SAVE THE DATE: September 16-17, 2016

ORACON 2016 details coming soon!

Featuring Candace Haven’s Wildly Popular Workshops:
Fast Draft: A Book in Two Weeks
Revision Hell and How to Get Through It

You are invited to the 2015 ORACON Fiction Writer’s Workshop! This event has much to offer all fiction authors and will focus on the fundamentals of good writing that will apply to any genre of fiction, including: drafting, laying groundwork for your story, scene and structure, revision and more! You will also learn vital information about publishing from industry professionals.

We will also announce the winners for the 2015 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest, named in honor of the woman who founded our group in 1987, the late novelist Weta Nichols.


  • 20-Author Book Signing on Friday afternoon, open to the public!***
  • Meet and Greet Cocktail Hour on Friday night at the hotel. Come mingle with agents, editors, authors and attendees!
  • Book-In-A-Year Challenge

***If you are a published author interested in participating in the 20-author public book signing on Friday afternoon, or having an author table at the conference on Saturday, details will be on the registration form.


  • Pitch sessions with editors and agents
  • Professional Headshots

What you can do on this page:

  1. Register and pay for your ORACON 2015 conference registration via PayPal.
  2. Reserve your hotel room at a discounted rate in the conference host hotel.
  3. Sign up for pitch sessions.
  4. Sign up for a professional headshot.

Let’s get started!

1. Online registration has ended, but you can still register and pay at the door. The cost is $75.

2. Reserve your hotel room in the conference host hotel.


University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, Springfield, MO

The deadline for the discounted rate has passed, but you can still call 417-864-7333 to book a room at the regular nightly rate.

3. Sign up for pitch sessions.



Once you register for the conference and pay through PayPal, you can use your PayPal confirmation number to sign up for ONE 10-minute, 1-on-1 pitch session with ONE of the following:

Holly Atkinson, Acquiring Editor with Samhain Publishing.

Tish Beaty, Literary Agent with L. Perkins Agency

Louise Fury, Literary Agent with The Bent Agency  **All available time slots for Louise have been filled, but you can put your name on her waiting list in case there are any cancellations**

Candace Havens, Editorial Director for Entangled Publishing

After you register and pay for the conference, return to this page and click here for PITCH SIGN-UP to select the person and times you would like to schedule your pitch. Spots are limited, so don’t delay! **You MUST have your PayPal Confirmation Number in order to sign up.** Waiting lists are available if you are interested in more than one editor or agent spot.

4. Sign up for a professional headshot.



Sharon Davis of Davis Photographic Design  is offering headshots again this year. The fee is $35 for a quality image suitable for book covers and social media sites.

Want to see how great previous years’ shots turned out? Look at these winners!

After you’ve paid your conference registration, click here to reserve and pay for your spot in front of Sharon’s camera! **You MUST have your PayPal Confirmation Numbers for the conference AND the headshot in order to sign up.**

5. Plan to attend.



  • 20-Author Book Signing on Friday, September 18th from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at The Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO. A new twist on an ORA tradition, this year’s book signing is open to the public rather than just our conference speakers. It’s a great opportunity for attending authors to connect with local readers! Spots are limited and will be assigned by lottery; see the registration form for details. (This book signing is in addition to author tables that will be available the day of the conference.)
  • Meet and Greet Cocktail Hour on Friday, September 18th from 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. at University Plaza Hotel Lobby Bar, 333 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield, MO. Come mingle with agents, editors, authors and attendees!
  • Book In A Year Challenge – Stay tuned for more details!

Wondering what we have in store for you? You can see the TENTATIVE ORACON 2015 Conference Agenda here! Times and content are subject to change, but be assured we’ll have a fantastic day of workshops and content you can put to work immediately.


Want to know what you’re getting? How about the best conference value in the Midwest! We bring the highest quality agents, editors and speakers TO YOU!


 Louise Fury, Literary Agent with The Bent Agency

Louise Fury represents young adult, middle grade, new adult, commercial fiction (including romance), and select nonfiction.

A native South African, Louise now lives in New York City and travels to Cape Town every year, where she spends time educating South African writers, meeting with international publishers and distributing books. Before agenting, she worked in marketing and advertising for both the consumer markets and publishing. Prior to joining The Bent Agency, she worked as a literary agent at the L. Perkins Agency. She represents numerous New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors. Louise encourages her authors to have one foot in traditional print publishing and the other in the digital-first arena, and is a huge advocate of utilizing secondary rights—she has sold film/TV, audio and foreign rights for her clients. She believes in staying ahead of the pack by embracing change, not just adapting to it.

 Candice Gilmer, New York Times and USA Today Best-selling Author

USA Today and NY Times best-selling author Candice Gilmer leads a dangerous double life as a mommy and a writer. In between boo-boo healing and fixing broken toys, she writes stories usually to the tune of children’s television shows.

Growing up in the Midwest, Candice stays close to her family, especially the ones with basements when the tornadoes come around. She also works as a hairdresser, which she’s done for twenty years.

When she’s not writing, styling hair and taking care of her family, she gets together with her girlfriends for gossip and coffee while her husband hunts ghosts and does toy reviews. All in all, she stays very busy, but really, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Well, maybe a little less children’s television…

Holly Atkinson, Samhain Editor and Author

Since she can remember, Holly Atkinson’s professional ambition has revolved around fiction editing. She was fortunate to receive her first taste in editing when she was thirteen and wrote copy for a local realtor show. In 2008, Holly graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s in English, specializing in Creative Writing. Her first real job in the literary world came in the role of line editor for Lyrical Press. In 2011, she joined Mundania Press as a content editor and finally landed her dream job at Samhain Publishing in 2012.

Holly describes herself as the quintessential book nerd. In her spare time, she writes erotic romance under a pen name, though she hopes to produce more mainstream works in the future so the more conservative members of her family can read her work. She lives in Missouri with her husband, loves to travel, and goes a little crazy around the holidays. Her largest writing influences include Pamela Smith Hill, Aaron Sorkin, JK Rowling, Stephen King, and Joss Whedon.

Candace Havens, Best-Selling Author, Entertainment Journalist, and Editorial Director for Entangled Publishing

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography “Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy” and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. And she is the Editorial Director for the Covet, Edge and Select lines at Entangled Publishing. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2200 writers, and teaches a comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Hawkeye & Dorsey on 96.3, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

Heather Snow, Award-Winning and National Bestselling Author

Heather Snow is an award-winning historical romance author with a degree in chemistry who discovered she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab. She is forever trying to wrangle her left and right brain to work together (some days with more success than others!), but if her two sides had to duke it out, left would win every time—which can be a creative challenge. Luckily, she loves challenges…she just goes about solving them analytically.

Her books have been published in six languages all around the world, and have won numerous awards including: The Golden Quill, the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, The Write Touch Readers Award and the Book Buyers Best Top Pick.

She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two rambunctious boys, three insanely huge dogs and one very put upon cat.

Tish Beaty, Agent with the L. Perkins Agency

Tish was raised fifteen minutes outside of Clinton, Missouri – down Pretty Bob Road – where writing became her creative outlet at an early age. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia College and studied English Literature (emphasis in Victorian Lit) at MU. In 2010, Tish was part of the team that developed The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House from the ground up. During her time with the TWCS, she managed both authors and editors – acquiring several of the authors who’ve become literary successes, including the NYT #1 Bestseller -“Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The momma of two energetic boys, Tish spends her time between agenting, ball games, and writing/blogging. No topic is taboo on her author blog, and healthy living tips and recipes can be found at Luscious Living. She has been featured in Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, the We Love NY! Romance Anthology, and has a piece coming out in Anne Jameson’s non-fiction, FIC! Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World, this December. Tish is the E-publishing Agent for L. Perkins Agency. Founded in 1987 by Lori Perkins, a former newspaper publisher and editor, the L. Perkins Agency specializes in many different genres, representing approximately 200 authors in the publishing industry. She is currently accepting Erotic/Erotic Romance, including: paranormal, historical, light-BDSM, LGBT, and memoir as well as New and Young Adult with strong character development and a unique plot, and psychological thrillers. Please see her website,, for specific submission guidelines.