Workshops for Authors

Keeping Authors Out of the Loony Bin Since 2009

Upcoming Events:

September 7-9, 2018

CT Fiction Fest
Featured Speaker

September 26-29, 2018

Novelists Inc Conference
Workshop: Get Your Act Together: Organization for Authors

Mel Jolly workshops


Mel Jolly has spoken at writers' meetings and national conferences.  Please email Mel to inquire about availability and custom workshops.

Newsletters: The Author's Powerhouse Tool

Of all the various ways an author can connect with readers, the newsletter is often overlooked, even though it is among the most powerful and useful tools for reaching readers directly. In this workshop we'll talk about the importance of a mailing list, how to develop one and keep it growing, and what kind of newsletters work best, as well as what not to do. We'll also discuss how often to send a newsletter, and what kind of content engages readers and keeps them interested in having you in their inbox.

Get Your Sh*t Together: Organization for Authors

(Alternate Title: Get your Stuff Together: Organization for Authors)

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the tools that can be used to manage your to-do list more efficiently, how to organize your time for peak productivity, and how to make sure you never forget to Do The Things. From applications for project and time management to organization tips and tricks, this is the workshop that will teach you how to clear up brain space for maximum creative thinking. The bottom line: a more organized, more creative, and more relaxed entrepreneur.

DIY Promo Graphics: It’s Easier Than You Think

Are you envious of all those cool graphics and memes other authors are sharing on social media? Learn how to make your own graphics with free and easy to use online programs. Mel will also cover where to purchase stock photos, basic design do’s and don’ts, and how to create graphics that others will want to share. This workshop is for anyone, published or unpublished, that would like to expand his or her reach. No expensive software or experience required!

SWAG Like You Mean It

Are you ready to take your author swag to the next level? Mel will guide you through the swag obstacle course of finding and ordering swag items that readers will hang onto without breaking your budget. We’ll will cover cost, design, ordering and imprint options, as well as provide physical samples. Most importantly, we’ll cover how to think outside of the box and choose swag that readers will want to keep!

How to Hire an Author Assistant

There's been an increase in the number of virtual assistants for authors, which offers a great opportunity to help an author become more organized and effective. In this workshop, we'll talk about how to evaluate virtual assistants and identify tasks you'd like to outsource. We'll share tips and tricks to managing an effective relationship, and discuss how to avoid common problems.

Know Your Industry: From the Outside In

Ever wonder how you can go from a complete publishing industry outsider to someone able to talk about all the major industry news and trends? It’s easier than it sounds. Learn how you can keep up with the industry while still hanging on to your sanity.

Expand Your Audience: How to Add “Speaker” to Your Resume

You don’t have to be a NYT bestseller to have something useful to say. Learn how to find your ideal audience, craft your pitch, book an event from start to finish, and become a calm, cool and collected speaker.


"Melissa's workshop "Know Your Industry From the Outside In" was a perfect kickoff  workshop for 2014 for LowcountryRWA. She infused her presentation with her down to earth humor to keep the group's interest. Her segment on RSS feeds gave us an insight into that blurry world and how to use the tool efficiently. Melissa provided us with tips on using Facebook, Twitter, Groups & Loops to help us to deal with social media more efficiently. This workshop is one every writer regardless of their stage of writing and publishing should experience!" - Ann Chaney | Lowcountry Romance Writers

"What a great presentation! I've been shaking in my boots for years at the thought of putting together a newsletter and Mel made it seem like something that I could do. And even enjoy doing! Her weekly tips email is full of useful stuff, too." - Susan Gee Heino | Columbus Ohio Fiction Writers

I’ve known for a long time that I needed to put together a newsletter for new releases, but was overwhelmed at the thought and never got it done. Mel Jolly’s workshop was so great - engaging, understandable, and hands-on. It showed how easy it really is, and now I have mine all ready to go for my next release. Whew!  One more thing checked off my list, and I’m just sorry I waited so long to do it!
- Robin Gianna | Columbus Ohio Fiction Writers


Previous Events

July 2013
RWA National Conference 2013
Atlanta, GA

January 2014
Lowcountry Romance Writers
Charleston, SC

March 2014
Central Ohio Fiction Writers
Columbus, OH

April 2014
Chicago North Spring Fling
Chicago, IL

July 2014
RWA National Conference
San Antonio, TX

October 2014
Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference
Columbus, OH

January 2015
Charlotte Romance Writers
Charlotte, NC

March 2015
NOLA Written in the Stars Conference
Shreveport, LA

October 2015
Novelists Inc Conference
St. Pete Beach, FL

April 2016
Central Ohio Fiction Writers
Columbus, OH

July 2016
RWA National Conference
San Diego, CA

May 2017
Romantic Times Conference
Atlanta, GA

July 2017
RWA National Conference
Orlando, FL

October 4-8, 2017
Novelists, Inc
St. Pete Beach, FL

April 27-28, 2018
Utah RWA Chapter Retreat
Salt Lake City, UT

May 18, 2018
RT Booklovers Convention
Reno, NV