A popular speaker, Virginia regularly offers workshops to writers' groups and has participated in the North Carolina Literary
Festival and Duke University's "Unsuitable" event series hosted by the Forum for Scholar and Publics.
She loves talking with readers.
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Master Class: Deep Point of View
Deep point of view (POV) is the quickest, cheapest tool in the writer's toolbox for shoe-horning
your reader into your character's skin. It is driven by your characters' experience and emotions.
This workshop explains how close third person POV combines the advantages of first person
POV with the versatility and wider camera lens of third person POV.
Elements to consider in writing deep POV include the character's gender, education level,
environment, age, career, and needs and conflicts. Using first and final drafts from Virginia
Kantra's own work and examples from bestselling and RITA-nominated books, this workshop
will explore when and why deep POV is effective and discuss how to write it in description,
narrative, and dialogue/subtext. Special attention will be paid to formatting; techniques for
switching POV within a scene; and to writing in male POV, including "Virginia's Guide to
Master Class: Body Language
Last offered at New Jersey Romance Writers Conference, October 2016
Body language, nonverbal cues to feelings and intentions, is key to communication--and to romance.
In this two-hour class, Virginia explores the elements of body language from facial expressions and
gestures to touch and the use of space. Learn how to bring your characters and scenes to life by
focusing on four functions of body language in fiction: revealing character, improving pacing, enriching
subtext, and developing the romance.
Reinvention: When Is It Right for Me?
with Jessica Anderson and Suzanne Brockmann
Last offered at Connecticut Romance Writers Fiction Festival 2015
Everybody says, "Do what's right for you," but there's no road map for writers facing tough financial and creative
realities. How do you write authentically? What are the trade offs? How do you find your individual balance in your
shifting personal life and the shifting world of publishing? Join three award-winning, bestselling authors as we share our
process of reinvention and suggest strategies to assess your career, retool your creativity, and make
Reinvention in three steps: Evaluate (where am I?); Imagine (where do I want to be?) and Act (mapping a path/getting
Characters: Truer Than Life
Last offered at Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, May 2015
Compelling characters are both true-to-life and larger than life. They must be universal--recognizable, plausible, and, in
the case of protagonists, sympathetic. But to truly capture the reader's heart and imagination, they must also be
Using examples from Virginia's own work and popular movies, this workshop will explore the elements of characters'
"inside life" and "outside life" and the story requirements for various character roles. Virginia will discuss how to use
layers of character from dominant impression to dominant mood to create memorable and authentic characters and
share tips for revealing character through dialogue and deep point of view.
Style and Substance: the Role of Gender in Romance
Last offered at Midwest Fiction Writers, September 2014
Gender roles are changing in society and romance, yet the differences between men and women still impact our
genre. Using examples from her own work and best-selling authors, Virginia Kantra demonstrates how an
understanding of gender can add credibility to our characterizations
and spark to our romance. This workshop will discuss gender roles from the standpoint of biology and genre fiction;
meeting reader expectations and subverting stereotypes; and how male and female communication styles affect
dialogue, point-of-view, conflict, and intimacy.
Sex, Struggle, Intimacy, and Control: It's Not (Just) About the Handcuffs
Last offered at Romance Writers of America 34th Annual Conference, July 2014 and
Midwest Fiction Writers, September 2014
Characterization, conflict, and sex-every romance novel has them. An understanding of gender and the different ways
men and women negotiate for intimacy and control can deepen characterization, develop the conflict, make dialogue
sparkle and sexual tension sizzle.
Every satisfying love story charts both character growth and the growth of a relationship. The hero and the heroine
must grow as individuals (becoming stronger, capable, and more autonomous) and as lovers (becoming more trusting,
vulnerable, and dependent on each other). Using examples from movies, bestselling authors and Virginia Kantra's own
work, this workshop explores the tension between the character arc and the romance arc; using gender roles to meet
reader expectations and deepen characterization; the differences in the ways men and women negotiate the struggle
for intimacy and control; and what makes an ending "happy" anyway.
Happily Ever After: Seven Secrets to Writing a Successful Romance
Last offered at BOOKMARKS Festival, Winston Salem, NC, September 2013.
RWA National defines a romance novel as "a central love story" with "an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."
To be emotionally satisfying, the romance must be true both to what the reader knows and to what the writer has to
Good love stories are universal (tap into the readers' shared emotions and experiences) and unique (use specific,
significant details that belong to the story). Using examples from bestselling authors and Virginia Kantra's own work,
this workshop explores how combining universal emotion and unique detail in seven essential romance components
results in love stories that are believable, memorable...and satisfying!
Ultimate Heroes: Stand-up Guys, Real Men, and Heroes Who Make Us Go Hmm...
Last offered at Sourthwest Regional Library Festival of Romance, November 2012
Other Available Workshops
New Edition Release!
Home Before Midnight
Fully revised reissue
Author Voice: What are They Talking About and How Do I Get One?
Last offered Pamlico Writers Conference, Washington, NC March 2016
One of the most essential elements for any writer to master is voice. Voice is a function of both what you
have to say (story, genre, theme) and your experience (vocabulary, cadence, and world view). Because no
two writers have exactly the same things to say and the same experience, each author's voice is unique.
This workshop examines author voice in the romance novel by looking at examples from bestselling
authors with strong voices across and within subgenres and addresses the criticism that "those books"
are "all the same." Virginia will also discuss the difference between author point of view and character
point of view and share her four-point strategy for developing your own voice (read, write, define, refine).
Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference
The Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
515 US Highway 1
South Iselin, NJ 08830
Keynote speaker, writers' workshop, and readers' events!
Master Class: Emotion: More than Words
Practical strategies to build the emotion in your story from opening conflict to final payoff.
Layering emotion is more than adding adjectives and adverbs. It's about creating worthy
protagonists with compelling motivations and then dragging the reader along on every step of
their emotional journey through everything those characters see, say, and do. Virginia will
discuss how to craft emotionally authentic and engaging stories through the use of deep point of
view, dominant mood, significant, specific triggers, visceral reactions, pacing, and payoffs. Hook
your readers' emotions and bring them back for more!
Readers, join me and other authors for events planned just for you!
Check out the LSFW Readers' Track
Author/Reader Round Robin
Reader Game Time
Dinner with an Author
Master Class: Sex, Struggle, Intimacy, and Control: It's Not (Just) About the Handcuffs
Characterization, conflict, and sex -- every romance novel has them. An understanding of gender and
the different ways men and women negotiate for intimacy and control can deepen characterization,
develop the conflict, make dialogue sparkle and sexual tension sizzle.
This workshop will discuss changing gender roles from the standpoint of biology and genre fiction;
meeting reader expectations and subverting stereotypes; and how male and female communication
styles affect dialogue, point-of-view, conflict, and intimacy.
The hero and the heroine must grow as individuals (becoming stronger, capable, and more
autonomous) and as lovers (becoming more trusting, vulnerable, and dependent on each other).
Using examples from movies, bestselling authors and Virginia Kantra's own work, this workshop
explores the tension between the character arc and the romance arc; the differences in the ways men
and women negotiate the struggle for intimacy and control; and what makes an ending "happy"