Join Us Saturday, May 3, 2014 As Novelist Ellen Harger Presents: “Three Secrets for Tight Dialogue.”

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You are invited to attend our fiction writers’ group on Saturday, May 3, 2014, as novelist Ellen Harger Presents: “Three Secrets for Tight Dialogue.”

We’ll be in the Frisco Room at The Library Station on N. Kansas Expressway in Springfield, MO. * Critique Group from 10:00 – 11:55 a.m. * Lunch next door at Panera from noon – 1:00 p.m. * Meeting begins at 1:00 p.m.

ABOUT ELLEN HARGER: Our very own Ellen Harger Pollreisz (writing as Ellen Harger) says: I write women’s fiction heavy with sass and snark – my two favorite adjectives. I’m a new stepmom, too, so I have an almost endless supply of writing fodder. I’m also a dog lover. In. Every. Sense. Of. The. Word. Oh, and Southwest Missouri is fabulous. In 2013 I became a published author, wife, and new step-mom. I’ve been a dog lover since birth. For five years I lived in Bean Town, but ever willing to try new places, I eagerly crossed the country to live in Oakland and Berkeley. There I polished and noodled my first novel, and started a few more manuscripts with the help of NaNoWriMo. The bug developed into a full-fledged condition. After eleven years away, and loving the symmetry, I returned to the Midwest to finalize “Strong Enough,” set in a town based on Springfield. I’ve published a poem, “Guidelines,” released my debut novel as an e-book, and written a second Women’s Fiction novel, “The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones.” The pipeline is backed up with short stories and novels waiting their turn. Time to open up the valve.

FIND ELLEN ONLINE HERE:

Website http://www.EllenHarger.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEllenHarger

Twitter @ellenharger

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6979258.Ellen_Harger

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Ellen-Harger/e/B00BOUQG26/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Getting Serious About Writing a Series

Monthly Meeting–Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Frisco Room at The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway, Springfield, MO

Critique group at 10:00 a. m. followed by lunch at Panera and our speaker at 1:00 p. m.

Author Lisa Wells to present “Getting Serious About Writing a Series: An Introduction”

Our very own Lisa Wells is presenting an introduction to her popular online course, Getting Serious About Writing a Series.

Learn the “musts” of writing a series.

Lisa Wells is a 22-year veteran educator. For the past 16 years, she has enjoyed a rollercoaster journey called: The School Counselor – Dramas, Dreams, and Destinies. Add the theme song to “Jaws,” and you have the feel for this fun ride.

Author of “Dibs,” a sexy romance nominated as Debut Book That Rocks and Best Book of The Year, Lisa believes writers should never quit studying their craft. When she decided to write a series and couldn’t find affordable material that taught the nuances of writing series vs. stand alone books, she designed her own how-to class. Self-appointed number one fan of Margie Lawson, she was thrilled to be given the opportunity to unveil her class at Lawson Writer’s Academy.

Twitter @lisawells1

http://www.lisawellsauthor.com/

More information about the online course is available here: http://www.margielawson.com/lawson-writers-academy-courses/detail/2-writing/68-january-getting-serious-about-writing-a-series

We are scheduled to be in the Frisco Room at The Library Station this month. This is one of the meeting rooms along the front of the building, facing the big glass windows. (NOTE: If you peek into the Frisco Room and nobody looks familiar, it means we got bumped at the last minute and you’ll need to check Facebook and/or ask a library employee to see where they have moved us.)

ABOUT OZARKS ROMANCE AUTHORS:

Ozarks Romance Authors was founded in 1987. The regional writers’ group holds its meetings the first Saturday of each month (usually at The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway) in Springfield, Missouri.

Originally a group for writers of romance fiction, we are now considered a multi-genre group, with members writing all types of fiction and nonfiction.

Join us for critique group at 10:00 a.m., lunch at Panera at noon, and a speaker at 1:00 p.m.

We are a registered nonprofit in the state of Missouri, and we are a member of the Springfield Regional Arts Council.

Visitors are welcome! Your first 3 visits are free. Annual dues are $25.

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

For a complete list of guest speakers and topics, visit https://www.facebook.com/OzarksRomanceAuthors/events

ORACON 2013 – Save The Date

Save The Date

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ozarks Romance Authors Annual Conference

Springfield, MO

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

We’re putting together a fantastic lineup of speakers. Stay tuned for more details!

Hometown of Ozarks Romance Authors Voted 3rd-Most Romantic City in USA by Amazon.com

Springfield, Missouri — where Ozarks Romance Authors is based — was just ranked by Amazon.com as the third-most romantic city in the USA!

Jill Slack, 2010-2012 President of Ozarks Romance Authors, a nonprofit Missouri writers' group

Jill Slack, 2010-2012 President of Ozarks Romance Authors


Our local newspaper, the Springfield News-Leader, called to interview ORA President Jill Slack to see what we think of this honor. Jill is quoted in a story on the front page of the Saturday, February 11, 2012 edition.

We saved a screenshot of the story to share with you.

Click here to open the PDF and read: SNL ORA quote 3rd Most Romantic City 2-11-2012

What did Jill have to say?

Jill Slack, president of Ozarks Romance Authors, said she thinks the rating isn’t necessarily because Springfield is a romantic place all on its own.

“I think it’s more that it’s the people,” Slack said. “It’s more of a traditional area.”

Slack also said there are quite a few writers in the Ozarks, which might be why romance book sales are higher — purchased for inspiration.

“When you’re a writer, you’re also a voracious reader,” Slack said.

Here is a link to a press release from Amazon.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110208005991/en/Amazon.com-Announces-Top-20-Romantic-Cities-America

Excerpt from the original press release:

SEATTLE–Love is in the air. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced its list of the Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in America. After compiling sales data of romance novels and relationship books (Kindle Books and print books), romantic comedy movies (digital movies and DVDs), Barry White albums (CDs and MP3s), along with sexual wellness products, since Jan. 1, 2011, on a per capita basis in cities with over 100,000 residents, the Top 20 most romantic cities in the U.S. are:

Amazon.com’s Top 20 romantic cities
1. Knoxville, Tenn.
2. Alexandria, Va.
3. Springfield, Mo.
4. Orlando, Fla.
5. Cincinnati, Ohio
6. Vancouver, Wash.
7. Miami, Fla.
8. Murfreesboro, Tenn.
9. Dayton, Ohio
10. Columbia, S.C.
11. Pittsburgh, Penn.
12. Clearwater, Fla.
13. St. Louis
14. Erie, Pa.
15. Clarksville, Tenn.
16. Everett, Wash.
17. Gainesville, Fla.
18. Las Vegas, Nev.
19. Rochester, N.Y.
20. Tallahassee, Fla.

2011 Missouri Writers’ Conference Listed in The Shaw Guides

Ozarks Romance Authors' 2011 Conference is listed on the Shaw Guides web site.

Click on the image to see Ozarks Romance Authors' 2011 Conference listed on the Shaw Guides web site.


Our 2011 writers’ conference is listed in The Shaw Guides: The Guide to Writers Conferences & Workshops.

Ozarks Romance Authors

Website: http://www.ozarks-romance-authors.com
Year Established: 1987
Program Description: Fiction writers conference that includes lectures, panel & group discussions, pitch sessions, Q&A.
Number of Programs/Year: 1
Program Length: 1 day
Group Size or S:T Ratio: ~75
Program Focus: Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult
Faculty 2011: Literary agent Louise Fury; editor Lia Brown (Avalon Books); novelists Leigh Michaels, Shannon Vannatter, Shannon Butcher, Eliza Lloyd.
Costs: $65 (early bird $60).
U.S. Locations: Springfield, Missouri

Months: July
Contact: Jill Slack, President
Ozarks Romance Authors
Springfield, MO 65802
United States
Phone: 417-597-4716
E-Mail: ozarksromanceauthors@gmail.com

About ShawGuides
Established in 1988 as a publisher of comprehensive worldwide guides to educational travel and creative career programs, ShawGuides has offered free online access to the unabridged, continually updated content of each guide since 1995.

You can search our updated database of career and recreational cooking schools, wine courses, golf & tennis schools & camps, high performance programs, writers conferences, photography, film & video workshops & schools, art & craft workshops, language vacations, cultural travel programs, and artists’ and writers’ residencies & retreats.

ShawGuides are recommended by many national and international publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, U.S. News & World Report, and USA Today.

Clarion car stereo speakers = Clarion Hotel Conference Center?

Clarion car speaker blog links to Missouri writers' conference at The Clarion Hotel in Springfield, Missouri.


This is kind of funny!

It looks like someone has a blog set up to pull its content automatically from other sources on the web. The blog is about car stereo equipment. It picked up on the fact that our July 23 writers’ conference will be held at The Clarion in Springfield, Missouri, and posted information about us.

Clarion Hotel = Clarion stereo speakers?

Apparently they found us through the news story on the Joplin, Missouri-based web site JoplinIndependent.com, so this stereo speaker site linked to that article.

If you’re looking for Clarion speakers for your car stereo, we can’t help you. However, if you are an aspiring author, we would love to meet you and see how our members, our critique group, and our monthly meetings with fabulous speakers can help you work toward your publishing dreams.

For information about our annual Missouri writers’ conference scheduled for July 23, 2011, in Springfield, click HERE.

If you’d like to find out about our monthly critique group and meeting, click HERE.

Clarion car stereo blog links to Ozarks Romance Authors conference being held at The Clarion in Springfield, Missouri.

Clarion car stereo blog links to Ozarks Romance Authors conference being held at The Clarion in Springfield, Missouri.


Clarion car speaker blog links to Ozarks Romance Authors' Missouri writers' conference at The Clarion Hotel.

Clarion car speaker blog links to Ozarks Romance Authors' Missouri writers' conference at The Clarion Hotel.

Barnes & Noble, Brangelina, Game Stop, and Ozarks Romance Authors — Oh, my!

Hi, future attendees of Ozarks Romance Authors’ annual conference, which will be held in Springfield, Missouri, on July 23, 2011. (Sorry! I got the year wrong in the video.)

I wanted to show you something interesting. We’re going to have a little quiz later.

Click to watch the short video at the top of this page and you will drive around with me (Jill, 2010-2011 president of Ozarks Romance Authors) in a parking lot on the southwest corner of East Battlefield and South Glenstone in Springfield, Missouri.

You’ll see several buildings in the same, large parking lot.

There is a small building with a Game Stop store in the north end and an AT&T Wireless store in the south side. Behind this Game Stop building is the only Barnes & Noble store in Springfield.

Here is the quiz: What could the Game Stop building possibly have in common with this Barnes & Noble, which is where we’re going to have the booksigning for our speakers the evening before our annual fiction writers’ conference?

The booksigning will be here at Barnes & Noble, within walking distance of The Clarion Hotel, which is where our conference is taking place. The booksigning will be Friday, July 22, which is the night before our conference, from 4:00 – 6:00, here in this large, lovely Barnes & Noble store.

Are you curious about what this Barnes & Noble might have in common with the little Game Stop building?

I’ll give you two hints. The clues about what they have in common are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Yes, Brangelina.

Does that make you even more curious?

By the way, be sure to plan on attending our:

* Booksigning Friday, July 22, here at Barnes & Noble, 3055 S. Glenstone

* Annual Writers’ Conference just down the road at The Clarion Hotel, 3333 S. Glenstone

in Springfield, Missouri.

Now, if you are curious about what this Barnes & Noble store (where our booksigning will take place) has in common with the Game Stop building, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, here are the details!

Ready?

1. GAME STOP BUILDING — BRAD

Colonel Day’s Levi’s Emporium, which is where Brad Pitt worked as a sales clerk between the time that he graduated from Springfield’s Kickapoo High School and went to seek his fame and fortune in Hollywood, used to be the only tenant in the Game Stop/AT&T building.

At that time, Brad looked like this:

Brad Pitt, Kickapoo High School, Springfield, Missouri

Brad Pitt, Kickapoo High School, Springfield, Missouri

I couldn’t find any photos of the old Colonel Day’s store, but the building has not changed much. Currently, the building looks like this:

Former site of Colonel Day's Levi's Emporium, where Brad Pitt worked as a teenager in Springfield, Missouri.

Former site of Colonel Day's Levi's Emporium, where Brad Pitt worked as a teenager in Springfield, Missouri.

Back then, it had an odd stucco finish with deep grooves to match the exterior of the Venture store on the west side of the parking lot. These were the only two buildings on the parking lot at that time, but the lot now also has Barnes & Noble, Office Depot, and Olive Garden.

Springfield's Venture store in the 1970s. Currently K-Mart.

Springfield's Venture store in the 1970s. Currently K-Mart. Exterior of building matched Colonel Day's Levi's Emporium, where Brad Pitt worked.

The Venture store has been gone for many years and is now a K-Mart store.

This is the K-Mart Brad and some of the kids reportedly shopped at during their December 2010 trip to Springfield.

2. GAME STOP BUILDING — ANGELINA

Take a closer look at the windows in the Game Stop building. Who do you see there, along with Super Mario?

Posters in Game Stop window, the former site of Colonel Day's.

Posters in Game Stop window, the former site of Colonel Day's.

Yup, that’s an image of Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, long before she and Brad became Brangelina. The Game Stop building has several large images of Angelina hanging in its windows.

Gee, I wonder if that was the topic of conversation on the Jolie-Pitt private jet. “Darling, did you see the large posters of me in the windows where you used to work? Shall I have the longitude and latitude added to the tattoo on my bicep?”

3. BARNES & NOBLE / STARBUCKS

This is the Barnes & Noble store that became famous in December 2010 when, while in town to visit Brad’s family, Angelina stopped at the Starbucks inside of the bookstore and bought coffee. News of the sighting of Angelina, Zahara, and Shiloh made its way onto the Internet, including:

People magazine

Perez Hilton

Our local NBC affiliate, KY3

JustJared.com

Angelina Jolie, Zahara, Shiloh at Starbucks inside Springfield, Missouri Barnes & Noble in December 2010

Angelina Jolie, Zahara, Shiloh at Starbucks inside Springfield, Missouri Barnes & Noble in December 2010

PopSugar.com

RadarOnline.com

It was also during this visit that Brad and Angelina posed for photos at St. John’s Hospital (where I was born) to dedicate the new Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center, named in honor of Brad’s mom, Jane Pitt. To see the story in People magazine, click HERE.

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie dedicate Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, December 2010

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie dedicate Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, December 2010

PinkIsTheNewBlog.com

There you have it! Thanks for playing, and we’ll see you at our fiction writers’ conference in Springfield, Missouri, on July 23! Click HERE for more details about the great speakers and topics we have scheduled for the day.

P.S. Stop by Barnes & Noble in Springfield to have coffee, just like Angelina! Enjoy it, along with some conversation, during our booksigning on July 22. We can’t promise you’ll see Brangelina but, based on last year’s event, we think you’ll have a lot of fun.

“Writing in the Ozarks” conference scheduled for August 2011 at novelist Janet Dailey’s inn in Hollister, Missouri

Ye Olde English Inn, Hollister, Missouri

Novelist Janet Dailey's Ye Olde English Inn located in Hollister, Missouri

Information about this conference is being provided by Ozarks Romance Authors because we support and encourage other writers’ groups within our geographic region. In fact, many of our members overlap and are also members in these other groups.

Writing in the Ozarks: Writers’ Conference
at Ye Olde English Inn
in Historic Hollister, Missouri
August 18-19-20, 2011
(Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)
Sponsored by Ozark Adventures, Inc.

The renovated English Inn, of Downing Street in downtown historic Hollister, MO, is the exciting, yet relaxing, working getaway site for writers of all genres: Westerns, Mysteries, Horror, general interest articles, mainstream fiction.

This historic inn features on-site dining at the River Stone Restaurant and the Black Horse Pub. Comfortable and elegant rooms include free wi-fi. All presentations are on-site or nearby on Downing Street, or at the campus of The College of the Ozarks (Saturday events only).

PRESENTERS

Janet Dailey

Janet Dailey


Janet Dailey introduced the “Western romance,” which focused on the female, who was often marginalized in traditional Western novels, and provided the “first look at heroines, heroes and courtships that take place in America, with American sensibilities, assumptions, history, and most of all, settings.” She is the author of the popular Calder Series, and she is now the owner of the English Inn! Visit Janet Dailey online by clicking here: http://www.janetdailey.com/blog.

Dusty Richards

Dusty Richards


Dusty Richards has written dozens of Western short stories and novels. He is the only writer who has won two Spur Awards in the same year (for short story and novel) and was named by Readers Choice in True West magazine as the “greatest living American Western writer.” He is the author of “Writing the West: A Western Novel Roundup.” Visit Dusty online by clicking here: http://www.dustyrichards.com.

Radine Trees Nehring

Radine Trees Nehring


Radine Trees Nehring is the creator of the popular mystery series “Something to Die For,” set in the Ozarks, and featuring the adventures of Carrie Culpepper McCrite and Henry King. Her latest novel, “A Journey to Die For,” was the winner of the 2010 Silver Falchion award at the Killer Nashville Conference. Visit Radine online by clicking here: http://www.radinesbooks.com.

Fred Pfister

Fred Pfister


Fred Pfister is a retired English professor and editor of The Ozarks Mountaineer magazine, and author of “The Insider’s Guide to Branson and the Ozark Mountains” and “The Littlest Baby: A Handbook for Parents of Premature Children.” Visit Fred online at the web site for Ozarks Mountaineer magazine by clicking here: http://www.ozarksmountaineer.com.

REGISTRATION & COSTS

Call Ozark Adventures at (417) 239-0203 to register. See program details in June on their website by clicking HERE. $60 ($70 at site) registration fee includes free, rest-of-year membership in the Ozarks Writers League (OWLs), to those not already members. (Click HERE for information about the group.)

Lodging and meals are at the expense of participants. Eateries within only two minutes walking distance of the English Inn are Vintage Paris, Little Hacienda, Japanese Kitchen, and Audi’s #1 Pizza and Pub. Call Innkeeper Pam Hatch, 417-544-9056, and ask for special “Writer Rates” ($69 and $99). That rate includes breakfast at the Inn.

Visit www.oldenglishinnhollister.com for room views and information. Other lodging is located in the general area of Branson and Hollister. We would suggest the nearby Keeter Center on the campus of College of the Ozarks.

Read the article about “double Spur Award Winner” Dusty Richards in the forthcoming July-August issue of The Ozarks Mountaineer magzine. Subscribe and see sample articles and features at www.ozarksmountaineer.com.

This conference in Hollister coming up in August 2011 sounds fantastic! If you would like to attend, please post below or send us an email at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com so we can make plans to ride together or meet you there.

Ozarks Romance Authors is a non-profit, multi-genre group for writers and was founded in 1987. Meetings are held 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 in Springfield, Missouri. To learn more about the amazing lineup of speakers and workshops, click here to visit our conference page.

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

Live-Tweet Transcript from June 4, 2011, presentation – “The Editor/Agent Pitch Session: How to Make it a Success!”

Kelly Henkins, who writes as Angela Drake

Kelly Henkins, who writes as Angela Drake

Ozarks Romance Authors, a multi-genre, non-profit group for writers (founded in 1987), met Saturday, June 4, 2011, at The Library Station on North Kansas Expressway in Springfield, Missouri.

The June presentation was by member Kelly Henkins, who writes as Angela Drake.

Her topic was perfect as we prepare for one-on-one pitch sessions at our July 23 annual conference, with Avalon Books Editor Lia Brown and Literary Agent Louise Fury of The L. Perkins Agency — “The Editor/ Agent Pitch Session: How to Make it a Success!”

We live-tweeted during the meeting until Twitter gave us a message that we had exceeded the number of posts allowed. Follow us on Twitter at @OzarksRomance!

Here is the entire transcript of the live-tweet:

June 4, 2011 — 1:10 p.m. CT

Kelly Henkins writes as Angela Drake. Her site is http://angeladrake.blogspot.com/
She is speaking to Ozarks Romance Authors today http://ow.ly/53hr3
Topic: How to have a successful pitch session with editor or agent http://ow.ly/53hr3

Register for our 7/23/11 conference for 2 pitch opportunities #sgf #mo #amwriting http://ow.ly/4lZmp

Avalon Editor Lia Brown and Lit Agent Louise Fury will take pitches at our 7/23 conf http://ow.ly/4lZmp

Everything is a “what if” that moves the story forward.

Same with your writing career.

Must continue to ask “what if” to move your writing career forward.

Pitching is one of those “what if’s.”

When will you have another chance to pitch your book to an editor or agent?

What if you don’t pitch at our conference 7/23/11?

When will you have another chance to pitch? Need to take advantage of this opportunity.

Kelly’s info on pitching was a result of a last-minute pitch opp with an editor 10 years ago.

She gave her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for pitching at the conference.

Got her conf packet and found out she was able to pitch to 2 that day.

Advice on having a great pitch?

Don’t be nervous.

Kelly/Angela walked out of her first pitch session EVER with a request for full manuscript.

Agents/Editors told Kelly they are amazed by # of writers who have no idea what to do/say in pitch session.

Pitch session is like a job interview. Prepare for this!

You lose out if you don’t target right editor/agent when pitching.

Sure, you’ll be nervous. But be as prepared as possible.

Editors/agents are people, just like you. They’ve been on job interviews, been nervous, too.

Prepare well. Do your best. You are asking them to trust you to tell great story, meet deadlines.

They may ask you to make changes you don’t totally agree with.

Separate yourself from the story and realize they know more than you.

You think your story is perfect? Pitch it. Editor/agent will ask questions, offer suggestions.

If editor/agent offers advice, don’t be offended. Give it some thought. Will it work?

Editor/Agent knows what the book needs, often without reading it.

How do you prepare for those all-important 5 or 10 minutes in pitch?

Learn about the company. Dress appropriately. Just like a job interview.

You want this editor. Don’t be mousy, mumble, etc. Be confident!

No such thing as a textbook pitch session/interview.

No editor/agent is the same. All are looking for certain things.

10 steps to making your pitch session go well…

1. Have the book finished.

What if the editor/agent asks for the full manuscript and you haven’t finished?

Will you have time to finish it, polish, go over it several times, make it perfect?

All the time spent scurrying to finish book, editor/agent is waiting, accepting other offers, still looking.

She’ll pick up the authors who are finishing the work and getting it to her.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity because you don’t have it ready to go.

Usually ask for first 3 chapters and synopsis.

Even if you get first 3 chapters and synopsis into the mail, don’t let life grind to halt to finish book.

Must be in proper format and FLAWLESS.

You can’t give a confident pitch if you don’t even know what’s going to happen in your story.

1 of first ? asked in pitch session is “Is this book finished?”

You need to know your story inside and out. If you pitch 1 story but change it, your pitch might be invalid.

If editor/agent wants to see story you pitched, but you changed it so much that it isn’t the same…

… might not be interested since it’s so different.

Basically, the blurb on back of book is your pitch.

Just like a reader deciding if she wants to spend $ to buy your book,

… editor/agent looks at pitch to see if she wants to take chance on you as writer.

Register for our 7/23/11 conference for 2 pitch opportunities #sgf #mo #amwriting http://ow.ly/4lZmp
Avalon Editor Lia Brown and Lit Agent Louise Fury will take pitches at our 7/23 conf http://ow.ly/4lZmp

10 steps to making your pitch session go well…

2. Know your qualifications.

Do you need to be an expert? Expert on subjects mentioned in your book?

No, you don’t have to be an expert. But know the topic well enough.

Maybe you worked at a summer job related to the heroine’s career.

Maybe you’ve studied it well, researched well, have access to experts.

If non-fiction, being an expert is sometimes required.

Other qualifications? Holding position in writers’ group, contest winner, degree in whatever…

…speaking at confererence or workshops, mentor other writers, critique group.

Anything that lends credibility and lets editor/agent know you are serious about writing career.

If writing non-fiction, need to show knowledge. Example?

Writing about hiking in national forest, and you do this as a hobby.

The more you pad your writer’s resume with credentials, the better.

Take a college course on the topic you’re writing about. Interview people.

Need to know about guns? Take a handgun course.

10 steps to making your pitch session go well…

3. Know the house.

Would you walk into a job interview knowing nothing about the company or job? No!

Learn about the publishing house. Who is the acquisitions editor?

It’s not the senior editor. It’s the underdogs.

Do they publish what you write?

Do you write steampunk but you’re pitching to house that wants contemporary?

What about word count? What are they looking for?

Know your genre, the publishing house, and what they are looking for.

How many titles do they release in a month? Year?

Do they accept unsolicited manuscripts?

If they don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, here is your loophole:

You don’t have an agent? You’re not getting in that way.

Conferences are your loop hole!

If Writers’ Market says a house does NOT accept unsolicited ms, why are they at a conference?

They are looking for ms.

They won’t waste their time going to conf if they’re not looking for new material, new writers.

Register for our 7/23/11 conference for 2 pitch opportunities #sgf #mo #amwriting http://ow.ly/4lZmp

Avalon Editor Lia Brown and Lit Agent Louise Fury will take pitches at our 7/23 conf http://ow.ly/4lZmp

Take advantage of conferences where editors/agents are accepting pitch sessions!!!

Conf can be expensive – tuition, travel, hotel, etc.

Choose conferences where you can get more bang for your buck.

Writer’s Digest lists upcoming conferences.

Writers’ associations list conferences in their genres.

Research conferences and find out where agents/editors will accept pitches.

Invest your money well in conferences with editors/agents accepting pitches.

Ozarks Romance Authors has 2 TOP NAME people coming to 7/23/11 conf, accepting pitches.

If you don’t even know house’s word count, how do you know your ms is right for them?

Guidelines are usually online. Do your research before pitch session.

Know the publishing house, know the editor/agent. Know what she’s looking for.

If they’re looking for contemporary romance, do you pitch sci-fi fantasy? NO!

Many editors/agents now have blogs and discuss what they’re looking for. Do your research.

See what they are looking for. Look at their web sites.

eHarlequin.com often has free reads online. This is what’s selling, so it’s what they’re looking for.

Don’t let someone tell you no one is reading what you’re writing.

Don’t let someone tell you genre is dead.

Write what’s in your heart, what you want to write.

Genres come in and out of style. It might come back if it’s “out” now.

A year ago, you didn’t see the word “steampunk” everywhere, but now it’s hot.

A year ago, people were writing steampunk so they rode along and it’s popular now.

10 steps to having a great pitch session…

4. Know the editor or agent

Editors/agents often have certain time period they’re interested in.

Read their blogs.

Editors/agents often say on Twitter or Facebook if they’re looking for certain things.

Follow them on FB and Twitter!

Are there authors who write in a way that’s similar to yours?

You’re not copying, of course. But similar genre, style, etc.

Are you more of a sweet romance? Women’s fiction? Mainstream?

Is your writing style edgy? Are you the next Tom Clancy? What’s your flavor?

Editor/agent hasn’t read your stuff yet, but if you say…

“I write in a style similar to ____”

or “My story is a cross between ___ and ____”

… this helps editor/agent know more about your writing.

Can you find out something personal about the editor/agent?

Example: If editor/agent is a new mom and your story focuses on kids,

bring that up in the pitch session.

It’s not all about your book. It’s about the whole package.

Authors often mention their agent or editor. It takes detective work sometimes to discover.

Find out agent/editor of authors you like, authors who you are similar to.

Do research. Has editor/agent recently lost authors? Might be looking for new ones.

Some publishing houses won’t work with certain agents.

Send email if you’re curious. Ask agent if they work with specific houses the most.

You’ve done your homework, know everything about agent/editor you’re pitching to.

Book is finished, flawless, and you’ve written blurb.

Now what? Take your blurb/pitch, stand in front of mirror, watch yourself deliver pitch.

Look at your reflexion. Make eye contact with yourself.

Look confident. First few times, you’ll be wobbly. This is silly!

Get it out NOW, in front of mirror, and you’ll feel confident at pitch session.

If you have a critique group (like Ozarks Romance Authors), pitch to each other.

You’ll be more comfortable pitching to someone you know.

They’ll see things you need to change. Stop fidgeting, etc.

They’ll notice things that you do not notice.

Once you have the book finished, everything else is easy.

Business cards — Vital if you are pitching!

White card with black print is best. No cutesy stuff!

Editor/agent often takes home hundreds of biz cards at a conference.

Graphics are OK, but not too busy or cutesy.

Use the back of biz card if you are pitching.

Set aside biz cards for pitch session and include on the back:

Title, target market, theme, word count

Don’t put this on all of your biz cards for general networking. Only for pitch sessions.

This info will help you stand out and remind editor/agent about you.

Little things like this help you stand out immediately after appointment

Helps when you submit, too. Same info will be carried across.

Oops! Sorry! I lost track of which number we were on.

8. Dress appropriately

Business attire is best. Make a good impression.

If you want to dress casually for rest of conference, fine. Just change before pitch.

Women: Dress, skirt, pants, whatever. As long as you look polished.

A short heel is best, but do not wear flip-flops!

Men: Nice dress pants, business casual, possibly blazer.

Don’t go into pitch dressed in a gimmicky way to promote your book!

Don’t go into pitch dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder!

This is not professional and it distracts from your goal.

Avoid cologne, perfume, jewelry that will distract.

The last thing you want is to attack editor/agent who has allergies.

Don’t want her to spend your entire pitch sneezing at your cologne.

Dangly jewelry can be a distraction.

Kelly says she sees so many people go into pitches popping gum.

Sure, you just had lunch and you’re worried about breath.

Use a mint instead of popping gum!

Neat, clean, and tidy is the key.

You’re not out to impress with fashion sense. You’re a confident business person.

9. Be on time!

Get there about 10-15 minutes early.

Yes, you will end up sitting there waiting. That’s fine.

This can work to your advantage. If someone gets too nervous and drops out, you might go early.

You might end up with 2 time slots if person in front of you drops out.

10. Be confident!

You’re there. You’re prepared. You’re confident. You’re ready.

How do you feel? Are you getting nervous? Think you can’t handle it?

Stop and ask yourself “What if?”

What if you don’t go through with pitch session?

Don’t let this end with you giving up without a fighting chance.

5 years from now, do you want to say “If only I hadn’t chickened out”?

You’ll look at friends’ books on the shelves and wish you had followed through.

Be confident! You’ve come this far! Writing the book was the hard part.

Being early is also good in case you can hear other pitches.

Listen and get an idea of questions asked, editor/agent personality, etc.

When you arrive for pitch, extend your hand and introduce yourself.

Basic etiquette is rare these days.

Introducing yourself shows you are confident and you’re a serious business person.

Agent/editor often have questions/comments to help break the ice.

These questions help separate you-the-person from you-the-writer.

Then you give her the pitch you have rehearsed so well.

Let your passion for the story take over. That passion is what you want editor/agent to hear.

If you talk about book in monotone voice, it says you have no interest in story.

Don’t have to bounce in chair and be all excited. Just let natural flavor of story come through.

Editor/agent will recognize you’re at the end. Now you ask if she has questions.

Don’t let her questions scare you. They serve a purpose.

She’s trying to see if her house has a place for your story.

She might be thinking “We’ve been thinking about doing a line of ___” and you fit.

Answer her questions with utmost confidence. You know the answers. Don’t get flustered.

If you can’t tell her about your characters, who can?

She may even ask more questions to dig deeper. Be prepared.

When meeting is over, extend hand, thank editor/agent BY NAME for their time.

Remember biz card you wrote info on? Give editor/agent this biz card!

If she asks for first 3 chapters and synopsis, be ready to send it as soon as you get home.

Did she ask for hard copy or email? Send what editor/agent asks for.

Do not take your entire manuscript to the conference and expect editor/agent to take it!!!

While you are fresh in editor/agent’s mind, send whatever she asks for.

When you leave pitch, take a minute to step aside and make notes about meeting.

Jot down whatever editor/agent said that will help your pitch stand out.

Did she suggest certain things? Make a note on back of another biz card along with editor/agent name.

Attach that biz card to ms if you snail mail it.

Or if you email it, mention this info in body of email.

Example: “We spoke at the ORA conference in Springfield. You suggested…”

Some editors/agents give you 3 keywords to include in cover letter w/partial.

This helps cut down on unsolicited ms. If you don’t use 3 keywords, they pitch.

If editor/agent says not interested, ask what they ARE looking for.

Ask what they would like to receive.

Anything you come out of pitch session with makes you a winner.

Even if they don’t ask for ms or partial, you have grown!

What if your manuscript isn’t finished? Should you pitch?

Absolutely! Very rare to get this type of opportunity.

Ask professionals ins and outs that you want to clarify.

Ask about the business in general.

Sure, you could email questions but might not ever hear from editor/agent.

This pitch session can be a huge foot in the door!

Google “Predators and Editor” — great resource!

Thanks for joining us today via live-tweet!

ORA’s next meeting is Sat, July 2, 2011. http://ow.ly/5byNH

Follow us @OzarksRomance & http://www.facebook.com/ozarksromanceauthors for July details.

Reminder: Register for our annual conference by July 1 for discount. http://ow.ly/4lZmp

Attendees can pitch to Lit Agent Louise Fury & Avalon Editor Lia Brown! http://ow.ly/4lZmp

Have you registered to attend our annual conference in Springfield, Missouri, on July 23, 2011?

Once you register, you’ll be able to schedule your one-on-one pitch session. Opportunities like this DO NOT come along often in the midwest. A pitch session can be one of the best ways to get your foot in the door and establish a relationship with your future editor or agent. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity now by registering for our conference by clicking here.

High Tea Scheduled for 2011 Missouri Literary Festival

2011 Missouri Literary Festival, Springfield, Missouri

The Missouri Literary Festival will take place in Springfield, Missouri, September 23-25, 2011

For Immediate Release
June 2, 2011
Contact: William “Bucky” Bowman, Missouri Literary Festival chair, (417) 865-0450

Since Ozarks Romance Authors is a non-profit group for the benefit of Missouri writers and a member of the Springfield Regional Arts Council, we wanted to share information with our readers about this event coming up during the Missouri Literary Festival. Sounds like fun!
High Tea with author Janis Cooke Newman planned Sept. 24
During 2011 Missouri Literary Festival: The Civil War

The public is invited to a unique author event – High Tea with Janis Cooke Newman, author of “Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln,” from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday, September 24, 2011, at the Creamery Arts Center, 411 N. Sherman Parkway, in Springfield, Missouri.

The event is part of the September 23-25, 2011, Missouri Literary Festival, which has three days of stirring programs and author events devoted to the American Civil War to commemorate the war’s sesquicentennial.

Tickets to the high tea are $25 per person and are available by calling festival chairman William Bowman at (417) 865-0450. A limited number of tickets is available. Tickets to the tea also provide general admission for all three days of the festival, a $15 value.

Newman’s “Mary” is told from the perspective of Mary Todd Lincoln, whom the author calls one of the most misunderstood women in American history. “Mary” is a story filled with love and war, sex and séances, assassination, infidelity, madness and politics. The book was honored as the USA Today’s Best Historical Fiction of the Year in 2006.

Newman is one of a host of national and regional authors of Civil War-related books who will talk and read from their books during the Sept. 23-25 literary festival at the Creamery in Springfield.

Events will run 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. Tickets are $15 for the three-day event unless attendee has purchased a ticket for the Saturday High Tea.

Activities will include dozens of authors including headliners such as historian William C. Davis, author of numerous Civil War books including “The Battle of Bull Run;” Jeff Shaara, author of “Gods and Generals;” historian Adam Arenson, of “The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War;” David Wilson Atwood, of “Where The Mockingbird Sang – A Novel of the Civil War,” and many more regional and national authors of Civil War titles.

Other activities will include storytellers, discussions of the common soldier, demonstrations of the common Civil War family tent, period photography, Civil War-era music, quilting, a medical display, cooking demonstration, a celebration of African-American Poetry, entertainment by Marideth Sisco and Blackberry Winter at a Saturday night Authors Gala, children’s games and make-and-take activities, book sales and much more.

For more details or ticket information, go to www.missouriliteraryfestival.org, or call William “Bucky” Bowman, Missouri Literary Festival chair, (417) 865-0450.