Friday, May 13, 2011

OWFI Conference and sharing new knowledge

The weekend of May 5 through 8, 2011 I was loving being around 400 fellow writers. The Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. (OWFI) in Oklahoma City. I have hand-written three different versions of what I want to share with you, dear Readers. Realizing there was simply more than I could relate in a short space I chose to give you the bare bones about the conference. It is annual, always in Oklahoma City and is the "go to" conference in the Heartland. And, it is reasonably priced.

The keynote speaker, Steve Berry, presented a very inspiring and down to earth message about "hanging in there." Before he became a New York Times bestseller many times over he wrote for a few hours every morning before going to his office. He wrote and wrote. Finally, about 80 rejections, several years, and eight completed manuscripts, he received the news that "Amber Room" would be published. He has since sold all of his manuscripts. I love his work because he does so much obvious historical research and puts the reader right smack dab in the middle of a thriller. Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, are very accepting and approachable. I hear he'll be back in 2013. . .

William Bernhardt, another New York Times bestseller, offered two workshops. Wow! This guy knows how to teach and make writing our own works of any genre better. He is the author of the Ben Kincaid series. He writes primarily political thrillers. He'll be presenting a three hour intensive workshop at the 2012 conference . . .

Never did I imagine I would be in the same room at the same time with Steve Berry and William Bernhardt. Just, WOW!

OWFI offered 48 workshops to choose from. The first day began with three panels: an agents panel, a magazine editors panel, and a book editors panel. Several attendees set up appointments with the panel members. Next year I will save up some courage and make an appointment.

I can only list the workshops I chose because of space. However, if any readers wish to know more and receive the address links for any of the speakers let me know in your comments and I will get them to you.

My workshop choices:
"Breaking In: The Basics of Writing for Magazines"--Kelly James-Enger
"Fundamentals of Story"--William Bernhardt
"Flattering Your Authentic Voice"--Wendy Lyn Watson
"Build Life into Your Characters"--Charles "Chuck" Sasser
"Romance Writing Today"--Gretchen Craig
"Sin, Suffer, Cash the Checks"--Michael Bracken
"Emotional Suspense"--Lenora Worth
"Buzzing Your Book"--Elizabeth Berry
"The Hero's Journey"--Max McCoy
"The Character Driven Novel"--William Bernhardt
"How to Lose an Editor in 10 Days"--Rhonda Penders

Check out OWFI. The dues are $25/year. There are no meetings except for the conference. A glossy newsletter arrives in your own mail box at regular intervals.

Go out and write! Be productive. I love hearing from everyone.


Trooper said...

I appreciate the report. Without gong into detail youu gave us a very complete view and left openings for our further interests. One detail I appreciated was telling us the annual cost of membership and what we could expect from that membership. Good Job.

Janet K Brown said...

I agree. This was my 1st OWFI conference, but it will not be my last. I well spent that money. Enjoyed your post.

4RV Publishing said...

People can become members of OWFI affiliates,which may or may not have their own dues, but which membership gives a discount on OWFI membership fees and for registration for the conference.

I always enjoy the conference. However, this year, the only panel and session I was able to attend were my own.


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Sounds like a great conference Nona!
Glad you enjoyed it - now get to work ;-)

Zequeatta Jaques said...

I was able to attend the OWFI, 2011conference-my second one to attend. All the speakers in the workshops this year did a wonderful, wonderful job.

Anonymous said...

Great recap--and I'll have to say 'ditto.' I enjoyed all the sessions I attended.

De'on Miller said...

It sounds wonderful and I loved the panels you chose! You are such a beautiful friend and writer. They got a gold mine when they got you and so did I! Thanks for sharing!

I do hate my code word down here, which is dinglsun :)

Linda Broday said...

OWFI sounded really awesome this year. Lots of good workshops. I'm sorry to have missed it. But I'm wondering why you left out the part about your contest win. That's big news, lady!

Winona said...

I thought I had told enough people about the win, Linda. However, since you brought it up--

I did win second place in the feature article contest!

Alicia Dean said...

I also enjoyed the OWFI conference. It was my first time to go but I will definitely go again. Congratulations on your contest win, Winona! I had no idea. So happy for you. It was wonderful seeing you there!