Ozark Creative Writers, Inc. is a nonprofit organization guided by a volunteer board of directors and officers, dedicated to presenting one of the oldest and best writing conferences in the region.
PRESIDENT & CONFERENCE CHAIR
Linda Apple believes everyone has a story and that these stories matter. They are the threads that weave humanity together and helps us to understand each other. Her personal experience stories have been published in sixteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her workbooks, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter and Writing from Your Soul, are focused on teaching others how to write their stories.
Linda has taught workshops across the Midwest and East Coast of the United States and in the United Kingdom. She also tells her stories through fiction. Her books, Women of Washington Avenue and Avalee’s Gift, are the first two books in her Moonlight Mississippi series.
In addition to writing, she is also a motivational speaker. Her desire is to encourage, affirm, nurture talent, and equip people in order to help them achieve their goals and follow their dreams.
Treasurer & Contest Chair
Clarissa (Chrissy) Willis
Clarissa Willis, PhD is an author, consultant and professional development specialist living in Indiana. She provides workshops, keynote addresses, and customized professional development nationally and internationally. Formerly, the Associate Director of the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development at East Tennessee State University, she directed such projects as Tennessee's Early Intervention System Technical Assistance Project, The East Tennessee Autism Training Project, The Tennessee Preschool Literacy Project, and Expanding Horizons Early Intervention Project.
Currently she is an associate professor at the University of Southern Indiana.
Her publications include the award winning books,Teaching Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, My Child has Autism, and Teaching Infants Toddlers and Twos with Special Needs, Inclusive Environments for Young Children-What to do on Monday Morning! and Inclusive Literacy Lessons to name a few. Her articles have also appeared in journals such as Young Children, Childcare Information Exchange, Dimensions of Early Childhood and Teaching Exceptional Children.
For five years she was the Senior Vice President of Publishing for Kaplan Early Learning Company and its subsidiary Gryphon House Books. Dr. Willis is the senior author of Learn Every Day: The Program for Infants, Toddlers and Twos and Learn Every Day: The Preschool Curriculum, two new comprehensive curriculum projects.
As a keynote speaker she has presented workshops in 48 states and four foreign countries. She served on the OCW Board from 1986-2009.
Max McCoy is an award-winning author and journalist. He wrote four original Indiana Jones novels for Lucasfilm, the novelization for the epic miniseries Into the West, and has won the Spur Award three times. He’s the author of the Ophelia Wylde paranormal mystery series and the Hellfire Canyondark western trilogy. He’s a professor at Emporia State University, where he teaches a graduate course on Mark Twain, and is also the director for the Center for Great Plains Studies. He’s just completed a narrative nonfiction book on the Arkansas River for the University Press of Kansas, and is working on an investigative biography of Mark Twain’s official biographer and literary executor Albert Bigelow Paine.
Johnny D. Boggs
Johnny D. Boggs has been praised by Booklist magazine as “among the best western writers at work today” and is one of the few authors to have won both the Western Heritage Wrangler Award and Spur Award for his fiction. True West magazine has named him the Best Living Fiction Writer in its Best of the West Awards. Boggs has four Spur Awards from Western Writers of America, winning for Best Juvenile Western Novel in 2008 and 2010 for Doubtful Cañon and Hard Winter, for Best Western Novel in 2006 for Camp Ford and for Best Short Fiction in 2002 for “A Piano at Dead Man’s Crossing.” He won the Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for Outstanding Western Novel of 2003 for Spark on the Prairie: The Trial of the Kiowa Chiefs.
His novels Killstraight, Northfield, The Hart Brand and Ten and Me and his short story “The Cody War” were Spur finalists. A native of South Carolina — two of his novels, The Despoilers (2002) and Ghost Legion (December 2005) chronicle the struggle in the Carolina backcountry during the American Revolution — Boggs worked almost 15 years in Texas as a sports journalist at the Dallas Times Herald and Fort Worth Star-Telegrambefore moving to New Mexico in 1998 to concentrate full time on his novels and books. Other titles include East of the Border, a comedy about the 1873-74 theatrical careers of Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro and Wild Bill Hickok; and The Killing Shot, a re-imagining of the 1949 classic crime movie White Heat as a Western.
Boggs is also a prolific writer of short nonfiction whose works have appeared in 50 magazines and newspapers. He is a frequent contributor to True West, New Mexico Magazine, Persimmon Hill, Wild West and Boys’ Life. He lives with his wife and son in Santa Fe.
Tiffany Schofield is from Five Star, a division of Gale Cengage Learning, is one of those editors who wears a dozen hats. Five Star is a rising star in publishing. They do library editions with their parent company, Cengage, but Five Star itself is seeking westerns, romances, young adult…and several other popular genres. Tiffany says not to be nervous, but to pitch your book to her so that she can see the passion you have for the story. If you show that you care about your story, she'll no doubt care about it too.