Ozark Creative Writers Conference Wrap-Up

It was an amazing weekend!  I’ll just start at the beginning, though I’m not going to go into detail about the workshops, etc. yet.

We left town on Thursday, had a beautiful, leisurely drive to Eureka Springs, and decided to stop at Pea Ridge National Military Park<<clicky for photos on the way in.  Mostly because hubby and I have driven past it several times, and he’s a descendent of the commanding general (albeit the Confederate one) that battled there.  We’ll go back with hubby sometime, but it was nice to get out and stretch our legs!

We got there that afternoon, got settled into the cabin, and then I proceeded to get us lost three times trying to find a grocery store.  We still made it to the little reception at the conference that evening, mingled a little, then headed back to the cabin.  Then we discovered that there were no sheets on the sofa bed, and not enough pillows, so Thursday night was interesting.

In addition to the writers conference, Corvette Weekend was also happening.  Pretty sure we saw about 500 Corvettes by the time we left town on Sunday.

Friday . . . we got out of the cabin slightly behind schedule, but not too bad.  David Morrell was the speaker that day, in addition to the afternoon workshops.  It was excellent!

We spent part of the afternoon with the wi-fi at the conference center, then headed back to the cabin and had dinner, after squealing over the giant tarantula that was trying to walk in.

Then, the evening got good.

We had what we are calling a spontaneous ‘NaNo plotting meeting’.  All five of us girls got out all our writing stuff/laptops, and just started shooting any questions/dilemmas/ideas about our NaNo stories for this year at each other.

We also came up with the Rabid Rainbow Ferret Clan.

Don’t ask.  It made a lot more sense that night 😀

Much plotting was done, though!

Then Saturday rolled around, all too quickly, and Gordon Warnock (my friend Tameri at A Cup of Tea and Sorcery met him a few weeks earlier) was our speaker that day.  He was excellent and had a lot of advice about queries and finding an agent, etc.  The dialogue workshop that afternoon was okay . . . I’ll be honest, most of it I already knew.  It was a good reminder, but I was really hoping for at least a little bit of new information.

The Awards Banquet was great!  It started with a fabulous dinner (very reminiscent of my 4-H Achievement Banquets from olden days . . .).  Gordon was very happy to have people his own age to sit with, and then the DJ for the wedding reception downstairs set off the fire alarm.  That poor bride and groom have no idea they’re going to end up in at least a hundred stories . . .

The Barenaked Critic won an honorable mention for the ‘Surprise Contest’, Lissa at Quid for Quill won a door prize, an honorable mention, and a 1st place (but I’ll let her tell you about that, of course).  I took an honorable mention for my Ki Ky Yel story, and I’m debating about posting it here soon or not, I’m going to make sure I don’t want to use it elsewhere also.

Made some great new friends, one of which is Tamara Hart Heiner, a really sweet lady ;).  She was thrilled to not be the only young (this being a relative term, since most of us ‘young’ people are closer to 30 than 20, with the exception of Lissa :P).  Also got to meet Linda Apple, the current Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. President, and she made us promise to come to the conference in May.  Anyone want to start randomly giving me money?

Then Sunday came all too quickly, and yet at just the right time too.  I was ready to go home – sharing one hot water heater with 5 other people was an adventure, and so was the sofa bed (I was only sharing that with Lissa, though, thank God!).  I just can’t wait until Saturday, when I get to sleep in again . . .

More posts will be coming over the next couple of months about all the stuff I’ve learned.  It was an incredible opportunity!  Barring any unforeseen circumstances, all of us are planning on returning next year.