Photos From the Ozark Literacy Council Fundraiser

Ozark Literacy Council‘s annual fundraiser, “An Open Book Affair,” took place last Thursday (October 20th) at the Pratt Place Barn on Markham Hill in Fayetteville.

TINY SNAIL & "SEA HORSE, RUN!" at the OLC "Open Book Affair" silent auction, Oct 20th.

My books were part of the silent auction.

POLLIWOG & KALEIDONOTES at OLC's silent auction.

OLC raised over $25,000 at the fundraiser. The money will help the Ozark Literacy Council expand and promote literacy throughout our community (Washington County, Arkansas).

Tammy and Daniel Woodrell

The event also honored Daniel Woodrell, the author of Winter’s Bone.

Bill Harrison and his former student, Tammy Bronson.

The highlight of my evening was reconnecting with my University of Arkansas creative writing instructor, William Harrison. My first creative writing course with Mr. Harrison was in spring 1995 just before I graduated, and my husband and I both took his screenwriting course in the 1997 fall semester. His courses taught me to seek constructive criticism of my work by testing my stories on an objective audience as I work through revisions. Without a doubt the extensive testing and revisions of “Sea Horse, run!” helped shape my latest picture book into an award-winning story.

OLC fundraiser inside Pratt Place Barn.

Connect with Ozark Literacy Council on Facebook or visit their main website to learn how you can donate or volunteer.

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2011 Fall Retreat

If you want to write for children, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a great organization to join. Although it is an international organization with annual meetings in New York City (January) and Los Angeles (August), your membership entitles you to participate in conferences and/or retreats happening in any state or region around the world. Attending a conference or retreat will give you the opportunity to fine tune your manuscript by getting feedback from an editor or literary agent. You will also learn what types of manuscripts editors or literary agents want to publish.

St. Scholastica Monastery

The Arkansas SCBWI writer’s retreat occurs every fall, and in recent years writers from across the state have converged on the Saint Scholastica Retreat Center in Fort Smith for three days of intensive work on their writing. The retreat center, sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters, shares a 66 acre wooded area with Saint Scholastica Monastery, and the secluded setting is the perfect spot for contemplation and inspiration. I attended in 2009 and 2010, and during both retreats I made great progress with the revisions for my novel.

Sadly, I will be out of the state during the conference this year, but you may be able to attend! If you submit pages from your manuscript by October 1st, you will receive feedback from the editor at the retreat. The 15th annual Arkansas SCBWI Fall Retreat for Writers of Children’s Literature (November 4th-6th, 2011) will feature hands-on workshops led by Stacy Cantor Abrams, editor at Walker Books for Young Readers, and guidance on craft issues by Anna Myers, an Oklahoma author of nineteen novels for middle-grade and young adults.

You must be an SCBWI member to attend. Registration is usually by invitation only, and reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Email the Retreat Director (retreat @ arkansasscbwi.org) if you are interested in joining SCBWI and attending the retreat.

Cost:

SCBWI Membership: First year is $85. Annual renewal fee is $70. Join SCBWI

Arkansas Fall Retreat: $280 (Includes meals, snacks, all sessions, and private rooms with a shared bath.)

For more information, visit these websites:

Arkansas SCBWI

Arkansas SCBWI Retreat Page

Join SCBWI

Anna Myers Main Website

Books Published by Bloomsbury Kids

Dawn Denton, Arkansas Writer and Gardener

Yesterday I autographed copies of my new book, “Sea Horse, run!”, at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville. Nightbird is an independent bookseller that supports and encourages Indie authors. Of course the greatest benefit of a book signing is that it allows the author to make a personal connection with readers, but yesterday’s event was a special treat because it allowed me to meet another local children’s book author, Dawn Denton. Her first book, Ruby and Rocket, came out last year, and her latest book, Oliver the Toad, was just published last month.

One thing Dawn and I have in common is that we both like to use our books to educate children. I put factual information at the end of my books after the story, but Dawn weaves her amazing facts into the stories themselves. Dawn is a certified Arkansas Master Gardener, so both Ruby and Rocket and Oliver the Toad were inspired by her extensive knowledge of gardens and the beneficial animals and insects that live in them. Dawn lives in Siloam Springs, and her books are perfect for children ages 4 to 9!

Thank you, Nightbird Books, for supporting local authors and artists!
http://nightbird.indiebound.com/

   

For more information about Dawn Denton…

Read this announcement from Bella Vista Garden Club:
http://www.bellavistagardenclub.com/News/untitledpost-2

Visit Dawn’s Personal website:
http://www.nwarkansasgardendesign.com/index.html

“Like” Dawn on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gardens-by-You-and-Me/146661572032229?sk=info

Dawn’s Publisher:
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=dawn+denton

Dawn’s Books on Amazon.com:
Ruby and Rocket
Oliver the Toad

Email Dawn…
gardensbyuandme@yahoo.com

Gardens and fresh produce are a big deal in Northwest Arkansas. Here are a few must see destinations for Garden lovers…

Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks
http://www.bgozarks.org/

Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
http://www.fayettevillefarmersmarket.org/

And we can’t forget Northwest Arkansas’ famous organic food co-op:
Ozark Natural Foods
http://www.ozarknaturalfoods.com/