The Ozark Writers League has been around for more than 20 years, and I’ve belonged for most of those, probably 18 or so. I met my first publisher there in 1992, and in April of 1994 my first book was published. A small, creative nonfiction book Wandering In The Shadows of Time, which is still in print, and of which I’m indeed proud, if that’s not a sin. If it is, well, so be it, I reckon.
OWLs has gone through many transitions in all those years, and I’m happy to say they’ve kept up with the changing times in the writing business. Every May we hold an auction which is a fund raiser to help pay for speakers who appear at one of our quarterly meetings. Dusty Richards is the auctioneer, and he’s had plenty of experience, having owned an auctioneering business for many years. A Rennaisance man, Dusty was also on local television doing ag news for many years, he’s been a rodeo announcer in Springdale too, and did his share of riding in his younger days.
Oddly, Dusty lived near me for a lot of years before I actually met him, after I started going to writer’s functions. We’ve grown very close over the years, and today are cohosts of a writer’s critique group. We’re going into our 23rd year doing that.
But back to OWLs. Not only did I meet my first publisher there, I also met many beginning writers who have become good friends as well as published authors . There’s Suzann Ledbetter, Cait London, Jory Sherman, and the list goes on.
This Saturday not only will we hold our annual auction, but we will be privileged to have with us an agent from The Trident Agency in New York City. He will speak, then take pitches from members for the remainder of the day. While he does that, Pat Carr, well -known award winning short story author will conduct a workshop.
This is only an example of the excellent programs this organization puts on each quarter. For a mere $25 a year or $10 for one meeting, writers can network with published authors, an occasional editor or agent, exchange ideas and have a great time. Most of us spend way too much time holed up writing and we need to meet folks once in a while to recharge the old juices. What better place to do so than at a writer’s meeting such as the Ozark Writers League? I know I’m looking forward to a day away from “the office.” No telling what I’ll learn this Saturday.