The conference is over but there’s always next year!



September 20, 2014

Wondering what you missed out on?

Check out some of the blog posts from this year’s attendees.

ORACON 2014 details coming soon!

ORACON Afterglow by Lisa Medley

What a difference a year makes by S.D. Keeling

My hat almost stole the show by Allison Merritt

Friends of ORACON 2013 by Sharon Kizzah-Holmes

ORACON 2013 by Susan Keene

McStubs Monday Musings by S.J. McMillan

ORACON offered everthing a writer needs by Sara Kay Joran

Milestone reached: First book signing by Vera Jane Shultz

ORACON 2013 by Kim Piddington

ORAcon 2013 by Holly Atkinson

Publishing, What to Do, What to Do…ORAcon2013 by Brianna Boes



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ozarks Romance Authors Annual Conference

University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center

Springfield, MO

Book your room now! 

Call 417-864-7333 to book by Aug. 21.

Mention Ozarks Romance Authors to secure this fantastic rate!


Workshops – Pitch Sessions – Speakers – Headshots – Networking – Fun

We have a fantastic lineup of speakers. 

You are invited to Ozarks Romance Authors’ Annual Fiction Writers’ Conference!This event is not just for romance writers. The fundamentals of good writing are universal, and you will learn vital information about the publishing industry, no matter the genre you write.Stay tuned for more details as plans are confirmed. We will also announce the winners for the 2013 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest, named in honor of the woman who founded our group in 1987, the late novelist Weta Nichols.

PITCH SESSION SIGNUPS ARE NOW OPEN! Once you register for the conference and pay through PayPal, you can use your PayPal confirmation number to signup for ONE 10 minute, 1-on-1 pitch session with either Foreword Literary Agent Laurie McLean or Samhain Acquiring Editor Holly Atkinson. After you are registered, return to this page and click here  PITCH SIGNUP. If more spots are available, they will be announced the morning of the conference and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

ORA 2012 Headshots LoRes (1)Sharon Davis of Davis Photographic Design is offering headshots again this year. The fee is $30 for a quality image suitable for book covers and social media sites. Pay for yours and make your appointment now.

After you’ve paid,  reserve your spot in front of Sharon’s camera!

Join us Friday, Sept. 20 for a Meet The Authors/Booksigning event the night before the conference from 4-6 p.m. at Barnes & Noble.

Wondering what we have in store for you? You can see the TENTATIVE conference agenda here.ORACON 2013 Conference Agenda (1)  Times and content are subject to change but be assured we’ll have a fantastic day of workshops and content you can put to work immediately.

Hotel reservations can be made here

University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center.

 Be sure to mention you are a part of the ORA Conference!

Final Lineup!

lauriefeaturedForeword Literary Agent, Laurie McLean

Laurie spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent and senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco.

Following her stint as the CEO of a successful Silicon Valley public relations agency bearing her name, Laurie was able to switch gears in 2002 to immerse herself in writing. She penned three manuscripts before deciding that the life of a literary agent was her destiny. Laurie has been writing professionally since high school–first as a journalist, then as a public relations agent, finally as a novelist. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the State University of New York and a Master’s Degree at Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Journalism.

At Foreword, Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.) plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books. She does not handle non-fiction, or commercial, literary or women’s fiction, nor does she handle children’s picture books or graphic novels. She prefers to receive the first ten pages and a 1-2 page plot synopsis of a completed/polished manuscript via email (no attachments, please…cut and paste your submission into the body of your email query) at: querylaurie@forewordliterary.com.

For more on Laurie, check out her blog at agentsavant.com, follow her on Twitter @agentsavant, and visit her Facebook page at Facebook.com/laurie.mclean.

Prior to founding Foreword, Laurie was also the Dean of San Francisco Writers University and on the management team of the San Francisco Writers Conference. In 2012 Laurie co-founded two ePublishing companies with two of her client partners: JoyrideBooks.com for vintage out-of-print romance books with Linda Wisdom; and AmbushBooks.com for out-of-print classic tween and teen books with Douglas Rees.

Holly Atkinson (1)Samhain Editor & Author, Holly Atkinson

Since she can remember, Holly Atkinson’s professional ambition has revolved around fiction editing.  She was fortunate to receive her first taste in editing when she was thirteen and wrote copy for a local realtor show. In 2008, Holly graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s in English, specializing in Creative Writing. Her first real job in the literary world came in the role of line editor for Lyrical Press. In 2011, she joined Mundania Press as a content editor and finally landed her dream job at Samhain Publishing in 2012.

Holly describes herself as the quintessential book nerd. In her spare time, she writes erotic romance under a penname, though she hopes to produce more mainstream works in the future so the more conservative members of her family can read her work. She lives in Missouri with her husband, loves to travel, and goes a little crazy around the holidays. Her largest writing influences include Pamela Smith Hill, Aaron Sorkin, JK Rowling, Stephen King, and Joss Whedon.


shawntellemadison_authorphotoShawntelle MadisonUrban Fantasy Author

Shawntelle loves to write stories where something mysterious always happens. Her stories unfold in either a magical place or she drop kicks her heroine and hero into the mix of crazy magical circumstances. Her characters have been swimming around in her head for the longest of time, but its only recently that she has given into their demands and wrote down their adventures.

Why paranormal? Well, every time she thinks about writing something straight forward she gets caught in the what-if exercise. What if her hero was a werewolf or if her heroine was a nymph? How far could she go down the rabbit hole and not sound crazy? (Yet still be somewhat believable?)

Writing is one of her first loves, besides web development. She is a die hard geek who earned her undergraduate degree in Math from Iowa State University. (She even almost finished a degree in Russian Studies.)

Her debut novel, Coveted, was chosen as a B&N Romance Bookseller pick for the month of May.

She currently lives in Missouri with her husband and children (the Den of Evil).


jeannie_lin_avatar1Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance Author

Jeannie Lin started writing in 2005 while she was teaching high school. After a long journey through rejections and contests and revisions, her manuscript, Butterfly Swords, won the 2009 Golden Heart® award for historical romance. Her first two books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and her second novel, The Dragon and the Pearl, was listed as one of Library Journal’s Best Romances of 2011. Check the Books section for information on individual titles and release dates.

Her stories are inspired by her love of adventure, history, and fantasy in both western and Asian traditions. From an early age she was fascinated by legends of King Arthur and the fantasy of Lord of the Rings as well as the Chinese wuxia (martial arts) fiction. As a result, she writes heroic characters in epic situations while interweaving a strong romance to make larger than life characters human. For more on wuxia and the historical background to her books, see the extras section.

Jeannie is represented by Gail Fortune of the Talbot Fortune Agency Inc.


Kim Killion & Jennifer Jakes of Hot Damn Designs logo_01

jennifer_034_2_Jennifer Jakes, Historical Romance Author

A chronic insomniac, I got used to making up stories while I waited 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:)

I’m a member of RWA and MORWA and ORA. I also have two great critique partners who I can’t thank enough. They taught me a LOT!

So grab a cup of coffee and step into the past with me.


KimberlyKillion_solo_800pxKimberly Killion, Historical Romance Author

Award-winning author, Kimberly Killion, has been hailed by Romantic Times Magazine as an author who writes “captivating romance with excellent pacing and characters who are honorable, intelligent and full of humanity.” Her debut book, Her One Desire(Kensington 2008), was nominated for the romance-publishing industry’s highest award of distinction, the RITA® Award. Her One Desire won the 2009 Booksellers Best Award for both Long Historical and Best First Book. In addition, Kimberly’s writing received an Award of Merit in the 2009 & 2010 HOLT Medallion. She was recognized in the 2009 National Readers’ Choice Awards, the 2009 Golden Quill Awards,and the 2009 More Than Magic Contest. Romantic Times Magazine awarded Kimberly’s second Scottish-set novel, Highland Dragon(Kensington 2009), with the K.I.S.S. Awardand said this is “a tale to cherish.”

Aside from writing, Killion teaches graphic/web design in St. Louis, MO. 

Visit her website at www.kimberlykillion.com.  


portrait6_DSC0070Leigh Michales, Author-Editor-Teacher

Leigh is the author of nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels, three historical romance novels, and more than a dozen non-fiction books. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published. Six of her books have been finalists for Best Traditional Romance novel in the RITA contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America. She has received two Reviewer’s Choice awards from Romantic Times.

Her work has been translated and published in 120 countries in more than 25 languages, including Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Czech, Bulgarian, Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, Greek, Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Africaans, Arabic, Indonesian, and Chinese.

She is the 2003 recipient of the Johnson Brigham Award presented by the Iowa Library Association to an Iowa author for outstanding contributions to literature.

She is the author of On Writing Romance, published by Writers Digest Books.

She is the author of non-fiction books such as WRITING THE ROMANCE NOVEL, a step-by-step workbook, and CREATING ROMANTIC CHARACTERS. She is also the author of DEAR LEIGH MICHAELSA Novelist Answers the Most-Asked Questions about Getting Published, and a cookbook, A TASTE OF LOVE. She has produced audio programs and written magazine articles on subjects of interest to writers in general. She blogs on reading, writing, and the Regency historical period at http://leighmichaels.blogspot.com

She teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers= Workshop, www.writingclasses.com. Men and women from around the world have participated in her workshops, and a number of them have gone on to publish their own romance novels with commercial publishers. She is currently an adjunct professor in the School of Communications at the University of Iowa.

She wrote her first romance novel when she was a teenager and burned it, then wrote and burned five more complete manuscripts before submitting to a publisher. Her first submission was accepted and published by Harlequin Books, the first publisher to look at it.


imageTish Beaty, L. Perkins Agency – E-pub Agent  

Tish was raised fifteen minutes outside of Clinton, Missouri – down Pretty Bob Road – where writing became her creative outlet at an early age. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia College and studied English Literature (emphasis in Victorian Lit) at MU. In 2010, Tish was part of the team that developed The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House from the ground up.  During her time with the TWCS, she managed both authors and editors – acquiring several of the authors who’ve become literary successes, including the NYT #1 Bestseller –“Fifty Shades of Grey.” 

The momma of two energetic boys, Tish spends her time between agenting, ball games, and writing – blogging. No topic is taboo on her author blog, and healthy living tips and recipes can be found at – Luscious Living. She has been featured in Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, the We Love NY! Romance Anthology, and has a piece coming out in Anne Jameson’s non-fiction, FIC! Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World ,this December.

Tish recently joined the L. Perkins Agency as their E-publishing Agent. Founded in 1987 by Lori Perkins, a former newspaper publisher and editor, the L. Perkins Agency specializes in many different genres – representing approximately 200 authors in the publishing industry. She is currently accepting Erotic/Erotic Romance – including: paranormal, historical, light-BDSM, LGBT, and memoir as well as New and Young Adult with strong character development and a unique plot, and psychological thrillers. Please see her website, tishbeaty.com, for specific submission guidelines.


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