2012 OWFI Conference

If there was a writer’s conference but there was not a single editor or agent in your genre, would you attend? Heck, yeah. It’s not always about you and your book but the kind of insight you can get, the tidbits of minutiae, the alternate perspectives, that added to your writing and your writing life.

This was my first conference of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. and it was rather impressive. Held at the Embassy Suites hotel not far from Will Rogers Airport, it featured several speakers, an editor/agent panel, two dinner banquets (one with keynote speaker Steven james and the other the contest awards presentation), and various late night buzz sessions.

The highlights for me were:

C. Hope Clark, whose newsletter Funds For Writers, provides practical insight into venues for freelance writers. Her maxim, “You have to be known as a writer first before you are known as a novelist” really hit home.

Dan Case of AWOC Publishing. I had already met Dan at the KWA Scene Conference in March. His enthusiasm and laugh is contagious. He’s reading one of my pieces now, the hard-boiled crime fiction “Swansong”. So, we’ll wait and see.

Chuck Sambuchino, whose blog Guide to Literary Agents is one of the most useful tools out there. i had a one-on-one with Chuck while he reviewed my pitch for the Transgressive fiction piece, “Weekend Getaways, or Adventures in Contract Killing.” Very perceptive feedback plus additional directions that might help me secure and agent.

Thomas B. Sawyer, screenwriter, novelist, teacher, and one heck of a storyteller. He was entertaining OUTSIDE of the session. I was very fortunate to have he and his wife sit at our table for breakfast the next morning.

No, i did not secure an agent or a three-book deal or any of those other fantasy illusions we have of attending such events. I met some very talented industry professionals who were accessible and met me on an equal level. I met some really wonderful folks who did seem impressed by some of my louder Hawaiian shirts.

More importantly, I retained and expanded on the main things it takes to be a successful writer. Hope and confidence. Add to that my enduring desire and I can assure you this thing ain’t over yet.


  1. May 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Hope Dan says yes! You are an incredibly talented dude! If anyone deserves that shot, it’s you! 😀


    • H.B. Berlow said,

      May 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Dude? Is that a reference to my character and personality or my spiritual affiliation? All kidding aside, thank you for the gracious comments. They ARE appreciated.


  2. lawrenceez said,

    May 17, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Glad you found the conference worthwhile.


    • H.B. Berlow said,

      May 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      I think most of them are, in some fashion. Hey, we can only keep trying, right?


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