Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gems from OCW at Eureka Springs

Just spent an enlightening three days at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference in Eureka Springs where the keynote speaker, award-winning author David Morrell (First Blood, The Brotherhood of the Rose, and many more), urged writers to find the dominant emotion which has made them what they are: it will become their subject matter. When I jotted down the several recurring themes in  my own writing, his meaning became crystal clear.

He also spoke about being aware of our daydreams, as well as what is happening to us and where it's coming from. Again, our subject matter springs from these understandings: it's where our imagination wants us to go.

He voiced an excellent mantra for writers: "I want to be a first-rate version of myself, not a second-rate version of someone else."

~*~
Gordon Warnock, Senior Agent in the Andrea Hurst Literary Agency, urged writers to actively educate themselves about the industry and their craft by attending conferences, becoming involved in a writers' group which will be honest about what is written and offer suggestions for improvement, reading industy publications and selected blogs, and joining appropriate writer organizations (RWA, Mystery Writers of America, for example). To choose a conference best suited to individual needs, he suggested Shawguides.com 

He shared additional links for finding markets: The Writers Market (updated yearly), Duotrope, and Jeff Herman's Guide.

7 comments:

K9friend said...

It's always stimulating to attend a workshop. Sounds like this one really got the juices flowing!

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Judy said...

You'd love this group--not to mention Eureka Springs! And the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks is dog-friendly, so Indy wouldn't have to be left behind!

Vonnie Davis said...

I love David Morrell and have read almost all his books. An interesting story: My oldest son was a student at Penn State in the early ninties. He'd just finished Morrell's recent release and was so thrilled with it, he somehow found his number and called this author. Steve said they talked for over an hour. Steve was at Penn State; Morrell studied there, too. Steve was on staff every summer at a boy scout camp; Morrell had stayed there himself as he researched the area for his first Rambo story. Steve was a karate instructor; Morrell studies karate. Well...you get the picture. Steve couldn't get over how nice this famous author was to someone he didn't know. "Mom, he talked to me like an old friend." I learned a lesson from his experience on what matters most: how we treat others. Yup, Morrell is high up there on my list for the kindness he showed a starry-eyed reader.

Judy said...

Oh, wow, Vonnie, thanks for sharing this! He was an intriguing speaker, and he came off as very down-to-earth, grounded etc. I checked out one of his books at the library yesterday--couldn't find the one I wanted to start with but will keep checking back.

sarabose said...

Thanks a ton for taking me to Shawguides.com !!
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Judy said...

You're most welcome! It's a great site that I knew nothing about until now!

Carolyn B said...

Judy, Thank you for sharing your OCW notes. Sounds like it was a great conference. I didn't get to go this year and really missed getting to see everybody.