Unpublished Manuscript Awards
CATEGORY 1 – POETRY, UNRHYMED-SHORT
Category Sponsor: The Inklings
Judge: Jacque Graham
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "Choice" by Jennifer DiCamillo, Arkansas Ridge Writers
SECOND PLACE: "Three Reasons" by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: "Wind" by Barbara Shepherd, Mid-Oklahoma Writers
1st Honorable Mention: "Storm" by Vivian Zabel, Pen & Keyboard Writers
2nd Honorable Mention: "Graveyard of the Blue and Gray" by Shelley Anne Richter, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
3rd Honorable Mention: "Nocturnal Journey" by Regina Philpott McLemore, Tahlequah Writers
4th Honorable Mention: "Sunsets" by Una Belle Townsend, Hunt & Peck
5th Honorable Mention: "Dying Wish" by Natasha Tinsley, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
CATEGORY 2 – POETRY, UNRHYMED-LONG
Category Sponsor: Norman Galaxy of Writers
Judge: Mariana Llanos
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "Road Trip to the Panhandle" by Michelle Hendry, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
SECOND PLACE: "Instructions to Reader: Herta Muller Intertwined in Brain Space with White Space" by Doris Beaton, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
THIRD PLACE: "As We Become Our Mothers" by Lynda Stephenson, Ozark Mountain Guild of Writers
1st Honorable Mention: "Some Thoughts While Driving Home From School" by Sharon Edge Martin, Member at Large
2nd Honorable Mention: "What It Sounds Like" by Katy Mullins, Nevermore Edits
3rd Honorable Mention: "Country, Broken" by Nancy Scott Hanway, Member at Large
4th Honorable Mention: "Just North of Abilene" by Carol Lavelle Snow, Tulsa NightWriters
CATEGORY 3 – Poetry, Rhymed-Short
Judge: Maria Veres
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "Mesa Wind" by Storme Maynard, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: "And I Haven't Been Swimming Since" by James C. Arnold, Enid Writers Club
THIRD PLACE: "Blest Be" by Judith S. Rycroft, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
1st Honorable Mention: "What'll They Say Someday" by Ann Cleary, Bartlesville WordWeavers
2nd Honorable Mention: "Last Look" by Billie Hollady Skelley, Member at Large
3rd Honorable Mention: "The Blessing" by Regina Philpott McLemore, Tahlequah Writers
CATEGORY 4 – Poetry, Rhymed-long
Judge: Erin York
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "The Parting" by Gail Mattingly, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
SECOND PLACE: "Sacred Night" by Storme Maynard, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: "Wild-eyed, Honey-eyed, Blurry-eyed Sun Child" by Kimberly Toscano, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Kimba's Day" by Meg Welch Dendler, Ozark Mountain Guild of Writers
2nd Honorable Mention: "Pet Peeve" by Billie Holladay Skelley, Member at Large
3rd Honorable Mention: "The Revenge of the Leaves" by Inez Phillips, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
4th Honorable Mention: "Mix Max" by Jodi Heaton Hurst, Pen & Keyboard Writers
CATEGORY 5 – Essay
Category Sponsor: Jan Morrill
Judge: Linda Apple
Category Chair: Connie Blaylock
FIRST PLACE: "The Essence of Bravery" by Ruth Weeks, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: "Woman Vs Woman" by Dianne McCartney, Rose Rock wRiters
THIRD PLACE: "Would You Do It Again?" by Cindy Molder, Bartlesville WordWeavers
1st Honorable Mention: "A Special Table" by Susan Blumenthal Donchin, Member at Large
2nd Honorable Mention: "Childhood Magic" by Billie Holladay Skelley, Member at Large
3rd Honorable Mention: "The List" by James C. Arnold, Enid Writers Club
CATEGORY 6 - Technical and/or How-To Article
Judge: Wayne Harris-Wyrick
Category Chair: Marcia Preston
FIRST PLACE: "Property Values Stigmatized by Death" by Marty Ludlum, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: "How to Keep Your Teeth" by Lisbeth L. McCarty, Norman Galaxy of Writers
THIRD PLACE: "How to Survive a Siege" by Josh Hutchins, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Smoking in the Slow Cooker" by H.B. Berlow, Rose Rock wRiters
2nd Honorable Mention: "Sleep, Pray, Love, and Of Course, Laugh" by Christine Jarmola, Bartlesville WordWeavers
CATEGORY 7 - Feature Article: Nonfiction (Any Subject)
Category Sponsor: Carolyn Leonard
Judge: Tara Lynn Thompson
Category Chair: Michelle Hendry
FIRST PLACE: "Helen at Hallett" by Ann Cleary, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: "But Son, You Don’t Need a Pierced Ear" by Mary Flowers Brannon, Norman Galaxy of Writers
THIRD PLACE: "Cemetery Ghoul" by Regina Philpott McLemore, Tahlequah Writers
1st Honorable Mention: "The Devil's Music" by Inez Phillips, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
CATEGORY 8 - Blog: Nonfiction
Judge: Heather Davis
Category Chair: Shannon Iwanski
FIRST PLACE: "When Your Day Job Sucks You Dry" by Maria Veres, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
SECOND PLACE: "10 Fictional Careers I'd Be Great At" by Marisa Mohi, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: "A City Girl's Dream" by Kristin Kaldahl, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
1st Honorable Mention: "A Promise to Keep" by M. Carolyn Steele, Tulsa NightWriters
2nd Honorable Mention: "Depression Lies" by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
3rd Honorable Mention: "Investing in the Future" by Dianne McCartney, Rose Rock wRiters
CATEGORY 9 - Inspirational Article
Category Sponsor: Linda Apple
Judge: Rachelle Gardner
Category Chair: Maria Veres
FIRST PLACE: "Buttons for Christmas" by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: "Choosing to Believe" by Heather Davis, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: "The Widow" by Sally Jadlow, Kansas City Writers Group
1st Honorable Mention: "Robin Redbreast Family" by Charles R. Richter II, Member at Large
2nd Honorable Mention: "What Happened in Mount Ida Before Zeus Was Born" by Carolyn Wall, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
CATEGORY 10 - Memoir/Nostalgia Short Story
Category Sponsor: Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
Judge: Frank Steele
Category Chair: Sharon Martin
FIRST PLACE: "Sauerkraut" by Teresa Coffey, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: "Adventures in Camping" by Russell Gayer, Ozark Mountain Guild of Writers
THIRD PLACE: "Mama’s Treadle Sewing Machine" by Jeanie Horn, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Meeting Grandfather" by Christine Jarmola, Bartlesville WordWeavers
2nd Honorable Mention: "The Farewell Tour" by Biruta S. Harris, Pen & Keyboard Writers
3rd Honorable Mention: "Tea is Ready" by Marisa Mohi, Member at Large
4th Honorable Mention: "A Patch of Sky" by M. Carolyn Steele, Tulsa NightWriters
CATEGORY 11 - Flash Fiction
Category Sponsor: Enid Writers Club
Judge: Bill Berhardt
Category Chair: Sharon Worthey
FIRST PLACE: "Loneliness" by Mary Ann Kerl, McAlester’s McSherryWriters
SECOND PLACE: "Sandy" by H.B. Berlow, Rose Rock wRiters
THIRD PLACE: "Mopar" by Chris Kelsey, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Red Lips, Spike Heels, and Attitude" by Mary Flowers Brannon, Norman Galaxy of Writers
2nd Honorable Mention: "The Choker" by Josh Hutchins, Member at Large
3rd Honorable Mention: "The Rain" by Barbara Shepherd, Mid-Oklahoma Writers
CATEGORY 12 - Short-Short Story (Adult): Fiction
Category Sponsor: Tulsa Nightwriters, in honor of Peggy Fielding
Judge: Mark Alpert
Category Chair: Shannon Iwanski
FIRST PLACE: "Ghost Maker" by Pepper Hume, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: "God and Moses… A Deleted Scene" by Josh Hutchins, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: "The Hold-Up" by Nick Lyon, Rose Rock wRiters
1st Honorable Mention: "God at the Beach" by Nancy Scott Hanway, Member at Large
2nd Honorable Mention: "Unnoticed" by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
3rd Honorable Mention: "Facially Gifted Queen of Denial" by Lisbeth L. McCarty, Norman Galaxy of Writers
4th Honorable Mention: "Through My Child’s Eyes" by Dianne McCartney, Rose Rock wRiters
CATEGORY 13 - Juvenile Short Story: Fiction
Judge: Melissa Edwards
Category Chair: Connie Blaylock
FIRST PLACE: "Wesley Whistled While Working" by Lisbeth L. McCarty, Norman Galaxy of Writers
SECOND PLACE: "Candy Cane Jane's Special Place" by Cathy L. Collar, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: "Space Invasions" by Renee’ La Viness, Tulsa NightWriters
CATEGORY 14 - Young Adult Short Story: Fiction
Category Sponsor: Ruth Weeks
Judge: Courtney Knight
Category Chair: Nick Lyon
FIRST PLACE: "The Angler" by Barbara Shepherd, Mid-Oklahoma Writers
SECOND PLACE: "I Never Danced for Chairman Mao" by Carolyn Wall, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
THIRD PLACE: "A Rare Find" by Billie Holladay Skelley, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "The Games Boys Play" by Nancy Harmon, Member at Large
CATEGORY 15 - Short Story (Adult): Fiction
Category Sponsor: Pen & Keyboard Writers
Judge: Samantha March
Category Chair: Savvy Thorne
FIRST PLACE: "Love in the Time of Scurvy" by Jere Ellison, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: "The Countdown Diary" by Patrick McCully, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: "Daisies and Roses" by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
CATEGORY 16 - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Story: Fiction
Category Sponsor: SoonerCon and Sharon Worthey
Judge: Jack Burgos
Category Chair: Inez Phillips
FIRST PLACE: "Hypothesis of Self" by Storme Maynard, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: "The Egg" by Jennifer DiCamillo, Arkansas Ridge Writers
THIRD PLACE: "They" by R.A. Hogan, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Homecoming" by Jeff Dosser, Member at Large
2nd Honorable Mention: "What Happens Before the End" by H.B. Berlow, Rose Rock wRiters
3rd Honorable Mention: "Two Wishes" by Regina Philpott McLemore, Tahlequah Writers
CATEGORY 17 - Horror Short Story: Fiction
Category Sponsor: Richard Thomas
Judge: CJ Miles
Category Chair: Erin Cochran
FIRST PLACE: "Welcome to the Masquerade" by Z Lee, Nevermore Edits
SECOND PLACE: "Creepy Crawly" by Storme Maynard, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: "Change of the Guard" by Cary Osborne, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Consequences" by Cathy L. Collar, Bartlesville WordWeavers
2nd Honorable Mention: "The Demon in the Mirror" by H.B. Berlow, Rose Rock wRiters
CATEGORY 18 - Prose Humor: Fiction or Nonfiction
Judge: Sabrina Fish
Category Chair: Mari Farthing
FIRST PLACE: "The Beaumont City Wedding of the Century" by Storme Maynard, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: "The Living Dead" by Marlys Gallagher, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
THIRD PLACE: "Getting Old is Not for Sissies" by Russell Gayer, Ozark Mountain Guild of Writers
1st Honorable Mention: "Sweet Justice" by Cathy L. Collar, Bartlesville WordWeavers
2nd Honorable Mention: "Learning to Drive" by Gail Mattingly, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
CATEGORY 19 - Play, Film, or TV Script
Category Sponsor: Amy Shojai
Judge: Adriana Mather
Category Chair: Julia Mozingo
FIRST PLACE: Takeover by C.M. Healy, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: Road Repairs by Carol Lavelle Snow, Tulsa NightWriters
THIRD PLACE: The Case of the Case Grocery Store by Lisbeth L. McCarty, Norman Galaxy of Writers
CATEGORY 20 - Picture Book
Category Sponsor: Creations By Cathy
Judge: Stephanie Hansen
Category Chair: Sally Jadlow
FIRST PLACE: Lily and Buttons by Meredith Fraser, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: A Dog Named Bill by Sandra Lawson, Hunt & Peck
THIRD PLACE: Squircle by Natalie Rebacz, Bartlesville WordWeavers
1st Honorable Mention: Eunice and Kate by Mariana Llanos, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
2nd Honorable Mention: If My Best Friend Were a Lion by Heather Davis, Bartlesville WordWeavers
3rd Honorable Mention: The Stinky Cheese Incident by Kimberly Toscano, Member at Large
CATEGORY 21 - Middle Grade Book
Category Sponsor: 4 RV Publishing
Judge: Myloe Yeager
Category Chair: Staci Mauney
FIRST PLACE: Coron Harrier and the Astral Flare by Jere Ellison, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: Destiny’s Diamond by Cathy L. Collar, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: Niko and the Frozen Kingdom by Laura Atancio Edington, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: The Pink Sneaker Club by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
CATEGORY 22 - Young Adult Novel
Category Sponsor: Christina Consolino
Judge: Eric Reitan
Category Chair: Staci Mauney
FIRST PLACE: Duck Soup by Kimberly Toscano, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: Stormborn 2: The Knave and the Fool by Jack Burgos, Nevermore Edits
THIRD PLACE: Dead Doll by Erin York, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: Sundancer by Haleigh Diann, Nevermore Edits
2nd Honorable Mention: Perceiver of the World’s Sounds by Erin Fuller, Member at Large
CATEGORY 23 - MAINSTREAM NOVEL
Category Sponsor: Marcia Preston
Judge: Barbara McMinn
Category Chair: Jennifer McMurrain
FIRST PLACE: Whittaker by Sharon Ervin, McAlester’s McSherryWriters
SECOND PLACE: Welcome to Sanctuary by Dianne McCartney, Rose Rock wRiters
THIRD PLACE: Wisteria by Pepper Hume, Bartlesville WordWeavers
1st Honorable Mention: After We’ve Fallen by Christina Consolino, Member at Large
CATEGORY 24 - ROMANCE NOVEL
Category Sponsor: Rhonda Penders
Judge: Rhonda Penders
Category Chair: Shelley Pagach
FIRST PLACE: Autumn’s Kiss by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: Stealing Second by Heather Davis, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: Diomere’s Healer by Sabrina Fish, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: Possession by Jaydyn Chelcee, Green Country Ruff Riters
CATEGORY 25 - HISTORICAL NOVEL
Category Sponsor: Winona Bennett Cross
Judge: Hannah Joy Wilkinson
Category Chair: Sharon Worthey
FIRST PLACE: The Baptist Bootlegger by Nick Lyon, Rose Rock wRiters
SECOND PLACE: Mail-Order-Bride, Plus Two by Emily Kaye Ash, Green Country Ruff Riters
THIRD PLACE: Liquid Grace by Lutricia Clifton, Member at Large
CATEGORY 26 - Mystery/Suspense Novel
Category Sponsor: Kathlyn Smith
Judge: Ally Robertson
Category Chair: Sabrina Fish
FIRST PLACE: Chrysalis: A Race to Death by Mary Coley, Tulsa NightWriters
SECOND PLACE: The Horned Owl: A Sam Chitto Mystery by Lutricia Clifton, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: A Whisper in the Dark by Dianne McCartney, Rose Rock wRiters
1st Honorable Mention: Father of the Year by Sharon Ervin, McAlester’s McSherryWriters
2nd Honorable Mention: Dead Reckoning by Susan Shay, Tulsa NightWriters
CATEGORY 27 - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel
Judge: Joshua Danker-Dake
Category Chair: Nick Lyon
FIRST PLACE: Owlhead Underground by Audra Williams, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: The Gynophobe and the Girl by Jere Ellison, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: Fall of the Veil: Memories Under Water by Z Lee, Nevermore Edits
CATEGORY 28 - Horror Novel
Judge: Adrean Messmer
Category Chair: Shelley Pagach
FIRST PLACE: Bloodsong by Jere Ellison, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: Neverland by Jeff Dosser, Member at Large
THIRD PLACE: Video Cops by Jenova Shelter, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
CATEGORY 29 - Nonfiction Book
Category Sponsor: Robbie White
Judge: Amy Shojai
Category Chair: Linda Shelby
FIRST PLACE: In Heistin's Skin by Shelley Anne Richter, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
SECOND PLACE: When Elephants Roar by Marlys Gallagher, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
THIRD PLACE: Pass the Pickles: The Sweet and Sour of the Sandwich Generation by Heather Davis, Bartlesville WordWeavers
1st Honorable Mention: I Freaking Hate Cancer by Cindy Molder, Bartlesville WordWeavers
Published Book Trophies
CATEGORY 30 - BEST JUVENILE BOOK
Category Sponsor: Maria Polson Veres, in memory of Kathryn Veres
Judge: Tony LoPresti
Category Chair: Jodi Thompson
FIRST PLACE: Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess by Meg Welch Dendler, Ozark Mountain Guild of Writers
CATEGORY 32 - BEST NONFICTION BOOK
Judge: Marla Jones
Category Chair: Jodi Thompson
FIRST PLACE: Write Whatever the Hell You Want–How to Find Joy and Purpose in Writing by Nikki Hanna, Tulsa NightWriters
CATEGORY 33 - BEST BOOK OF POETRY
Category Sponsor: Sandra Soli
Judge: Vivian Zabel
Category Chair: Jodi Thompson
FIRST PLACE: Church People by Maria Veres, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
CATEGORY 34 – BEST BOOK OF FICTION AWARD
Judge: Vickey Kennedy
Category Chair: Jodi Thompson
FIRST PLACE: Shiners by John T. Biggs, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
Crème de la Crème
All first-place entries were read anonymously during the judging process for this award.
Ghost Maker by Pepper Hume, Bartlesville WordWeavers
About the Judges
Mark Alpert is an author of science thrillers and a contributing editor at Scientific American. His first novel, Final Theory, was published in twenty-four languages and became an international bestseller. His other thrillers include The Omega Theory, Extinction, The Furies and The Orion Plan, as well as his trilogy of Young Adult science-fiction novels—The Six, The Siege and The Silence. His next science thriller will be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2019.
Linda Apple’s personal experience essays have been published in sixteen Chicken Soup of the Soul books. She has taught writing workshops across the Midwest in the United Kingdom from her workbooks, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter and Writing From Your Soul, because she believes everyone has a story and those stories matter.
She has served as president for the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Linda and her husband, Neal, live in Northwest Arkansas.
William Bernhardt is the author of 46 books, including the bestselling Ben Kincaid series of legal thrillers and the Red Sneaker series on writing. His most recent novel is Justice Returns (the 19th Ben Kincaid novel).
Jack Burgos is a 33-year-old author of transgressive, speculative fiction living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was born in Miami, Florida, the son of Colombian and Cuban immigrants. He graduated cum laude from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2007, with a B.A. in English, a B.A. in philosophy, a political science minor, and a concentration in creative writing. He graduated with an M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Tulsa in 2013.
Jack co-founded the writing critique group Nevermore Edits in 2012, through which he continues to improve his craft. His work has been published in Happy Days, Sweetheart, Beyond the Nightlight, Now Playing in Theater B, Dark and Dangerous Things III, and The Book of Blasphemous Words. He edited Broken Worlds, published by A Murder of Storytellers. His series Stormborn debuted on May 1, 2017, with its first book, 13 Hearts to Start a Storm.
Jack serves as the webmaster for the Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc. and as the treasurer for Nevermore Edits. When he isn't engaged in writing-related activities, Jack proudly works as a home-based counselor in Youth Services of Tulsa's CARS program.
Venessa Cerasale has had a varied career as an artist, administrator, retail analyst, and police officer. Today, she has turned her considerable talents to her writing and art, and serves as Director of Operation for Oghma Creative Media, a traditional publishing house based in Bentonville, Arkansas. A mother of three and grandmother of two, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and anything to do with rocks, trees, water, and the outdoors, and is hard at work on her first series of novels.
Casey W. Cowan has worked in and around the journalism, artistic, and literary fields for twenty-one years as a reporter, photographer and graphic designer. Tired of working for inflexible companies intent on doing business the same old way, in 2013 he helped co-found Oghma Creative Media, a publishing company built around the idea of authors and artists banding together as a team to take control of and market their work effectively. As Creative Director, he’s responsible for the professional appearance and feel of the lion’s share of Oghma’s publications, from layouts to covers to promotional materials. In the twelve minutes a day he’s not usually working, Casey is also the father of six rowdy teenagers. He enjoys reading, swimming, and target shooting, and he shares his crazy life with his always-supportive wife, Amy. He is also in the midst of writing his debut novel, Fangs Out, first book of the epic Tarleton’s Quarter series of military thrillers following the trials and tribulations of three military families in a near-future World War III.
Joshua Danker-Dake is the author of the acclaimed comic novel The Retail. He is a writer and editor by trade, and the current President of the Tulsa NightWriters. He also serves as the Strategy and Tactics Editor for Diplomacy World, the flagship publication of the Diplomacy hobby. Other things he gets rather excited about include He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, bombastic European power metal, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife and three children.
Heather Davis is a momma, a writer, a blogger, a humorist and has a finely-tuned ability to share every last detail of her life with anyone who will read or listen. Her first book, TMI Mom Oversharing My Life is a number 1 best seller, and it has led the way for three more TMI Mom books: Getting Lucky, Crazy on Board and Girlfriend Rules. Her fifth book Life With Extra Cheese, chronicles her adventures in the sandwich generation and was released to rave reviews. She also has two devotionals, Sundays At The Fields and Mondays with my Daughter. In addition, she is a regular columnist in her local paper and their syndications and she wrote for five years for Metro Family Magazine. When she's not jetting off to NYC to appear on national talk shows (okay–it’s only been one show), she lives in Bartlesville with her very patient husband, Brian, and their two crazy daughters. The nuts don’t fall far from the tree.
Melissa Edwards joined Stonesong as a literary agent in August 2016. Previously, she was a literary agent at the Aaron Priest Literary Agency, where she managed the foreign rights for a 40-year backlist. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School, Melissa began her career as a litigation attorney before transitioning into publishing. She is a tireless advocate for her clients and a constant partner during the publication process and beyond. Melissa represents authors of children’s fiction, adult commercial fiction, and select pop-culture nonfiction. She is looking for warm and timeless middle grade fiction and accessible young adult fiction. For adults, she is looking for fast-paced thrillers and smart women’s fiction. She can be found on Twitter @MelissaLaurenE, where she often tweets her active Manuscript Wishlist requests under #MSWL.
Michael Frizell is the Director of Student Learning Services at Missouri State University and holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He is the editor of The Learning Assistance Review, and his creative nonfiction has been published on the National Gallery of Writing, in Red Ink Journal, The Moon City Review, and others. His poetry has been featured as part of The Good Men Project.
As a writer with TidalWave Comics, he writes comics based on the lives of the famous and infamous. Recent publications include, from the Tribute line: Christopher Reeve, Lewis Carroll; the Fame line: Ian Somerhalder, a tribute to Prince, Miley Cyrus; the Female Force line: Sheryl Sandberg, Brittney Greiner; and the Political Power line: Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, and Elizabeth Warren. Upcoming fiction comics with the publisher include Tony & Cleo, a sequel to the publisher’s best-selling mini-series that places Cleopatra in the modern age, The World of Polka Spot, a children’s story about a world-famous llama who wants to be a movie star diva, and The Fantasy World of Bettie Page: Bettie Page and the Red Menace, a Cold War era sci-fi action graphic novel featuring the authorized likeness of Bettie Page, and James Dean: Timeless, a sci-fi western ongoing series.
He is also the deputy publishing director for Oghma Creative Media, where he serves as the lead for Skye Press, the company’s graphic novel line, and as editor of their western-themed magazine, Saddlebag Dispatches. His graphic novel, Bender, about the serial killer family of the same name from the Midwest, is being serialized in the magazine and will be released later next year in a collected hardcover edition.
Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books & Such Literary Management, representing both fiction and nonfiction. A publishing industry veteran since 1995, she has worked in-house at two publishing companies and worked with more than 150 authors to bring their books to publication. Rachelle represents an impressive list of more than 50 bestselling and award-winning authors, and has edited books published by HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random house and more.
Jacque Graham is retired after teaching English and communication for 30 years. She has loved poetry for a lifetime and wrote her first poem in grade school. Her first published poem was in the O'Collie, Oklahoma State University campus newspaper in 1959. As a member of the Oklahoma Poetry Society, she was chosen to submit poetry for publication in the 1970 and 1980 official anthologies Poets of Oklahoma. Other publicaitons include The Disciple, a magazine for the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.
More recently, she was one of 8 poets included in an anthology, Walking the Earth: Life's Perspectives in Poetry.
Jacque is currently writing a biographical novel about Bell Cobb,who was the first Indian woman, Pioneer Doctor in Indian Territory. She is a member of the Pen and Keyboard Writers in Edmond, OK.
Stephanie Hansen represents debut to New York Times bestselling authors. She's signed authors with small presses to major publishing house distribution. She holds a Master’s and Creative Writing Specialization. Predominately she represents YA SF/F but has a secret addiction for romance. While these are her favorite, she handles everything fiction from children's books to adult thrillers. Previously an editor for Mind’s Eye Literary Magazine, she became a part of Metamorphosis July 2016. Originally looking to help Midwest authors garner the attention of major publishing houses, despite residing in "flyover states", she found camaraderie with multiple agents and editors. She's seeking: YA series, adult SF/F, thrillers & romance. She is intrigued by prose that flows as smoothly as poetry, unforgettable plot twists & well-rounded characters.
Wayne Harris-Wyrick is an astronomer by training. After 40 years working with children as the director of the planetarium in Science Museum Oklahoma, Wayne decided to focus his energies in a new direction. He retired from the museum to become a full-time writer, concentrating mostly on books for children. He has four published books and 4 more in the works, to be released soon. He is also the Non-Fiction Imprint editor for 4RV Publishing and was recently named as the Proof-Copy editor for the company. Wayne writes a monthly astronomy column for The Oklahoman, continuously published since 1984, and has published a dozen astronomy and science articles and science fiction short stories in various national publications. Wayne also offers editing services to novice authors.
In his spare time, he raises 2 kids, three dogs 2 cats, a bird, and 2 guinea pigs with his wife Rocksye.
He also hunts ghosts with paranormal investigation team, Insight Paranormal. This team is the Oklahoma affiliate of The Atlantic Paranormal Society, better known as TAPS.
Marla F. Jones has authored four picture books and is currently illustrating her fifth. Jones has read thousands of children’s books. Literally. As a first grade teacher, story time was her favorite part of the day.
Upon retirement, Marla began writing curriculum for a denominational press, then moved to writing picture books and illustrating them with a colorful mix of media. She uses papers, fabrics and found objects, layering them to create texture and dimension to her folk art style.
Jones is an active member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Oklahoma Writers Federation. She currently owns Doodle and Peck Publishing.
Tony LoPresti is a veteran of theater and independent film. He has coached youth soccer on a local level and fencing with high school age kids on an international level. His children’s cat care book, My Cat, was published in May of 2012 by 4RV Publishing and won an “Excellence in Writing” award from The Cat Writers Association. His Education: B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Accounting, and half-an-MBA. He served as President of OWFI in 2016 and is currently working on a new children’s book, Storm Sentinel,and a concept to prevent the migration of the Asian carp in the Illinois River.
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things beauty, fashion and fitness. In 2011 she published her debut novel and now has five published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, Up To I Do and Defining Her, and one holiday novella, The Christmas Surprise. You can also find her on Youtube sharing beauty reviews and creating makeup tutorials. When she isn’t reading, writing, or vlogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.
Vickey Malone Kennedy (vck) won 1st Place in Genre Fiction in the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition. She won a Darrell Award for Best Mid-South Short Story and she is an OWFI Crème de la Crème recipient.
She received a BA, in Theatre, Acting/Set Design, from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, and continued her Graduate Studies, in Theatre, Acting/Light Design, at Oklahoma State University.
She is a former Editor-In-Chief of 4RV Publishing, former President of Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Inc., and a proud Yard Dog Press author.
A retired Licensed Nurse, vck is now a full time Science Fiction/Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Author, a full time Granny, and a part-time movie extra.
Adriana Mather is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Hang a Witch, and has family roots that go back to Sleepy Hollow, the Salem Witch Trials, the Revolutionary War, and yes, the Titanic. She is also an actor, as well as the co-owner of Zombot Pictures, a production company that makes feature films. Adriana lives in Los Angeles, and you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Barbara McMinn has always had an active imagination. It wasn't until she attended one of Jody Thomas' seminars that she realized that she wasn't mentally defective. Once she put her imagination to work, she has written fifteen books and published them on Amazon.com. Between quilting, a husband of fifty-four years, four children, seven grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren her imagination stays very active.
Eric Reitan, a philosophy professor at Oklahoma State University, has won numerous writing awards, including the 2014 Outstanding Writer Award of the Rose State Writers’ Conference and the 2008 Crème-de-la-Crème Award of the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. His short stories have appeared in numerous venues including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Gamut, and the recent Alien Invasion anthology from Flame Tree Press. His nonfiction books include Is God a Delusion? (named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2009), God’s Final Victory: A Comparative Philosophical Case for Universalism (with John Kronen), and The Triumph of Love: Same-Sex Marriage and the Christian Love Ethic.
Amy Shojai (www.SHOJAI.com) is a certified animal behavior consultant for cats and dogs, and the award-winning author of 30 best selling pet books and pet-centric Thrillers With Bite! Her nonfiction books cover furry babies to old-fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soup-icity. She co-founded the CAT WRITERS ASSOCIATION, created the puppies.about.com site as the Puppies Expert and was the cat behavior expert at cats.About.com, hosted a half hour Internet Pet Peeves radio and appears twice monthly on KXII-TV as the resident pet expert. Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle, as well as national radio and television networks such as CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101. She’s been a consultant to the pet products industry and a host/program consultant for select “furry” TV projects. Amy is also a musician, actor and produced playwright, and brings her unique pet-centric viewpoint to public appearances and performances, audio books (her own and others), writer webinars, and conference keynotes/seminars.
Frank Steele is a published playwright. He has also sold stories to the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery magazine. He has judged many categories for OWFI as well as other writers' organizations. He always looks forward to reading and gently critiquing the works of so many talented writers. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Frank, and he loves to share thoughts and ideas.
Maria Veres is the author of Church People and two other poetry books, as well as several nonfiction e-books. Her poems have appeared in Kansas City Voices, Mid America Poetry Review, Blood and Thunder, and many other magazines. She is a former OWFI officer and teaches writing at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. Visit her at mariapolsonveres.com.
Hannah Joy Wilkinson is a part time Compliance Specialist at a local bank as well as a writer, blogger, and Bethany House book reviewer. She received a Bachelor’s degree in English from Baylor University in Waco, Texas before settling in McAlester, Oklahoma with her beloved husband and their two ornery cats. She enjoys spending time with God in His word with a good cup of coffee, discovering the joys of growing things in the garden, and reading too many books at one time. She has published numerous short stories full of fascinating history ranging from the time of ancient Israel’s judges to the Russian Night Witches of World War II. The Moor and the Maiden is her first Christian historical novel set in the time of the Crusades.
Myloe Yaeger received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy at The University of St. Thomas. She then went on to get a Master of Science in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked as a social worker for the State of Oklahoma Department of Human Services for ten years. She also worked with mentally ill inmates at the Mabel Basset Correctional Center for Women.
Myloe had to take early retirement due to health problems, but what looked like a tragedy at the time has allowed her to follow her childhood dream of being an author.
Before she turned to fiction, Myloe published in several professional, psychological journals including the Journal of the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Research Consortium and the Southwestern Psychological Association.
Erin York is an 28-year-old editor and LGBTQ+ author. She received her BA in Creative Writing with a minor in Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Her first book of poetry, The Light You Cannot Touch, won the international Author's Circle Novel of Excellence - Poetry award in 2017. Her second book of poetry, La Petite Mort, came out in December of 2017. She co-owns Novel Edits with her best friend from middle school, which offers a variety of author services, and is CEO of Grand Magic, LLC, a creative consultation company. She is a PhD student at the University of South Carolina where she is studying the effects of fiction and film on community college student identity development. When she isn't writing, studying, or catching up on sleep, you can probably find her in a hammock by the river or drinking tea in a spot of sunlight.
Vivian Zabel always has had a vivid imagination. As soon as she could write, she began to put stories on paper. She wrote her first poetry when she was eight, and still writes it. Poetry was and is her therapy.
At present, Vivian has ten books to her credit, two co-authored. Her books include several novels, young adult books, and children's books. One of her co-written books, Walking the Earth, includes some of her award-winning poetry. In 2013, I Like Pink, a concept book to help children learn basic colors and shades, was released. Since then, the book won two major awards: the Silver Seal from Children’s Literary Classics and chosen as one of the 15 for the KART Books for Children Readers list. Her most recent releases are children’s books Where Did Panther Go? and A Baby Doll from Santy Claus.
She has edited writings of others for over thirty-five years and has headed 4RV Publishing for over eleven years. Books from the company have won awards, and the company itself was honored with the 2014 Best of Edmond Book Publisher award.
Zabel has spoken and presented workshops at writing conferences and book festivals for several years.