Regency Fiction Writers
2024 Virtual Conference

A New Regency England:
A Kaleidoscope that Resonates with Today’s Reader

August 8 – 10, 2024

Keynote Speakers

This year, we are proud to announce the legendary Loretta Chase and Beverly Jenkins as our keynote speakers.

Loretta Chase
Beverly Jenkins

Schedule

Conference Chair Cecilia Rene and her committee of volunteers are working hard to create a conference to remember. The Board of Directors and the Conference Committee are delighted to offer a wide variety of workshops and presenters and hope the attendees enjoy this year’s virtual event. If you have any questions, please contact Cecilia Rene or Ilene Withers.

Subject to Change

Conference Day 1: Industry Day/Career Day

All times are EDT

10:30 am – 10:45 am

Conference Zoom Opens

The Conference Zoom waiting room opens at 10:30 am.
Attendees will be let into the main “room” beginning at 10:45 am.
Cameras and microphones will be turned off at 11:00 am sharp.

11:00 am – 11:15 am

Welcome: RFW President Ilene Withers Housekeeping Announcements – Conference Chair

11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Workshop: Writing in the Margins: Developing a Full-Time Career on a Part Time Schedule
Presenter: Robin Covington

12:15 pm – 12:30 pm

Break

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Panel: Beyond Queer & Bi: Creating Diversity in Queer Characters
Moderated by: Tonya Todd
Panelists: Marie Sinclair, Gregory A. Kompes, Brandon Mead

LGBTQIA+ characters are more visible than ever before, yet those characters are often portrayed through a heterosexual lens with identities and relationships that mirror traditional roles. This panel will provide an opportunity for attendees to explore the diversity of queer lives, enhance their ability to tell more diverse stories, and understand the importance of queer representation and how to better incorporate it in fiction with empathy and compassion.

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Break

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

Workshop: Reclaim Your Author Career
Presented by: Claire Taylor

Where are your fears holding you back in your career? Where is your need for instant gratification derailing your long-term strategy? Claire Taylor will show you how to identify your core fear and desire to bring awareness to how they’re running the show so that you can build an author career aligned to you and your gifts.

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm

Break

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Panel: Career/Process Panel
Moderater: Lisa Rayne
Panelist: Kathryn Le Veque



3:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Break

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

Workshop: Writing the Diaspora: Create Diverse Characters with History and Depth.
Presenter: Adriana Herrera
**Previously Recorded**

In this workshop participants will gain useful some insight on their own blind spots as well perspectives to consider when the set out to write characters outside of their lived experiences. Participants will also hear about what to consider when looking to write about immigrant communities and what steps to take to execute this with sensitivity and in a manner that is respectful of the characters they aim to bring to life in their stories.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Workshop: Regency Marketing
Presenter: Celeste Barclay

Historical Romance offers rich experiences for readers, but it has many misperceptions and even stigmas to overcome. To appeal to new readers, authorpreneurs must consider their brand and genre perception, alongside which marketing tactics will garner the greatest results. In this workshop, Celeste will examine both craft and business. She will explore story elements current and potential readers expect in their Historical Romance. She will also identify strategies to market our books to prevent alienating our reader base while appealing to new readers.

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Meet & Greet w/ breakout rooms

Conference Day 2

All times are EDT

10:30 am – 10:45 am

Conference Zoom Opens

The Conference Zoom waiting room opens at 10:30 am.
Attendees will be let into the main “room” beginning at 10:45 am.
Cameras and microphones will be turned off at 11:00 am sharp.

11:00 am – 11:15 am

Welcome to Day 2 – President Ilene Withers
Announcements – Conference Chair

11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Workshop: Regency Fashion: Dressing Your Heroine
Presenter: Candice Hern

Using fashion prints from her collection, Candice will provide an overview of the types of clothing worn during the extended Regency, c1795-1820. Candice will show what your Regency heroines would wear for various occasions or activities, including day wear and evening wear. Terms used during the period — such as undress, half dress and full dress — will be explained and illustrated with prints. Popular types of outerwear will also be showcased, including pelisses, spencers, and mantles. The general evolution of style will also be discussed, including changing waistlines, hemlines, and bonnets.

12:15 pm – 12:30 pm

Break

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

A Conversation w/ Vanessa Riley & Tia Smith (Director of Re-Imagined “Sense & Sensibility”)
Hosted by: Ann Chaney

Join us for a conversation with Acclaimed Historical Fiction Novelist, Vanessa Riley and Executive Producer Tia Smith as we get a behind the scenes look into the Hallmark Re-Imagined Sense & Sensibility.

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Break

1:45 pm – 3:05 pm

Workshop: Children of Uncertain Fortune
Presenter: Daniel Livesay

This workshop will document the historical migration of elite Jamaicans of color to Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Born to White men and free and enslaved women, these migrants left the Caribbean for British schools and professional opportunities. We have documentation of at least four hundred of them over the course of the long eighteenth century, but their numbers were likely much higher than that. Buoyed up by large sugar fortunes, they joined British high society, though they were often kept at arms length owing to their ethnic and social backgrounds. This workshop will nevertheless argue that they were critical agents in movements of social change, as well as in transformations of racial ideas in Regency Britain.

3:05 pm – 3:20 pm

Break

3:20 pm – 4:20 pm

Workshop: Regency Crime & How Modern Novelists Can Use It
Presenter: Susannah Fullerton

Crime in the Regency era was regarded and punished in very different ways from our modern era. Some misdemeanors, such as smuggling, duelling and gambling, were seen by many as acceptable forms of behaviour. Theft, however, even of an item of very small value, was harshly punished by hanging or transportation to Australia.

Susannah Fullerton provides a summary of Regency crimes, especially as it relates to the novels of Jane Austen, and gives suggestions as to how modern historical novelists can make use of its drama, perils and consequences.

4:20 pm – 4:35 pm

Break

4:35 pm – 5:20 pm

Keynote Q&A: Loretta Chase

5:25 pm – 6:25 pm

RFW Annual General Meeting – Members Only,
Recognition Awards (Separate Zoom link)

6:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Write & Drink

Return to the main conference Zoom link for a spirited writing session!

Conference Day 3

All times are EDT

10:15 am – 10:45 am

Conference Zoom Opens

The Conference Zoom waiting room opens at 10:15 am.
Attendees will be let into the main “room” beginning at 10:30 am.
Cameras and microphones will be turned off at 10:45 am sharp.

10:45 am – 11:00 am

Welcome to Day 3 and Announcements

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Workshop: Writing Regency England
Presenters: Jayne Davis & Gail Eastwood

Co-authors of Writing Regency England, Jayne Davis and Gail Eastwood will focus on the how-to’s of presenting your Regency world to your readers while avoiding commonly seen errors. Examples will be drawn from all three sections of their guide for Regency authors, covering language (both yours and that of your characters), setting (both natural and human-created aspects), and society (multiple aspects). Hear these authors’ favorite tips, tools and techniques for immersing readers in a seamless Regency experience.

12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Break

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Workshop: Reinterpreting the Regency Era in Film and Literature: A Culinary and Cultural Exploration
Presenter: Dr. Alessandra Pino
**Previously Recorded**

A workshop that delves into the reinterpretation of the Regency era in contemporary series, films, and books, with a special focus on the cultural and culinary aspects. In this one-hour session, we will explore how new research and a cultural memory perspective have shaped more inclusive and historically accurate portrayals, using examples from popular works like Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and the novels of Jane Austen, among others.

1:15 pm – 1:30 pm

Break

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Workshop: History of Condoms
Presenter: Jessica Cale, editor/host of Dirty Sexy History

Condoms have existed for more than 12,000 years, appearing in many cultures all around the world. This talk will give an overview of the fascinating history of the condom, focusing on the development of the modern condom in the Renaissance period and its evolution throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It includes the story of syphilis, treatments for venereal disease, and the story of how one Georgian-era courtesan came to dominate the global trade in condoms, preventing pregnancy and becoming a household name.

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Break

2:45 pm –3:45 pm

Workshop: Illness in Regency England
Presenter: Elizabeth Paquette

The Regency Era did not have the advantage of antibiotics or even the germ theory. An individual could die from the common cold as easily as from a broken bone. We’ll discuss Regency ideas about illness and how it affected society as a whole.

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Break

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Workshop: A Small World After All – The Cultural Enclaves of London — Where to Find Them, Write Them, and Use Them to Create a More Realistic Picture of the Era.
Presenter: Louisa Cornell

People have chosen to live in a specific town, neighborhood, or area for a variety of reasons over the centuries. Whether for security against a common enemy or simply the comfort of living around people of the same race, religion, national origin, or even sexual orientation it is part of human nature to create enclaves where they are assured of acceptance and the feeling of community that their sameness can provide. And unfortunately, some such neighborhoods are created by the ostracization exhibited by those who are afraid or do not understand those differences that give them permission, in their own minds at least, to force people to live in a specific place away from the rest of society. This workshop will endeavor to show the locations, atmospheres, and reasons for the creation of some of the better-known cultural enclaves of London in the Regency Era. Whether due to religious prejudices, racial discrimination, or social rejection there were groups of people who, either by choice or by force, created small cities within the confines of London. These neighborhoods contributed much to the life, business, and art of London. Those who lived in these neighborhoods, whether by staying or by moving out into London at large added much to the character and growth of the City. More important, they provide us with entire worlds from which to draw new and exciting characters and stories for Regency fiction, some of which have never been explored before. This workshop hopes to provide the information and inspiration for writers to begin that exploration.

5:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Break

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm

Workshop: Jane Austen & Freed Blacks
Presenter: Dr. Sharon Ware

Have you ever wondered after reading Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park if she encountered any people of color? And what might have been her inspiration for Miss Georgiana Lambe, the mixed-race heiress in Sanditon? During Jane Austen’s Regency Era, we know that there were some 20,000 freed Blacks working, performing, and living in England. The first Black man to vote in England’s general election in 1774 was Ignatius Sancho. Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, a mixed raced young lady received an inheritance from her British Naval Captain father and may have had some influence over Lord Chief Justice and the first Earl of Mansfield.  Moreover, there were freed Blacks carving out a life in the North Carolina. Not all were enslaved. This lecture will discuss the life of those freed Blacks during America’s Revolutionary period as well during Regency era England. Many Blacks in the colonies remain loyal to the British Crown which caused an interesting outcome during the American Revolutionary War. We will discover the often-untold stories of freed Blacks with special emphasis on those living in North Carolina. Learn about this exciting time in history.

6:15 pm – 6:30 pm

Keynote Address: Beverly Jenkins                

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Soireé, Silent Auction, & Breakout Rooms
** Not Recorded **

All times given are in U.S. Eastern Time Zone (EDT).
World Clock Time Zone Converter

With presenter permission, our sessions will be recorded for registrants’ use. Any sessions not recorded will be marked as such in advance so attendees may plan to attend in person.

Conference Fees

RFW Members

Early-Bird Registration

until 11:59 pm, July 31st, 2024

$125 USD

Full Registration

from 12:00 am, August 1st, 2024
until 11:59 pm August 7th, 2024
$150 USD

RFW Non-Members

Early-Bird Registration

until 11:59 pm, July 31st, 2024

$225 USD

Full Registration

from 12:00 am, August 1st, 2024
until 11:59 pm August 7th, 2024
$225 USD

Unlock exclusive discounts and benefits while saving big on our annual conference. Join now to access the members-only price of $125 USD instead of $225 USD for non-members.

A Feather to Fly With —
The Emily Hendrickson Scholarship Fund