ORA’s Jill Slack and Ruth Hunter Spoke to Springfield Writers’ Guild

Ozarks Romance Authors vice president Ruth Hunter and president Jill Slack spoke to Springfield Writers' Guild on Saturday, April 23, 2011, on blogging and social media for writers.
Ozarks Romance Authors officers Jill Slack and Ruth Hunter spoke to Springfield Writers’ Guild April 23, 2011.

Their goal was to introduce SWG members to the importance of social media and blogging as ways for writers to boost their careers.

President Jill Slack spoke about social media sites Facebook and Twitter for social media, and using WordPress for buidling blogs and web sites.

Vice President Ruth Hunter spoke about blogging strategies and using Blogspot to build web sites and blogs.

Springfield Writers’ Guild is a chapter of Missouri Writers’ Guild.

There was a good crowd at the Heritage Cafeteria for the meeting, which is where Ozarks Romance Authors used to meet years ago. Most of the SWG members in attendance do not have Facebook or Twitter accounts or blogs, and there were many questions to be answered following the presentataions.

It is always great for the writers’ groups within our region to work together, and Jill and Ruth had a great time. They appreciated several Ozarks Romance Authors members who took the time to attend the SWG meeting, and there were a few who overlap with membership in both groups.

Ozarks Romance Authors, a non-profit group for Missouri writers of all genres, was founded in 1987. The regional writers’ group holds its meetings the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway, in Springfield, Missouri.

Critique group begins at 10:00 a.m., lunch is at noon at Panera next door, and our meeting with guest speaker begins at 1:00 p.m.

Visitors are welcome. Your first three visits are free.

Our annual conference will be held July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. To learn more about the amazing lineup of speakers and workshops, click HERE to visit our conference page.

If you have questions about the group, please email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com or call (417) 597-4716.

Kaye Calkins is Barbara Bettis’ guest today for Writers’ Wednesday

Author Kaye Calkins

Author Kaye Calkins

It’s Writers’ Wednesday over at the blog of our very own Barbara Bettis! Today, Barb’s guest is fellow Ozarks Romance Authors member Kaye Calkins.

Barb’s blog is always filled with interesting stuff from writers. It’s a quick read, and you’ll enjoy it.

KAYE CALKINS
Kaye Calkins’ first manuscript, “Deverell’s Dilemma,” was recently accepted by Avalon Books.

Selling your first (or any!) book is so incredibly exciting. Would you like to hear the story of how Kaye found out Avalon wanted to buy her first book? Then click HERE for the scoop. It’s a great story!

Visit Kaye Calkins online by clicking HERE.

BARBARA BETTIS
Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features!

Kaye Calkins joins Barbara Bettis for Writers' Wednesday on Barb's blog April 26, 2011.

Kaye Calkins joins Barbara Bettis for Writers' Wednesday on Barb's blog April 26, 2011.

Are you following us on Twitter yet?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and let us know so we can follow you! As of today, we have 858 followers, and we would love to see this number grow.

We’re having a blast with our tweets and getting to know others in the writing community.

Not many writers’ groups in the Springfield, Missouri, area (or #sgf as it’s known on Twitter) are active on Twitter. We’re one of the first.

So far, we have used Twitter to publicize last year’s Weta Writing Contest and we received more entries than ever before.

We have also used Twitter to post tweets about our upcoming 2011 writing contest, with its deadline for entries of May 16, 2011. We have also spread the word via Twitter about our 2011 conference, which will be held July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Missouri.

One of the fun (and exhausting) things that we do with Twitter is to have “live tweeting” going on during some of the monthly meetings of Ozarks Romance Authors. While our special guest is speaking, we share notes as fast as we can, relaying the information to YOU, our Twitter followers.

You can find us here: @OzarksRomance

Writers’ Wednesday with Novelist Tracy Garrett

Novelist Tracy Garrett

Novelist Tracy Garrett


It’s Writers’ Wednesday once again over at the blog of our very own Barbara Bettis!

TRACY GARRETT
Tracy is an award-winning multi-published author, who says she always loved to disappear into the worlds created within the pages of a book. An accomplished musician, she merged her need for creativity, her love of history, and her passion for reading when she began writing western historical romance. An active member of Romance Writers of America, Ozarks Romance Authors, and Dallas Area Romance Authors, Tracy now resides in Missouri with her husband and their fuzzy pal, Wrigley.

Tracy’s debut novel, “Touch of Texas,” is available HERE, and “Touched by Love” is available HERE.

Visit Tracy online by clicking HERE.

BARBARA BETTIS
Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features!

Novelist Tracy Garrett is featured on Writers' Wednesday

Novelist Tracy Garrett is featured on Writers' Wednesday

Frequently Asked Questions About Our 2011 Annual Fiction Writers’ Contest

Each year, Ozarks Romance Authors is asked a lot of the same questions about our annual fiction writers’ contest, which is named in honor of one of our founders, the late novelist Weta Nichols.

As we receive more questions via our Facebook and Twitter pages, we will post the answers here for reference.

Details about the 2011 contest, including guidelines for submission, are available by clicking HERE.

Q: When is the deadline?
A: Midnight USA Central Time on May 23, 2011. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: I don’t write romance. Can I still enter?
A: Yes! Contest is open to all fiction genres. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: I’m not a member of your writers’ group. Can I still enter the #writing #contest?
A: Absolutely! http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Must I live in the USA to enter?
A: No! We’ve had entries from all over the world. They just need to be in English. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Is it true that published authors can’t enter the #writing #contest?
A: No. Pub authors are welcome to enter. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: I placed in another #writing #contest. Can I still enter?
A: Yes, as long as the piece you submit is unpublished. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Who are the judges?
A: Final round judges are lit agent Louise Fury and Avalon editor Lia Brown. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Do I send my entire manuscript to enter the #writing #contest?
A: No, just the first 10 pages. Details here: http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Can I enter your #writing #contest online?
A: Yes! All of the details are here: http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: I’ve never heard of your #writers #group. Are you new?
A: No. We’re a nonprofit in Missouri USA, founded in 1987. http://ow.ly/4mWt9

Q: Isn’t the deadline for your #writing #contest May 16?
A: No, we extended it to May 23, 2011, due to a PayPal glitch. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Is your #writing #contest open to writers outside of the USA?
A: Yes! As long as the manuscript is in English. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: I can’t come to your #annual #conference in July. Will I be disqualified?
A: No! Winners need not be present to win. http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Are there prizes available for your #writing #contest?
A: Yes! $100 1st, $50 2nd, $25 3rd. Info here: http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Does the cover page count as 1 of my 10 pages?
A: No. The 10 pages should begin with page 1 of your manuscript.

Q: Should I include my dedication page? It’s very special to me.
A: No. Your 10-page limit is prime real estate. Drop us into the story.

Q: Should I use my favorite font on my submission?
A: No. Instructions are available here: http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: I didn’t see details on single space vs. double space.
A: This is addressed here: http://ow.ly/4lYIt

Q: Is there a theme my novel must follow to be included?
A: No. Any genre is welcome. No non-fiction or poetry.

Q: Can I enter via US mail?
A: Yes, but we prefer emailed submissions, as do most editors.

Q: I’m not good at proofing or editing. Can I still enter?
A: Yes, but proofing and editing are part of the writing process. Judges won’t polish manuscript for you.

Q: I need to include a few paragraphs to set up the story and let the judge know what’s going on. Should I count this page as 1 of the 10 pages?
A: Your 10 pages should be the first 10 pages of the manuscript. There shouldn’t be a need to share info with the judge to set up the story. The story should be strong enough to stand on its own, without explanation.

Q: I entered your contest and I’m thinking about coming to the conference. Can I register online?
A: Yes! Details about the speakers, their topics, and a link to register online are HERE.

Q: I have a really great non-fiction book. I think your judges will really like it. Can I enter?
A: We are only accepting fiction for this contest. If you are interested in submitting non-fiction, Ozarks Romance Authors publishes its own magazine, and accepts non-fiction, fiction, essays, articles, recipes, artwork, and photography by members. If you’re interested in becoming a member in order to particpate in this publication, you are welcome to visit one of our monthly meetings or email us for more information. Click HERE for information about our magazine. Click HERE for information about our monthly meetings, and/or email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com.

Q: How will winners be notified?
A: Winners will be announced at our 2011 Annual Conference scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel Conference Center in Springfield, Missouri. If you are not able to attend, you will be notified via email. We will ask winners for their mailing addresses so that we can send their certificates and prizes.

Q: I’m interested in entering next year. Will you notify me when submissions are accepted?A: The easiest way for you to find out about our 2012 contest and conference would be to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Click HERE to follow us on Facebook. Click HERE to follow us on Twitter.

Q: I have a question that is not addressed here. How can I get in touch with someone?
A: Email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com, or call and leave a message at (417) 597-4716 and we will return your call.

May 7, 2011 – Mia Marlow

Novelist Mia Marlowe is scheduled to present “What a Novel Idea!” at our May 7, 2011, meeting. This topic will teach us about something vital — story structure.

How can a writer be sure her story isn’t full of holes or missed opportunities? Listen to the voices of the ancient bards. For centuries, story-tellers have been perfecting the craft of weaving tales. We can stand on their shoulders.

Based on Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, Mia explains the mythic structures that form plot points your readers are already pre-programmed to respond to. WHAT A NOVEL IDEA will help writers be certain their plots will hit all the readers’ (and editors’) hot-buttons.

Following her presentation at our meeting, she will be signing books at Half Price Books of the Ozarks, a fabulous book store in the Plaza Shopping Center, 1950 S. Glenstone, Suite O. We will be there from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., so stop by and say hello.

We’re so excited for the talented Diana Groe (who writes as Emily Bryan and Mia Marlowe) to return to the Ozarks! She is a native of West Plains, but is now based near Boston, Massachusetts.

Mia learned much of what she knows about storytelling from singing. A classically trained soprano, she won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and has shared a stage with Placido Domingo. As she prepared for operatic roles, she devised back stories for her characters. Since she’s worn a real corset, and had to sing high C’s in one, she empathizes with the trials of her fictional heroines. But in Mia’s stories, they don’t die in a Parisian garret. They get to live and keep the hero!

Now an award-winning author, she writes historical romance for multiple publishing houses. Her debut title received advance ovations from romance luminaries. #1 New York Times bestseller Victoria Alexander says Mia’s Touch of a Thief has “adventure and heat and everything I want in a great story!” UK’s BooksMonthly has crowned Mia Marlowe “the queen of saucy historical romance.”

You can visit her at any of the following places: Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

Ozarks Romance Authors, a non-profit group for writers of all genres founded in 1987, holds its meetings the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway, in Springfield, Missouri.

Join us for critique group at 10:00 a.m., lunch at noon, and our meeting/guest speaker at 1:00 p.m.

Visitors are welcome. Your first three visits are free.

Our annual conference will be held July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. To learn more about the amazing lineup of speakers and workshops, visit our conference page.

If you have questions about the group, please email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com.

NOTE: When the first Saturday of the month falls on a holiday weekend, we often reschedule. If you’re thinking of visiting and it’s a holiday weekend, please email us to find out if we have rescheduled.

Author Lisa Wells is the Writers’ Wednesday guest over at Barbara Bettis’ blog

Lisa Wells, author of the sassy contemporary romance novel, "Dibs."

Lisa Wells, author of the sassy contemporary romance novel, "Dibs."


Are you ready for another does of Writers’ Wednesdsay? Our pal Barbara Bettis continues her series on her blog, with fellow member of Ozarks Romance Authors Lisa Wells as her guest.

LISA WELLS
Lisa Wells’ first book, “Dibs,” is a spicy, fun read.

Everyone knows there are three things you don’t take away from a woman. Her chocolate, her wine or her ability to have an orgasm. When fantasy coordinator Lacey Valentine finds herself in the unfortunate situation of not being able to reach the big O, she sets out on a mission to get it back. Hunky musician Covey James has just inherited millions of dollars. His wish is to live the life of a playboy. His grandmother’s wish is to see him and his two brothers settled down while she’s still living. His grandmother has a way of getting her way and he ends up on the hunt for Mrs. James. When he makes a pit stop to help a damsel in need of an orgasm, his plans go astray.

In addition to being a member of ORA, Lisa is a member of Romance Writers of America.

You can find “Dibs” online by visiting the web site of The Wild Rose Press HERE.

BARBARA BETTIS
Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features!

Lisa Wells, author of "Dibs," is Barbara Bettis' guest for Writers' Wednesday.

Lisa Wells, author of "Dibs," is Barbara Bettis' guest for Writers' Wednesday.

Author Jennifer Jakes makes an appearance on Barbara Bettis’ Writers’ Wednesday series

Novelist Jennifer Jakes

Novelist Jennifer Jakes

Barbara Bettis’ popular blog series, Writers’ Wednesday, continues! This week, fellow Ozarks Romance Authors member Jennifer Jakes is Barb’s guest.

To read the interview (including an excerpt from Jennifer’s book, “Rafe’s Redemption”), click HERE.

JENNIFER JAKES
Jennifer Jakes describes herself as a chronic insomniac who got used to making up stories while waiting to fall asleep. “It was a lot more interesting than counting sheep. Maybe too interesting, because I started staying awake so I could figure out ‘what happened’ to my characters. For the sake of my health, I began writing the stories on paper – during the day. So far it’s working out pretty good:)”

“Rafe’s Redemption” was a 2010 Golden Heart finalist, grand prize winner in the Gateway to the Best contest, first place winner in the Gateway to the Best contest, and second place winner in ORA‘s Weta Nichols fiction contest.

In addition to ORA, Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Missouri Romance Writers of America (MoRWA).

Visit Jennifer’s web site by clicking HERE. Her blog, featuring Man Candy Monday, is available by clicking HERE.

http://barbarabettis.blogspot.com/2011/04/writers-wednesday-welcomes-jennifer.html

BARBARA BETTIS
Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks. In addition to membership in Romance Writers of America, she is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features!

Writers' Wednesday with Jennifer Jakes

Writers' Wednesday with Jennifer Jakes