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.

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

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

Congratulations to the Finalists in our 2011 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest

Literary Agent Louise Fury (left) and Avalon Books Editor Lia Brown

Literary Agent Louise Fury (left) and Avalon Books Editor Lia Brown are the final-round judges for Ozarks Romance Authors' annual fiction writing contest and will appear in person at our conference July 23, 2011.


Congratulations to the 8 finalists in our 2011 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest!

Their entries are now in the hands of our final-round judges, literary agent Louise Fury and Avalon Books editor Lia Brown, who will be here in person at our annual conference July 23 in Springfield, Missouri.

During the conference, which will take place at The Clarion Hotel Convention Center (between Target and Friendly Ford on South Glenstone), we will announce the winners and present the cash prizes — $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. (If you are a finalist and can’t make it, we will mail your prize.)

This year, we had a record-breaking 99 submissions from all over the world, representing many genres.

Many thanks to our first-round juges. Without them, we never would have been able to see our contest double in size.

Our 2011 finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

Linda Carroll Brad
San Antonio, Texas
“Hannah’s Promise”
Historical Romance

Cecily Cornelius-White
Springfield, Missouri
“Snatchers”
Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Alice Cummings
Springfield, Missouri
“The Treasure Hunter’s Lady”
Fantasy Romance

Rebecca Davis
Cincinnati, Ohio
“The Goddess of Michigan Avenue”
Paranormal Romance

Lily Herman
Pont Vedra Beach, Florida
“Out the Backdoor”
Young Adult

Brenda Littau
Pallyup, Washington
“Love and Zombies”
Romance/Horror

Normandie Ward Fischer
Gloucester, North Carolina
“Heavy Weather”
Mainstream

Gail Zerrade
Boise, Idaho
“The Patriarch”
Mainstream

If you are interested in competing in our 2012 contest, please click HERE to follow us on Twitter, or click HERE to follow us on Facebook.

Would you like to be included in the fun, learning, and networking that we have planned for our July 23, 2011, conference? Click HERE for details.

Ozarks Romance Authors’ store is open for business!

Ozarks Romance Authors T-shirt

Support your favorite non-profit group in the region by sporting our fabulous ORAwear!

Looking for a great way to support your favorite non-profit group while letting more people know that you are a fabulous writer?

How about adding a few pieces of ORAwear to your wardrobe?

Here is the link to go to our store: http://www.cafepress.com/romanceauthors

You’ll find some cute things like T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, ringer T-shirts, caps, tote bags, messenger bags, teddy bears, license plate frames, and mugs.

Ozarks Romance Authors was founded in 1987 as a regional writers’ group focusing on the romance fiction genre. The group was a chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Through the years, ORA evolved into a multi-genre group. Current members have been published by traditional book publishers, e-publishers, independent publishers, Kindle, Nook, and various newspapers, magazines, trade journals, and industry publications.

Members range from those who are just thinking of getting started in writing to those who have been published many times.

If you are interested in the publishing industry, we would love to meet you. Our monthly meetings are fun and informative, and our critique group can help you polish your manuscript and get it ready for agents and editors to consider.

Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station in Springfield, Missouri. This is just south of the intersection of Interstate 44 and North Kansas Expressway, or just north of the intersection of West Kearney Street and North Kansas Expressway. Click HERE to see a map.

If you have questions about the group, feel free to post a comment here, send us an email at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com, or call (417) 597-4716.

Barbara Bettis hosts Amanda Barke for Writers’ Wednesday on her blog

Amanda Barke

Author Amanda Barke is today's guest at Barbara Bettis' blog for Writers' Wednesday.

Two members of Ozarks Romance Authors are heating up the Internet today.

Barbara Bettis has welcomed Amanda Barke to her blog for Barb’s popular “Writers’ Wednesday” feature. Click HERE to see the interview.

AMANDA J. BARKE
Amanda J. Barke is an author, editor, freelance journalist, singer/songwriter, and motivational speaker. She lives in the Ozarks (southwest Missouri) with her family.

Her work as a freelance journalist can be found in Ozarks’ Senior Living Newspaper, Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, Missouri Life Magazine, and various other regional publications. Her other articles can be found online at ehow.com, livestrong.com/lifestyle, and amykitchenerfdn.org.

As a motivational speaker, she travels all over Missouri promoting literacy in schools, teaching fellow writers, and motivating teens to follow their dreams. In 2010, she served as president of Springfield Writers’ Guild.

She has been a member of Ozarks Romance Authors since early 2011.

Visit Amanda online by clicking HERE.

Her children’s book, “The Sleepy Little Sun,” is available online by clicking HERE.

Her novel, “A Distant Rumble,” is available online by clicking HERE.

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

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

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

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

Barbara Bettis hosts author Amanda J. Barke for Writers' Wednesday on her blog.

Barbara Bettis hosts author Amanda J. Barke for Writers' Wednesday on her blog.