I attended the OCW (Ozark Creative Writers) Conference last weekend. It was held at Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas. If you don’t know where that is, Eureka Springs is the place many people associate with the Ozark Mountains and beautifully preserved Victorian structures. The roads are curvy, and some are so sharp that you feel you’re taking your life into your hands pulling out onto the road. It is a city of character and acceptance.
The beautiful location is a great perk of the OCW Conference, but I would still attend the conference if was held elsewhere. Spending time with and being educated by other authors is precious. As writers, we are solitary in our craft. Any chance to be with our peers is much appreciated, but an opportunity to compete against them in writing competitions is too good to ignore.
There were 599 contest entries in 32 categories this year. That made competition quite stiff. Sitting amongst the crowd of authors at the awards banquet, I could easily pick out those excelling at their craft by the number of times their names were called as winners. I’m happy to say that my name was among with them.
I won 1st Place in the Senior Moments contest and 1st Place in Creative Nonfiction. I entered 11 contests, and the fact I managed to win two of them elates me. Rubbing elbows with those who have had books on the Bestseller lists is exciting, but managing to win a couple of contests when they’re competing is a jewel in my crown that I won’t soon forget.
The sessions/lectures were informative and entertaining. I left the OCW refreshed with new ideas and things to ponder. My well of creativity is once again full. I’m anxious to have a few quiet hours at my computer so I can implement some of the new techniques I learned.
I did something new this year – I bought table space to sell my books. The problem I had was the fact I couldn’t attend the sessions and mind my book table at the same time. I sold three books in total: one Seasons of the Four States, one Romance, Poetry, Mystery, and More, and one Moonbeams and Ashes. I don’t know if I will buy table space next year. I have too much fun visiting other authors’ book tables.
If you’re an author or an aspiring author, I highly recommend attending a writers’ conference. I’ve attended several good ones, both in person and online. Growing in your art is what makes you sparkle.
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