Hearts in the Sand Conference

2020 Hearts in the Sand Conference

Sponsored by Southwest Florida Romance Writers

Bi-annual conference allowing writers to hone their craft and marketing skills
and network with industry professionals.
Enjoy nearby beaches & Florida sunshine

January 31 – February 1, 2020

Embassy Suites by Hilton
10450 Corkscrew Commons Dr,
Estero, FL 33928 (Naples / Ft Myers area)

Rooms may be booked at the SWFRW group rate $249/night

Our Speakers:

Angela James

Learn to self-edit and polish your manuscript in this all-day workshop presented by industry veteran Angela James, for two decades editorial director at two romance presses, now a free-lance editor.

“Before You Hit Send” Master Class
Develop a checklist of techniques and processes for enhancing self-editing skills and polishing future manuscripts. Learn how to make the new knowledge a habit when writing future books. Learn the basics and the advanced techniques of:
• Dialogue and dialogue tags
• Whether all forms of “to be” are really evil (the answer is no)
• What is overwriting? How can you avoid it?
• Basic and advanced punctuation
• Passive voice vs active voice
• Point of view
• Pacing, including an editing trick to help you “fix” it
• What we mean by show not tell. And how to do that!
• Different types of editing and stages of editing
• What to look for in an editorial relationship
• What to look for and questions to ask when hiring a freelance editor
• Formalizing and finalizing your manuscript before you hit send (or press publish)

Tara Settembre

Social Media Maven and former Communications & PR Manager for WWE, Disney, Pepsi and more. Recipient of a PR News Platinum Award for best video program and Public Relations Society of America winner for best one-time media or special event. Tara is also the SWFRW president and writes contemporary romance under the pen name Tara September.

Making Your Social Posts Go Viral
Tips to beat the Facebook algorithm and get more views
Choosing & using the best social sites for your audience
Social marketing ideas for your book

Private consultations:

Barbara Vey, Author Consultant

Always an avid reader, Barbara Vey turned her passion into a career. After working as a Contributing Editor for Publishers Weekly for seven years, she left to start her own website with the goal of bringing readers and writers together. She’s taken a hands-on approach, running her famous Reader Appreciation Weekend in Milwaukee for many years, and her new seven-night Reader Cruise out of Florida. She travels all over the world to readers’ and writers’ conferences, and offers private consulting to authors on topics including your branding, website, social media, booksignings, business card design, and reader events. We are pleased to offer 10-15 minute appointments included in your conference fee.

Our Schedule:

Friday, January 31: 

  • 3:30 p.m. – Making Your Social Media Posts Go Viral 
  • 5:30 p.m.Networking reception with appetizers (free cocktails if you are a registered hotel guest. If not, cash bar is available.)
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. – 1-page critiques with Angela James (limited to the first 10 submissions)

Saturday, February 1:

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

  • Breakfast included for hotel guests
  • Scheduled consultations with Barbara Vey 
  • All-day Master Class with Angela James: Before You Hit Send
  • Lunch (included)
  • Raffle baskets and hotel raffle prize drawings – WIN a 2-night stay at Embassy Suites! (Cannot be used conference weekend)


$125 Both Days

$25 Friday Only (critique submission & goodie bag not included) 

SWFRW members will receive $10 in basket raffle tickets & one additional hotel prize entry.


Any questions or difficulties registering, please contact Conference Coordinator and SWFRW VP Sarah Andre.


You may book your hotel room via the link below:

Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Myers Estero Reservations