Created with Nokia Smart CamMade it back from Oklahoma (my old stomping grounds) where I attended the OWFI Conference — they know how to throw quite a shindig. Lots going on in two days: networking, great speakers, banquets, signings, and a chance to pitch my new work. Success! Will be sending pages off soon. I also managed to grab a few awards in the annual contest: FANDITHA took third place for middle grade and DECLARATION took third in YA. Even my picture book, THE DAYDREAMING TREE, got an honorable mention.

Better still, I got a face-to-face with my new publisher, Vivian Zabel of 4RV Publishing. They are publishing my middle grade novel, MYTH RIDER, early next year. What a lovely lady! And, I’m not just saying — she took home the lifetime member award from OWFI. Congratulations, Vivian!

And best yet, I shared a room with a newbie writer; my dad, Dwain Kennedy (that’s us in the pix). He just drafted his first novel and I’m quite proud of him. It also made me realize how far I have come as a writer. We tend to forget how overwhelming it is to attend your first conference. Like any profession, there is all the jargon I now take for granted. Queries. Genres. Big 6. There are the sessions on marketing, editing, and querying — yes, I once believed I just had to keep my BIC and write. Now I’ve accepted that writing is just the beginning.

With that in mind, I want to give a particular shout-out to Christine Taylor-Butler. Christine also writes for children, quite successfully, and gave me confidence that I am on the right path. Not that I won’t veer off. But her informative sessions showed me the way. Darleen Bailey Beard’s session on school visits was fantastic. Show don’t tell — and that is what she did! Another thanks to Jerry Simmons, great speaker and marketeer extraordinaire. Hope you made it safely home, Jerry, and we can now enjoy our ‘dry heat’.

4 Thoughts on “Back Home in Oklahoma

  1. Hi Cynthia!

    It was so great to meet you. I gained a great deal from our conversation so it is with mutual admiration that I write this. Good luck with your writing!

  2. Thanks so much for the nice compliment! I always enjoy speaking at OWFI. They are such a great group and I’m honored to be included in their conference

  3. I always love getting to hear about other’s conference experiences. Glad you and your dad had a fun time!

  4. Hi Cynthia,
    It’s nice to “meet” you here on your blog. I, too, am a new author with 4RV. I just sent back the signed and notarized contract a couple weeks ago. My book is a collection of stories from step moms like me. I interviewed around 15 step moms about their experiences, and then wrote their stories as well as my own. My hope is that my book will be a source of support and encouragement for step moms everywhere. I’m hoping to hear back from 4RV soon as I’m excited to get started on the long process towards publication!

    Congrats to you on all your success with your books currently out and the ones to come. Maybe we will meet up at a book conference some day! 🙂

    Take Care,
    Shawn Simon
    “Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms”

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