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.

Grammar Girl has a video message for Ozarks Romance Authors!

Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty thanks Ozarks Romance Authors members for their support

Click on this image to see Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty thank Ozarks Romance Authors members for their support!


We LOVE Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty. We follow her on Facebook, listen to her podcasts, read her books, check what’s new at her web site often, and her new book, “Grammar Girl’s 101 Misused Words You’ll Never Confuse Again,” will be a door prize our our annual writers’ conference in Springfield, Missouri, on July 23, 2011.

If you click on the image above (or on the link below), it will take you to a quick video of Grammar Girl thanking Ozarks Romance Authors members for our support. How cool is that?

Grammar Girl video message to Ozarks Romance Authors

Did you see us in the Joplin Independent July 8, 2011?

Ozarks Romance Authors' annual conference mentioned in the Joplin Independent July 8, 2011


The Joplin Independent, an online newspaper based in Joplin, Missouri, ran our press release about our annual writers’ conference coming up July 23, 2011.

Joplin is our neighbor, approximately an hour west of down Missouri I-44. You’ve probably heard about Joplin a lot in the national news lately, since an EF-5 tornado ripped through the town on May 22, 2011. As of today, the death toll stands at 159.

Joplin is beginning to rebuild, but still needs long-term assistance. If you would like to donate to Convoy of Hope, please click HERE to go to the organization’s web site.

HERE is a link to the story.

The text of our press release is as follows:

Conference for fiction writers is scheduled
Updated: 2011-07-08 10:12:38
SPRINGFIELD – A conference for all who write fiction sponsored by Ozarks Romance Authors is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jul. 23, 2011. The annual event will feature agent and editor pitch sessions, workshops, panel discussions, break-out sessions, and networking. It will be held at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center, 3333 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield. A book signing will kick off the event from 4-6 p.m. on July 22 at Barnes & Noble, 3055 S. Glenstone Ave.

Attendees may 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. Also scheduled to conduct workshops will be novelists Leigh Michaels, Shannon Vannatter, Eliza Lloyd, and Shannon Butcher. Their topics will include revision and self-editing, plotting, pacing, backstory, transitions, dialogue, character development and a review of 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.

Tickets are $65, payable online via secure server here or via check at the door.A discount on sleeping rooms at The Clarion is available.

Ozarks Romance Authors is multi-genre non-profit group founded in 1987 in the southwest Missouri region. Monthly speakers help writers of all genres hone their skills and explore writing opportunities. Regular meetings are held the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station in Springfield. Visitors are welcome. More information is available by calling (417) 597-4716.

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.

Our conference is mentioned in today’s e-newsletter from Springfield Regional Arts Council

Springfield Regional Arts Council, a Springfield, Missouri non-profit group
Did you see us in today’s ezine from Springfield Regional Arts Council?

They usually send their e-newsletter each Monday, but since their office was closed Monday for the 4th of July holiday, the newsletter was sent today (Tuesday) instead.

SRAC mentioned Ozarks Romance Authors’ Annual Conference coming up July 23, along with a link to our page on our their site. Click HERE to see our conference page on Springfield Regional Arts Council’s web site.

Why did SRAC do this? Because we are a member of this fine organization that promotes the arts in southwest Missouri.

What did Springfield Regional Arts Council say about us?

Ozarks Romance Authors will host their annual conference all day July 23 at The Clarion.

This is conference for all fiction writers (not just in romance, this authors’ group is multi-genre).

Registration is required.

Guest speakers will include award-winning authors, a literary agent from New York City, and an editor from Avalon Books.

July 22 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Barnes & Noble is hosting the conference kick-off with appearances from conference speaker and authors, and a booksigning event.

For more info – http://ozarks-romance-authors.com/2011-annual-conference/
Next Event (daily):
Friday, July 22, 2011 – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

If you would like to receive Springfield Regional Arts Council’s weekly ezine, click HERE and enter your email address.

Thinking of coming to our writers’ conference on July 23, 2010? There is still time to register. Pay in advance using the link at the bottom of THIS page. You can even pay at the door that morning.

We’ll have best-selling authors who are scheduled to travel to Springfield and make this one of the best writers’ conferences in the state of Missouri. They have prepared fabulous presentations, workshops, and panels with information relevant to all writers of fiction (not just those writing for the romance genre).

We’ll also have Louise Fury, literary agent with The L. Perkins Agency, and Lia Brown, editor with Avalon Books.

Hope to see you at The Clarion Hotel Conference Center on Saturday, July 23, 2010!

Springfield Regional Arts Council ezine

July 5, 2011, issue of Springfield Regional Arts Council's ezine

Live-Tweet of Author Louise A. Jackson’s Presentation July 2, 2011

Louise A. Jackson

Louise A. Jackson

Ozarks Romance Authors’ members had a special treat Saturday, July 2, 2011, as author Louise A. Jackson was our guest speaker.

Louise’s presentation was titled “From an Idea in My Head to a Book in Your Hand.” She took us through the basics of the publishing industry with a healthy sprinkle of her journey toward publication and how the situation changes as you continue to be published.

We used our Twitter account to live-tweet during Louise’s presentation, and we will now paste the transcript below.

If you would like to know about future live-tweets, become our fan on Facebook HERE and follow us on Twitter HERE.

Our next regular meeting will be Saturday, August 6, 2011, at The Library Station on N. Kansas Expressway in Springfield, Missouri. For details about our monthly meetings, click HERE.

Our annual conference will be held July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Missouri (on Glenstone, between Target and Friendly Ford). Details about our conference are available by clicking HERE.

Our speaker today is award-winning children’s author Louise A Jackson http://www.louiseajackson.net

Louise is a member of Ozark Writers and Illustrators for Children

which is a group that meets here Saturday mornings

Like us, they meet 1st Sat of each month.

Children’s group is having Workshop July 30 at The Library Center

Keynote is Paula Morrow, an agent who was an editor with Highlights for Children mag

Another speaker is Judy Young, a local author and former teacher

Ozark Writers and Illustrators for Children’s web site is http://www.owaic.org

Another speaker at their July 30 workshop will be Vicki Grove

Our speaker today is award-winning children’s author Louise A Jackson

Writing is a seamless garment. No matter the genre you write, it’s much the same.

What should I write about? Who will read it? How can I make it interesting for them? Is this written correctly?

Every author asks these same questions. We can learn from each other in a variety of ways.

Today’s topic: From an Idea in My Head to a Book in Your Hand

Not talking about self-pub today. There are great self-pub places, though.

Chicken Soup books couldn’t find a publisher, so self-pubbed.

Now there are hundreds of publishers who would LOVE to have Chicken Soup.

You CAN be successful as a self-pub author. Louise’s opinion: When you self-pub, it may be wonderful, but how do you know?

No other filter to say that you’ve gotten there.

Louise’s personal opinion is if not good enough to pub on open market, she won’t publish.

So this presentation is about traditional pub, not self-pub or e-pub.

Louise’s first book began with a bit of family lore — a clock that that was passed down

“Gone to Texas” was that book.

Every time you write a scene, your question becomes: Now what does he need, more than anything else, at this point?

“Gone to Texas” came from a family heirloom (clock) used in a fanciful way.

Don’t hesitate to go with regional presses. They’re smaller presses, but many are quite good.

After JK Rowling sold HP and businesses that knew nothing about publishing entered scene,

they compressed things and lost a lot. Naive men thought HP came along every other day.

Same thing happened in publishing that happened in banking.

Citibank, Bank of America bought up smaller banks. After they consolidated, regional banks started opening again

We have lots of regional banks that grew out of demand from “too big to fail” banks.

Louise’s “Gone to Texas” was pub by regional press Eakin.

Peachtree Press in Atlanta is also very good.

Another book came from learning Springfield had a home for soldiers’ kids orphaned by war.

Do a LOT of research! Louise is big believer in doing research.

You need MORE data than you will ever use. Then you’ll probably need MORE research before finishing.

Get your idea, do lots of reseach. Begin to develop main characters.

Louise writes paragraphs in the character’s voice to develop the character.

What’s in his life that he doesn’t want anyone to know? This drives their behavior.

Backstory is vital! Write your story, then go back and drop bits of backstory into the manuscript.

Louise strongly urges writers to work with a critique group!

@OzarksRomance Authors hold critique group 10am 1st Saturday of each month.

Louise’s critique group meets weekly. She revises her work based on their critiques.

You’ve finished your book. Now what? Get a copy of “Writer’s Market.”

Do your research BEFORE sending your manuscript to a publisher.

There is nothing worse than sending your manuscript to a publisher who does not publish that genre.

Follow proper manuscript formatting guidelines — double space, 1″ margins, only 1 space after period ending sentence.

Never take for granted the editor is still at that pub house. They constantly move around.

By the time Writer’s Market comes out, they may be gone. Web site might not be correct.

Pick up the phone. Call publisher. Ask if that editor is still there. If in doubt, ask if male or female.

Get the editor’s name right! Develop the art of the query letter.

Conferences are vital for writers. We’re having one July 23! Details: http://ow.ly/4lZmp

Louise says you can have 10 queries out for 1 manuscript, but only send ms to 1 house at a time.

Loads of info online of how to write a query letter.

Louise makes most of her publishing industry contacts through conferences.

She is going back to a national publisher (rather than regional) again for next book.

Someday you’ll get call/letter saying they want to buy your book. Next to having a child, this is the best feeling EVER.

Enter contests! Put your book out there.

Louise’s book “H is for Hope” helps the Rainbow Network. http://rainbownetwork.wordpress.com

Rainbow Network is a faith-based organization working to end extreme poverty in Nicaragua through housing, health care,

education, micro finance, and sustainable agriculture.

A lot of the process of writing means pieces of process take places simultaneously.

Louise was a teacher for many years and earned her doctorate in 1965.

Conferences Louise attends? Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Ozarks Writers League

Thanks for joining our live-tweet of author http://www.louiseajackson.net

Jennifer Jakes discusses the Alpha Male on Rachel Leigh’s blog

Jennifer Jakes

Jennifer Jakes is the guest on Rachel Leigh's blog, discussing the Alpha Male.

Ozarks Romance Authors’ very own Jennifer Jakes discussed the Alpha Male yesterday on Rachel Leigh’s blog.

EXCERPT:

So what do you think, ladies? Do you find yourself drawn to Alpha or Beta males in movies or books? Action hero or Romantic Comedy? Rouge or guy next door?

Want to see what all of the fuss is about? Click HERE to visit Rachel Leigh’s blog.

Rachel Leigh is a writer of erotic romance who loves mixing love with good sex and plenty of cheeky laughter. She says the aim of her stories is to turn readers on, as well as making them feel love may be just around the corner. She is basked in the United Kingdom.

Jennifer Jakes writes hot western romance novels. She is the author of “Rafe’s Redemption.” Click HERE to visit her web site.

Ozarks Romance Authors member Jennifer Jakes is the guest on Rachel Leigh's blog, discussing the Alpha Male.

Ozarks Romance Authors member Jennifer Jakes is the guest on Rachel Leigh's blog, discussing the Alpha Male.

The speakers for our annual conference July 23, 2011, are getting excited!

Eliza Lloyd is one of the authors coming to speak at our annual writers’ conference, and she just gave a little sneak peek on her blog HERE.

In fact, this is the second time she has mentioned our writers’ conference, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 2011, in Springfield, Missouri. We mentioned the other occurrence HERE, along with links to Eliza’s books.

If you like a sexy, steamy read, click on her titles below.

“Wicked Desires”

“Wicked Temptation”

“Another Lover”

Follow Eliza Lloyd on Twitter! Her Twitter name is @elloydwriting .

Writers’ conferences and conventions of this quality in the midwest are not easy to find. This year’s conference is full of presentations and workshops by award-winning authors, plus our attendees can schedule pitch sessions with a literary agent and publishing house editor from New York City. Opportunities like this do not happen often in the Ozarks! If you would like more details about who will be speaking (and who will be taking pitch sessions) at our conference, click HERE.

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.

Visitors are welcome. Your first three visits are free. For details about upcoming meetings, please click HERE.

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.

http://elizalloyd.blogspot.com/2011/06/ozark-writers-conferencejust-around.html