Ozarks Writers Conference 2012 – Hollister, Missouri

Last year’s Ozark’s Heritage Foundation Writers Conference was a huge hit – that must be why they’re doing it again!  AUGUST 16-18, 2012 writers from all around will gather to the historic town of Hollister, MO for a weekend of writing inspiration, mentoring, and fun.  There is still time to get the phenomenal registration rates and special historic English Inn room prices…just visit HERE for all you need to know about this upcoming event.

Author and Ye English Inn proprietor Janet Dailey welcomes writers to the 2011 Hollister, MO conference

This year’s menu features tips on manuscripts and editor communication, how to write the historical article, insight into how writing has changed, how to set up a blog and internet presence for the writer’s needs, and more.  Janet Dailey, Fred Pfister, Dusty Richards, and even Yours Truly will be serving up a mental meal fit for literary king!

Tempt your taste buds with this recollection from last year’s event, then get on over to the Writers Conference page and sign up!

More notes on last year’s speakers and the historic area of Hollister can also be found at the links below:

Can a man be shot for spitting on a window? Is it illegal to whistle on a public street?  You’d be surprised what was once law, and lawless, in the city of Hollister, Missouri!

Hollister City Manager, Rick Ziegenfuss, was kind enough to give our group at the Ozarks Writers Conference a brief tour of the historic district and a very informative slide show.  Here are a few photos of Ye Olde English Inn…and see if you can guess these town tidbits!

Ye Olde English Inn on historic Downing Street
Lobby & Grand Staircase
Balcony & Rock Work
Take it from the top…
Writers break for lunch at Little Hacienda Mexican Restaurant

Now, let’s see how you did…

Historic Downing Street was once named Front Street.  Otto Kohler was a strongman for the circus.  Birdcage Alley was once Broadway, where all the front doors of the buildings faced (away from the railroad).  That heavy-hitter was Babe Ruth, and only Popcorn Pete McAllister could be the demon barber of Downing Street!

Thanks for playing, and be sure to visit historic Hollister, Missouri!

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The Space Marked “Other”

One of the highlights for October was the annual Ozark Creative Writers conference, held in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  It was an informative weekend filled with writers from as far away as Arizona and Oregon, and featured 39-year published author and creator of “Rambo”, David Morrell.

Commenting on his unusual longevity in the publishing world, Mr. Morrell stated, “The average author’s career lasts 15-20 years – largely because a writer often finds a format that works for them, and then does it over and over until both they and their readers tire of it.  He then went on to recap the last hundred years or so of book printing history (more about that later).

My favorite sentiment from Mr. Morrell was, “There are no inferior genres, only inferior authors.”  That was a refreshing point of view in an industry that often seeks to pigeonhole writers into an imagined hierarchy of what constitutes “good” writing.

Perhaps it struck a nerve with me because a typical question asked of a writer – especially at writers’ conferences – is “what do you write?”  My initial response, which I generally am able to keep to myself, is ‘whatever I can get away with’.  That’s because I enjoy writing a variety of things, and am generally so tickled that people actually pay for it.

So the next choice in responses is to consider who I’m speaking with and answer accordingly.  I’m an education writer.  I write non-fiction.  I love mysteries.  Sometimes the snobbier types are referring to what you’ve published, which may be entirely different from what you write, especially for those who have to pay the bills.  Of course, I understand that most people are just looking for a hook to hang your name on, a method of identifying this new face in a confusing sea of strangers.  Still…

Books - bookcase top shelf

I find the question similar to that insulting section of a form that asks if I am caucasian, african-american, asian, native american, or a purple-people-eater.  I’m human.  Isn’t that enough?  I’m a writer.  No further categorization required.

I’m also a fan of good books.  Period.  My favorites are filed under sci-fi, romance, western, contemporary, classic, biography, childrens, and memoir.  A story told well – in any genre – is a story that translates to everyone.  And that is something that transcends genre.

So I might be writing a children’s book…and a thriller…and a historical saga.  And I hope they will just be good stories – however Dewey decides to classify them.  So I’m not going to ask what you write.  I’d just like to know what are your writing NOW?

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