Tag Archives: OWFI

Cover Reveal for Library Jumpers by Brenda Drake

I’m excited to be a part of this cover reveal. I met Brenda online like so many through her contests. I met her again at RT in Kansas City. Then, in May, she took part in OWFI providing amazing sessions. She’s a juggernaut in our publishing world so I’m honored to be able to share this information with you. Her cover totally rocks!

Library Jumperslibrary+jumpers_500

by Brenda Drake

Release Date: 01/05/16

Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

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About the Author
brenda+drake
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school until her family settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brenda’s fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So, it was only fitting that she  would choose to write young adult and middle grade novels with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Author Links:

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Cover Reveal Organized By:

YA+Bounk+Tour+Button

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Ten Lessons Learned from My Year as OWFI President

The last two years I served on the Executive Board for the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc., first as conference chair in 2014 and then as president in 2015. I love the people and the organization. However, leading a non-profit is harder than anything I’ve ever had to do. I had no idea how hard until I did it. It’s impossible not to learn from an experience like mine. Here are ten lessons I learned.

1.) Volunteers for non-profits work harder than anyone else. They work for passion, not for money. You can ask for 100% and they’ll voluntarily give you  150%.

2.) Five percent of the people will scream loud and long about everything you and the other leaders are doing wrong. It’s easy to doubt your actions even though the good of the organization was behind every decision. The best way to test resolve when people complain is to suggest they volunteer so their ideas can be put into motion. In my experience, none wanted to volunteer.

3.) Ninety-five percent will remain quiet or send the occasional note of support. You have to know that the screaming minority have agendas that have little to do with the organization. This makes it easier to put the negativity behind you.

4.) Ten percent of your members will do all the work. They will also belong to the 95% who are quietly supportive.

5.) Never respond to a complainer in a way that is rude or disrespectful, even if they are being that to you. The attack may feel personal, but it rarely is.

6.) The buck stops with you. If something goes wrong, it doesn’t matter if you had nothing to do with it, you accept the blame. Pointing the finger only makes it harder to find solutions.

7.) With that thought in mind, always seek opinions regarding every decision. From your board, from your membership, from people who have done what you’re trying to do. Then, make the decision. Be definitive.

8.) When conflict arises (and it will, regularly), get all the information; and if you find fault, be firm but kind. It is rarely the intention of the member to make things difficult. In most cases, our passions are what leads to disagreements. However, right or wrong, the parties need to apologize for their part. After all, it takes at least two to agree and two to disagree.

9.) NEVER forget that your decisions impact others and that the result is not always positive. When you have to make a decision that someone isn’t going to like, be prepared to listen. Give them an audience. However, if you made the decision for the good of the organization, that’s all you can do. Most of the time, all the person wants is to know someone listened and considered what they had to say.

10.) There’s no such thing as too much communication. Keep communication open with the board, the other officers, the volunteers, and the members. Anything that might be misunderstood, get out in front of it as soon as you can. If you drop a ball(nearly guaranteed), accept the responsibility, fix the problem, and make sure everyone knows it.

Working with so many awesome people and amazing talents was a joy. I believe my time with OWFI has made me a better writer and my year as president has made me a better human being.

Have you had a similar experience where leadership taught you valuable lessons? I’d love to hear what you learned.

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Writing Zone: Craft from the Ground Up OWFI 2015

Many of you followed last year as I prepped for the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation conference in May. As president this year, I wanted to recruit great presenters who will bring amazing content. Check us out! The conference is May 1-2, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in OKC. This is just some of the fun coming your way if you attend.

LesEdgertonLes Edgerton is a full-time writer with fifteen books in print. He teaches creative writing on the university level, through private coaching of writers, and on various on-line venues. He writes in a variety of forms: novels, short stories, nonfiction books, screenplays and the subjects he chooses to write about are just as varied, including sports, literary fiction, thrillers, black comedy and the craft of writing.

His work has been nominated for or won: the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Derringer Award, Spinetingler Magazine Thriller of the Year (Legends category), Jesse Jones Book Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award (short story category), Violet Crown Book Award, and others. His screenplays have placed as a semifinalist in the Nicholl’s Foundation Script-writing Award, and as a finalist in the Best of Austin and Writer’s Guild’s screenwriting awards. His 18th book, a black comedy crime caper, titled The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping came out in October from Down & Out Books.

Social media: www.lesedgertononwriting.blogspot.com
Twitter: @HookedOnNoir
Email: butchedgerton@comcast.net


 

Richard ThomasRichard Thomas is the author of six books—Disintegration and The Breaker (Random House Alibi), Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots, Staring Into the Abyss and The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). His over 100 stories in print include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2, and Shivers VI. He is also the editor of three anthologies: The New Black (Dark House Press), The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time, he writes for LitReactor and is Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press.

Website: www.whatdoesnotkillme.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/richardgthomas3
Twitter: @wickerkat
Website: http://www.whatdoesnotkillme.com

DARK HOUSE PRESS (where Thomas is Editor-in-Chief)

Website: http://www.darkhousepress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dark-House-Press/567172509981629
Twitter: @DarkHousePress


 

Brenda Drake AuthorBrenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment). She’s represented by Peter Knapp at Park Literary. Look for her upcoming novels from Entangled Teen Touching Fate and Library Jumpers, releasing 2015.

Website: www.brenda-drake.com
Twitter: @brendadrake
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaLeeDrake
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012713.Brenda_Drake


 

Sara HenningSarah Henning is a crime writer, recovering newshound, and word nerd of the highest order (aka a freelance copy editor). She has degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Kansas, and has worked for several news organizations, including The Associated Press, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and The Palm Beach Post. When she’s not hunched over her computer or curled up with a good book, Sarah is probably running ultramarathons, playing with her cherub-cheeked kids, or nagging her husband to eat more kale. She is repped by Rachel Ekstrom of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Website: www.sarahhenning.me
Twitter: @shhenning
Tumblr: sarahhenningwriter.tumblr.com


 

Leon Husock AgentPrior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, Leon Husock was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management. He has a BA in Literature from Bard College and attended the Columbia Publishing Course. Leon is actively building his client list. He has a particular interest in science fiction & fantasy, young adult and middle-grade novels filled with strong characters and original premises, but keeps an open mind for anything that catches his eye. He is also looking for historical fiction set in the 20th century, particularly the 1980s or earlier.

Website: http://lperkinsagency.com
Email: leon@lperkinsagency.com


 

Michelle Johnson AgentMichelle L. Johnson is a literary agent and the founder of Inklings Literary Agency. She’s also the author of the urban fantasy, Divinity, released September 2014.

After spending a decade in bookselling, she opened and ran a writers’ center in Virginia where she helped aspiring writers find their voices. Michelle has been an editor for two indie presses, and began her career as an agent with the Corvisiero Literary Agency in New York.

In adult, NA, and YA, Michelle is looking for breakout stories in contemporary romance and also the adrenaline genres – Thriller, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy, suspense, horror.

Website: www.inklingsliterary.com


 

Q LansanaQuraysh Ali Lansana is author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, a children’s book, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute and the Red Earth MFA Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma City University. A former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include The Walmart Republic w/ Christopher Stewart (Mongrel Empire Press, September 2014) and reluctant minivan (Living Arts Press, May 2014).


TrishaHeadshotTrisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for over five years now and has published six YA novels and eight adult titles (as USAToday bestselling author Lyla Payne).

Trisha is the author of The Last Year series and the Cavy Files books. Look for The Historians, the first in a new YA science fiction series, coming from Bloomsbury Spark in 2015!

She’s represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Website: trishaleigh.com


LeeLoflandWith a career in law enforcement that spanned nearly two decades, Lee Lofland is a nationally acclaimed expert on police procedures and crime scene investigations. He consults for many best-selling authors, and is a regular speaker at writers conferences, including the Left Coast Crime Conference, Pennwriters Conference, Deadly Ink, and Willamette Writers Conference. He is also the host and director of the Writers’ Police Academy, an event where writers learn realism by attending an actual police academy.

Website: www.leelofland.com


Jennifer McMurrainHaving a great deal of wanderlust, Jennifer McMurrain traveled the countryside working odd jobs before giving into her muse and becoming a writer. She’s been everything from a “Potty Princess” in Yellowstone National Park to a Bear Researcher in the mountains of New Mexico. She has won numerous awards for her short stories and novels, including hitting #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list with her debut novel Quail Crossings. She lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with her husband and daughter. She has just released her third novel, Return To Quail Crossing.

Website: www.jennifermcmurrain.com


Melissa Nasson headshotMelissa Nasson has spent her life in and around Boston, attending Boston University and Boston University School of Law (Go Terriers!). After interning at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, East-West Literary, and Perseus Books Group, she began working as Contracts Director at Beacon Press. Now, Melissa continues her work at Beacon while actively building her list as an associate agent at Rubin Pfeffer Content. She is open to MG, YA, NA, and adult fiction in any genre, though she particularly enjoys fantasy and sci-fi. Melissa loves dogs, craft beer, making pickles, tending to her tiny vegetable garden, and her pet tortoise, Norton.

Website: http://www.rpcontent.com
Twitter: ‪@melissabnasson‪‬‬


AmyShojai-ComAmy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and author of 30 nonfiction and fiction pet-centric books, including Lost And Found and Hide And Seek, thrillers that include dog viewpoint. She’s also a composer, playwright and performer and has collaborated with Frank Steele to co-write, direct and produce three musical theater productions. Most recently, she combined her love of pets, music and theater when she and Frank co-wrote, directed and produced, Strays, The Musical to enthusiastic audiences in Sherman, Texas. Amy also is a past OWFI president and is delighted to share sessions about collaboration, playwriting techniques and pet-centric tips.

Blog: AmyShojai.com


Jerry SimmonsJerry D. Simmons is an Oklahoma native and former New York publishing executive for the Time Warner Book Group. Over the years he directed an international marketing group and has worked on hundreds of New York Times bestselling titles and with numerous bestselling authors. Today he writes the INSIGHTS™ blog and publishes the TIPS for WRITERS™ newsletter.


 

FrankSteeleFilmFrank Steele has had a passion for writing since he wrote neighborhood plays as a kid in Vernon, Texas. As a teacher, he encouraged his students to write and create original work. He is member of the Screen Actors Guild and plays/screenplays are his main focus these days. His topics for OWFI will focus on writing with a partner…the challenges and the successes. His most recent outing is Strays, The Musical written with OWFI member, Amy Shojai, which has been recently produced to enthusiastic crowds in Sherman, Texas. Can ‘partner writing’ be a success? Very much so! He’s looking forward to explaining how in the sessions he and Amy will present.


 

BrentTaylor

Prior to joining TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc. Brent Taylor held numerous entry-level positions in publishing, most recently at The Bent Agency. He is based out of Louisville, KY and represent books for a wide range of readers, with a focus on middle grade, young adult, and select upmarket commercial fiction.

Twitter: @NaughtyBrent
Website: www.triadaus.com
Publishers Marketplace: www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/brenttaylor

 


Brandy Walker

Brandy Walker is the owner and lead designer at Sister Sparrow Graphic Design. Brandy is an international award winning artist with over ten years of graphic design experience. After founding Sister Sparrow Graphic Design in 2012, she fell in love with book cover design and has been happily designing book covers ever since. Brandy’s covers have been featured on blogs like The Book Cover Designer and Library at the End of the Universe. Brandy lives in a small town in the Texas Panhandle with her military husband and their three rambunctious dogs.

Website: www.sistersparrowgraphicdesign.com

 

 

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Crazy Times

I’ve been away from the blog, but it’s not out of procrastination. I have been busy nailing down as many things on the to do list as possible before I begin teaching again on Monday. Putting a conference together and–horror of horrors for the English major here–a budget does not come easy. There have been tears and gnashing teeth and fit throwing and well, you get the drift. Slowly, things are coming together. In fact, you can check out the blog to see the line up so far for OWFI 2015, Writing Zone: Craft from the Ground Up.

I hope all of you can join us, but the realistic side of me knows that isn’t possible. However, I’d love it, and I do believe you would, too. See you soon, I hope. Did I mention I start teaching again soon???

Sigh.

Chocolate come to mama.

DawnAllenSig

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Collected Works: Goals, Loki, and Chocolate.

LokiOkay, so it has nothing to do with goal setting…but he’s ALWAYS inspirational. LOL

The idea of Collected Works is to share our goals, encourage each other in those goals, and inspire each other when those goals go sideways. I’ve always been a believer in setting goals so this is a way to make me hold myself accountable for what I expect of myself. And I consider it a win. If I don’t meet my goals, chocolate soothes the disappointment. If I meet them, I celebrate with chocolate. Win-win. 🙂

If you’re interested in sharing in this, check our Collected Works.

August Goals

1. FINISH OWFI (Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc.) Presenters communication – it doesn’t sound like writing because it’s not manuscripts but as President of OWFI, I’m responsible for setting up the conference in May. This is a priority for all of us who attend. (and you should, too!)

2. Send in full request to agent.

3. Finish rewrites of Sam Dakota. This is high priority for me as school starts up again soon and cuts my writing time in half.

Do you set goals? Join us!

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Basket Wars, Chocolate, and Looking Ahead!

OWFIbadgeThe months flew past as they tend to do, and all the plans and preparations are done. It’s a lot of hard work, but the pay off will be an amazing three days. Things will happen that we didn’t account for (we’re sadly human after all) and other things will go even better than we hoped.

I spent my last day before I leave for OKC finishing last-minute things – a conference feedback form, last-minute emails, and last minute tweaks to the schedule. The world is starting to spin a bit too fast, and I need to take a minute to sit back and breathe. Except, the basket isn’t finished. We have Basket Wars which raise money for scholarships for attendees who need financial assistance. Our group basket is all about the keynote speaker in 2015, Les Edgerton. That’s right! I am beyond excited to say that Les will be at OWFI in May 2015. Start planning your trip now! Les Edgerton

Les was kind enough to autograph and send us copies of some of his books for the basket. I set a beach theme and added Starbucks, Post It notes, chocolate(of course), and a couple of freebies to surprise. Midwest Pen and Ink/Novel Clique is excited to offer this. I wonder if there’s a ruled against trying to win your own basket…

My post usually goes up on Thursday, but I will be busy setting up for us to welcome writers, editors, agents, and other publishing professionals to our great state. If you aren’t able to make it this year, start planning now. Les and I WANT to see you in 2015!

DawnAllenSig

 

Related Links:

Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, INC 2014

Les Edgerton on Writing

 

 

 

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Conference Fever

It’s so close. I have more and more details to finish up and as each thing gets taken care of, I relax a bit more. In fact, I’m daring to get excited instead of living with intense sensations of fear and anxiety. All the big things on my individual checklist are done, including the costume. This year we are having our first costume contest on Friday night. I’ll consider it a win if I manage the night without total humiliation. Costume – Check. Oil changed in my car, hotel room reserved, and clothing decisions made. Uh…two out of three isn’t bad. Check.

 

A conference brings out every type of writer insecurity, adding the stress of planning and being involved in next year’s leadership has reduced me to a simpering fool. I’ll survive. I’ve done this for so long that I have no choice. I know though as the time grows close that there are writers out there preparing for this conference with different fears and anxieties. Perhaps it’s the first time they’ve ever gone to a conference or the first time they’ve ever pitched to an agent or editor. The writer may (and the odds are quite good on this one) be shy and fearing the mingling a conference requires in order to network. With all of the worries in mind, a conference brings so many great opportunities for writers. In the current market, we have to take advantage of all opportunities we can afford and have access to.

 

OWFIbadge

If you haven’t taken in a conference this year, we have an awesome one coming up. Join us in Oklahoma City, OK. Fun will be had by all. I’ll post pictures for you here on the blog. Gulp…even in costume.

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