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Ozarks Writers League Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

The Ozarks Writers League (OWL) is celebrating 30 years of bringing authors, artists, and aspiring writers together for education and publishing opportunities.  Since 1983, OWL has been inspiring writers to improve their skills through four annual conferences, and brought in editors and agents from as far away as New York and California.  November 15 & 16 will be a celebration of the history, success, and future plans for the literary group.
OWL’s charter members were dedicated to promoting Ozarks art, history and culture.  Among them were Jim Martin, owner of the Branson Book & Card Shop, Jory Sherman, novelist and heartfelt writer about the Ozarks, Edith McCall, children’s and education author, Dan Saults, former editor of the Missouri Conservationist, Dr. Fred Pfister, author, professor, and editor of The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, and Cliff Edom, the father of American photo-journalism.
Presentation topics have evolved with the years, from learning to use a word processor, to self-publishing and submitting work electronically.  Literary agents and publishers began signing contracts with OWL members, including Ellen Gray Massey, Susan Ledbetter, Townsend Godsey, and others.  Weekly columns appeared for a time in local newspapers, showcasing area authors and their books.  The League began publishing an annual anthology of members’ work, which continues today.  Annual writing, art, and photography competitions are member favorites, while OWL gives back to the community in the form of scholarships and open-mic events.
This year’s anniversary celebration begins Friday night at Ye Olde English Inn in Hollister.  Planned activities include a banquet for members, annual writing competition awards, a presentation on the history of OWL, and special recognition for the charter members.  Dinner is provided by the Riverstone Restaurant, with musical entertainment by the Possum Holler Fiddlers.
At Plaster Auditorium, College of the Ozarks, the Saturday program features workshops and panel discussions, beginning with a question-and-answer session by charter members, followed by writing tips from author K.D. McCrite (April Grace series, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Annie’s Attic Mysteries and Quilted Mysteries, Annie’s Publishing).
The afternoon continues with sessions on magazine writing, manuscript critiques, and developing characters.  Guest presenters include Patsy Bell Hobson, travel writer, Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, journalist, Fred Pfister, former editor, and Jan Morrill, author (The Red Kimono, University of Arkansas Press).  Open to the public, attendees will also enjoy meeting Midwest authors available for book sales and signings.
OWL meets Nov. 16, at 9 a.m. in Plaster Auditorium on the College of the Ozarks campus near Branson.  A $10 fee is charged at the door for attendees, or pay $25 member dues and gain admission to all four annual conferences, with opportunities for entering writing and art contests, meetings with agents and editors, and special events like open-mic nights and member luncheons.
Visit http://www.ozarkswriters league.com/ for more information.

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