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!

Deadline extended for 2011 Weta Nichols Writing Contest

There is still time for you to polish the first 10 pages of your work-in-progress to submit to our annual fiction writing contest, named in honor of the founder of our group, novelist Weta Nichols.

Due to a PayPal glitch, we have extended the original deadline (May 16, 2011) to May 23, 2011.

The contest is open to published and unpublished writers, but the piece that you enter must be unpublished.

Any genre is welcome, not just romance fiction.

Winners will be announced at our annual conference in Springfield, Missouri, on July 23, 2011. You do not need to be present to win, and you are not required to be a member of our group to enter. Details about our conference are available here: http://ozarks-romance-authors.com/2011-annual-conference/

Final round winners will be judged by Louise Fury, literary agent with the L. Perkins Agency, and Lia Brown, editor with Avalon Books!

Prizes are: 1st place $100; 2nd place $50; 3rd place $25.

For full contest rules, guidelines, and links to submit your entry, visit: http://ozarks-romance-authors.com/annual-contest/

Ozarks Romance Authors is a registered non-profit corporation in the state of Missouri since 1987.

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.

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

2011 Annual Conference

Make plans to attend the Ozarks Romance Authors Annual Conference

Saturday, July 23, 2011
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Clarion Hotel Conference Center, 3333 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, Missouri

*** Conference site is just a few minutes’ drive from the original Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store and Grizzly Tools, so make it a family weekend trip. Your hubby and kids will have plenty to do while you are at the conference. ***

TICKET INFORMATION:

Pre-registration through July 1, 2011 = $60.00
Pre-registration after July 1, 2011 (or at the door) = $65.00

Members of Ozarks Romance Authors (ORA) receive discounted tickets:
ORA member pre-registration through July 1, 2011 = $50.00
ORA member registration after July 1, 2011 (or at the door) = $55.00

Once again, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Ozarks Literacy Council to help their mission of promoting literacy in our region.

PITCH SESSIONS WITH EDITOR / AGENT

Attendees who would like to schedule a 10-minute pitch session with either Literary Agent Louise Fury or Avalon Editor Lia Brown must register for the conference (below) and then contact the conference chairwoman, Cecily Cornelius-White, in advance via email to schedule your pitch session. professorcecily@yahoo.com

AGENDA:

— Registration and Breakfast

— Opening remarks and intros

— Shannon Vannatter – Cut the Fluff: The Art of Revision and Self-editing

— Shannon Butcher and Eliza Lloyd – Suspense Plotting and Making it Hot

— Leigh Michaels – Things that Stump the Best of Us (Pacing, Backstory, and Transitions)

-– Lunch (catered lunch provided on-site)

— Discussion with Publishing Panel – Making a Good First Impression.

— Break for small group discussions

– Break-out Session #1

– Shannon Vannatter – Crafting Effective (and Gender Appropriate) Dialogue
– Publishing Panel – Future Directions in Publishing – Small Group Discussion with Agent and Editor Panel

– Break-out Session #2

– Shannon Butcher & Eliza Lloyd – Crafting Heroes to Die For
– Leigh Michaels – Playing Fair: When Characters Keep Secrets

– Break

— Full Panel Q &A

Awards — Presented for Weta Nichols Writing Contest

Closing remarks and Adjourn

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:


Shannon Vannatter

Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife/writer. She recently signed a three-book contract for her contemporary inspirational romance series set in Romance and Rose Bud, Arkansas.

Heartsong titles ship to a 10,000 member book club before releasing in stores. Vannatter*s titles: White Roses, White Doves, and White Pearls will be available through the book club and preorder in May 2010, October 2010, and January 2011 respectively and in stores six months later for each title.

It took Vannatter nine years to get published in the traditional market. Like Janette Oke, she views her work as a ministry and her books as paper missionaries. Vannatter hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as her characters struggle with real-life issues. Their journeys, from ordinary lives to extraordinary romance through Christ-centered relationships, demonstrate that love doesn’t conquer all, Jesus does.

Her short stories appeared in Mature Living and The Writers’ Journal, in 2009. Her first novel was Print On Demand published in 2001. She’s received several awards including 2nd place in RWA’s 2007 Touched By Love and 2008 Where the Magic Begins Contests, and a Honorable Mention in The 2007 Writer’s Journal Romance Contest. Her works have been displayed at Springfest’s Annual Artist & Author Exhibit.

Vannatter has taught fiction workshops for several writers’ groups including: Arkansas Inspirational Writers, Cleburne County Writers’ Guild, Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas, and White County Creative Writers. She’s contracted to teach workshops in 2010 at the Life Press Christian Writers’ Conference in Memphis, TN and the Ozark Creative Writers’ Conference in Eureka Springs, AR.

Vannatter is available for writers’ groups, workshops, conferences, schools, colleges, churches, book clubs, media appearances, print interviews, speaking engagements, and book signings.


Shannon Butcher


Since launching her career in 2007, award-winning author Shannon K. Butcher has penned more than eighteen titles, including the paranormal romance series, the Sentinel Wars; the action-romance series, the Edge; and a handful of romantic suspense novels and works of short fiction. Being a former engineer and current nerd, she frequently uses charts, graphs and tables to aid her in the mechanics of story design and to keep track of all those pesky characters and magical powers. An avid beader and glass artist, she spends her free time playing with colored glass and beads. You can find her online at http://shannonkbutcher.com/.

Leigh Michaels
Leigh Michaels 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 MICHAELS: A 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 teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. 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.

Eliza Lloyd
Eliza Lloyd currently has three novels published with Ellora’s Cave in their 19th Century/Legend line of historicals. Eliza thinks romance writing is nearly as good as the real thing. Given her choice of professions, she would have preferred to be a 19th century archeologist, but she is perfectly happy living in the 21st century and comfortably writing about such romantic but inconceivably inconvenient times instead. She also writes contemporaries, romantic suspense and the occasional sci-fi when plotting and characterization don’t matter and invisibility does.

Eliza wrote her first romance novel after years of yearning. She finally woke up one day and asked, “Why the heck am I not writing?”

She enjoys traveling, movies, everyone else’s novels and a good meal out with friends on Saturday night. Her greatest flaw is that she believes there is such a thing as true love. Don’t tell her otherwise, please.

Louise Fury
I am a Literary Agent, Marketing advocate and general lover of books. I work at the L. Perkins Agency and always on the lookout for fun pop culture books. I organize massive book groups for MG and YA Readers where kids can Meet, Greet and Eat with talented authors. I am also passionate about connecting with South African Authors. The rest of the time I network while navigating the slush pile.

 

 

Lia Brown

editor at Avalon Books, started her career in publishing at Starlog magazine as a high school intern, fell in love with editing and the creative process, and hasn’t wanted to do anything else since. During the last twenty years she has worked on a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction topics and genres at several publishing houses including, Marvel Comics, HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press, Oxford University Press, and Random House Children’s Books.

At Avalon she acquires family-friendly contemporary and historical romances.




ORA Conference 2011



Pre Registration or Late Registration Member or Non-Member



 

Pitch your book in person to a literary agent or big publishing house’s editor at Missouri writers’ group’s annual conference

Literary Agent Louise Fury and Avalon Books Editor Lia Brown will take one-on-one pitches from writers attending the 2011 Ozarks Romance Authors conference July 23, 2011, in Springfield, Missouri.

SPRINGFIELD, MO – A conference for fiction writers is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. July 23, 2011. The annual event will feature agent and editor pitch sessions, workshops, panel discussions, break-out sessions, and networking, and will be held at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center, 3333 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, Missouri.

Tickets are $60 prior to July 1, or $65 after July 1 or at the door, payable online via secure server by visiting http://ozarks-romance-authors.com/2011-annual-conference or via check.

The conference, open to all who write fiction, is sponsored by Ozarks Romance Authors, a multi-genre non-profit group founded in 1987.

Attendees can pre-schedule one-on-one meetings to pitch their completed manuscripts with Louise Fury, literary agent with the L. Perkins Agency, or Lia Brown, editor with Avalon Books.

Featured guests and speakers will be novelists Leigh Michaels, Shannon Vannatter, Eliza Lloyd, and Shannon Butcher.

Topics include revision and self-editing, plotting, pacing, backstory, transitions, dialogue, character development, and the publishing industry.

Winners of the annual Weta Nichols Fiction Contest, named in honor of the group’s late founder, will be announced to conclude the day.

A discount on sleeping rooms at The Clarion is available.

Ozarks Romance Authors is a non-profit organization for writers in the southwest Missouri region. Monthly speakers help writers of all genres hone their skills and explore writing opportunities.

Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station in Springfield. Visitors are welcome, and more information is available by calling (417) 597-4716 or by visiting www.Ozarks-Romance-Authors.com.

Become a fan on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/OzarksRomanceAuthors and follow the group on Twitter http://www.Twitter.com/OzarksRomance.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

LOUISE FURY
http://lperkinsagency.com
http://louisefury.blogspot.com

Literary Agent Louise Fury

Literary Agent Louise Fury


Louise Fury, literary agent with the L. Perkins Agency, will be taking pitch sessions from authors at the conference.

Louise believes in the power of marketing and is constantly on the lookout for authors who know how to promote themselves.

She is seeking well written, teen sci-fi and young adult horror. She is also on the hunt for fun, imaginative and engaging middle grade fiction–think humor, adventure and mystery. The characters must be authentic and original.
Louise is a huge adult horrror fan, but also loves romance (especially Regency and Victorian) and is looking for paranormal and steampunk romance novels with series potential. (No memoirs or erotica.)

LIA BROWN
http://avalonauthors.blogspot.com/2010/04/introducing-new-editor-lia-brown.html

Avalon Editor Lia Brown

Avalon Editor Lia Brown


Lia Brown, editor at Avalon Books in New York City, will be taking author/editor appointments at the conference. She is currently looking for single title, category, contemporary, and historical.

Brown started her career in publishing at Starlog magazine as a high school intern, fell in love with editing and the creative process, and hasn’t wanted to do anything else since. During the last twenty years she has worked on a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction topics and genres at several publishing houses including, Marvel Comics, HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press, Oxford University Press, and Random House Children’s Books.

LEIGH MICHAELS
http://www.leighmichaels.com

Leigh Michaels

Leigh Michaels


Leigh Michaels 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 teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. 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.

SHANNON VANNATTER
http://www.ShannonVannatter.com

Shannon Vannatter

Shannon Vannatter


Central Arkansas author Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife who writes inspirational romance fiction. She recently signed a three-book contract for her contemporary inspirational romance series set in Romance and Rose Bud, Arkansas.

It took Vannatter nine years to get published in the traditional market. Like Janette Oke, she views her work as a ministry and her books as paper missionaries. Vannatter hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as her characters struggle with real-life issues. Their journeys, from ordinary lives to extraordinary romance through Christ-centered relationships, demonstrate that love doesn’t conquer all; Jesus does.

Her short stories appeared in Mature Living and The Writers’ Journal in 2009. Her first novel was published in 2001. She’s received several awards including second place in the Romance Writers of America 2007 Touched By Love and 2008 Where the Magic Begins Contests, and an Honorable Mention in The 2007 Writer’s Journal Romance Contest.

SHANNON BUTCHER
http://www.shannonkbutcher.com

Shannon K. Butcher

Shannon K. Butcher


Shannon Butcher is the wife of fantasy and sci-fi author Jim Butcher. She learned to write in an effort to help him improve his own work and as soon as she discovered that writing was more a learned skill than a natural talent, she knew she had to give it a try. She couldn’t resist the challenge of taking the pieces of a story apart and putting them back together again.

She thought she would write the same kind of thing Jim did, but then she picked up her first romance novel in 1998 and was hooked. Somehow, stories about how two people come to love each other made everything else seem shallow in comparison, she said.

ELIZA LLOYD
http://www.elizalloyd.blogspot.com

Eliza Lloyd

Eliza Lloyd


Eliza Lloyd currently has three novels published with Ellora’s Cave in their 19th Century/Legend line of historicals.

Eliza thinks romance writing is nearly as good as the real thing. Given her choice of professions, she would have preferred to be a 19th century archeologist, but she is perfectly happy living in the 21st century and comfortably writing about such romantic but inconceivably inconvenient times instead.

She also writes contemporaries, romantic suspense and the occasional sci-fi.

# # #

ORA’s Virginia Pohlenz is 1 of 10 finalists in Green Eggs & Ham 50th Anniversary Video Contest

Congratulations to long-time Ozarks Romance Authors member Virginia Pohlenz (who writes as V.L. Gregory) on being 1 of 10 finalists in the Green Eggs & Ham 50th Anniversary Video Contest, sponsored by Random House Children’s Books!

Ginny wrote, produced, and submitted an adorable video to the competition. See her winning video by clicking HERE.

Winners were announced November 18, 2010, and each received a prize package including a $100 grocery gift card from the National Pork Board, limited-edition art from the Chase Art Group, and a Dr. Seuss library.

Virginia Pohlenz was 1 of 10 finalists in the Green Eggs & Ham 50th Anniversary video contest sponsored by Random House Children's Books.

Virginia Pohlenz was 1 of 10 finalists in the Green Eggs & Ham 50th Anniversary video contest sponsored by Random House Children's Books.


Visit Ginny’s web site by clicking HERE.