Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eureka Springs - check them out for they provide a lot of writers workshops.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


A Regional Guide to Writers and Writers' Groups

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ghost Towns in Arkansas

The Friends of Baxter County Library
will have their monthly meeting
this Wednesday, February 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Donald W. Reynolds Library Serving Baxter County
Knox Meeting Rooms A & B 

Diana Roller will present

Ghost Towns in Arkansas

Friday, February 19, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Poem for Kids

Playful Leaves
I love to watch dry leaves
Come alive before my eyes.
Several join in the race
Across the yard
I see, what I thought
Was a rabbit looking at me.
I sat… and sat, watching,
the rabbit never moved,
Not one ear
Or a nose twitched
It just sat, frozen.
As I walked toward it
It skipped away
To join other leaves,
And flew into the air
to return to a tree
With other leaves
Still anchored
To a big Oak tree.
             ©By Mary Nida Smith

Monday, February 15, 2016

Candy Simonson to Springfield Writers' Guild Forum
2 hrs
“How to Write a Great Short Human Interest Story”
Michael Pulley, OTC English Instructor and newspaper columnist to speak at Springfield Writers’ Guild February...
See More

Sunday, February 14, 2016

ALL WRITE NOW! Conference

Join us for The Third Annual

All Write Now! Writers' Conference

Saturday, July 16, 2016

in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Shared from Kathy Temean's newsletter. 

Creating an Elevator Pitch – Erika Wassall

erikaphoto-45Erika Wassall the Jersey Farm Scribe here on
Creating an Elevator Pitch
Whether you’re getting ready for a conference, prepping ideas for a Twitter party, or just want to put your best foot forward to anyone who asks about your book, having a quick, engaging and powerful elevator pitch is important.
First of all… what IS an elevator pitch anyway?
El-e-va-tor pitch
noun — informal
* A succinct and persuasive sales pitch
* A short summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value
The idea here is that in the 20-30 seconds of an elevator ride, you could present your idea. Us humans are fickle creatures with VERY short attention spans. We make snap judgments, and unless we’re already intrigued, we’re likely to have already mentally moved on.
Job interviews. “Objectives” at the top of resumes. Sales positions. Convincing a spouse of what restaurant to go eat at. Convincing a boss about your new idea. Impressions are made quickly. Not that minds can never be changed later. But the fact remains…
The first 20 seconds is your BEST opportunity to make a good impression.
All right. So that’s the basic CONCEPT.
Uh, that’s it??? Hello? E-Z!!! I know my book. I know what makes my story special. Of COURSE I can describe it in 3-4 sentences!!! I wouldn’t even need to practice.
……here we go……
A young girl is caught in between…
Wait. No! It’s so much more than that. Let me start again.
When insomnia brings Tris to the brink of desperation…
Ugh, that sounds so cliché!
Conception is reality. Tris must prove her sanity and win the right to live out her dreams in more ways than one.
Yuck. That says ab-so-lutely NOTHING. Okay. So this is harder than it sounds.
Elevator Pitch Tips:
Don’t Over Pack the Pitch:
For me, the biggest tip I ever got for an elevator pitch is not to try to shove my entire story in there. This was a HUGE relief. If the plot line is too complex to explain in a few lines (or the tiny 140 characters we Twits get), don’t even try. Concentrate instead on the unique voice. Have the pitch portray the main character’s biggest flaw or most powerful victory. Highlight a powerful scene or even quote a climatic moment.
Feel Free to Ruin:
If pitching to an agent, there’s nothing wrong with giving away the end. They’re professionals. Trust the story, and be confident that the writing and development along the way will keep them engaged even if they know the twist end. (Obviously keep in mind different agents may feel differently about this. Always research agents for preferences)
OBSESS over Nouns:
Obsess over every word really, but look extra closely at those nouns. Could they be more powerful? More emotional? More visual? Even in our limited word count, can we do more showing and less telling?
Show Uniqueness in Specifics:
Agents hear a LOT of pitches. Being conceptual isn’t enough. We must express specific aspects of THIS book that make it different from the other 400 they may have received, over the past 48 hours. The idea may be excellent, creative and powerful. But from their perspective, they’ve likely heard it before. As humans, they’re naturally assessing it, lumping it in with other things similar. Specifics are your weapon here. Use details, voice, character, setting, etc, to make THIS particular story stand out from that crowd.
Say it out loud. A lot. Then say it some more. The manner in which it rolls off the tongue is important, as is confidence in delivery. Bonus: Once you have it down, you may be surprised at how frequently the opportunity is presented for you to use it.
Our manuscripts are complex. They cannot be put in a box. No 20 second opportunity can fully grasp the extent of their awesome. Don’t let that goal overpower you. Instead create intrigue, and answer the question of why they should want to hear or read more.
Your manuscripts are worth it.
Erika Wassall is a writer, a farmer and a liver of life. She is a member of SCBWI and a proud Mad Scientist, bringing science experiments right into children’s classrooms, and hearts. She has a small farm in New Jersey with sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables. Check out her new website at where as a first generation farmer, she often takes the long way, learning the tricks of the trade on The Farm. On her website is also The Shop page with tips and a free Q/A from her husband’s mechanic shop, and The Writer page where she shares stories, experiences and characters from the heart. Follow her on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe. She’d love to hear from you!
Look for Erika’s articles every other Wednesday on Writing and Illustrating. Thank you Erika for another great post.
Talk tomorrow,

Friday, February 05, 2016


Fourth Annual Free Event More information Ozark Writers league Facebook page.

 Meet the Authors Festival Kimberling Area Library Saturday, February 6, 2016 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM

Meet more than 40 regional authors, Listen to these 11 interesting speakers. Speakers 9:50 AM---McQueen, Newman, Racing, and Sailing--Fred Harshbarger 10:10 AM—Winds of Deception--Cover-up by President Johnson--Tierney James 10:30 AM—History of Fort Leonard Wood--Paul William Bass 10:50 AM—History of a Professional Baseball League in the Ozarks--J. B. Hogan 11:10 AM—What’s the Big Deal about Ginseng--Madison Woods 11:30 AM—Orbit the Famous Dog--Peter Longley 12:00 PM—I’m One of the Hillbillies You’ve Heard About--K.D. McCrite 12:20 PM—Your Tongue Determines Your Destiny--April Shenandoah 12:40 PM—Choices Along our Path--Diane Yates 1:00 PM—Fate and Timing Changed My Life and History--Billie Armstrong 1:20 PM---Bringing Out the Best in Our Youth--Eddie Bowman (Chester Drawers) A door prize will be given after each speaker’s presentation. Complimentary Coffee and Cookies will be served throughout the day.

 For more information go to: or call 417-739-2525 45 Kimberling Blvd., Kimberling City, MO 65686

Thursday, February 04, 2016

FEBRUARY 20, 2016

Books in Bloom Literary Festival
Books in Bloom Literary Festival: a Celebration for Writers and Readers to be held on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at The Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

I will be there, selling my book: Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Lucidity Ozark Poetry Retreat 2016

Lucidity Ozark Poetry Retreat #23, April 21-22-23, 2015 Eureka Springs, Arkansas Tuesday April 21 - Registration 3-5PM First Session 7-10 PM,…

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Ground Hog Day

Ground hogs we are
We dig holes
You don’t like.
We are useless.
Yet, some of us
Are held high
As weather forecasters
February second
We are told
We must predict
Spring is arriving
Or winter extended
Why do humans
Choose who is
And who is not.

© by Mary Nida Smith