Monday, August 20, 2012

OWFI 45!

OWFI 45! Revive! Strive! Thrive!  

So, why this theme for the 2013 conference?  Well, it rhymes. And look at all those exclamation points!   How fun is that? For all those people who've asked me over the years why I don't write poetry, you now have your answer.

When conference chair, Jan Morrill, and I discussed the upcoming conference, we threw out all kinds of theme names: Write On, Write Now, Holy Smoking Ink Balls, The Write Way,  Slaughtering Those Pesky LY Words, etc. After a couple cups of coffee, our ideas didn't get any better.  So, we backtracked and discussed what we wanted the attendees to gain from the 2013 conference.

We reviewed our list of speakers and realized that we have folks who could inspire authors to spark and/or regain their creativity.   There are times when as writers we begin to question our abilities, second guess every sentence and fret over our storylines. I can't tell you how many times I've been 70,000 words into a novel and stop dead in my tracks, smothered in doubt.  Fortunately, I have wonderful friends who kick me in the backside and get me going again.  Sometimes, though, you need to hear the same message from a different messenger.  We need to gain confidence in our talents and REVIVE our creativity.

There are speakers on the 2013 faculty who will help you hone your craft. We have several speakers who are leaders in their genres: Jodi Thomas, Ron Fortier, Rob M. Davis, Jordan Dane, Lauri Owen. These speakers will show you the ins and outs of those genres and help you STRIVE for excellence.

It is our hope that you'll take the information you gain from the 2013 conference, apply it to your writing and your careers will THRIVE!  Thriving is awesome, don't you think?  Wouldn't it be awesome if the 2014 Famous Author Banquet took 4 hours??  Okay, maybe not, but it would be incredible to have hundreds of published authors to celebrate each year.

If you have suggestions, comments or ideas for the conference, please don't hesitate to contact me.

The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for September 9 at 2 PM at the Norman Embassy Suites and Conference Center in Norman, Oklahoma. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Can you believe it? Time for the OWFI Conference is almost here. And with the conference rapidly approaching there are a few loose ends to tie up:

  • We are now receiving items for the bags. If you have bookmarks, post cards, anything fliers, etc. please send them to me at 20245 Pug Gayer Road, Fayetteville, AR 72703 OR bring them to the Embassy Suites on Thursdays before 2:00. 
  • We now have a "Buzz" page on the website. If you would like to host a buzz session please let Jen Nipps know. 
  • APRIL 19th is the last day the hotel block will be held for OWFI conferencees. Even though the hotel shows as full, we still have rooms reserved for us! Be sure to tell them you are with the OWFI Conference!
  • PANELS: As of now I have received one (1) uno, panel question. Those sent to me will be asked first. In the interest of time, those who attend the panels will be asked to write their questions and give them to the person working the floor who will sift through them and take out any redundant questions and give them to the moderator, who will ask the questions.
Also, I have read and re-read suggestions from last year and have tried to implement most of them (except for the dancing girls suggestion) One of the chief complaints have been the cold rooms. I'm sorry to say that we have absolutely no control over that. If we make one room warmer, the others will be burning up. The reason is that the system is set for the Ballroom which we divide into parlors with the folding walls. Therefore, bring sweaters. It is better to put things on than to take things off. 

Another suggestion is to have coffee and tea. I will look into that for the afternoon. But you have no idea how expensive that is! I'll look into the budget and see if we have "room" for it. 

We will have better signs. 

This year the book room is on the first floor. We were going to put it in the Pre-con room, but that is going to be the meeting space for editors and agents. The Embassy has combined two rooms by the pool (behind the area we eat breakfast) They used to serve as the hospitality room and the game room. That will be our book room. We will have signs and will also encourage other hotel guests to shop as well! 

That is all for now but I'll be blogging more often to keep you updated on what is going on. This is going to be a great year!! I can't wait to hear all of your success stories! 

Keep Weaving,

Monday, February 20, 2012


Since becoming president of OWFI, I’ve learned how “fluid” the conference can be. We’ve had more changes. Pat Smith is suffering a condition that not only prevents her from taking pitches at our conference, but has also forced her to resign from Goldminds Publishing. That said, her boss, editor Steven Anderson (Law) is coming in her place. Be sure and go to our website and read all about him.

Emmanuel Morgan has changed literary firms. She is now with Stonesong. That said, she is still looking for the same things as stated on our website. But you might want to check Stonesong out.

We have added pages to our website. We now have the Table Reservation, Autograph Party, Editor/Agent appointment, Shepherd, and Volunteer pages up. Which brings me to something I’d like to encourage you to consider—volunteering!

Jim Davis, our shepherd chair, still needs shepherds. This is a great way to not only network, but to have extra input in your writing. I encourage you to contact Jim at and volunteer. Please put Shepherd Volunteer in the subject line.

We also need volunteers for the following:
·      Information desk. This is new this year. We would like someone take one hour to man the desk to answer questions that attendees might have. You will have all the cell phone numbers of those who will know the answers (if you are not sure, we will go over everything with you). There will also be a map to all the different rooms and classes.
·      Registration. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact Ruth Weeks at and put Registration Volunteer in the subject line.
·      Bag Stuffer. This is a fun job! We will do this on Thursday afternoon. If you are in the area and can come early, we’d love to have your help!
·      Editor/Agent Appointments. If you would like to help here please contact Jan Morrill at and put Editor/Agent Volunteer in the subject line.
·      Basket Wars. If you would like to help Vivian with this please contact her at and put Basket Wars Volunteer in the subject line.

Another awesome opportunity is to help Chuck Sambuchino with his book table. He will have a table in the bookroom but is going to handle his own books. However, while he is teaching or taking appointments he will need help. Now get this, he said for those who help him he will offer edits on your queries or synopsis, or pages. This is fantastic. This is a guy who knows the secrets! This offer is especially desirable for those of you who hate writing queries and synopsis!  We could use two or three people for this. And what better way to get to know Chuck? Networking, networking, networking! I’m just sayin . . .

Finally, I want to tell you about another incredible opportunity. This year Bill Bernhardt is conducting a preconference small-group seminar. It will be in Oklahoma City beginning on Sunday, April 29, 2012 and finishing the morning of Thursday, May 3, 2012. There is only room for 10 people. We only have 7 spots left. The charge for this intensive seminar is $499.00. There will be a non-refundable deposit of $50.00 due by April 22nd.  

Below is the description and if you are interested or would like more information, please write me at Put Bill Bernhardt Seminar in the subject line.

OWFI Pre-Conference Small-Group Seminar

The seminar consists of five intense, inspiring days learning the art and craft of writing. In addition to the instruction, editing, and advice, each participant will be guided in:
·      Composing
·      Writing a first-rate query letter and synopsis
·      Outlining several chapters of their book–the building blocks for selling and publishing your work.

Participants will also gain experience pitching and selling their work for publication. The seminar is limited to no more than ten participants.  This seminar is designed for writers who have at least started a work-in-progress and hope to be published by a major publisher. 

I appreciate all of you! 
Keep Weaving!