Attending the OWFI Conference this year was so enjoyable. After so many years, it’s like old home week, seeing and visiting with friends I only see once a year. Everything was organized so well, thanks to the president, Linda Apple. She did a fabulous job of seeing that everything went off without a hitch. Thanks also to all the volunteers who helped out. The pitches were so well organized by Jan Morrill and she did have lots of help from so many others.
I also enjoyed shepherding one of my publishers, Mark Stepp. What a lot of fun that was. We were able to get acquainted. Had only met once very briefly when I pitched to him and he took on the publication of my book, The Boston Mountains: Lost in the Ozarks, which came out in 2010. Recently he moved from Houston to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and we’re glad to have him and Old American Publishing closer to us here in Arkansas. Isn’t it wonderful how many small publishers are taking up the slack in book buying? Indies are cropping up everywhere, it seems. If you, as a writer, haven’t considered this opportunity to get your work published, check it out. You’ll be happy you did.
Back to OWFI. All in all, this was one of my most enjoyable experiences with writers’ conferences since I started attending them back in … uh, well, let’s not get into that. Makes me feel too old.
Now we’re all looking forward to another super conference, Ozark Creative Writers in Eureka Springs, Arkansas in October. I’m the contest chair for that one this year and will strive to do a good job there. Contact me for information. The website is under new construction.
Keep in mind how important networking is to writers. Not only to schmooze with other writers, but with presenters, editors, and agents who take the time to attend these conferences and help you with your career. Pitching books face to face often leads to sales of your work much quicker and easier than emailing or mailing out queries.
So look around and schedule at least one conference where editors and agents who might be interested in your book, novel or other project, will be open to pitches. See you at a conference somewhere soon.