ER’s Trip to OWFI 2013 Conference

 In Biographical / Reflective, Industry

Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. is an organization I’ve been a part of for several years now, and this weekend was my third trip to the annual conference.

Upon arriving Friday morning, my first order of business was picking up my swag bag with my registration badge. I immediately checked for Gliterary Girl Media’s over-sized postcard. Not only was it there, but it looked awesome!

Next, I headed over to the bookstore where I was able to put My novel Sovereign for sale with other books from OWFI members. Very cool to see my book for sale in good company!

Friday, I attended four workshops, two of which were with Smashwords founder Mark Coker, one YA workshop with author Saundra Mitchell, and another YA workshop with author Jordan Dane. Both ladies were great, but I especially enjoyed Saundra Mitchell’s perspective and very down to earth advice for YA writers like myself.

Friday night’s dinner was what OWFI calls the Famous Author Banquet. OWFI members who have published books within the last year were celebrated in a slide show as well as being called out and asked to stand for the crowd to applaud us. It was very nice, but I’m also very pregnant, so I may have blushed a little.

Saturday, I sat in on a Q&A with Friday’s keynote speaker, #1 New York Times Bestselling fantasy author, Patrick Rothfus. Most of the session was around world building and it was insightful, creative, and nothing short of unconventional. But hey, he’s an unconventional guy.

My second session Saturday was called Creative Block Busters with creativity coach Romney Nesbitt. She was wonderful and I’m planning to buy her book, Secrets From A Creativity Coach. I was bummed that I missed out on the YA panel that occurred during the creative block class with Mrs. Nesbitt, but I’m happy with my experience regardless

Saturday afternoon, I was able to participate for the first time in the OWFI author Autograph Party! The other published OWFI authors and I were able to set up at tables in the hotel foyer for a massive book signing! This was very exciting, and my first official dose of “public appearance.”

Last year at the 2012 conference, I wasn’t able to attend in person, but I had still been able to enter the annual writing contest, and my first novel Sovereign won first place in the novel category Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror. That was a huge moment for Sovereign, so it was quite a pleasure bringing it back to OWFI this year as a published novel!

At Saturday night’s awards banquet, my novel A Girl Named Jude won second place in the Young Adult Book category, and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s to hoping next year I’ll have great news for Jude as well!

Overall, this pregnant lady had a great and exhausting time at OWFI’s Annual Conference and Contest in Norman, OK!

Sara O'Connor
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