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The Ozark Creative Writers Conference was Wonderful

I promised I would tell you all about the conference I attended last weekend. The Ozark Creative Writers Conference is held in Eureka Springs, Arkansas every October. The conference offers authors the opportunity to spend time with other authors as well as publishers and agents. Some of them even take pitches. A pitch is a small presentation that an author gives an agent or editor in the hopes that he or she will request the entire manuscript. You could call it a sales pitch for writers.

The OCW Conference also boasts amazing guest speakers. Tess Gerritsen was our keynote speaker this year. She is a best-selling author who has written many great books including the Rizzoli and Isles series, which was made into a TV show. She has written medical thrillers, crime thrillers, and romances. She has enjoyed great success in 40 countries.

I just have to tell you that she is a delightful person. She was not only informative, but friendly and fun, as well. She spoke to us about her creative process and how to find inspiration. I had the pleasure of visiting with her briefly. I also bought one of her books, which she autographed for me, of course.

The Friday evening entertainment was a fabulous performance by Tessa Kate who appeared on American Idol Season 13. She was amazing! She had a great stage presence and a beautiful voice. She sang songs from throughout the ages, but when she sang “Jolene” by Dolly Pardon, I knew I had to buy the woman’s CD. She gave me chills.

My favorite part of the OCW Conference is the multiple competitions they offer. I placed in a few of their contests this year. I’m humbled by this success because I was up against some really great writers. I’m thrilled that the judges enjoyed my stories. I came home inspired with my well of creativity brimming over.

I entered thirteen OCW contests and placed in six. Here’s how I placed: Second Place in the Nursery Rhyme Crime Contest with “Lost Sheep” Second Place in the Hoot Owl Award with “Rooster on the Loose” Third Place in the Space Journey with “Princess Sophie and Plain Jane” Third Place in the Tell Me Why with “The Hobbit is My Favorite Book” First Honorable Mention in the Mike Willis Award with “Devil Rooster” Third Honorable Mention in the Inspirational Essay with “Doll House”

I love attending writers conferences. I learn ways to improve my craft, rub elbows with those who are successful in my craft, and have fun with the other creative people. Writers are artists who often boast eccentric personalities. These are my people. These folks understand what I mean when I say that my character is arguing with me or doing something I don’t like. That alone is well worth the price of the conference.

If you are a writer who is on the hunt for a wonderful conference with a down-home feel, you should check out the Ozark Creative Writers Conference next year. I plan to be there.

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