Heather Snow and Holly Atkinson will present Critique Mystique
Monthly Meeting--Saturday, August 2, 2014
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 Mara W. Cohen will give us insight and tips on writing your first novel at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2014, at The Library Station in Springfield, Missouri.
Mara teaches in the English Department at Missouri State University.
With degrees from both Columbia University (NYC) and Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), she is working on her doctorate at The Spertus Institute of Jewish Leadership and Learning in Chicago.
In addition to writing historical fiction about the Jews of Greece, she the co-director of the Telling Traditions Project, which has a mission to preserve the history of the Jews of the Ozarks and does research on American haggadot.
Along with this first novel, her first documentary "Home, Community, Tradition:The Women of Temple Israel," about the Jewish women of Springfield, MO, is available from the project.
Very concerned about preserving Jewish history, Ms. Cohen has just completed, with M. Rachel Gholson, "Jews of Springfield in the Ozarks" published by Arcadia Press.
A world traveler, she loves meeting her fans, so consider inviting her to your community.
FIND MARA W. COHEN ONLINE:
We'll be in the Frisco Room at The Library Station on N. Kansas Expressway in Springfield, MO. * Critique Group from 10:00 - 11:55 a.m. * Lunch next door at Panera from noon - 1:00 p.m. * Meeting begins at 1:00 p.m.
ABOUT ELLEN HARGER: Our very own Ellen Harger Pollreisz (writing as Ellen Harger) says: I write women's fiction heavy with sass and snark – my two favorite adjectives. I’m a new stepmom, too, so I have an almost endless supply of writing fodder. I’m also a dog lover. In. Every. Sense. Of. The. Word. Oh, and Southwest Missouri is fabulous. In 2013 I became a published author, wife, and new step-mom. I’ve been a dog lover since birth. For five years I lived in Bean Town, but ever willing to try new places, I eagerly crossed the country to live in Oakland and Berkeley. There I polished and noodled my first novel, and started a few more manuscripts with the help of NaNoWriMo. The bug developed into a full-fledged condition. After eleven years away, and loving the symmetry, I returned to the Midwest to finalize "Strong Enough," set in a town based on Springfield. I've published a poem, "Guidelines," released my debut novel as an e-book, and written a second Women’s Fiction novel, “The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones.” The pipeline is backed up with short stories and novels waiting their turn. Time to open up the valve.
FIND ELLEN ONLINE HERE:
Save The Date
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Ozarks Romance Authors Annual Conference
Workshops - Pitch Sessions - Speakers - Headshots - Networking - Fun
We're putting together a fantastic lineup of speakers. Stay tuned for more details!
Springfield, Missouri -- where Ozarks Romance Authors is based -- was just ranked by Amazon.com as the third-most romantic city in the USA! 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.
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?
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: email@example.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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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!
Hi everyone! We sure hope you're as excited about Ozarks Romance Authors' annual conference coming up on Saturday, July 23, 2011, as we are!
Since the directions in Mapquest are a little confusing, we wanted to post a couple of videos and explain the wacky way to find the hotel.
The Clarion's address is 3333 S. Glenstone Avenue here in Springfield, Missouri, and the hotel faces Glenstone. However, you can't turn into the hotel's parking lot from Glenstone. That's the wacky part.
IF YOU'RE COMING FROM THE SOUTH (FROM BRANSON, HEADED NORTH TOWARD SPRINGFIELD)
If you're coming from the south down Highway 65 (from Branson, headed north toward Springfield), you have a few options. You can exit Highway 65 and get on the James River Freeway heading west, and then take the northbound Glenstone exit. If you take this route, you'll be headed north on Glenstone and you'll drive past The Clarion.
At this point, Mapquest's confusing directions tell you to make a U-turn. WRONG! You'll see The Clarion and the Ford dealership on your left (the west side of the street) and then you'll see the traffic light at the intersection of Glenstone and Erie. Turn left (west) on Erie and be ready to make an IMMEDIATE left turn (south) in front of the Ford dealership. Stay on this little access road until it is about to dead-end and then you'll turn right (west) into the hotel's parking lot.
We took this route to show you what to expect, and here is the video:
IF YOU'RE COMING FROM THE NORTH
If you're coming from the north, you probably:
* came in on Interstate 44 and took the Glenstone exit, and headed south on Glenstone
* came from the north on Highway 65, headed south, and took the Battlefield exit, and then came west on Battlefield and turned south on Glenstone
* came from the west (headed east) on Battlefield and turned south on Glenstone
this next video will make more sense to you.
At the intersection of Battlefield and Glenstone, you'll see Barnes & Noble on the southwest corner. This is where we're having our booksigning on from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 22, by the way.
Go south on Glenstone and you will pass Barnes & Noble and Olive Garden. The traffic light will be Erie. Turn right (west) on Erie and be prepared to make an IMMEDIATE left (south) in front of the Ford dealership. Follow this little road until it is about to dead-end and make a right (west) into The Clarion's parking lot.
Here is a video to show what it looks like coming toward The Clarion from this direction:
Have you reserved your seat at our annual writers' conference? Click HERE to read all about the great speakers and topics. When you go to that page and scroll down, you'll see a spot at the bottom to register and pay using PayPal. If you need more information, or if you would prefer to mail a check to register, please email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
If you are a fan of (or writer of) romance fiction, you've probably heard the latest round of bru-ha-ha about the genre supposedly being bad for women. It came in the form of a news story titled Romance novels can be as addictive as pornography on a news site affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This claim comes from Dr. Julianna Slattery, of Focus on the Family. She is a psychologist and author of “Finding the Hero in your Husband," and her views on the romance fiction industry were shared in an article written by Kimberly Sayers-Giles, a Latter-day Saints “life coach," for KSL.com.
Slattery's theory includes the following points:
There are similarities between what happens to a man when he views pornography and what happens to a woman when she reads a romance novel.
Men are very visual, and viewing pornography produces a euphoric drug in the body. This drug is the reason pornography becomes addictive. When the natural high wears off, a man will crash and feel depressed (as happens with any drug) and crave another hit.
Women are more stimulated by romance than sex, so when they read romantic stories (and they don’t have to be explicit to work) they can experience the same addictive chemical release as men do.
For many women, these romance novels may be more than a necessity; they may be an addiction -- and Slattery said she is seeing more and more women who are clinically addicted to romantic books.
Women may find their standard for intimacy begins to change over time because may not be able to get as satisfied with their partners as they can reading a book.
Tamar Bihari has written a fabulous blog post in response to Slattery's claims over at Women's Voices for Change: Redefining Life After 40.
Tamar Bihari's arguments include the following points:
Because romance novels at their core are all about relationships and largely aim for a happy ending, they necessarily reflect their authors’ takes on what it takes to build a healthy relationship. How two people learn to communicate, how to treat each other with respect and appreciation, how they can help each other heal from old wounds. They don’t generally begin from a healthy place, but the characters grow and learn through the story.
In so doing, they can illuminate that process for their readers, much like women might do in person, sharing stories while sitting around an office break room, or hanging out at the local playground with their toddlers. Shared experience, giving the reader a few new tools to bring to her own relationship. What’s wrong with that? (Unless you don’t believe that a woman should challenge her spouse to bring more to the relationship emotionally? Hmm…)
Relationships, emotional connections, these are foundational to our lives. To dismiss (or condemn) an entire genre because it focuses on the subject smacks of Victorianism, dismissing the “women’s sphere.” Sexist? I think so, yes.
Incidentally, romance, like any other genre (including literary!), has its share of clunkers and unfortunate genre cliches, but also a surprising richness of high quality fiction. Beautifully written or delightfully fun depictions of a place, a time, a relationship.
Bihari graduated from Harvard University with cum laude honors in History & Literature. A native New Yorker, she lived in Los Angeles for several years before returning east, and edited low-budget features and high-profile TV shows, including "Northern Exposure" and "LA Law," before turning to writing full time. Bihari recently wrote a review for WVFC of HBO's Temple Grandin; she's also given us her story of sharing her brilliant and talented son, Damian, with her Harvard reunion. She also written about her family for Autism Speaks and has published articles and personal essays in various other venues. As a screenwriter, Bihari was a quarter-finalist in the prestigious Nicholl and Austin screenwriting competitions and had three screenplays optioned by producers. She, Damian, and her husband Dan Valverde now live with their two cats in New York City.
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 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.
Several folks have emailed and called Ozarks Romance Authors to ask if we will be live-tweeting from our annual conference, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel Conference Center in Springfield, Missouri.
The answer is, "Sort of."
Here's the deal.
We will tweet to let our followers know what's going on behind closed doors to a certain extent. We'll let you know who is speaking and, toward the end of the day, we'll announce the winners of the 2011 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest.
You may be wondering, "Why not?"
There are several reasons.
2. Our attendees are paying a fee to attend the conference. Out of respect for them, we will not divulge the contents of the workshops and presentations on Tw. We hope that doesn't seem harsh. But, think about it. If you had paid anywhere from $50 to $65 to attend an all-day conference, would you be happy if you knew there were folks out there who were reading the same material that you just heard -- for free? Didn't think so.
Ozarks Romance Authors is a multi-genre writers' group, founded in 1987. We are a registered non-profit in the state of Missouri, and more than half of our members have been published.
Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station on North Kansas Expressway in Springfield, Missouri.
Visitors are welcome! Your first three visits are free. Join us for our critique group at 10:00 a.m., lunch at noon, and a guest speaker with a message relevant to the publishing industry at 1:00 p.m.
If you have questions about visiting our group, feel free to email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com or call (417) 597-4716.