Writing Zone: Craft from the Ground Up

OWFI 2015 is not that far away or it seems that way to those of us working hard behind the scenes. There is so much going on that I wanted to share a few things with you. 

The past couple of months have been a whirlwind of activity by your board members. We have an exciting line up of agents, editors, and authors. All speaker commitments should be finalized soon. We have some repeat performers: Jerry Simmons and Andrew Kauffman, and some new faces; Brenda Drake, Lee Lofland, and Sarah Henning. In addition to our keynote, Les Edgerton and our Thursday night speaker, Richard Thomas. 

We have some exciting agents lined up who represent some great opportunities for OWFI attendees. Feel free to get to know these agents: Leon Husock with L. Perkins Literary, Carrie Howland with Donadio and Olson, Inc., Regina Brooks with Serendipity, Michelle L. Johnson with Inklings Literary, and Noah Ballard with Curtis Brown. Also accepting pitches at the conference, Richard Thomas, editor of Dark House Press. 

Committees are forming as we begin updating forms and procedures for next year. Our treasurer has had her hands full with this non numbers person so if you run into Barb McMinn, give her big high fives or hugs, whichever you're comfortable with. 

 We’ve also been reconciling income and expenditures from last year and preparing a 2015 budget for the September meeting of the board. Crunching all those numbers has my right brain screaming for attention. Time to enter the writing cave to put in some time exercising my creative IQ.

 If you have questions or concerns please ask. You can contact me from the website as well as, contact Natasha Hanova, the conference chair. The website will provide the appropriate people based on your question. If there are problems with the website, contact Leatrice McKinney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Our keynote speaker for 2015, Les Edgerton, will lead what we expect to be a dynamic team of professionals. I encourage you to pick up Hooked, his book on craft. You will not regret it.

 In the meantime, keep writing!

 

 

 

 

Unpublished Manuscript Awards

CATEGORY 1 – Mainstream Novel – 21 Entries

Category Sponsor: Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

Judge: Julia Mozingo, Altus, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Becky McCall, Springdale, Arkansas

FIRST PLACE: “Life for a Life” by Jennifer Adolph, Tulsa NightWriters

SECOND PLACE: “Woods Beyond the Christmas Sleigh” by Eric Reitan, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Tin Door Café” by Erin Cochran, Member at Large

1ST HM: “Man Disposal” by Donna Welch Jones, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 2 – Romance – 14 Entries

Category Sponsor: Sue McMurphy

Judge: Desiree Holt, Sisterdale, Texas

Category Chair: Becky McCall, Springdale, Arkansas

First Place: “Texas Hearts” by Susan Shay, Tulsa NightWriters

Second Place: “Waking From the Dead” by Connie Blaylock, Green Country Ruff Riters

Third Place: “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Dixi Maxwell, Tulsa NightWriters

1st HM: “Ghost of a Chance” by Linda Zook, Writers of the Purple Sage

CATEGORY 3 – Historical Novel – 12 Entries

Judge: Connie Blaylock

Category Chair: Connie Blaylock, Bokoshe, Oklahoma

First Place: “Forsaken” by Patrick McCully, Member at Large

Second Place: “Return to Quail Crossing” by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville Wordweavers

Third Place: “Elizabeth’s Prodigal” by Margery Kisby Warder, Bartlesville Wordweavers

1st HM: “Last Train to Honobbie Flats” by Jim Miser, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 4 – Mystery/Suspense Novel – 14 Entries

Category Sponsor: Marcia Preston

Judge: Marcia Preston, Edmond, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Becky McCall, Springdale, Arkansas

FIRST PLACE: “Paid in Blood” by Jennifer Adolph, Tulsa NightWriters

SECOND PLACE: “Catastrophic Connections” by Joyce Brown, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Murder Once Again” by Barbara McMinn, Arkansas Ridge Writers

1st HM: “Tattoo of Evil” by Erin Cochran, Member at Large

CATEGORY 5 – Western Novel – 13 Entries

Judge: Carol Johnson, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Julia Mozingo, Altus, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “Judas Steer” by Tammy Hinton, McAlester’s McSherry Writers

SECOND PLACE: “Crossroads” by Dee Dee Chumley, The Inklings

THIRD PLACE: “Red Moon on the Washita” by Carolyn Leonard, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

1st HM: “Lighting in the Grass” by Jim Miser, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 6 – SciFi/Fantasy/Horror Novel – 24 Entries

Category Sponsor: Tulsa NightWriters

Judge: Jim Laughter, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Catherine Adams, Beenbrook, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Unexpected Eden” by Rhenna Morgan, Tulsa NightWriters

SECOND PLACE: “Magic Popsicle Sticks” by John T. Biggs, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

THIRD PLACE: “The Ancient” by Sharon Burris, Member at Large

1ST HM: “Dream House” by Jerry Goodnight, Member at Large

2ND HM: “Children of Light” by Laura Popp, Tulsa NightWriters 

CATEGORY 7 – Nonfiction Book – 9 Entries

Category Sponsor: Carol Johnson

In Honor of Kirk Bjornsgoard, late OU Fiction Editor

Judge: Carolyn Leonard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Julia Mozingo, Altus, Oklahoma

HONORABLE MENTION: “Face Forward” by Arlene Gale, Member at Large

CATEGROY 8 – PICTURE BOOK – 33 ENTRIES

Judge: Vivian Zabel, Edmond, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Arlene Graber, Wichita, Kansas

FIRST PLACE: “Just Jane” by Heather Davis, Bartlesville Wordweavers

SECOND PLACE: “Bon Appetite” by Brenda Maier, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Clancy’s Tasty Treats” by Una Belle Townsend, Member at Large

1ST HM: “Whirlen and Towerrock Mountain” by Wayne Harris-Wyrick, Oklahoma City Writers

2ND HM: “The Daydreaming Tree” by Cynthia Henzel, Member at Large

3RD HM: “Digging Up Dinosaur Bones” by Rita Durrett, Bartlesville Wordweavers

CATEGORY 9 – MIDDLE GRADE BOOK – 17 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Bartlesville Wordweavers

-   In Memory of Hilary Welch

Judge: Gwen Hooks, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Carol Johnson, Tulsa, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “The Totally Weird Substitute” by Jeannie Hagy, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

SECOND PLACE: “The Underwater Witness Protection Program” by Renee Roberts, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Fanditha” by Cynthia Henzel, Member at Large

1ST HM: “When the Sky Falls, Duck” by Wayne Harris-Wyrick, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

CATEGORY 10 – YOUNG ADULT BOOK – 23 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Tulsa NightWriters

Judge: Tessa Gratton, Lawrence, Kansas

Category Chair: Catherine Adams, Benbrook, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Damaged Goods” by Jeannie Hagy, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

SECOND PLACE: “Armadillo Queen” by Eric Reitan, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Declaration” by Cynthia Henzel, Member at Large

1ST HM: “Diary of a Darfurian Chalk Girl” by Dwayne Morris, Member at Large

2ND HM: “The Runway” by Christy Buckner, Member at Large

CATEGORY 11 – POETRY UNRHYMED SHORT – 60 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Enid Writers Club

Judge: Jen Nipps, Ada, Oklahoma

Category chair: Pamela Morgan, Choctaw, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “Surviving the Great Depression” by Alice Collinsworth, Member at Large

SECOND PLACE: “The Death of Our Class Comedian” by Naomi Tomlinson PAWS: Professional & Amateur Writers’ Society

THIRD PLACE: “The Jazzman” by Victoria Hermes-Bond, Kansas Writers Association

1ST HM: “The Hands of the Dying” by Christine Nichols, Member at Large

2ND HM: “A Hundred Times a Day” by Wayne Harris-Wyrick, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

3RD HM: “Grass” by Una Belle Townsend, Member at Large

4th HM: “Evening in Camp” by Jim Miser, Tulsa NightWriters

5TH HM: “Starlight” by Mary Ellen Main, Writers of the Purple Sage

CATEGORY 12 – POETRY UNRHYMED LONG – 60 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Kathlyn Smith

Judge: Harvey Stanbrough, Saint David, Arizona

Category Chair: Sharon Worthey, Grand Prairie, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Shangri-La” by Linda Reising, Member at Large

SECOND PLACE: “Lilac Festival” by Eric Reitan, Member at Large

THRID PLACE: “Fruit for a Day” by Natash Tinsley, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

1ST HM: “Retiree at the Mall” by Jim Miser, Tulsa Nightwriters

2ND HM: “Our Common Voice” by Karen Kay Knauss Bailey, Member at Large

3RD HM: “Perilous Passage” by Neal Huffaker, Norman Galaxy of Writers

4TH HM: “Elvis in the Building” by Maria Veres, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

5TH HM: “Sleeping Beasts” by Sharon Burris, Member at Large

6th HM: “Dance of Desire” by Ledia Runnels, Member at Large

CATEGORY 13 – POETRY RHYMED SHORT – 47 ENTRIES

Judge: Nathan Brown, Norman, Oklahoma

Category chair: Sharon Worthey, Grand Prairie, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Unreformed” By Maria Veres, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

SECOND PLACE: “Song of the Refugee” by Charlene Burrell, Member at Large

THRID PLACE: “Black Bear Creek” By Jennifer Lobaugh, Member at Large

1ST HM: “Wall Flowers” by Eric Reitan, Member at Large

2ND HM: “The Pretty One” by Linda Reising, Member at Large 

CATEGORY 14 – POETRY RHYMED LONG - 47 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Enid Writers Club

In Memory of Maxine Austin – Lifetime Member of EWC.

Died 2013 at age 102

Judged: Jacque Graham, Blackwell, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Julia Mozingo, Altus, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “On the Tower’s Ledge” by Theresa Hupp, Kansas City Writers Group

SECOND PLACE: “Fight” by Sharon Burris, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Contentment” by Naomi Tomlinson, PAWS: Professional and Amateur Writers Society

1ST HM: “Fortress” by Megan Cox, Member at Large

2ND HM: “Aunt Jenny’s Night Rides” by Sally Jadlow, Kansas City Writers Group

3RD HM: “If It Doesn’t Hurt, It Doesn’t Work” by Inez Phillips, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

4TH HM: “I Know” by Lottie Wilds, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 15 – FLASH FICTION – 69 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Kathlyn Smith

Judge: Tess Almendarez, Pittsburgh, PA

Category Chair: Jim Martin, Edmond, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “The Wrong House” By Sandra Parsons, Tulsa NightWriters

SECOND PLACE: “The Elephant in the Room” by Jodi Thompson, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Going Home” by Julie Kimmel-Harbaugh, Tulsa NightWriters

1ST HM: “Threading the Needle” by Eric Reitan, Member at Large

2ND HM: “Pink Glads” by Sue McMurphy, Writers of the Purple Sage

3RD HM: “The Witch” by Jim VanDemon, Member at Large

CATEGORY 16 – SHORT SHORT STORY – 61 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Kathlyn Smith

Judge: Wayne Harris-Wyrick, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Category chair: Jeannie Hagy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “Brad Beastslayer Gets a Tough Break” by Terry Mirll, Member at Large

SECOND PLACE: “Click” by Carol Johnson, Tulsa NightWriters

THIRD PLACE: “Come Die With Me” by Donna Jones, Tulsa NightWriters

1ST HM: “The Hollow Man” By Eric Reitan, Member at Large

2ND HM: “Tables Turned” by Victoria Hermes-Bond, Kansas Writers Association

3RD HM: “Valediction” by Alice Collinsworth, Member at Large

4TH HM: “Crazy is as Crazy Does” by Teresa Kinney, Writers of the Woodlands

5TH HM: “Necessary Things” by M. Carolyn Steele, Tulsa NightWriters

6TH HM: “Ju Fu, Paper Magic” by Ledia Runnels, Member at Large 

CATEGORY 17 – SHORT STORY – 57 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: The Inklings

Judge: Carolyn Wall, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Becky McCall, Springdale, Arkansas

FIRST PLACE: “A Ticket Out” by Nancy Hartney, Arkansas Ridge Writers

SECOND PLACE: “Dakota Stones and the Peridot Princess” by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville Word Weavers

THIRD PLACE: “Midwife 1836” by M. Carolyn Steele, Tulsa NightWriters

1ST HM: “The Rally” by Nequita Hanna, Tulsa NightWriters

2ND HM: “The Kiss” by John T. Biggs, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

3RD HM: “Frog Soup” by Shelly Pagach, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

4TH HM: “The Widowing of Miss Mattie” by Nancy Lee, Member at Large

5TH HM: “He Called Her Sally” by Peggy Chambers, Enid Writers Club

6th HM: “Bittersweet Lesson” by Sabrina Fish, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

CATEGORY 18 – JUVENIAL SHORT STORY – 27 ENTRIES

Judge: Jeannie Hagy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Carol Johnson, Tulsa, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “Big Top Tent Revival” by Dwayne Morris, Member at Large

SECOND PLACE: “Tattletale” by Neal Huffaker, Norman Galaxy of Writers

THRID PLACE: “Manny at the Pow Wow” by Pepper Hume, Bartlesville Wordweavers

1ST HM: “Snails with Ketchup” by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville Wordweavers

2nd HM: “Christmas Puppies” by Laura Popp, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 19 – YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY – 17 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Fort Worth Writers

Judge: Connie Blaylock, Bokoshe, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Eva Mahoney, Edmond, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “A Mother’s Day Gift” by Theresa Hupp, Kansas City Writers Group

SECOND PLACE: “The Astronaut” by Patrick McCully, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Sophie’s Solution” by Sally Jadlow, Kansas City Writers Group

1ST HM: “The Night My Grandma Went Poof” by Sue McMurphy, Writers of the Purple Sage

CATEGORY 20 – SCIFI/FANTASY/ HORROR STORY – 25 ENTRIES

Judge: Rhonda Lee Carver, Chillicothe, Ohio

Category Chair: Catherine Adams, Benbrook, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “The Manuscript” by Peggy Chambers, Enid Writer’s Club

SECOND PLACE: “Vegetarian” by Gloria Teague, Tulsa NightWriters

THIRD PLACE: “Aquarius” by Michael Matthews, Member at Large

1ST HM: “The Ninth Circle of Hell” by Olive Hallmark Abbott, Fort Worth Writers

2ND HM: “Audition Notice” by Pepper Hume, Bartlesville Wordweavers

CATEGROY 21 – PROSE HUMOR – 44 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: McAlester’s McSherry Writers

Judge: Nequita Hanna, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Ginny Green, Clyde, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Next Time Buy it From IKEA” by Terry Mirll, Member at Large

SECOND PLACE: “The Real Political Science” by David Burnham, Red Dirt Writers

THIRD PLACE: “Uncle Chicken” by Judith Sexton, Stillwater Writers Group

1ST HM: “Fatherly Advice” by Vaughn Phelps, Member at Large

2ND HM: “Frackin Hell” by Linda Marshall, Member at Large

3RD HM: “Next Christmas” by Dwayne Morris, Member at Large

4th HM: “The Novice” by Judy Goodspeed, PAWS: Professional & Amateur Writer’s Society

CATEGORY 22 – ESSAY – 39 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Kathlyn Smith

Judge: Maria Veres, Edmond, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Connie Blaylock, Bokoshe, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “Slumber Parties” by Eric Reitan, Member at Large

SECOND PLACE: “Just So: Continental Drift Invents the Cuddly Koala” by Terry Mirll, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “The Fight for Relevance” by Nequita Hanna, Tulsa NightWrtiers

1ST HM: “One Man’s Art” by Martha Lea Bryant, The Inklings

2ND HM: “We Aren’t to Blame” by Erin Cochran, Member at Large

3RD HM: “To Break or Not to Break” by Pepper Hume, Bartlesville Wordweavers

4th HM: “My Dad Set Me Free” by Paula Benge, Enid Writers Club

CATEGORY 23 – PLAY/FILM/TV SCRIPT – 14 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Maria Veres & Family

-   In Memory of Monte Shepherd

Judge: Frank Steele, Sherman, Texas

Category Chair: Holly Jahangir, Houston, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Tattoo” by Inez Phillips, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

SECOND PLACE: “Train Ride to Hope” by Michael Helderman & Shelley Richter, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

THIRD PLACE: “The Last Monsoon” by Franklin Ray Gaskin, Member at Large

1ST HM: “The Fall and the Rise of King Archispectrum Hypotheticuc the First” by Datia Ben-Dor, Member at Large

CATEGORY 24 – TECHNICAL/HOW-TO – 20 ENTRIES

Judge: Amy Shojai, Sherman, Texas

Category Chair: Arlene Graber, Wichita, Kansas

FIRST PLACE: “Flub Your Way to a Fuss-Free Christmas” by Brandi Barnet, The Inklings

SECOND PLACE: “How to Get His Ex to Hate You” by Shel Harrington, The Inklings

THIRD PLACE: “Secrets From the Contest Queen” by Barbara Shepherd, Mid-Oklahoma Writers

1ST HM: “Getting Your Lady Interested in Football: Advice From a Female Football Fan” by Sarah Lonelodge, Member at Large

2ND HM: “If I Can Do It, So Can You! 5 Steps to a Stick-With-it Gym Experience” by Mary Ellen Main, Writers of the Purple Sage

CATEGORY 25 – FEATURE ARTICLE – 16 ENTRIES

Judge: Gayleen Rabakukk, Edmond, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Ginny Greene, Clyde, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Ghost Hunter of the Great Plains” by Linda Marshall, Member at Large

SECOND PLACE: “Salvaging Moore” by Dwayne Morris, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “On the Path and Still Moving Forward” by Heather Davis, Bartlesville Wordweavers

1ST HM: “Col. Bourland Commands Attention” by Barbara Shepherd, Mid-Oklahoma Writers

CATEGORY 26 – WESTERN ARTICLE – 9 ENTRIES

Judge: Brenda Black, Prairie Grove, Arkansas

Category Chair: Julia Mozingo, Altus, Oklahoma

HONORABLE MENTION: “Hatchet Lady” by Carolyn Leonard, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

CATEGORY 27 – INSPIRATIONAL – 33 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Linda Apple

Judge: Eric Reitan, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Pamela Morgan, Choctaw, Oklahoma

FIRST PLACE: “The Gift of Believing” by M. Carolyn Steele, Tulsa NightWriters

SECOND PLACE: “Masterpiece” by Martha Heady, Member at Large

THIRD PLACE: “Last Fire” by Margaret Hrencher, Member at Large

1ST HM: “I Don’t Want to Lose You” by Theresa Hupp, Kansas City Writers Group

2ND HM: “A Journey and Japan” by Ann Cleary, Bartlesville Wordweavers

3RD HM: “The Tat” by Barbara J Shoff, Bartlesville Wordweavers

CATEGORY 28 – COLUMN – 9 ENTRIES

Judge: Mary Ann Kerl, McAlester, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Jeannie Hagy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

HM: “Life in the Fast Lane” by Eva Mahoney, Pen and Keyboard Writers

CATEGORY 29 – NOSTALGIA – 41 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Kathlyn Smith

Judge: Gloria Teague, Mannford, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Holly Jahangiri, Houston, Texas

FIRST PLACE: “Being Thelma and Louise” by Nequita Hanna, Tulsa NightWriters

SECOND PLACE: “The Remarkable Five and Dime” by Olyve Hallmark Abbot, Fort Worth Writers

THIRD PLACE: “Starry, Starry Night” by Mary Ellen Main, Writers of the Purple Sage

1ST HM: “Fingerprints on My Heart” by M. Carolyn Steele, Tulsa NightWriters

2ND HM: “Trouble with Traps” by Cathy Collar, Bartlesville Wordweavers

3RD HM: “The Fishing Trip” by Erin Cochran, Member at Large

4th HM: “Grandma Claus” by Barbara McMinn, Arkansas Ridge Writers

Published Manuscript Awards 

CATEGORY 30 – PUBLISHED JUVENILE BOOK – 8 ENTRIES

Judge: Sonia Gensler, Norman, Oklahoma

Category chair: Maria Veres, Edmond, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Night Before Christmas

Carolyn Macy, Member at Large 

CATEGORY 31 – PUBLISHED NONFICTION BOOK – 10 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Buffalo Industries

(Carolyn Leonard)

Judge: Jan Morrill, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Category Chair: Patty Stith, Wesley, Arkansas

TMI Mom Getting Lucky

Heather Davis, Bartlesville Wordweavers 

CATEGORY 32 – PUBLISHED POETRY BOOK – 4 ENTRIES

 

Judge: William Bernhardt, Midwest City, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Arlene Graber, Wichita, Kansas

Squall

Jennifer Lobaugh, Member at Large

CATEGORY 33 PUBLISHED FICTION BOOK – 23 ENTRIES

Judge: Vickey Malone Kennedy, Norman, Oklahoma

Category Chair: Linda Basinger, Norman, Oklahoma

The Red Kimono

Jan Morrill, Arkansas Ridge Writers

Crème de la Crème

Sponsored by

Kathlyn Smith 

Judges: Charles Sasser, author of over 50 books and has appeared on National TV Duty Richards, recipient of the  Wrangler Award at the Cowboy Hall and Museum Amy Shojai, acclaimed author of dog-viewpoint series Thrillers With Bite.

Congratulations!

The End

It’s the phrase in a manuscript that we think will never come. Page after page we write looking at the magical word count at the bottom of the screen that never seems to increase as rapidly as we think it should. We bribe ourselves with chocolate or Diet Coke if we will just write one more page. If we make it to the next chapter we can take a break and do something exciting like put a load of clothes in the washer. Two more pages and we can go to the bathroom.

From the moment when we write the first word on the first page we are striving to make it to those elusive two last words – The End.

Then it comes.

What joy, and often time amazement that we actually did it. We wrote a whole book! We do our happy dance. We finish off the whole box of chocolates. We post it on Facebook and make it official. And then...

We have this little strange empty feeling inside. The task that has consumed our conscious and probably even more of our unconscious minds for months, probably years, is complete.

I’ve heard many authors say that they cry when they type The End.

Tonight I’m typing those two words on my tenure as OWFI President. It’s been a wild ride. I’ve learned more about running a volunteer agency than I ever thought possible. I’ve learned that when you volunteer there is no time clock so you are never off duty. I’ve learned that there are some awesome people out there that will pitch in and work just as harder and sometimes harder than myself. I’ve learned what an enormous passion there is for OWFI and for seeing it continue for the next 46 years.

So I am thrilled and sad when I type The End. I grieve a tiny bit and then remember – There’s always a sequel.

So tonight I give OWFI2016 – The Sequel with Dawn Allen.

Dawn Allen, tag you’re it.

Vendor Tables

Does your company create book covers?

Do you do private manuscript editing?

Do you have a product or service that would be of interest to writers?

Are you planning a writers’ retreat or workshop and would like to publicize it?

Then we would love to have you as a vendor at OWFI2014.

Table space for the two-day conference is $50. Contact Christine Jarmola at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make arrangements.

Reminder – Vendor Tables are not a place for authors to sell books – that is provided through the OWFI Bookstore. See bookstore details if you would like to promote your book at OWFI2014.

Table Reservations!

If you are interested in reserving a table, please follow these steps:
1. Complete this information:
Your Name:
Name to be reserved under if different from your name:
Night(s) to be reserved:
Contact number:
2.  A check to OWFI for $20/night--so, if you want one table for both nights that will be a total of $40.
3.  Mail the above information to the following address:
Brandi Barnett
OWFI Tables
PO Box 336
Tahlequah, OK 74465
Please send a representative to the banquetroom about 20 minutes before event to secure your table and help your tablemates find their way.

Autograph Please!

This year we are mixing up the autograph signing parties. In years past many have lamented the fact that they were unable to get their friends’ books because they were busy selling their own. So in an attempt to alleviate the “everybody signing nobody buying” syndrome we are having three different/genre specific signing times.

If you would like to be included there are only three steps.

#1. Your books must be consigned through the OWFI conference bookstore. For details look at the website www.owfi.org home page or contact Doug Kelly This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Note there is no table cost this year.)

#2. Sign up on the Autograph Board in the bookstore once you arrive at conference and leave your books in the bookstore.

#3. Be sure to promote on your blogs and websites when you will be autographing books. The public is welcomed at this event.

Genre Autograph Schedule 

4:30-5:30 Friday, May1st, we will highlight Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Science Fiction/Horror

8:30 ish (after the banquet) Friday, May 1st, we will celebrate Romance/Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction/Young Adult

5:00 – 6:00 Saturday, May 2nd, we will honor Non-Fiction/Humor/Children’s/Religious/Biography/Poetry

If you don’t see your specific genre, pick the grouping that is closest.

OWFI 2014 Pitch Session Appointments

 If you're attending OWFI 2014 and are interested in booking an agent/editor/publisher pitch session, Natasha Hanova is your gal.

Things to remember…

  1. Your conference fee must be paid before you make an appointment with an editor or agent. Click here for online registration or download registration.
  2. Appointment requests will be accepted ONLY between March 1, 2014 and April 28, 2014. Between those dates, send email request for appointment to Natasha Hanova at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. Be sure to put OWFI in the subject line. Please include your phone number and an e-mail address.
  4. For more information about what type of manuscripts the editor, agent or publisher is looking for, and how they like it presented, go to their websites.
  5. One-day attendees who wish to make an appointment must state which day they are attending.
  6. You may make only one appointment with either an agent or an editor. Send a first & second choice for agent or editor in case of scheduling problems. Additional appointments may be available at the conference. Check at the registration desk.
  7. If you do not receive an email confirmation of appointment within a week of your request, please resubmit. Sometimes e-mail goes astray in cyberspace.
  8. Appointment times will be e-mailed to you prior to the conference. Please bring this information with you to the conference. Please verify your appointment time at the editor/agent table at check-in since appointments may have been changed to accommodate special needs.
  9. Please do not ask for a specific time or date in your request for appointment unless you are a volunteer at the conference and need to work around your designated duty roster.
  10. Do your homework! Practice your pitch before you come, and be certain your manuscript is within the range of work the editor or agent represents.

Good luck to each of you! Here's a list of attending agents, editors, and publishers.

Agents

Susan Brower from the Natasha Kern Literary Agency

I love finding and developing authors and connecting them with the reader. Book publishing has changed dramatically over the past several years and it’s no secret that the novels that create buzz through their unique writing or concepts are the ones that become bestsellers. Over the past 25 years in publishing, I have done marketing, editing, story development and acquisitions for Zondervan, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. Most recently, I was Executive Editor and had the privilege of working with New York Times bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury, Tim LaHaye, Stephen L. Carter, and Terri Blackstock and was named ACFW’s Editor of the Year in 2010. And now I am fortunate to partner with Natasha Kern at the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. I’ve been an avid fiction fan since childhood and love the way stories are able to change lives, heal hearts, and bring joy to readers. Today, I want to read and acquire women’s contemporary, any kind of romance, suspense, mystery and historical novels. I would love to discover the next breakaway author in any of these genres. I am originally from Arizona and now live in Michigan with my hubby, and three furry “kids,” Shep, Ollie, and Pepper.

Susan Bower Agency WebsiteSusan's Website

Dawn Michelle Hardy from Serendipity Literary Agency

Dawn Michelle Hardy has been called a “literary lobbyist” by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention. She began her career in publishing in 2002, first as an assistant to a self published turned New York Times Bestselling author, then as an award-winning publicist and author consultant and now as an associate agent with Serendipity Literary Agency led by Regina Brooks. While actively building her client list, she likes memoirists who can capture a larger narrative through their personal story and strong hook, best-in-class professionals in a variety of fields, the relatively unknown that has unique and incomparable life experiences, and the music, sports and pop culture enthusiasts with a ‘hip’ idea from an untold vantage point. Her client list is diverse ranging from a veteran entertainment writer, to a single mother, to a Washington Post award-winning sports journalist. Her first acquisitions as agent included a biography on the Grammy winning pop-star Nicki Minaj (Hip-Pop Moments for Life by Isoul Harris), a previously self published memoir that garnered SyFy Channel docu-series fame (Forgotten Burial: A Restless Spirit’s Plea from Beyond the Grave by Jodi Foster) and a forthcoming narrative inspired by the #2 most shared news story in 2013 on NBA 16-time Allstar Allen Iverson. As an agent she is continuously seeking acquisitions for platform driven general interest narratives that can spark debate and heavy conversation. She welcomes the process of collaborating with editors and authors on topics in the area of sports, pop culture, blog and trend, music, lifestyle, and social science.

Dawn on Twitter

Amanda Luedeke from the Chip MacGregor Literary Agency

Amanda was a 2006 graduate of the acclaimed Professional Writing program at Taylor University Fort Wayne. Since college, she’s made her living as a writer, working as a freelancer for local newspapers and marketing companies, while operating her own writing business. Her love for writing and her ability to think strategically landed her a full time job in marketing at an agency in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Since starting there in 2008, Amanda has written web and print copy for Vera Bradley, Baekgaard, Brecks and Peg Perego. She’s also assisted in marketing strategy for these companies, conducting research, launching social media sites and proposing and working on major projects targeted at the online consumer. Yes, she knows … she’s one of those people. She met Chip at an author signing in Barnes and Noble in 2008. After realizing they had a commonality in Taylor University, one thing led to another, and before she knew it, she was helping him with projects, research, and all the little stuff she now assumes he just didn’t feel like doing. Shortly after, Amanda was hired on as Chip’s Assistant. On board as an Agent since 2010, Amanda brings unique interests to the MacGregor Literary team. She represents general market and CBA projects, and her areas of interest include nonfiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction (all types except historical romance), paranormal and speculative fiction (including steampunk, fantasy, etc), YA, middle grade fiction, and twenty-something/post college-aged hip lit (think Joe Meno, Brett McCracken, Brad Land, JD Salinger). Having lived all over the Midwest, from Iowa to Minnesota to Illinois, Amanda considers the Chicago suburbs to be ‘home’, though she’s currently settled in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband, Tad.

Amanda on FacebookAmanda on Twitter

Maria Vicente from the P.S. Literary Agency Maria Vicente is an associate agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She is a creative and editorial agent, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Maria is dedicated to managing authors' literary brands for the duration of their careers. Her reading preferences vary across categories and genres, which is reflected in her client list. She is actively looking for literary and commercial fiction, young adult, middle grade, illustrated picture books, and nonfiction projects in the pop culture, pop psychology, design, and lifestyle categories. She has affinities for literary writing, strong character development, and original storytelling formats. Maria’s publishing career began as an intern with Bree Ogden at D4EO Literary Agency. She also interned at P.S. Literary before joining the agency as an associate agent. Maria has a B.A. in English Literature from Carleton University, a Bachelor of Education from The University of Western Ontario, and many years of experience editing and designing literary magazines. She is currently an editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a literary/art horror magazine for children. Her blog, I Believe in Story (ibelieveinstory.com), features book reviews, advice for writers, publishing industry articles, and lifestyle posts inspired by literature. You can find Maria on Twitter at @MsMariaVicente.

Editors

Mari Farthing

Mari Farthing is a writer and editor with over 20 years of practical experience in private industry, government, media and publishing. Mari has worked with writers on technical documentation, procedural manuals, memoir, children’s fiction (middle grade, young adult), women’s fiction, suspense and horror.

Mari on TwitterMari on Facebook

 

Mary-Theresa Hussey

Mary-Theresa has been at Harlequin for nearly a quarter century—but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. As an executive editor for Harlequin Books, she is surrounded by fantastic stories, terrific colleagues and has had the pleasure of working on thousands of entertaining, enlightening and exciting novels. Mary-Theresa—sometimes known as Matrice—works with authors on both series and single title imprints, and is always eager to talk about books.

 

Publishers

Rhonda PendersRhonda Penders from Wild Rose Press

Rhonda Pender is President and co-founder of The Wild Rose Press, a publishing company that publishes books electronically and in print. The company began in May 2006 and is home to over 1600 titles and 500 authors. The Wild Rose Press began as a romance only publishing house but in 2013 opened its submissions to other genres of fiction including erotica, women’s fiction, mystery and suspense including thrillers, and historical fiction. TWRP prides itself on never issuing form rejection letters and on being a kinder and gentler publishing house. Their web site, which is referred to as “the garden”, is truly a community garden where everyone feels as if they have a part in its growth. Writers, authors, readers and editors come together in chats, loops, blogs, and email to discuss ideas, thoughts, concerns and plans for growing the company. The editors and the owners are completely accessible to their writers. Currently they are accepting submissions in all lines and all lengths. All submissions should be made electronically and specific guidelines can be found on their website at www.thewildrosepress.com.

Vivian Zabel from 4RV Publishing

Vivian Zabel has a degree in English and speech. She taught in public schools for 27 years, covering such subjects as English, composition, writing, yearbook newspaper, literary magazine, drama, debate and speech. Vivian has published short stories, articles and poetry until she retired from teaching, and now has 7 published books. Vivian is the founder and president of 4RV publishing, a traditional, royalties-paying publishing house with over 75 authors, including many OWFI members.

Vivian's BlogVivian's Website

The Book Doctor

Book Doctor Editing Service – Deadline April 1, 2014

What can a consultation with an editor do for you?

More than you might realize. An Editor can provide you with high-level editing advice and analysis to address issues of plot, story and characterization.

After your book has been through basic copyediting and peer review, there may still be story issues or questions on how to improve your project. A book doctor can provide guidance and input, using a fresh perspective to help. Just like a medical doctor will work to diagnose what’s potentially wrong with your health, a book doctor will work to diagnose what’s potentially wrong with your story.

OWFI in conjunction with editor Mari Farthing can give you a jumpstart on editing your manuscript. If you would like to have the first 25 pages of your manuscript edited and have a one-on-one consultation at the conference please do the following.

  • Mail your 25 pages – 12 pt font, double spaced to:
    Atten: OWFI Book Doctor

Mari Farthing

2700 SE 94th Street

Oklahoma City, OK 73160

  • Enclose a $50 check made out to OWFI
  • Due April 1st (and that’s no joke)
  • Meet with Mari Farthing at OWFI May 2-3 to personally go over what works and what doesn’t with your book.

2014 Conference Opportunities

Famous Author Recognition

Have you had a book publish since OWFI2013?

Are you a member of OWFI?

Are you going to the OWFI2014 conference?

If you answered yes to all three questions, we want to recognize you at the Friday night Famous Authors Banquet. (If you’re not a member of OWFI click on over to the membership tab and join. We’d love to have you as a part of our group.)

Here is what we need from you.

  • A short 50-world synopsis (something we all hate to write) about your book as an attached Word .doc
  • A jpg photo of your book cover

That’s it. Now all you have to do is have those emailed to Marilyn Boone at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by April 1, 2014.

QUICK CONTACTS TO VOLUNTEER:

Please contact these persons directly to volunteer in that area. More information on each can be found by contacting that person directly or by reading below.

Registration – Jennifer McMurrain This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Shepherds – Tom Barczak This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Agent/Editors – Natasha Hanovan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Book Room/Reading Room – Doug Kelley This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Table Reservations – Brandi Barnett This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Table Center Pieces – Heather Davis This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Basket Wars – Vivian Zabel This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Costume contest – Wayne Harris-Wyrick This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Writing contest – Tony LoPresti & Jim Martin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (deadline was 2/1--questions only at this point!)
Famous authors slide show – Marilyn Boone This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

REGISTRATION:

Are you a kind person? A patient person? A helpful person?

Then we need you to help man/woman the registration table.

Registration will open on Thursday evening at five and continue through Saturday afternoon. Our goal is to have enough volunteers so that no one spends more than an hour or two throughout the conference working at the registration table.

If you are willing to help contact Jennifer McMurrain at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

SHEPHERDS:

OWFI 2014 will be hosted over twenty-five speakers, many of them from out of state. In order to make sure they are well taken care and are at the appropriate place a the correct time we pair each of them up with one OWFI volunteer – known as Shepherds. Shepherding is the best gig (next to being OWFI President) for getting to know the speakers one-on-one.

If you would like to do this contact the Super Shepherd Tom Barczak at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AGENTS/EDITORS:

One of the best perks about attending OWFI 2104 is the chance to have a personal, one-on-one conversation with an agent, editor or publisher. In order for this to run smoothly we need a dedicated crew of people to keep the appointments on time.

If you could volunteer an hour to help please contact Leatrice McKenney & Natasha Hanovan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BOOK ROOM / READING ROOM:

Authors (or publishers) must notify Doug Kelley, the book room chairperson, by April 7, 2014 of any title(s) they want included in the book room inventory, choosing one of the two options below. Due to limited space, non-speaker titles will be limited to 5 copies on display at any one time. Also, authors of multiple books will be limited to no more than 5 titles on display. (You may, of course, restock as sales warrant.) For more information, check HERE.

TABLE RESERVATIONS:

Does your writing group want to make sure to be able to sit together at the banquets? If so, for a $20 fee each night, you can reserve a table. Contact Brandi Barnett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TABLE CENTERPIECES:

This year we are trying something new, and I predict it will be a huge success. We are asking our Famous Authors – whether from this year or years past – to create centerpieces for the Friday night banquet tables featuring your books. At the end of the evening there will be a drawing to win one (tickets available for a small donation). We could use up to forty centerpieces. If you could help out contact Heather Davis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BASKET WARS:

Click HERE for all information about the Basket Wars.

COSTUME CONTEST:

Expect something new and different at the conference this year. During the Friday Night banquet, be prepared to meet some of your favorite authors and/or their characters during the first of what may become an annual OWFI Costume Contest.
I am seeking prizes for the winners of the three categories: Best costume depicting an author, best costume depicting a literary character and most creative costume.

We need volunteers scattered all over OWFI’s territory to solicit prizes. We are a 501-C-3 Not-For-Profit and all donated prizes may therefore be tax deductible to the donor.

This involves little time during the conference itself. Contact Wayne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if interested.

Celebrating The Book Store

Book Room Guidelines for 2014 OWFI Conference

by Doug Kelley, 2014 OWFI Book Room Chairman

Gather a group of writers and it won’t be long until someone tells of the influence books have had on his/her life – and the thrill of entering a library or a bookstore. Sadly, the thrill of a brick and mortar bookstore is rapidly become as rare as a landline phone. But, for OWFI 2014 we want to recreate and celebrate the bookstore as a place to gather, browse, and be inspired.

Best of Books of Edmond will once again operate the Conference Book Room. All OWFI members and conference speakers are eligible to participate. Authors who want their books available for sale must conform to the following guidelines.

Authors (or publishers) must notify Doug Kelley, the book room chairperson, by April 7, 2014 of any title(s) they want included in the book room inventory, choosing one of the two options below. Due to limited space, non-speaker titles will be limited to 5 copies on display at any one time. Also, authors of multiple books will be limited to no more than 5 titles on display. (You may, of course, restock as sales warrant.)

Option No. 1: Best of Books will order your books from Ingram or your publisher if they are returnable and the bookstore receives the standard retailer discount. Best of Books will not purchase books via the Internet, self-published books, or electronic books. (See Options 2 for books published by those methods.) Best of Books will split profits of this option with OWFI. Neither Best of Books nor OWFI will assume responsibility for delays in shipment, short ships or publisher/shipper errors.

Option 2: Authors provide the books to be sold by Best of Books. Books will be sold at retail price, which will be provided by the author, along with quantity delivered, author name, address, and return shipping information. Of this retail price, the author will receive 70% and Best of Book will collect 30%, of which 10% will go to OWFI. Those using this option should bring in their books to the book room starting Thursday evening (during Best of Books’ set-up time) or Friday morning or whenever you arrive at the conference. Unsold books must be picked up at the end of the session Saturday afternoon. If the remaining books are not picked up, the author will be billed shipping to have them returned.

Authors may ship their books directly to the Embassy Suites to arrive between April 21 through May 1, addressed to: OWFI Book Room, Embassy Suites Hotel, 1815 South Meridian, Oklahoma City, OK, 73108. The hotel phone number is 405-682-6000.

Do not contact Best of Books directly. Contact Doug Kelley, 2500 Barnes, Pocola, OK 74902; Phone: 918-436-7103 (home) or 479-459-2429 (cell); E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Send the following information: Author name; Title; ISBN; Publisher; Release date

Finally, please remember that Best of Books is in the book selling business, and despite the many books sold during the conference they don't make a great deal of money considering all the work they put in. Please treat their staff with the respect and courtesy with which they treat us.

See you in May.

Thursday Night at #OWFI14

 What are you doing May 1st at 7:30?

Watching another rerun of Big Bang Theory ...

Or attending the early add-on session of OWFI 2104 with Andrew E. Kaufman?

If you need help deciding, answer a few questions.

Have you thought about self-publishing?

Have you ever wished that you could be on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers List for more than one hundred days?

Have you wondered how it feels to have your combined sales reach the six figure mark?

Have you wanted to be picked up by one of the new Amazon imprints?

Or

Would you rather see a rerun of Leonard Hofstadter and Penny break up and get back together?

I thought so.

So join us Thursday, May 1st, 7:30 p.m. in OKC for OWFI2014 and hear Andrew E. Kaufman – a true Amazon success story because he has self-published, been on the Amazon 100 for 100 days, reached a combined sales six figure mark, and been published by the new Amazon imprints.

(But he has never dated Penny.)

To participate in the Andrew E. Kaufman presentation mark it on your #OWFI2014 registration. (Online Registration)

You must preregister to attend.

REMINDER!!

All membership dues for affiliates and members-at-large are due immediately.

We appreciate your confidence in our organization to bring you the latest news, trends and information about the writing world. We look forward to your continuing to be in membership with OWFI.

2014 OWFI Conference

May 1-3, Embassy Suites,

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Conference Highlights:

OWFI is two days jam packed with presentation by authors, editors, and publishers. On top of that we also like to squeeze in as many extras as possible. Here is a list of some of the highlights for OWFI 2014. Keep in mind, this is only a partial list.

Friday Night

Famous Authors Banquet. Each year we like to celebrate the accomplishments of our fellow OWFI members at our Famous Authors Banquet. Some of the highlights of the evening will include.

Wonderful food (and an evening that I don’t have to cook.)

Each table centerpiece will highlight an OWFI member’s book, blog, or any aspect of their writing they want to highlight. See Heather Davis’ Centerpiece tab on the OWFI.org site for information.

Individual recognition of OWFI members who had books published since our last conference.

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