Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here's Your Chance to Pitch!

Do you have a mystery you'd like to pitch?  How about an article about the weekend getaway in New Harmony?  Maybe you're ready to find a home for the children's book you just revised for the third time.  With over a half-dozen editors and agents set to attend the Just Write! Conference, it's the perfect opportunity for you to find just the right person to tell about your project.  April 9th is your chance to pitch!

Here's some information you might find helpful about each of our editors and agents to help with your pitch homework prior to the conference.

Lia Brown, Editor, Avalon Books.  Launching her career in publishing as a high school intern at Starlog magazine, Lia has spent the last twenty years working on a variety of fiction and nonfiction topics and genres at several publishing houses.  Avalon publishes "family friendly" romance, historical romance, mysteries, and Westerns.  No erotica or heavy violence.

Krista Goering, Agent, The Krista Goering Literary Agency.  Krista is an attorney-at-law and literary agent who lived in New York prior to moving to the Midwest when she married a Kansas City area businessman.  She has worked as a freelance writer, published a regional magazine, acted as editor-in-chief of a law journal, and practiced law.  Krista represents both nonfiction and fiction writing.

Margaret Mincks, Associate Editor, Spider Magazine for Children.  After graduation from the University of Virginia, Margaret moved to Chicago to pursue her career in writing, editing and improvisational comedy.  She selects content for Spider, edits fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, and writes features for both the magazine and its corresponding website.  Spider, a branch of the Cricket Magazine Group, is a Parent's Choice Gold Award winning-magazine for 6- to 9-year-olds.

Kristin Nelson, Agent, The Nelson Literary Agency.  Since forming the agency in 2002, Kristin has sold over 100 books to all the major publishers.  
She has landed several film deals and has contracted foreign rights on behalf of her clients in many territories. Kristin specializes in representing commercial fiction (mainstream, women’s fiction, romance, science fiction, fantasy, young adult & middle grade) and literary fiction with a commercial bent. In general, she does not handle nonfiction projects with the exception of an occasional memoir.

Kathleen Ortiz, Associate Agent and Foreign Rights Manager, Lowenstein Associates.  Kathleen, a former high school visual media instructor, started her publishing career at Ballinger Associates as an editorial assistant and interactive media designer.  She's currently looking for fiction and nonfiction children's books, specifically young adult, middle grade and chapter books.  More info about Kathleen can be found in an earlier blog post.

Marcy Posner, Agent, Folio Literary Management.  Marcy has spent a lifetime in books, working briefly as a librarian before beginning her career in publishing.  She's looking for middle grad and young adult fiction, commercial women's fiction, historical fiction, biography, history, health, and lifestyle; also, especially thoughtfully-written commercial novels, thrillers with international settings, and narrative non-fiction.  Marcy is not interested in genre romance and mysteries, memoirs, traditional fantasy, or science fiction.

Deborah Reinhardt, Managing Editor, AAA Midwest Traveler.  Serving as M.E. for AAA Midwest Traveler for nearly two decades, Deborah is well-respected not only as the editor of a well-known regional publication, but also as a travel writer.  In 2009, she launched AAA Southern Traveler for AAA members in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  The combined circulation for both magazines reach a total of 700,000 AAA households.

Susan Swartwout, Editor and Publisher, Southeast Missouri State University Press.  Susan and SEMO Press  
produce full-length books, three annual writing contests, and Big Muddy:  Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, an interdisciplinary magazine.  Susan has published two collections of poetry and her poems and short stories have been published in numerous literary journals.  It's a good idea to take a look at their catalog at to see the titles they've published.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Join "Funds for Writers" Founder C. Hope Clark for an Early-Arrival Seminar!

Join C.. Hope Clark, founder and editor of, when she kicks off the Missouri Writers' Guild 2011 "Just Write!" Conference on Friday, April 8th with a special Early-Arrival Seminar.  Hope's seminar, Funding Streams for Your Writing Career, will focus on how contests, jobs, freelance markets, grants, and publishing can all mesh together for a rewarding writing career!

She'll also be leading a break-out session on Saturday for children's writers about how grants work for a children's author.  Hope will explain artist-in-education programs, educational grants and even how to become a non-profit in order to sell books in volume.  With grants as her specialty, Hope will lead a Master's Class, All Grants and Only Grants, on Sunday to explain the huge number grants, fellowships, retreats, and sponsorships available to the serious writer, specifically for Missouri and surrounding states.  Master's Classes are intensive small-group workshops led by conference speakers for conference registrants.

Originating in 2000, includes the website, a whole family of newsletters and ebooks, all designed to help writers earn a steady income.  With over 100 publication credits online and in print within little more than a decade, Hope is a walking testimonial on how to achieve success in the writing world.  Her website has been recognized every year since 2001 by Writer's Digest as one of its 101 Best Web Sites for Writers.  She is also the author of The Shy Writer:  An Introvert's Guide to Writing Success, which gives stimulation and empowerment to all those writers who find it difficult to promote themselves or their work.

The weekend conference is slated for April 8-10 at the Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel in St. Louis.  Located in the central portion of the US, Hope said many writers have already indicated they're planning to meet her in St. Louis.  "It will be fun meeting Funds for Writers readers," she said.  "I rarely get to do that."

To take advantage of the Early-Bird Registration prices for "Just Write!" and to attend any of Hope's seminars, go to

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  Anyone posting a comment on the blog throughout the month of October will be entered into a drawing for a TOTAL FundsforWriters newsletter subscription donated by Hope!  And there will be a little something extra for anyone who can tell us who Sherlock is to Hope.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Member Spotlight: Ann Hazelwood and Wee Writers

One of the wonderful things about living in Missouri is getting to experience the seasons changing and as summer slips into autumn, community celebrations and festivals signal yet another harvest season has begun.  Festivals are great opportunities to reunite with friends you haven't seen since last year's celebration, but they can also provide some wonderful little treasures to take home.

I found such a treasure a few weeks ago when I met MWG member Ann Hazelwood signing her books in front of Main Street Books in historic St. Charles during the annual Festival of the Little Hills.  You see, Ann has published several books about Missouri topics, including 100 Things to Do In and Around St. Charles, 100 Best Kept Secrets of Missouri, 100 Unique Eateries of Missouri, and 100 Festive Findsof Missouri, as well as numerous books about quilting, since she is a certified quilt appraiser and quiilt collector.  In 2004, she gathered a group of women together in her home with plans to form a writing group "just for the sake of writing," and, since she had been researching the best way to go about organizing such a group, Ann took the advice she had found in a book called Writing Alone and "Wee Writers" was born.
The writing interests of the group are as diverse as the members themselves.  Mary DuBois is a former suburban newspaper stringer who currently writes for magazines and the St. Charles Visitors' Bureau.  Hallye Bone is a quilter interested in writing.  Noelle Miles is a companion animal veterinarian in Millstadt, Illinois who loves Cardinal baseball, classical music concerts and running---in addition to writing, of course.  Jan Lewien has written for magazines and is the author of Black-Eyed Peas and Cornbread.  And writer Lilah Contine emigrated to the United States from London, England after World War II.  In addition to writing Dance of the Seals and Cat, Lilah has also been a member of the Missouri Chorale.

Throughout the past few years, Ann held meetings in her home, allowing the writers to work on projects and making sure everyone got their fair share of time.  Sometimes they shared.  Other times they offered guidance.  All of the time they supported one another in whatever they were doing, either individually or as a group.  When someone suggested the group put some of their work together into a book, they collectively took a look at pieces of writing they had shared since the beginning, and the result is The Red Thread, A Collection of Poetry, Stories and Essays.  

Dedicated to Lilah Contine, the group's oldest member, the book is a delightful treasury of poetry and prose put together by these writers for the sole purpose of sharing it with family and friends.  Much like its authors, the collection is diverse in its scope, somber in tone at times and gleeful at others, all carefully woven together with what the group refers to as "the thread that weaves our lives together and creates a unique tapestry."  They call it their "Red Thread"---their individual and collective love for the writing craft.

Wee Writers will have a book signing at Main Street Books, 307 S. Main in St. Charles on October 30th from 3 to 5 p.m.  The Red Thread is being sold only at Main Street Books and St. Joseph Health Center Gift Shops.  Anyone interested in purchasing the books wholesale can contact Ann Hazelwood at