Workshops by Jennifer Hallock

Besides writing the Sugar Sun series and teaching history to teenagers, I give workshops for writers, academics, and libraries. I have traveled from the South Shore of Massachusetts to Sydney, Australia, to talk about everything from the artificial worlds of Regency romance to the most up-to-date online graphic design tools.

Below you can find the workshops I offer, starting with the most recently developed. Each graphic will link to a more in-depth post on the material covered, so click away.





I am also available to speak with book clubs about my Sugar Sun historical romance series. If you are in the Boston or New Hampshire area, this could be in person. If you are farther away, I am happy to chat on Skype.


If you would like me to come to your group, please contact me at info at jennifer hallock dot com. I am always coming up with new reasons to talk to readers and authors, so check back often. Until then, here’s wishing you a history ever after!


A Week Away from Can-Do Canva

In just a week, I will be leading my “Can-Do Canva for Authors” workshop at the August NECRWA meeting. And look at what the nice folks at Canva sent me to sweeten the pot!


How can you sign up to take this workshop?

If you live in the Boston area, you don’t need to sign up. Just show up to the NECRWA meeting in Bedford, Massachusetts on August 19th from 1 to 3 pm. Details on location and parking can be found online (see link). If you are not a NECRWA member, there is a $5 visitors fee. That’s all!

If you are not in the Boston area, and you would like me to come to you, please contact me: info at jennifer hallock dot com.

Who can come?

This workshop is for anyone who would like to raise their Canva game. Though I will be particularly focused on the types of images that romance authors need, you do not need to write anything, let alone romance, to attend.

What is this workshop about?
This is a screenshot from the NECRWA website. It is my text and author details, but not my graphic design.

My goal is to give you eleven tips that will take your own Canva designs beyond the ordinary and obvious. And I have a pretty handout you can take home. Yay!

How long is the workshop?

The workshop at NECRWA will be about an hour, starting at 1:45 or 2:00, after the business part of the meeting is over. (For other venues or audiences, I can make it longer or shorter upon request. It could also be turned into a two-session workshop, with one being a more basic tutorial for beginners.)

One example of teaser promo images that can be made and standardized on Canva. I am not recommending you copy this exactly, but that you make a template that fits your style.
who am I, Jennifer hallock, to teach this course?

I do not represent Canva, first and foremost. I am merely a fan, a power-user, and maybe an addict. I have used Canva to make most of the graphics used on this website. Look at the menu to the left: peruse the history, glossary, and location posts to see some examples. I have also used Canva-designed slides in my History Ever After presentation, as well as conference promotion materials for NECRWA.

One example of a promo image that has had good results for me on Instagram and Twitter.

Yes, Canva sent me—actually you!— those lovely coupon cards pictured above, but they are not sponsoring the workshop in any way. They were just being nice. And you do not need to use Canva specifically. While I do give more specific guidelines for Canva use, many of the principles will apply to PicMonkey or other programs, as well.

Also, teaching is my day job. As a twenty-three-year teaching veteran, I am pretty comfortable talking to any sized group, from teenagers on up. (Children younger than that are confusing to me.)

how should I prepare to take the course?

My eleven tips will be targeted to an intermediate audience. (Advanced graphic designers should take classes from more qualified folk. That’s not me.) For my workshop, I assume that you have already set up a free Canva (or similar service) account, you have attempted a few designs, and you have explored the premade materials available to you. But I also assume you are not (yet) a power-user.

Please bring your laptop with you to the workshop so that you can play around while I talk!

Your homework this week, if you choose to accept it…

Sign up and start playing around! Good luck.

Did you know that #NECRWA19 may be the best conference we’ve had yet? Stay tuned for more information this fall. (And, yes, I made this banner with Canva!)


The Book Thingo podcast!


It was Kat’s “fault” that I ended up in Sydney. (Oh my, a “work trip” to a beautiful harbor city on the other side of the world, what a hardship!) While I was there, we were able to record a podcast chatting about historical romance, my Sugar Sun series, #UndressAndres, and more. Click on the image below to listen online, or stream Book Thingo on your favorite podcast service.


If you would like to read my paper on “History Ever After: Fabricated Historical Chronotopes in Romance Genre Fiction” click on the following image. This page is where I talk about how and why Regency romance is deliberately artificial world—and why this is not necessarily a bad thing. But it can become a bad thing when perceived accuracy is used as a weapon against authors of historical romance outside this chronotope, particularly against authors of diverse books.


The book we talk the most about on the podcast is Under the Sugar Sun. I followed the Regency model in creating my own chronotope of 20th century Philippines in which real political, social, and economic strife exists, but there is still room for a cross-cultural happily ever after. Hacienda Altarejos exists in a world of magical realism; the real world is just outside. By the way, if you own this ebook, please follow these instructions to update your version:


Thank you for reading and listening!

Can-Do Canva for Writers

Among other appearances this summer, I will be speaking at the New England Chapter of RWA about my top eleven tips for using Canva to produce quality promo images and more. The visitor fee is only $5, so do not feel you have to be a member to show up.


Who am I to tell you about Canva? I do not represent the company, first and foremost. I am a fan, a power-user, and maybe even an addict. I have used Canva to make most of the graphics used on this website. Look at the menu to the left: peruse the history, glossary, and location posts to see some examples. I have also used Canva-designed slides in my History Ever After presentation, as well as conference promotion materials for NECRWA.

My eleven tips—Spinal Tap fans, anyone?—will be targeted to an intermediate audience. This means you have already set up a Canva (or PicMonkey) account, attempted a few designs, and have explored the premade materials available to you. While I do give more specific guidelines for Canva use, many of the principles will apply to PicMonkey or other programs, as well.

Please bring your laptops. If we have wifi (or you can use your phone as a hotspot?), you can design as you listen. I can also help you troubleshoot.

Logistics: This workshop will be presented at the 19 August 2018 meeting of the New England Chapter of RWA, from 1 to 3 pm, at the Old Town Hall at 16 South Road, Bedford, MA, 01730. Again, the visitor fee is only $5—a bargain! Hope to see you there.


A Sydneysider for a Week

#IASPR18 was eye-opening. There is nothing better than being with a room full of ridiculously smart people who believe that romance is important, intelligent, and beautiful.


Check out the hashtag or look at Teach Me Tonight’s blog, which has summaries and links for each presentation. I gave my talk on “History Ever After: Fabricated Historical Chronotopes in Romance Genre Fiction,” in which I argued that the exclusiveness of the 19th-century British peerage chronotope—though fun when done well—can be harmful to the romance market as a whole, to the discipline of history, and particularly to authors of diverse books. Click on the image below for more:


But what about Sydney you ask? How was the rest of the trip? It was amazing. I traveled light (carry-on only) so I didn’t bring my real camera. Crappy photos from my cheapo cell will have to do, which of course I posted on Instagram.

Before I sign off, here is the live tweet thread on Mina’s wonderful presentation for #romanceclass. Click on the image:


Also, you should check out Book Thingo’s latest podcast, “All About Romance Lists.” (See what they did there?) It is amazing how much their discussion paralleled my own findings in “History Ever After,” and yet we had not talked to each other at all before they made the podcast and I wrote up my paper. Here’s the link to the podcast (click image):


Now I have to get Sugar Moon ready…and I might have a few more surprises in store. Thanks for reading!