Monday, October 31, 2016

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles Book Launch

I'm excited to announce tomorrow's release date for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Angels and Miracles. The anthology, which is edited by bestselling writer Amy Newmark, contains 101 inspirational stories about hope, answered prayers, and divine intervention.

My true story, "On Butterfly Wings," can be found in the book's last section, "Love that Doesn't Die," and is the very last story in the book.

"On Butterfly Wings" is a story about a special visitor my grandson Michael encountered on a field trip to the Sophia M. Sacs Butterfly House in St. Louis County.

In conjunction with the book's release, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher is kicking off a Twitter Party at noon CST, Tuesday, November 1st -- which happens to fall on the feast of All Saints.

The hashtag for the Nov 1 event is #CSSAngelsandMiracles.

On a related note, on November 17, I will be among the many local authors participating in the Local Author Open House at the Spencer Road Branch Library in St. Peters from 6-8 p.m.

During the library event on Nov 17, I will be available to talk about the story. I will also have copies of the book available, as well as the other Chicken Soup for the Soul books with my true stories.

Here's a link where you can find more information about the Nov 17 event.

P.S. I plan to post a reminder about the library event in Mid-November.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Multigenre Writing Contest/Submission Opportunity: Rock Springs Review

Boonville author Judy Stock, editor and publisher of the Rock Springs Review, has recently announced she is accepting manuscripts for an anthology to be published in 2017.

Judy, who has edited and consulted on several anthologies for writers' groups, is using her editing and publishing knowledge and expertise to create opportunities for writers and poets to showcase their talent in this new anthology.

Here are limited details:

* Open to Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry submissions
* $10 entry fee (consult guidelines for details)
* December 31, 2016 Deadline
* $50/$30/$20 prizes plus Honorable Mention Certificates awarded
* Winners selected by independent judges
* Rock Springs Review (200-250 pages) will be published in 2017
* Each contributor whose work is accepted for publication will receive a contributor copy and a token payment.

For complete guidelines and questions about the Rock Springs Review, e-mail Judy at:

Rock on!

And good luck if you enter!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reflections on the Ozark Creative Writers Contests and Judges' Comments

As I reflect on my role as contest chair for the 2016 OCW contests, I've learned a few lessons. 

It was rewarding, and at times challenging, experience. I got to read some amazing entries and meet some wonderful people -- sponsors, judges, and entrants. I also made a few suggestions to improve the process next year.

Not everyone who entered won, but everyone who entered showed their courage and determination. During a closing session on Saturday I shared some lessons learned and comments from a few judges.

Here is a sampling of those comments:

* It's more than getting words on the page.
* Put the reader right there with you.
* Be honest; it's not necessarily about making writers heroes in their own work.
* Let us see real people.
* Emotions should be relatable.
* Doesn't have to be surprising or shocking.
* Readers should be able to see something of themselves in the story.
* Judging is subjective (this was repeated by several judges as well as during the conference)
* More than one judge wrote they enjoyed every one!
* Do spell check, grammar check, proofread carefully.
* Don't rely on spell check.
* Read your work out loud.
* Thoroughly vet your work.
* The better entries were pretty immediately obvious.
* Stay on theme if there is one.
* Watch formatting.
* Most were formatted correctly.
* Stick to word count.
* Include a header on your work with title and page number (but not your name)
* Be sure your work fits the category.
* Title your work.
* Follow the guidelines!

Congratulations to everyone who entered the contests. Submitting to a contest is a wonderful way to focus on meeting deadlines, following guidelines, and gaining self-confidence as a writer.

Special thanks to the judges and sponsors who provided their time and monetary support for the contests. During the conference I even managed to solicit a couple new contest sponsors for next year!

Yesterday I forwarded a Word document with a complete list of the winners to Chrissy Willis, incoming OCW president, who promptly posted the document on the OCW website.

Here's a link with all contest titles and names of the winners.

Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...