Coffee and Tea will be served throughout the day.

Onsite registration will be available until noon.

Publishers Row: Throughout both Friday and Saturday all of our publishers will be taking pitches. There will be pitch sheet on their tables with the times available. Sign up, and make sure you’re on time. 

Announcements- Tiffany Schofield
Keynote- Tess Gerritsen - “Writing 101, Part II” Character development, plot tweaks, common problems by first-time novelists, research tips and powerful endings.
Tess Gerritsen- The Business of Writing: Tess will speak about traditional publishing, foreign rights, selling to Hollywood, concluding with a Q & A session. 
  11:30-1:30 Lunch on your own

​Break out Session 1 (Choose 1)

Tamara Heiner-BUILDING YOUR SUPER FANS - Using Newsletters To Attract And Deflect. Maintaining contact with your readers is essential to keep your books and your name on their radar while you are writing the next one. A newsletter remains the most reliable way to do so. But finding the right platform is only the beginning. How do you attract subscribers? How do you keep subscribers? What do you do when they unsubscribe? Find out how to get started, set up a reader magnet, and build a drip campaign. 

Ruth Weeks- THE THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT - Setting the Mood for Paranormal Writing. The essence of paranormal writing is creating the right mood. The heart and soul of paranormal writing is mystery, the unknown. In all writing, choosing the right words are essential but in the paranormal world it is just as important to capture the feeling of all things eerie, mystical, and spooky.  In this session we will cover: The Difference Between Paranormal, Supernatural & Fantasy,
Rules & Tips For Paranormal Writing, List Of Paranormal Terms & Language.

As an editor, Ally read tons of manuscripts. Sometimes they all blend together and nothing stands out. Nothing excites. This is partially due to the content, but sometimes, it’s the execution. A submission can contain ‘The Most Amazing Plot in the Universe’ and if the story is not conveyed in an engaging manner, and the author does not know how to pace the novel, she may not read far enough to discover the brilliant, titillating plot. This presentation will show you some of the common pitfalls of submissions she sees, not only from newbie writers, but from experienced ones--issues such as head-hopping/POV violations, showing vs. telling, filter words, info dumps, starting in the wrong place, and others.  You will learn how to seek out and destroy some of these pitfalls to improve the engagement and pacing of your short story or novel. Note: Ally will be taking pitches for The Wild Rose Press. While they are primarily a romance publishing company, they also publish mainstream fiction, such as Women’s Fiction, Historical, Suspense, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, etc. They are accepting submissions in any of their categories, including erotica. They are not accepting manuscripts for young adult. 



Break Out Session 2 (Choose 1) 

Linda Apple INTENTIONAL WRITING - Writing With Purpose
Whether through fiction or nonfiction our writing can be a positive and powerful force both for the writer and the reader. In this session we will seek to understand ourselves as writers and discover how to reflect this in our writing. Then we will learn how to focus our writing in order to make a worthwhile impact on our readers.

Social Media can be intimidating for some while others jump in without fear. With so many options, how do you know which ones should be given your precious time and attention? Your perception of social media will be your compass in selecting the ones most beneficial to your needs.
We will cover: Various Social Media options,Selecting your Top Three
& How to manage them, and your time effectively.This is an interactive workshop. Handouts for participants will be provided. Please come prepared to participate and take notes.

Through discussion and exercises, Jan Morrill Vanek will demonstrate haiku and how it can be used to both condense and enhance your writing. ​

  3:40-4:40Closing Panel:  Ask Those Who Know! Invited panel members include:
Chrissy Willis- Moderator
Doug  Grad– Agent
Ally Robertson – Editor & Publisher
Publishers: Casey Cowen, Lisa Miller
Award Winning Authors: Max McCoy, JD Boggs
  6:00Gathering in Lobby with Cash Bar
  6:30Awards Banquet (Purchase tickets in advance).You are welcome at the   awards ceremony even if you chose to eat elsewhere. It takes place         around 7:45.

Thursday October 11, 2018


Coffee and Tea will be served throughout the day. Onsite registration will be available as well. Visit Publishers Row: Throughout both Friday and Saturday all of our  publishers will be taking pitches. There will be pitch sheet on their tables with the times available. Sign up, and make sure you’re on time. 

Announcements-Chrissy Willis, President OCW
Opening Keynote- Tess Gerritsen - “WRITING 101, Part I” Writing a novel from premise till the end. Tess will share where she finds plot ideas and how she identifies the most powerful premises.
Tess Gerritsen - Participatory Workshop: Attendees will share their one or two – sentence premise for a novel. A discussion will follow on how to improve the premise and where those ideas will take them in the plot.
  11:30-1:30 Lunch on your own- Try one of the many unique restaurants in Eureka Springs or walk up the hill for Myrtie May's Award Winning Buffet!

Breakout Sessions Choose 1

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen Part 1 (technical/beginners)

​IN THE BEGINNING - A Workshop for New and Emerging Writers  
Whether you’re just beginning or ready to take the next step into serious writing, this two-part workshop is for you. In this participative workshop Jan, Ruth, and Linda will address the critical elements of telling a powerful story, whether fiction or nonfiction. As they share their different approaches, you’ll learn there’s no one way to write.Session I will cover the creative and technical sides of writing. Session II will be a continuation of the first with time to apply what you learned and share with the group. Plan to attend both sessions and come ready to write!


​Max McCoy- WRITING AGAINST TYPE -- Western fiction often gets a bad rap from those who think it's all cowboys, cattle, and shoot'em ups. Plenty of traditional stories defy the stereotype with finely woven plots and deep characterization. But if the traditional western isn’t your cup of tea, take heart: There have always been writers who transcend the genre and tell compelling stories in their own ways. A brief list of these authors include Edward Abbey (The Brave Cowboy, which has the most offbeat ending of any example),Dorothy M. Johnson (“A Man Called Horse,” about a British aristocrat enslaved and later adopted by a Native American tribe), Courtney Joyner (Shotgun, a sort-of steampunk fantasy western), Joe R. Lansdale (The Magic Wagon, a picaresque about a crooked traveling medicine show), and Mari Sandoz (Slogum House, a crooked tale about thieves and whores which preceded HBO’s Deadwood by decades). In this session, author, journalist and professor Max McCoy will talk about ways in which he has explored the darker side of the genre in his western noir and supernatural novels (the Hellfire Canyon trilogy and the Ophelia Wylde stories, including Of Grave Concern). He’ll give tips on how to research authentic and offbeat story lines, talk about things to avoid, and share how he creates characters that do wicked things--but who still have the sympathy of the reader.  

You've written your book, and you're ready to launch your masterpiece 
into the world. But first it needs a cover! Books are still judged by 
their covers, and if yours doesn't speak to your target audience, you'll 
lose out on sales. Learn how to find cover designers and select the best 
cover for your book. Interested in designing your own? Don't make these 

  2:45 -3:00



Break out session 2 (Choose one)

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen Part II- A continuation of IN THE BEGINNING 

JD Boggs- THE HARDEST FORM OF PROSE — So, you've decided you want to write short fiction. Are you crazy? There's nothing harder to write than a good short story. It's the most unforgiving form, with absolutely no room for error, and where every word has to count. Think tight. Get rid of any clutter. Cut, cut, cut, but don't, as the late Dusty Richards once was told, "cut the heart out of your story." Short fiction used to be the bread and butter for many fiction writers, and then all but disappeared. Today, however, the market appears to be on a slight rebound. Learn the dos and don'ts, what the market is like, and what the future holds for those crazy enough to try to tackle this mind-bending, tree-killing, tree-killing, head-splitting, masochistic form of literature.   

Doug Grad-
Publishing is baffling to begin with, and when you throw in all the changes of recent years, it makes people’s heads spin. We will discuss this big, dark, scary, inscrutable business and how to concentrate on things writers can control.


Gathering in Lobby with Cash Bar

  6:00Bar-B-Cue Banquet (Purchase tickets in advance). After the banquet we will be entertained by Tessa Kate. You are invited to the entertainment even if you chose to eat dinner elsewhere.
  8:45​A time to remember - An informal gathering to swap stories and share a tribute to Dusty & Pat Richards.

  3:00 -4:30 PM

  6:00-7:00 PM

Check-in or register for the conference. Sign up for the open mic             between 3-4:30 or 6:00-6:30 in the lobby of the conference center at Inn  of the Ozarks.                  
  3:00 -4:30 PM


For her Thursday afternoon session Chrissy Willis will cover topics about how subjective the publishing world is and why it’s important to grow a thick skin, exercise tenacity, and remain optimistic until they get the ‘yes’ answer. She will illustrate by telling of past writers and their journey to publishing, their tenacity and how many rejections they received, etc. In addition, she will address the 'free money' that is out there for writers and publishers in the international marketplace.

  7:00 PM6th annual Open Mic. Bring five double-spaced pages. Lonnie Whitaker will be the MC. Sign up in the lobby beginning at 3:00 pm. Time limit of 5 minutes will allow everyone to participate. Free popcorn and  soft drinks provided.

Friday October 12, 2018

SATURDAY October 13,  2018

Below you will find a detailed description of each session. Remember to visit publishers row where publishers will be waiting to talk to you about your book! Sign up sheets for pitches will be available at each publisher's table. As a participant you are invited to attend all sessions including the Friday night entertainment and the Saturday Awards Ceremony. If you wish to attend either Friday or Saturday banquets please purchase tickets in advance as a limited number will be available at the conference.