Monday, December 30, 2013

Early Bird Registration Ends Dec. 31. Register Today & Lock in Savings!

Early Bird Registration for the 99th Annual “Fifty Shades of Writing” Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference ends tomorrow! Hurry to take advantage of discounted registration rates just for registering early! 

The conference will take place April 11-13, 2014 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel St. Louis Downtown Convention Center. 

“This year’s conference reflects the many ‘shades of writing’ through our conference line-up, which addresses topics like non-fiction, query letters, agent etiquette, mystery writing, character building and more,” said 2014 Conference Chair Lisa Miller who is also the owner of St. Louis-based Walrus Publishing, Inc. “Regardless of whether they’re published or not, conference attendees will have an opportunity to network with writing professionals from around the country who can help them reach their writing goals.”

Early Bird Registration ends tomorrow at 9 p.m. Register now!

Early Bird Registration rates are:
  • $135 for MWG members
  • $145 for chapter members 
  • $165 for the general public. 
Those who register early will experience a savings of $30 and get a whole lot more in return. For the above low rates, conference attendees can attend a jam-packed 2-day intensive writing conference that includes the following activities to help them reach their writing goals.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Danita Allen Wood, of Missouri Life, to Present at MWG "Fifty Shades of Writing" Conference

Danita Allen Wood and her husband, Greg, revived Missouri Life magazine in 1999.
 Missouri Life was recently named Magazine of the Year by the International Regional Magazine Association for the second time. Missouri Life Inc. also publishes Missouri Business, a magazine for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as books and other custom projects. She was also founding editor-in-chief of Country America, which grew to one million paid subscribers, which ranked the magazine at Number 76 of the Top 100 magazines by circulation. Wood also taught journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism, holding the Meredith Chair until 2005.

Wood will present the  breakout session How to Pitch Nonfiction to a Magazine. This session will walk you through pitching your story to a magazine, large or small, and touch on topics from getting through the gatekeepers to the best ways to pitch, to the working relationship with an editor and handling revisions.

Wood will also be available for  pitch appointments on Saturday. Remember, this is on a first come, first served situation, so be sure to register early!

Brian: Ms. Wood, welcome. It’s so nice to have a successful Missourian publisher at our special Fifty Shades of Writing Conference.

So, I’ve read that you and your husband revived Missouri Life. I understand you did this when you realized Missouri didn’t have its own state magazine. Why did you feel this was something the state needed?

Danita Allen Wood: I don’t recall whether I thought the state needed the magazine. Rather, I think it was a case of me thinking, “Oh, this would be fun!” I liked making magazines, and I thought I could do it. I thought telling the stories of Missouri’s fascinating people, places, and past would be great fun, and I suppose on some level, I thought it would be a worthwhile thing to do.

Brian: Starting a publication from scratch seems pretty daunting. Also, we know the publishing industry can be brutal. With that in mind, could you take us through your journey in establishing the magazine, and perhaps share what obstacles you encountered? Considering that “hindsight is 20/20,” is there any advice you could share with other entrepreneurial spirits who might also want to take the plunge and launch their own magazine?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Everything You Need to Know About Chuck Sambuchino

Conference Interview by MWG Board Member & Author Brian Katcher.
CHUCK SAMBUCHINO is an editor for Writer’s Digest Books, a bestselling humor book writer, and a freelance editor. He works for Writer’s Digest Books and edits the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS as well as the CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog is one of the biggest blogs in publishing.

And can you believe he’s coming to the Missouri Writer’s Guild conference in April 2014? I mean, like in person?  And if you register by Dec. 31—wait for it—you’ll have a chance to talk to Mr. Samcuchino one on one! 

Sambuchino will welcome conference attendees Saturday morning with his “Pitch Perfect” presentation geared to help attendees with their agent pitches. He will spend 20 to 40 minutes talking about what a pitch is and what not to do when sitting next to an agent. He'll also break down what does and doesn’t need to be in a pitch.

Saturday Night, Mr. Sambuchino will be giving the keynote address: ‘How to Get Published: Professional Writing Practices & What Editors Want.’ That kind of says it all, doesn’t it? 

Finally, he’ll be running the following workshops: 

Everything You Need to Know About Agents - Chuck Sambuchino
This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what agents do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives. This topic often leads to a lot of Q&A. Handouts provided. This session targets fiction, children’s and nonfiction writers.  

Building Your Freelance Portfolio (Writing for Magazines and Newspapers 101) - Chuck Sambuchino
This presentation studies the basics of freelancing—how to write articles for magazines, newspapers and websites. It targets writers new to this arena. It shows how to identify markets, realize your own specialties, structure a magazine query, come up with ideas, resell ideas, and more.  

Brian: Mr. Sambuchino, thank you so much for agreeing to answer our questions. Quite frankly, I’m a little bit in awe of you.

Well, I have to ask, how does one go about becoming an editor for one of the most powerful resources for aspiring authors? I assume those stories of pacts with the devil are nothing but rumors.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Get Ready, Get Set, Write! 2014 MWG Conference Writing Contests Announced

It’s almost time again—for the 2014 MWG contests, that is—so get ready, get set, write! Below are the current writing contest categories for the President’s, Chapter, and Sponsor contests. This year we have two new additions to the contests—a YA Short Story contest and a Sci Fi Short Story contest.

Also new this year is an increase in the entry fee to $10 for all contests. Along with this increase in fees is an increase in awards. Winners of the President’s contests will receive $100/$50/$25 for First, Second, and Third place, respectively. Awards for First, Second, and Third place winner for the Chapter and Sponsor contests will be $50/$25/$15.