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

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

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.

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

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.

April 2, 2011 – Jean Stringam

Dr. Jean Stringam’s novels The Hoarders and Balance are the first of four novels in a series that explores how the events of one year impact the lives of an extended family of cousins. While the protagonists are involved in many events singular to their own lives, the major family events are seen by different eyes as having different values, even different meanings. A reader will discover that some narrators turn out to be fairly unreliable while others are searingly accurate, but each earnestly believes the small slice of reality that s/he is able to understand is the total view of the matter. The stories are anchored in contemporary culture and investigate ways the current generation of teens respond to being raised by their Gen-Me parents and Boomer grandparents. While the impact of extended family is central, other values of North American culture are also explored: from sex to cell phones, from non-communication and cyber-bullying to constant texting and dissembling affection, from cruel acts to the sublimity of genuine love. Readers young and old report being captivated by the drama of a family who, in the muddle of living, still manage to find and give their love.

Jean Stringam grew up in Alberta, Canada, taking three of her five degrees there, and remembers wonderful days riding horses, back-packing, and skiing with her family in the Canadian Rockies. Now that she lives far away from her five children and five sisters, located on both sides of the 49th parallel, she spends a lot of time travelling to see them. When they get together they love to make music, attend live theatre, and hear each other’s tales.

Nowadays she’s either teaching for her university in Missouri or, better yet, she’s teaching for them in a foreign country such as China or England. She loves to travel. If she had her way, she would visit every country in the world including all the oceans, rivers, forests, and jungles. Whenever anyone asks her where home is, she thinks about all the people she has loved. If she could get them all together in one wonderful, happy pile, that would be home. You can visit her at http://jeanstringamauthor.wordpress.com/

Please also note that we will not be meeting in our regular room this time. Join us in the Story Room at the Library Station at the usual times.

Ozarks Romance Authors, a non-profit group for writers of all genres founded in 1987, holds its meetings 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. If you have questions about the group, please email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com. NOTE: When the first Saturday of the month falls on a holiday weekend, we often reschedule. If you’re thinking of visiting and it’s a holiday weekend, please email us to find out if we have rescheduled.

February 5, 2011: Amanda Barke on Supplementing Income Through Journalistic Writing

Based in the rural Ozarks, Amanda J. Barke is a freelance journalist, author, editor, singer, and songwriter. She splits her time between writing Christian romance novels and children’s picture books, editing newsletters, and writing articles for five regional publications, including Missouri Life Magazine, The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, and Ozarks Senior Living Magazine.

Her work can also be seen online at ehow.com, livestrong.com/lifestyle, and amykitchenerfdn.org.

When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling with her family’s Bluegrass/Gospel band, The Clarke St. Strings.

For more information on Amanda’s many projects, visit her online at: http://www.AmandaBarke.com.
From “A Distant Rumble” by Amanda J. Barke:

When an underground cave in Kauai collapses, Dezarae Collins, a young archaeologist, is trapped beneath the surface and fights for her life. From above ground her Hawaiian assistant, Derek Makoa, and hundreds of volunteers frantically search for her. Dezarae’s widowed mother, Sydney, wonders why God would allow such a tragedy. Hope wanes as the search continues well into the third day.

Meanwhile, Dezarae struggles to maintain consciousness with a life-threatening head injury. Desperate to stay awake, Dezarae finds the missing journals of the late, great cave explorer, Elizabeth Rochester. The historical documents relate Elizabeth’s discovery of a missing English cruise liner rumored to have carried half of the Queen’s fortune.

Will Dezarae survive her injury? Will Derek ever confess his love for her? What happened to the treasure? Why would God allow such tragedy? Could God really have a plan in all of this chaos?