedy and know it needs work but aren't sure how to even go about that? Have you always wanted to write your own happily-ever-after?

The HEA WTF virtual writing workshop, a romcom bootcamp, is here to help! Get tips and actual executable advice from three romcom authors with backgrounds in teaching and coaching. Each workshop features three sessions, focusing on plotting, character, tropes, banter, and how to write (gasp!) those sex scenes, plus an all-author Q&A to answer any remaining questions. Attendees will also have the option to join a private HEA WTF Facebook group to find community with other romance and romcom writers.

Learn about your favorite genre from three authors who take it seriously. Lean into the swoony tropes and steamy moments while keeping a modern, diverse, and inclusive perspective. 

 

The first HEA WTF virtual writing workshop was such a success that we wanted to do it again -- but we also wanted to connect again with writers who attended that one, and with other writers who might feel ready to take on more than the 101 sessions. We've introduced a 201 workshop where we dive even further into romance components, and we can't wait to get into all of it (yes, there's more about writing sex) with you.

The 201 workshop was originally envisioned for writers who'd already attended the 101 workshop and wanted to take a deeper dive. However, if you haven't taken the 101 workshop, you can still take the 201 workshop! Maybe the date works out better for you! Maybe the sessions are more appealing! It doesn't matter why! There are no pre-reqs required here in HEA WTF?-landia! We'd love to see you for either/both!

Each Day: $250 Attendance Fee

Both Days: $450 Attendance Fee

We will send the workshop information and link to the email address connected to your PayPal account. If this isn't where you'd like this information sent, please contact us using the form below to let us know which email address you'd prefer.

Amy will send an initial registration confirmation within 48 business hours of payment, and will follow up with you the week of the workshop(s) with a Zoom link and any other info.

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HEAWTF SESSIONS

It's romcom bootcamp time!

101 - Saturday, May 21

Fools in Love - 10am-11am PST

Taught by Aminah Mae Safi

Character is at the heart of every good story. Aminah Mae Safi knows this to be true. Who do we remember from that tale of tales, A Thousand and One Nights, even more than any individual story? Scheherazade, the woman who cheats death with stories. She's the eternal storyteller. But she's also one of the most memorable characters in the history of literature. Structure and story, that's essential to the journey of the rom-com. But character? Character is what makes a romance memorable. Character is why we go back and re-watch. Why we re-read. And why we invest in stories for years to come. And that is the goal of this seminar, to help you create characters with depth and heart, so that your reader roots for them from the moment they appear on the page.

Fools in Love will guide you from those dreaded archetypes into fully fleshed out and inclusive characters. This session will bring in examples from multiple genres of romance alongside multiple media types in order to get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes a winning lead for your romance. We'll also break down how to build your romantic counterpart, so that your romance builds to big, capital "L" Love. Course will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and exercises. Bring a notebook and pen–we're gonna be generating new characters, or deepening the ones you already have, for your next great romance.

From Meet Cute to HEA - 11am-12pm PST

Taught by Amy Spalding

In the years that Amy Spalding has coached and edited romcoms and romances, she's realized she often gives very similar notes to beginning -- and experienced! -- romance writers. The goal for this session is to give you the tools to avoid these common pitfalls, whether it's in the outlining/planning phase, revising your completed manuscript, or at any stage in-between!

Romantic comedies involve a certain kind of magic. Even with that ending foretold, a good one still somehow really puts us through the wringer. So let's make that magic happen! From Meet Cute to HEA will guide you on structure, character journeys, B-plots, and so much more! You'll leave this session empowered to outline your story about two love interests who live and learn before they get that happily ever after, and ready to iron out those little snags that can hold back a new manuscript. Early drafts are tough enough; these tips will help you elevate your work more quickly and write more engaging meet cutes, more frustrating why-nots, more thrilling first kisses, more heartbreaking dark nights of the soul, and, ultimately, happily ever afters that feel earned and beautiful.

Comfort Break - 12pm-12:30pm PST

Eat a snack, take a quiet moment, pet your cats!

Good Sex (Scenes) - 12:30pm-1:30pm PST
Taught by Zan Romanoff

Everyone knows that sex scenes are tricky: they require us to write for a public audience about one of our most private acts. And in a romance, where sexual connection is often one of the driving forces of the story, writing a suitably climactic (sorry, not sorry) sex scene can be utterly terrifying.

 

Zan Romanoff has ghostwritten a half-dozen romance novels, which means she's done it all, so to speak. Good Sex (Scenes) will focus on how to separate yourself from your shame, develop a vocabulary around writing good sex, and make sure that every page of your book smolders. Together, we'll look at examples of scenes with evocative physicality and plot-driving sensuality, and talk about how sex operates in a romance novel, as well as how to write it so that it leaves the reader... satisfied. From figuring out how to represent kink on the page to making good old P-in-V feel new again, we'll cover it all-- so you're welcome whether your HEA is traditional vanilla or pushing the boundaries of what romance can be. 

All-Author Q&A - 1:30pm-2:30pm PST

Led by Zan Romanoff, Aminah Mae Safi, and Amy Spalding

Zan, Aminah, and Amy will answer your questions about romance and romcoms, publishing, and more!

Post-Workshop

A private HEAWTF Facebook group will be available to any interested attendees to find community, share resources, and look for critique partners, etc.

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NEW 201 - Saturday, JUNE 4

Don't Trip on Tropes - 10am-11am PST

Taught by Aminah Mae Safi

The romance reader loves a trope! The romance reader hates a trope! Send help because why are tropes both integral to the rom-com story and also feel like one of the great pitfalls of the fire swamp?

 

Deep breaths. We've got this. Don't Trip on Tropes will guide you as we take on several popular rom-com tropes and see how they can work for you (rather than against you) as you dig deeper into your story. We'll be taking the characters you've been working on and slotting them into scenarios. It's gonna be fun, I promise! 

 

Course will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and exercises. We'll be drawing examples from multiple media types, as we did in our 101 lecture. Bring a notebook and pen–we're gonna be doing hands on work for your next great romance.

Live, Laugh, Banter - 11am-12pm PST

Taught by Amy Spalding

Yes, readers come to romance for the happy endings and for the sex scenes, but what are those without everything that draws them together in the first place? At the heart of all beloved romantic comedies (and many romances) is witty dialogue, sly -- sometimes sexy -- banter, and a zip of humor that charges all that romance and sex with an additional layer of yes please.

Amy Spalding's backgrounds in both improv comedy and writing rom coms makes her especially suited to guide you through getting your characters talking to each other, laughing with each other, and falling in love through dialogue and humor. Live, Laugh, Banter won't just help your main characters fall in love and your readers laugh more, but will provide tips for finding humor and connection for all of your characters and plotlines, and taking your dialogue to the next level.

Comfort Break - 12pm-12:30pm PST

Eat a snack, take a quiet moment, pet your cats!

Just Kiss Already! - 12:30pm-1:30pm PST
Taught by Zan Romanoff

The best part of a romance novel is when they finally kiss... but screaming KISS ALREADY at the page in the lead up to that moment is pretty fun, too. So in this session we'll look at how to build tension-- sexual and otherwise-- between your main pairing. 

In the spirit of Don't Trip on Tropes, we'll look at examples of a few different types of trope-y relationships-- mutual pining and enemies-to-lovers, just to name a couple-- and think about the different kinds of tension they create and require. Two people who want to like each will relate very differently than two people who are invested in how much they definitely totally hate each other. How can you use dialogue, body language, and plot circumstance make the reader feel electricity on every page and in every interaction?

All-Author Q&A - 1:30pm-2:30pm PST

Led by Zan Romanoff, Aminah Mae Safi, and Amy Spalding

Zan, Aminah, and Amy will answer your questions about romance and romcoms, publishing, and more!

Post-Workshop

A private HEAWTF Facebook group will be available to any interested attendees to find community, share resources, and look for critique partners, etc.

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HEAWTF Instructors

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Zan Romanoff

Zan Romanoff is the author of three young adult novels and a good number of ghostwritten romance titles. (No, she can't tell you which ones!) Her non-fiction has appeared in print and online for BuzzFeed, Eater, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and The Washington Post. She lives and writes in LA. 

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Aminah Mae Safi

Aminah Mae Safi is the author of four novels, including Tell Me How You Really Feel (Feiwel & Friends) and Travelers Along the Way: a Robin Hood Remix (Feiwel & Friends, 2022). She loves Sofia Coppola movies, Bollywood endings, and the Fast and Furious franchise. 

Her award-winning short stories can be found in Fresh Ink (Crown Books for Young Readers), Freshman Orientation (Candlewick Press, 2023), and Out of Our League (Feiwel & Friends, 2023). Her writing has also appeared at Salon and Bustle. When not writing, she can be found teaching at the low residence MFA program at Antioch University as well as instructing new writers at the UCLA Extensions Creative Writing program.

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Amy Spalding

Amy Spalding is a bestselling author and freelance book editor. Her young adult novels include the bestselling We Used to Be Friends, and The Summer of Jordi Perez, which was selected as a best book of 2018 by NPR, the Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, and more. Her adult romance debut, For Her Consideration, releases in 2023 from Kensington.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What platform will this be hosted on?

HEA WTF will be hosted on Zoom.

I'm only interested in one of the workshops. Can I take just this session?

No, these workshops are only available as full days. But we think you'll get a lot out of each one!

Do I have to take the 101 Workshop to be allowed to take the 201 Workshop?

Not at all -- there are no college-style pre-reqs here! We hope everyone is able to choose the workshop that's most appealing to them -- or, of course, both!

Will this workshop be available after it's over?

At this point, there are no plans to make a video of the workshop available. However, we hope to host more workshops in the future so you can join us at a later date!

I'm already a published author, but I'd like to take this workshop. Does that make sense, or is this geared for unpublished authors only?

Great news, this workshop is geared for all writers -- from anyone who may want to write someday, to those who've already been published. We'd love to have you!

I have another question not addressed here!

Scroll down to the contact form (it's yellow!) below, and get in touch with us!

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Get in touch

Copyright Zan Romanoff, Aminah Mae Safi, and Amy Spalding