April Workshop Live Online – Submit by March 23

We are living through an extraordinary time.

Due to the Covid-19 situation, we will not be holding our April workshop in Pickerington. Instead, we will hold a live online workshop on Wednesday, April 1, at 7pm ET.

We will use the Zoom.us interface, which is free and super simple. You can login live with 2-way audio and video from virtually any phone, tablet, or computer.

Typically, our workshops are open to the public. This time, however, the workshop will only be open to authors who submit work for peer critique.

The workshop format will be the same as always.

For those that wish to give feedback but don’t have work to submit, we’ll also encourage the authors to post their stories to the online OWA feedback forum, and you can share your feedback there. The feedback forum is available to paid members 24/7.

To be included in the workshop, simply send your short story, essay, poetry, or novel chapter to workshops@ohiowriters.org no later than 7am Monday morning, March 23.

If you have any questions, please reach out by email.

Web Technology for Authors – Class Starts Thursday

Join us for a 6-week class beginning March 12 — web technology and how to use it as an author.

If you write, you’re probably aware that a web presence is essential for developing an audience for your work (which is sometimes called a “platform”). But what do you really need and what’s the best way to set it up?

Even if you have a website and online presence, you might still be asking those same questions.

The fact is that little decisions you make now can have drastic effects on the cost and effectiveness of your platform in the future.

This 6-week class will help you sort out these questions, and put you in a position to not only know what you need to do, but why to do it and how to do it.

No experience is necessary. We’re going to start from scratch. We’re going to talk about how the internet works, and build up from there.

This 6-week class will cover websites, website building, blogging, mailing lists, and so much more!

Sign up here.

As usual, you can sign up for the full 6-class series, or just sign up for the specific classes that you think will be most helpful for you.

You can attend the classes live online on Thursdays at 7pm ET. Or you can watch the recorded videos. The class size is small, so there’s plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

We’ve received great feedback on this series so far. Here’s what a couple of others had to say:

“Brad has a terrific, conversational way of conveying his concepts.”

“The course delivered! Brad is a great teacher and I enjoyed this course.”

“Thank you so much for providing this class – by far the best class I have taken since college.”

Don’t wait, sign up today. You’ll be glad you invested in yourself. Register here.

March Workshop – Submit by Monday, February 24

Our next writers’ workshop will be held Wednesday evening, March 4th, in Zanesville, Ohio.

Get the complete details, including time and location, by logging in to your free account and navigating to “Workshop Materials and Information.” Don’t have an account, create one here for free.

If you’d like your work critiqued at this workshop, you must email it to workshops@ohiowriters.org no later than 7am on Monday, February 24th.

There are no special formatting requirements for your work. We recommend that you include page numbers, and we prefer that you send your work as a PDF.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Anyone can submit their work to receive hard, honest peer feedback, but you must be present at the workshop. Please only submit if you’re confident you can attend.

If you’re not ready to submit, but you’d like to check it out and maybe give feedback to others, you’re welcome to attend.

You do NOT need to be a paid member of the Ohio Writers’ Association to participate. All are welcome.

Questions? Please email us at workshops@ohiowriters.org.

Creating a Business and Legal Considerations – February 13th Professional Development Class

Join us on Thursday evening for a professional development class on setting up the legal infrastructure for your work as an author.

There’s a lot of bad and confusing information out there. We’ll share with you what the law says and the best ways we’ve seen other authors implement smart, inexpensive strategies to keep themselves and their work safe.

We’ll cover how to setup a business and banking. We’ll talk about copyrights, trademarks, fair use, and intellectual property.

If you’re serious about creating work for sale, this is must-have information.

This class will help you to put these topics to bed. No more wondering if you understand it or if you’re doing it right. We’ll share stories of other authors with positive results, so that you can be confident you’re on the right track.

This class is live online at 7pm ET. If you can’t make it to the live class, sign up anyway and you can watch the recorded video for 7 days following the class. We expect a small group for this class, so it will be small enough that you can ask questions if you have them.

Click here to sign up for this class and others.

February Workshop – Submit by January 27

Our next writers’ workshop will be held Wednesday evening, February 5th, in Pickerington, Ohio.

Get the complete details, including time and location, by logging in to your free account and navigating to “Workshop Materials and Information.Don’t have an account, create one here for free.

If you’d like your work critiqued at this workshop, you must email it to workshops@ohiowriters.org no later than 7am on Monday, January 27th.

There are no special formatting requirements for your work. We recommend that you include page numbers, and we prefer that you send your work as a PDF.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Anyone can submit their work to receive hard, honest peer feedback, but you must be present at the workshop. Please only submit if you’re confident you can attend.

If you’re not ready to submit, but you’d like to check it out and maybe give feedback to others, you’re welcome to attend.

You do NOT need to be a paid member of the Ohio Writers’ Association to participate. All are welcome.

Questions? Please email us at workshops@ohiowriters.org.

Writers Workshop Columbus Ohio

Novel Writing Class Begins January 9th!

Someone in the world deserves to read the novel that you’ll write. This is your year to invest in yourself and finally write a great novel.

Our novel writing course begins on January 9th. This is a fantastic resource that you don’t want to miss.

Writing a novel as a busy adult is difficult. It’s a giant undertaking. It’s not something you instinctually know how to do.

This course has helped developing authors, just like you, to accomplish giant projects.

The novel-writing 4-class series will cover a few important elements:

Development – You have an idea for a novel, how do you turn that into 50,000+ words? We’ll explore the structure of how stories work, so that you can include all of the most important elements. With a little help, you won’t feel like you’re stretching an idea, or like you’re trying to cram too much in.

Successful books all share some common elements. We’ll show you what they are. Seriously, this will crack your head open. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing.

Organization – Writing a novel is a major project. We’ll show you the strategies that professional authors use to keep their work in order, so that they can effectively write large works.

Writing a novel efficiently takes 100 hours. Writing it haphazardly will take hundreds more. We’ll help you keep the ducks in a row.

Execution – The fact is, you won’t always feel excited about writing your novel. The project is just too big. But it’s an important project, and it’s important that you finish it. We’ll provide techniques and strategies that keep the process manageable, so that you can make big progress even when you’re not in the mood.

We’re going to cover all of this in just four weeks. You will leave the class with a completely different perspective on your novel project, and you’ll be ready to take care of business.

All classes are offered live online on Thursday evening. If you need to miss a class (or all of them), you can also watch the recorded video for up to 7 days following each class.

The cost of this 4-week course is $299 for OWA members ($349 for non-members).

Ready to get started? Click here to register.

Want to learn more? Click here for more details.

We’ll see you on January 9th. Don’t miss this and wait another year to make your dreams happen.

The Great Novel Contest 2020

We are pleased to confirm the details for the Great Novel Contest 2020!

Learn more at NovelContest.OhioWriters.org.

This year’s contest (our fifth year!) will revert to our original schedule, and offer the contest during the month of January. Mark your calendar for January 1 and get ready to submit!

This year’s winner will take home a publishing contract with Bellwether and $1,000 cash!

Bellwether Publishing

Our runner-up will receive $500 cash, a publishing consultation with OWA President and publishing expert Brad Pauquette, and a letter of recommendation for agents and publishers.

All ten finalists will receive public recognition for their achievement, as well as a $50 voucher to take an OWA class in 2020.

This contest is open to all previously unpublished manuscripts, with the exception of children’s books and erotica. Manuscripts must be between 50,000 and 125,000 words in length.

You can also stay in the loop with news and reminders by joining the event on Facebook and marking yourself “going”: https://www.facebook.com/events/1150335305167637/

The Great Novel Contest 2020 is sponsored by Columbus Publishing Lab, which provides production, marketing, and consultation for small presses and self-publishers. Learn more at www.ColumbusPublishingLab.com.

Columbus Publishing Lab

We welcome new sponsors for this contest. If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact us at info@ohiowriters.org.

Polish off your manuscript and get ready! Mark your calendar for January 1, 2020.

Get all of the details at NovelContest.OhioWriters.org.

Winners of The Great Novel Contest 2019

We had so many amazing submissions to The Great Novel Contest 2019. Thank you to everyone who submitted your work.

Find our full list of Finalists here.

With so many great submissions, our judges took their time to pick this year’s winner. In the end, the decision was unanimous:

Fellow Travelers by Jesse Bethea is the Grand Prize Winner of The Great Novel Contest 2019!

From one of our judges: “Fellow Travelers is a fast-paced trip through time and into a world where everything has happened, is happening, and will happen. This science fiction tale combines world building and clever characters to craft a story that will keep readers engaged until the end. Amazing manuscript!”

Congratulations Jesse! You’ve won a publishing contract with Bellwether, the publishing imprint of the Ohio Writers’ Association, as well as $3,000 in author development services from Columbus Publishing Lab.

We can’t wait to see Fellow Travelers in print!

Thank you to Columbus Publishing Lab for sponsoring this contest and making it possible. Columbus Publishing Lab provides publication and marketing services for authors and small presses. They help self-publishers make smart decisions and see a return on their investment. Learn more at www.ColumbusPublishingLab.com.

Columbus Publishing Lab

Becoming Nora by Margaret Kirby is the official Runner-up of The Great Novel Contest 2019!

From one of our judges: “Becoming Nora explores the intricacies and complexities of relationships. Through tight prose and exceptional character development, Margaret Kirby reveals how closely our identities are entwined with those we care about the most.”

Congratulations, Margaret! You’ve won $1,000 of services from Columbus Publishing Lab, to be used as you see fit!

The remaining eight finalists will receive a letter of recommendation for agents and publishers, as well as a publishing consultation from Brad Pauquette.

All submissions were judged “blind”—no names, history, demographics, or identifying information was shared with the judges.

Learn more about The Great Novel Contest here, and mark your calendar for next year!


Ready to improve your writing? Don’t miss our fall retreats!
Learn more here:
Retreats.OhioWriters.org

Master Copywriting – 3 Reasons This Skill Is Essential to Every Writer

The Art of Copywriting retreat is coming up on Saturday, September 7, 2019. This one-of-a-kind experience will provide instruction and support from established industry experts.

This retreat will be held from 9am to 3pm in Zanesville, Ohio.  Zanesville is less than an hour from Columbus, and is also convenient to Newark, Lancaster, Mount Vernon, and Southeastern Ohio. This retreat will be worth the drive.

Learn more and register here: Retreats.OhioWriters.org. The cost of the retreat is only $50. OWA Writer and Patron Member pay only $40.

Copywriting is the process of writing content for businesses, primarily for marketing and advertising.

There are bona fide opportunities in copywriting. Businesses pay real money for good content every day.

There are a lot of scam “opportunities” for writers out there as well, so a little guidance is helpful. But if you have the skill set and you know where to look, you can absolutely get paid to write this content.

Copywriting is a different skill than narrative writing or poetry. Just because you can do the one doesn’t mean you can do the other. Our retreat will teach you the specific skills and techniques you’ll need to effectively write copy.

If you intend to write professionally, you should master copywriting, even if you absolutely abhor the idea of being an advertising hack. Here are three reasons why:

1. Get Paid to Be Present. If you can write excellent copy (and we’ll show you how), you’ll get paid to do it, and you’ll be stepping into the world of real professional writers. You will now be a peer among people who are getting paid to write, and who know how to find opportunities. It’s one thing to network at the local writers group (which you should do!), but it’s another league to network with people who make their living in words.  Opportunity follows opportunity.

In addition, the more you write, the more you’ll write. When you copywrite, you’ll be acclimating your brain to put words on the page, and you’ll find that living in that space day in and day out will stimulate your personal creative projects.  Imagine if you could replace your full-time income with 3-4 hours a day of copywriting, and apply the remainder of your time to the projects you’re passionate about.

2. Crosstrain. If you want to get better at basketball, and all you ever do is play pickup games of basketball, you’ll get better. But you’ll get better faster if you spend time lifting weights, running, doing drills, and even playing other sports. Focusing on specific skills and abilities will improve your game faster than just playing the game.

The same is true of your writing. If you want to write fiction, you can get better by writing more and more fiction. But you’ll see incredible benefit from mastering other writing skills, which will inform your process and bring new techniques and values to your work.

3. Self-Promotion. It doesn’t matter how you choose to publish, you will need to write effective copy for yourself.  Unfortunately, we know lots of amazing authors who can’t write a query letter, their website is a mess, and they can’t write a compelling Facebook post to save themselves.  As a result, their amazing work fails to attract the attention of agents, publishers, or the public.

Self-promotion is mandatory in every sector of the publishing industry. Mastering the skill to advertise (even if it’s just advertising yourself) will pay off in spades. Copywriting is the same communication skill that makes a great query letter and helps you to grow your audience.

There is real opportunity in copywriting. Whether you see yourself quitting your day job to freelance as a copywriter or not, there is tremendous value in adding these skills to your author’s tool bag.

At only $50 (OWA Writer and Patron members save an additional $10), this is a steal.  You’re going to have a great Saturday on September 7th, and you’ll see dividends from your investment in yourself for years to come.

Register today at Retreats.OhioWriters.org.

Writers Write

The Art of Copywriting – September 7, 2019

We’re excited to bring you four unique retreats this fall. These day-long getaways will compliment your skill set, jump start your creativity, and empower you to reach your goals.

On Saturday, September 7th, The Art of Copywriting will give you the skills and confidence to begin making real money with your writing.

“Copywriting” is the process of creating written content for businesses and advertisements.

Learn more and register for this retreat at Retreats.OhioWriters.org.

We are surrounded by words. Every business, restaurant, or non-profit you enter is covered with text—signs, pamphlets, brochures, menus, and so many other items. Businesses and marketing agencies are in constant need of qualified people to write great content—from postcard mailers, to social media marketing, blogs, and so much more! Every single word of this content is crafted (or should be) by a professional writer.

Copywriter Writing Copy Text Content Class

This retreat, from 9am to 3pm, will provide a crash course in all things copywriting, and give you opportunities to practice and receive professional feedback.

There is real freelance or traditional opportunity for copywriters who produce great work.  We’ll help you put the pieces together so that you can begin capitalizing on your talents.

We’ll provide coffee and water throughout the day, and break for lunch for an hour at about noon.

Zanesville is a quick 60-minute drive from Columbus. Our host for this retreat is right off of I-70. You’ll be far enough from home to feel “away,” but close enough that you can drive both ways in one day.

This workshop will be taught by Brad Pauquette and Emily Hitchcock.  Learn more and register at Retreats.OhioWriters.org.