Tag Archives: Novel Clique

IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2It’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group! “Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic.” If you’re interested, check out the link. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Visit as many new blogs as you can and learn from and share this journey with others and please leave comments, support each other. Our words might be exactly what someone needs.

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s co-hosts today are Hart Johnson, Chemist Ken, Candilynn Fite, Terri Rochenski, Clare Dugmore, and Lilica Blake!

Writing is a solitary life and writers tend to like this. Still, the most introverted among us still crave the encouragement of others, especially other writers. This leads us to seek out writing communities; classes, MFA programs, conferences, conventions, and retreats geared to artists. My critique group has attended or created our own share of those things. Recently, I accepted an opportunity to give back to a writing community that has been good to my group and me. At the time, I was full of excitement and motivation. Then I stepped into the role and the magnitude of what I’d taken on hit. Now the emotions were more like fear, trepidation, and at times bordered on panic.

What had I been thinking? I was not up for this. I didn’t have this level of experience to help plan a writing conference. How does attending a bunch of them qualify you to do this? (It doesn’t.) I had developed a bundle of nerves and convinced myself this organization that I loved had just made a horrible mistake placing their trust in me. Who was I? A lowly writer with a degree and some sales to show for it. Did this qualify me to put together a large event? (No.)

OWFIbadgeFast forward a year of amazing lessons, a discovery of self, and a realization of the strength of our organization, Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. We have an amazing conference planned for May 1-3, just weeks from now. All the hyperventilating and second-guessing and soul-searching is behind me. (I hope.) The conference will be the best fun ever. Like with all things, team related, I have people to thank. My OWFI President, Christine Smith-Jarmola, is a ball of writer energy. She came into this with ideas and ran with them. The board supported all efforts to right the ship any time rough seas hit. Thanks for all you did this year to give us the conference we all want. My girls, Novel Clique, who kept me vertical when panic set in. Hugs and chocolate are coming your way.

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Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc.

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Destination OWFI…Why?

My critique group attended a lot of writing conferences over the years. There were mediocre ones, good ones (which stopped unfortunately), and every possible point along the spectrum. We became masters at what to look for, how to evaluate in advance whether a conference would be right for us. In spite of that we still got it wrong on occasion. The one time we got it right, completely, was when we decided to attend Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc.’s conference the first time.

It was the first conference where complete strangers spoke to us and made a point of making us feel welcome. Most writers are introverts or at least reluctant in large crowds so being relieved of the burden of putting ourselves out there that first time made that first conference more relaxing. We had gone in full-bore and entered the writing contests and we all came away with wins of some kind and all of us in multiple categories. The funny thing was even without the contest the conference and that weekend felt like a win. We knew that we were going to make OWFI’s conference a yearly thing.

Selecting a conference requires a lot of research. How much does it cost? How far is it? Is it a genre or a general writing conference? Which do you need at this point in your career? Who are the speakers? What agents/editors will be there? The goal for writers, because we do not make a lot of money, is we want to get as much bang for the buck as possible. Weigh everything before making that decision.

We wanted a conference we could drive to and OWFI was in driving distance. (It didn’t hurt that it was held in the city where my boys live and I could see my oldest for his birthday) We traveled together so we shared expenses and hotel costs which are also discounted as conference attendees. OWFI had a history of national keynote speakers and that was more difficult to find in the Midwest.

Our sessions that first year were top-notch and the hotel was fabulous and friendly. The experience left us with little doubt that OWFI was our new home away from home the first weekend of May each year. There are a lot of conferences out there and always check out everything they have to offer. The big conferences may be our dream, but they aren’t always on our budget. Sometimes, looking closer to home brings us a new writing family.

eloisajames_webOWFI is May 1-3, 2014 at the Embassy Suites in Oklahoma City. Eloisa James is the keynote and there are lots of dynamite speakers joining her. Definitely check it out. I am confident you won’t regret it. We didn’t. If you can’t make it this year, I KNOW you’ll want to come see next year’s! Just trust me.  😉

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02/13/2014 · 6:58 pm

Summer, Sunny Days, and Schedules

This year my critique group set up an editorial calendar for our group blog and then, we followed through for our individual blogs. That was helpful while it lasted. Since the calendar ran out (oops), I have returned to the drawing board and come up with a new one. I have commitments for most of the summer at Novel Clique’s blog so some weeks this post will merely redirect to Novel Clique. I’m looking forward to a summer of blogging double duty. No, seriously. Which definitely puts me in the seriously twisted category. The new editorial calendar for Write On:

Date

Write On

Novel Clique

Topic

5.16.13

X

 

New Editorial Calendar

5.23.13

X

 

Living the Writer’s Life

5.30.13

X

 

Conventions, Classes, Degrees, Oh, My!

6.5.13

X

 

Insecure Writer Post

6.19.13

 

X

Pacing: What Film Shows Us

6.27.13

X

 

Facing a Character Uprising: Whip and Chair, Please.

7.3.13

 

X

Blog Chain

7.4.13

X

 

Insecure Writer Post

7.10.13

 

X

How NOT to Critique (Warning: Sarcasm Intentional)

7.17.13

 

X

How TO Critique

7.24.13

 

X

How to Behave as a Professional Writer

8.7.13

 

X

Newbie Mistakes

8.7.13

X

 

Insecure Writer

8.21.13

 

X

Novel Editing Tips

8.28.13

 

X

Blog Chain ALL

9.4.13

 

X

Blog Chain ALL

9.11.13

 

X

Conquering Queries

9.18.13

 

X

Letter to Editor/Agent

 Hope everyone has plans for an amazing summer!

My summer companions

My summer companions

 

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It’s that time, again! Goals for 2013

I missed my post deadline again! Sigh. The not so exciting story is that we got a call at 6 a.m. yesterday morning. Those are never pleasant. A horse was in the road and injured. The rest of the day was hauling the horse to the vet, moving the other horses, repairing the fence, and then moving the horses back. By the time we got home, I ached everywhere, and the blog was not at the forefront of my thoughts. My apologies. I think I should add to my goals for the coming year to focus on writing posts in advance, preventing emergencies from intruding.

Since I brought up goals, we made ours at Novel Clique this week. It’s always fun for me to set goals. I’m one of those people who likes to make a list of things and check off each thing as I do it. If I don’t lose the list, of course. This year we determined we would add a “pleasure” goal to the mix. I’ll admit I spent a lot of time thinking about that one. 🙂

My goals for 2013:

  • Complete the agent requested edits of The G.A.P. Project
  • Edit of Sam Dakota
  • Summer project: Overhaul of Fires of the Soul
  • Tech goal: my plan is to put more into the blog this year, more time, more effort, gulp, more money.
  • Our group established a huge goal and commitment by establishing an editorial calendar for our Novel Clique blog. It all begins January 23 over on: Novel Clique
  • Another group goal this year: a writer’s retreat. We love this time devoted to our writing and each other.

Last but not least, my pleasure goal:

  • Time with the horses! Now that we’re here at the ranch where I can see them regularly, I plan on utilizing that time.
Angel and Storm

Angel and Storm

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Coveted

One of Novel Clique’s members has a video pitch up for her YA novel, Coveted. Hop over and give it a listen. It’s a fascinating novel full of scary creatures but also rife with humor and twists. Give it a listen.

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Post Conference High

There is nothing like a writer’s conference to give a writer a natural high. Spending time with writers and agents in an arena where it’s all right to discuss nothing but writing and writing related things is as good as it gets for us. I don’t have to defend my interest in a random person in a restaurant. My fascination with the way someone walks or the conversation at the table next to us (as interesting to me as the one at my own) is acceptable to everyone else in the conference world. They get it. I don’t get weird looks. No one calls men in white coats to bring jackets or nurses with medication to make me catatonic. My particular weirdness lets me fit in with everyone else. Phew!

OWFI is an awesome conference which is why we attend every year. It offers so many opportunities to attendees. The contests, the presenters, the agents, editors, publishers, authors, and the importance of opportunities to pitch to those publishing officials cannot be underestimated. This conference is a win for Novel Clique every year. This year was a blast. We enjoyed time with agents; Louise Fury, Jessica Sinsheimer, and Emmanuelle Morgen, at a buzz session on Friday night. We were also lucky enough to pitch to these ladies who made that nerve-wracking experience so easy and pleasant. It was an excellent adventure that I recommend to every writer truly seeking publication.

What conferences do you attend? What is it about them that gets your writer’s juices flowing?

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Good News for Novel Clique!

Congratulations to one of my critique group, Natasha Hanova. She landed a short story in Undead Tales 2. Check it out.

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