Friday, March 24, 2017

SCBWI Arkansas Conference

The Arkansas Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Conference is June 16-17 in Central Arkansas.
Conference faculty includes Kait Feldmann, associate editor at Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic); Molly O'Neill, literary agent at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency; and Nick Thomas, editor at Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic).
The conference will offer a dinner, publishing panel and pitch sessions on June 16 (North Little Rock Community Center, North Little Rock). Conference sessions, lunch and critiques are on June 17 (Butler Center, Little Rock).
Opportunities are available for writers and artists to receive feedback on their manuscripts and portfolios. Remember that spaces for consultations are limited, so sign up early if you want to secure a spot.

Registration opens March 25:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Missouri Writers Guild Conference Conference May 5-7.
I was a member for a couple of years and have attended their conferences. I have enjoyed making new writer friends, learning from other authors and illustrators, and they always have informative speakers. Well worth attending each year.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


The 12th Annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival: a Celebration for Writers and Readers will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017, from 12 Noon to 5 pm, at The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

We look forward to seeing you there, rain or shine!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Pee-Yew Poem

Opening my eyes one morning,
Before my feet hit the floor
What is, this offensive smell
 Filling my nose… pee yew!
 Racing through my mind
The fear of a skunk
Could be under the house
The fumes, worse than cow pies…

I went from room to room
Stumping my feet to add
Fear to the critter below.
I could not smell the skunk
Scent in any other room
I travel back to my bedroom
Where, I was first overwhelmed
With this rotten odor to discover
This skunk was me.
©by Mary Nida Smith

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


Mary Nida Smith
     Why do I write? I write because this is who I am. Words on paper are food that provides strength for me to continue my journey of creative writing. I believe I was born to write, for God knew I needed to fill a void through painful and lonely times.
      I didn’t write thinking I would be rejected from so many places and advised to give it up, for I wrote because this is who I am. Rejections would slow me down or question why I write, but the words that formed stories kept trying to open the door to my mind. Many stories formed a mind of their own. I couldn’t deny them their time to walk across the pages and make someone smile or allow a tear to flow.
    When I spied a call for submissions from a newspaper, magazine or other areas, if I thought I could, like the little red engine, I submitted.  It was always a wonderful surprise when I was accepted – paid or not, I was getting my name out there. It was cheap advertisement, a chance to learn from an editor, and to spread my wings in many different fields of creative writing.
     Today I am an author of two books: Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century and Submarine Stories of World War II. I have written for newspapers and magazines. I have been published as a poet and as a writer for the children’s market.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Arkansas SCBWI Conference

June 16-17, Arkansas SCBWI Conference 2017, Central Arkansas
Sept. 16, Arkansas SCBWI Writing Intensive 2017 on character with author Kristin L. Gray, Central Arkansas
Oct. 13-15, Arkansas SCBWI Retreat 2017, Fort Smith
Other events on the horizon: Small & Indie Publishing Workshop, KidLit Roundtables in Central and Northwest Arkansas - and more.

2017 Conference
The Arkansas SCBWI 2017 Conference is June 16-17 in Central Arkansas. I’ve been busy behind the scenes working to move the conference to a new location in Little Rock. Stay tuned to the conference web page at You can check it now for important deadlines and basic conference information. More information will be added later this week and next. I’ll send out a separate note as a reminder when registration is about to open. You can also check our Twitter and Facebook page for public updates.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Village Lake Writers & Poets

Village Lake Writers & Poets
We Invite you to come and visit with local writers & authors!
Saturday, March 11 from 6 to 8:00 p.m.
Held in the historic Artist Retreat Center, 13467 Lookout Drive
in Old Bella Vista, AR.
Free and Open to the Public with an Open-Mic starting at 6:00 p.m.
The Village Lake Writers & Poets, a local writers group in Bella Vista announces our featured author this month! We are hosting a remarkable Children's Author, Brenda Turner! Brenda's new book Diamond Girl is a big hit especially with 4th graders who are starting in a new school! Diamond Girl is about Jenny, a 4th grade girl, who is on a diamond dig - a journey for understanding and treasure!