SPRINGFIELD, MO -- A conference for fiction writers is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. July 23, 2011. The annual event will feature agent and editor pitch sessions, workshops, panel discussions, break-out sessions, and networking, and will be held at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center, 3333 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, Missouri.
Tickets are $60 prior to July 1, or $65 after July 1 or at the door, payable online via secure server by visiting http://ozarks-romance-authors.com/2011-annual-conference or via check.
The conference, open to all who write fiction, is sponsored by Ozarks Romance Authors, a multi-genre non-profit group founded in 1987.
Attendees can pre-schedule one-on-one meetings to pitch their completed manuscripts with Louise Fury, literary agent with the L. Perkins Agency, or Lia Brown, editor with Avalon Books.
Featured guests and speakers will be novelists Leigh Michaels, Shannon Vannatter, Eliza Lloyd, and Shannon Butcher.
Topics include revision and self-editing, plotting, pacing, backstory, transitions, dialogue, character development, and the publishing industry.
Winners of the annual Weta Nichols Fiction Contest, named in honor of the group’s late founder, will be announced to conclude the day.
A discount on sleeping rooms at The Clarion is available.
Ozarks Romance Authors is a non-profit organization for writers in the southwest Missouri region. Monthly speakers help writers of all genres hone their skills and explore writing opportunities.
Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station in Springfield. Visitors are welcome, and more information is available by calling (417) 597-4716 or by visiting www.Ozarks-Romance-Authors.com.
Become a fan on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/OzarksRomanceAuthors and follow the group on Twitter http://www.Twitter.com/OzarksRomance.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Louise Fury, literary agent with the L. Perkins Agency, will be taking pitch sessions from authors at the conference.
Louise believes in the power of marketing and is constantly on the lookout for authors who know how to promote themselves.
She is seeking well written, teen sci-fi and young adult horror. She is also on the hunt for fun, imaginative and engaging middle grade fiction--think humor, adventure and mystery. The characters must be authentic and original.
Louise is a huge adult horrror fan, but also loves romance (especially Regency and Victorian) and is looking for paranormal and steampunk romance novels with series potential. (No memoirs or erotica.)
Lia Brown, editor at Avalon Books in New York City, will be taking author/editor appointments at the conference. She is currently looking for single title, category, contemporary, and historical.
Brown started her career in publishing at Starlog magazine as a high school intern, fell in love with editing and the creative process, and hasn’t wanted to do anything else since. During the last twenty years she has worked on a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction topics and genres at several publishing houses including, Marvel Comics, HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press, Oxford University Press, and Random House Children’s Books.
Leigh Michaels is the author of nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels, three historical romance novels, and more than a dozen non-fiction books. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published. Six of her books have been finalists for Best Traditional Romance novel in the RITA contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America. She has received two Reviewer’s Choice awards from Romantic Times.
Her work has been translated and published in 120 countries in more than 25 languages, including Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Czech, Bulgarian, Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, Greek, Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Africaans, Arabic, Indonesian, and Chinese.
She is the 2003 recipient of the Johnson Brigham Award presented by the Iowa Library Association to an Iowa author for outstanding contributions to literature.
She teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Men and women from around the world have participated in her workshops, and a number of them have gone on to publish their own romance novels with commercial publishers. She is currently an adjunct professor in the School of Communications at the University of Iowa.
She wrote her first romance novel when she was a teenager and burned it, then wrote and burned five more complete manuscripts before submitting to a publisher. Her first submission was accepted and published by Harlequin Books, the first publisher to look at it.
Central Arkansas author Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife who writes inspirational romance fiction. She recently signed a three-book contract for her contemporary inspirational romance series set in Romance and Rose Bud, Arkansas.
It took Vannatter nine years to get published in the traditional market. Like Janette Oke, she views her work as a ministry and her books as paper missionaries. Vannatter hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as her characters struggle with real-life issues. Their journeys, from ordinary lives to extraordinary romance through Christ-centered relationships, demonstrate that love doesn’t conquer all; Jesus does.
Her short stories appeared in Mature Living and The Writers’ Journal in 2009. Her first novel was published in 2001. She’s received several awards including second place in the Romance Writers of America 2007 Touched By Love and 2008 Where the Magic Begins Contests, and an Honorable Mention in The 2007 Writer’s Journal Romance Contest.
Shannon Butcher is the wife of fantasy and sci-fi author Jim Butcher. She learned to write in an effort to help him improve his own work and as soon as she discovered that writing was more a learned skill than a natural talent, she knew she had to give it a try. She couldn’t resist the challenge of taking the pieces of a story apart and putting them back together again.
She thought she would write the same kind of thing Jim did, but then she picked up her first romance novel in 1998 and was hooked. Somehow, stories about how two people come to love each other made everything else seem shallow in comparison, she said.
Eliza Lloyd currently has three novels published with Ellora’s Cave in their 19th Century/Legend line of historicals.
Eliza thinks romance writing is nearly as good as the real thing. Given her choice of professions, she would have preferred to be a 19th century archeologist, but she is perfectly happy living in the 21st century and comfortably writing about such romantic but inconceivably inconvenient times instead.
She also writes contemporaries, romantic suspense and the occasional sci-fi.
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