The one where I talk about my March RNA Learning workshop

During March, I’m running a training course through RNA Learning (Romantic Novelists’ Association). I’m really looking forward to running it as it’s an opportunity to use my former day-job skills as a trainer/tutor (something I did for 25 years before becoming a full-time author in 2020) as well as sharing my experiences to help other authors in their writing journey.

Participants need to have signed up by the end of February and, as that’s tomorrow, there isn’t long left so I thought I’d give a bit more detail about what to expect. Please do share if you know anyone who might be interested but they will need to act fast!

The course is: Writing a novel or series in a coastal or country setting

I have a fair bit of experience of doing that!

How will the course work?

  • It’s all run via a training platform called Moodle
  • There’s a mix of pre-recorded training sessions, live Zooms and Moodle Discussion Forums
  • Participants are encouraged to work one week at a time but, by mid-March, all 4 training sessions will be released to allow for working at their own pace

How is the course structured?

  • 4 x 1-hour (roughly) pre-recorded training sessions accessed via Dropbox. These will include information, personal experiences, the experiences of 19 other successful authors, tips, quick exercises during the session and post-session work
  • Live Zoom sessions every week (recorded and uploaded for those not available at the time) to discuss that week’s training session and for any questions to be raised. I’m happy to answer questions on any aspect of writing … although I can’t guarantee I’ll always know the answer!
  • There’s a Discussion Forum on Moodle for each of the 4 weeks where participants share their post-session work for feedback and ask questions. I’ll check this and respond every 2-3 days
  • There’s an optional bonus practical exercise
  • Recommended reading list

What will the course cover?

The training course is all about writing a novel or series in a coastal or country setting so all the learning relates to that but it’s about so much more than just the setting. A good setting will become a character in itself.

We’ll explore the following:

  • What is a setting and why is it so important?
  • Why are coastal and country settings so popular in romantic fiction?
  • Real v fictional settings (the positives and challenges of each)
  • Town or village – the opportunities and restrictions
  • Coast or country – key considerations
  • Naming your fictional setting
  • Which comes first – character or setting?
  • What does your setting look like?
  • What does your setting offer the residents?
  • Where specifically is your story set?
  • Mapping it out
  • Using the senses to bring your setting to life
  • Creating your protagonist(s) including why are they in your setting and how do they feel about it?
  • Character tropes (around setting)
  • Creating your antagonist(s)
  • Your other main characters
  • Setting clichés
  • What’s your premise and does it really lend itself to a coastal or country setting?
  • Plots that work well in these settings
  • Exploration on themes
  • Passing of time and seasons
  • Do you have a series on your hands?
  • Plotter v pantser
  • Other considerations

As you can see, there’s oodles of fabulous learning to be had on this course.

Is it only for absolute beginners?

Definitely not. This course will suit beginners who are at the start of their writing journey through to those who may have written several books already. Perhaps you want to build on what you’re already doing or perhaps you’ve written books but not in these settings before so this is a fresh start.

I’ll gauge the level of experience at the start of the workshop and tailor my sessions according to this, which is one of the reasons they’re not all available immediately.

How much does it cost?

If you’re an RNA member, it’s £75 for the course. If you’re not a member, it’s £150.

For more detail about all RNA Learning Courses, please click here.

For the summary of my course, please click here.

And to join my course and pay via Eventbrite, please click here before end of Monday 28th February 2022. You’ll need to click on the green ‘Tickets’ button to make that purchase.

This will be a course packed full of anecdotes from myself and other authors about how we’ve created and built our worlds. It will be informative and fun and I really hope you can join us.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

6 thoughts on “The one where I talk about my March RNA Learning workshop

    • That’s fabulous news! My understanding is that you will get an email from one of the RNA Learning volunteers which will give you your password to enter system. I don’t think it’s an automatic thing but they will be keeping an eye on them and I suspect that it will probably be tomorrow when you hear x


  1. […] For any of you writers out there who might be interested in writing books set in coastal or country settings, you might want to sign up for a course run by Jessica Redland. She’s running it through the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and I can guarantee it will be brilliant! But you WILL have to hurry, because the deadline for signing up is tomorrow (February 28th). You can find out more here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m trying to join The RNA as a full member, but memberships have been halted at the moment. Really can’t afford the full price of this course and then pay my RNA fees on top. Any advice?


    • Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear this, Jane. Completely understand that. I don’t know what the plans are for membership and whether there’s a way around this. I wondered if you could email me – I’m on – stating this so I can pass this on to the team to see whether there’s anything that can be done. In the email, if you could let me know whether you’ve been an RNA member before, that would be great. Best wishes, Jessica


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