After the closing banquet of OWFI 2013 a very nice man, tried in a very nice way to ask me what qualified me to be the new president of OWFI. Since he was curious, I think others might be too. So, I’ll take advantage of this blog to tell you why I’m your new OWFI President.
I said yes.
Simple as that.
OWFI is different from many other writers’ conferences in that it is run by volunteers.
Forty-five years ago, when the original members gathered to draw up the bylaws, they decided to run on a volunteer basis so that all members could participate and prices could be kept low. That principle is still applied in all that we do today.
Through volunteerism, you can actively participate in the conference and truly get to know the speakers rather than sit by the wayside and observe. Anyone who is a member of OWFI can volunteer; you don’t have to be someone at the proverbial popular table.
Also through volunteerism, we can provide the best conference at the least possible price. Check us out and compare what you get for the money at OWFI to other conferences around the country.
Back to me, which is hard, because I’m not a good self-promoter which is a major drawback in profession that requires us to do just that.
I am mom to two, a wife to one, a theatrical director to many and a writer. I’m also a second generation OWFI-er, as I said in my inauguration speech. My mother, Charlotte Smith, has been a member since the 1970s, and the rule at our house was never schedule anything for the first weekend in May as that was, and still is, OWFI weekend.
I have been a member of both the statewide organization and my local WordWeavers group for years. Through both I’ve been given motivation and education in the writing world. I’ve won numerous writing contests including placing many times at OWFI and finally winning a first this year. Believe me, that was quite a thrill.
Just like most of you I have submitted and been rejected more times than I would like to count. I have one book on Amazon, Murder Goes to Church, am a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us and have stories in my our WordWeavers’ Anthology Seasons Remembered. (Blatant self-promotion.) I have a blog that I enjoy being heretical on at www.cdjarmola.com. And like most of you, I have two completed manuscripts sitting on my computer at this time still waiting for someone from the big six NYC publishers to call me up and beg to publish them.
I give major credit to two things that have molded me as a writer: First my mother (maybe shouldn’t have used the word “things”); and second, the fact that she took me to my first OWFI conference. Without those two I would have been like the million other people out there who say they’re going to write a book but never do.
Until then be sure to write—that’s what makes a writer a writer.