Thursday, May 10, 2012


By Jackie King

There’s a certain creative energy that fills the air and even permeates the cracks and crevices at OWFI Conferences. Speakers change, technical techniques evolve, markets wax and wane; but the atmosphere is always the same. Pure electricity. I’ve been attending for a good many years and I always come home physically exhausted (who wants to miss anything?) and mentally refreshed. New ideas seem to spring alive and old ones freshen. Or in plain Okie-speak: I’m ready to hit that keyboard for another year!

Our Speakers this year were excellent. Steven James, award-winning author of The Patrick Bowers Files gave the keynote address and held an audience of about 400 writers (and their spouses and significant others) spellbound. I swear, the man could have been an actor. His talk was not only inspiring it was rib-splitting funny. He spoke of his own struggle to become a published writer and confirmed my conviction that getting to the top in this field is never easy and seldom quick. Most everyone has to pay their dues. Learning to write well is a skill usually learned from hours at the keyboard or with a pen and paper in hand. But the rewards are huge.

Steven James
Steven James author of The Patrick Bowers Files


If you’re one of those whose heart cries out to put words on paper, accept that you’re one of God’s scribes. I’m not talking about religious writing; I’m talking about telling stories about the world you live in. Honesty is what readers want; but we must both remember that my truth may be quite different from your truth; there is a wide variety of readers in the world. Our work will not be everyone’s cup of tea. But we will each find our audience.

The writers at this particular conference are always unbelievably generous-hearted. Authors with over 50 published books to their credit will listen to a beginning writer and make helpful suggestions. Publishers and agents are available for appointments, or if you missed that opportunity, you can catch them in the hallways. “Anywhere but the bathroom,” one quipped.

If you write or if you want to write, don’t hesitate to sign up for such an event; you’ll come home just like me…tired, happy and ready to write.


carla stewart said...

Excellent, Jackie! I so wanted to go to OWFI this year, but had a celebration with my dad (He was Parade Marshal for Pioneer Days in Guymon). I'll be there next year, Lord willing! Glad you're ready to hit the keyboard and come up with more stunning prose!

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Jackie, sorry I didn't take advantage of us both being there to get better acquainted! This was my first year there, and wow, it surely won't be my last. Next time, for sure, let's do lunch!

Anonymous said...

Good article, Jackie. You summed it up well. Also, there are those wonderful 10-minute appointments with agents & editors & the amazing results!

Jean Henry Mead said...

I always came home recharged after attending a writer's conference. So informative and fun. It was the only way to connect with fellow writers before forums, etc. on the Internet.

Carolyn B. Leonard said...

What goes around comes around Jackie! That's why everyone loves you is because you give out the love and appreciation. It is always good to see you, and we are thankful you give so much time and energy to bringing our Maven Peggy to OWFI so we can enjoy her. She has been the inspiration to so many -- and she is always so full of orneriness. Love you Jackie!

Jaden Terrell said...

I love writers' conferences. I'd go to one every month--or at least every other month--if I could. This one sounds great.