Tuesday, September 01, 2015

President's Message

Greetings OCC!
August was a lovely meeting. Thanks to the great suggestion by Annette Macias, we had a moment in the meeting where we had people stand up to tell about what is happening in their lives. It was also nice to get a recap from Tessa Dare about the happenings in the organization on the national end. As always, it was beautiful to see the roses and the awards that were handed out. Our speaker for August was Collette Cameron speaking on writing Regencies.

 This month we will have Louisa Bacio in the morning speaking on “Writing the Romance Novella,” and Tara Lain in the afternoon speaking on “What Marketing Really Is and How Authors Can Use It.”

It’s almost time for our annual elections. If you’re interested in running here are the following available positions:
  • President
  • Vice President of Communications
  • Vice President of Programs
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Membership Director
A nomination form is included in the newsletter and hard copies will be available at both the September and October meetings. The deadline to submit your nomination is October 10, 2015 at the Birthday Bash. Please give it to Kathy Rowland the secretary for our chapter. It can also be emailed to secretary@occrwa.org

The next step after that would be for the nominees to submit their bios and pictures to Tyree Pace at newlesster@occrwa.org for the November Orange Blossom Newsletter. These pictures and bios need to be submitted no later than October 26, 2015.

Voting will take place at the November 2015 meeting and elected members will be announced at the December 2015 meeting.

This year’s October Birthday Bash! The theme will be Once Upon a Time. Guest speakers include New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maya Banks and Sourcebooks editor Deb Werksman. We will also be announcing the winners of the Orange Rose and BBB Contests. We’re hoping everyone will join us in costume with his or her favorite fairytale character. Registration information is available in this newsletter and on our website, plus you can register at the September meeting if you prefer.

Besides an exciting day-long program, we’re also offering some special EXTRA activities this year. On Friday night, there will be a “Write In” in my suite in the conference room. So bring your laptops, you pads, and pens and let’s get to writing. We will have prompts to help you fire your muse up for those who don’t have anything they are working on at the moment. There will be tea, coffee and cakes and cookies and fun to be had by all. I’ll post specific room information that Friday on The Morning Juice.

I’m also excited to announce that this year we’re moving the book signing to AFTER the regular meeting and it will be open to the public! Due to space, we can only offer slots to 26 authors and there will be a $20 participation fee. Slots will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request a spot, please e-mail Liz Scott at programs@occrwa.org. Once the final list is confirmed, those authors will receive additional information on how to pay the fee. We want this to be a successful and jam-packed event. The participation fees will help us offset the cost of advertising in local papers and we’ll also be creating a Facebook event page to help promote it to readers. Please help us spread the word once all the details are finalized.

Then on Saturday night, we’ll be holding our annual Pajama Parties in author hotel rooms. Here’s what’s scheduled. Specific room information will be distributed at the Bash.

Keeping the Dream Alive – Lou Nelson

Sometimes it takes more than 20 years to launch that first book. Moderator and award-winning writing instructor Louella Nelson and panelist-authors Alexis Montgomery, Janis Thereault, and Frances Amati provide inspiration and practical tips for fueling your publishing dream. With such busy lives, how do you keep the goal in front of you? How do you sustain momentum with the learning curve and the writing? And now, the publishing and marketing too? Come hear from authors who have been at it for a decade or two and it’s finally paying off. Bring your hope and vision.

Clustering to Fire Up Creativity -- Alexis Montgomery

A demo and discussion of how to use clustering to fire up your right brain imagination. This is the method to push your writing forward quickly and creatively in a chapter, a paragraph or a whole book concept. We will do individual practice pieces for each participant so everyone has a clear idea of how they can use this method. Based on The Natural Way Of Writing by Gabriela Ricos.

Writing the Romantic Suspense – Beth Yarnall

Need help hiding a body? Want to know the best way to commit – or solve – a crime? Bring your questions!

Secrets of Writing the Same-Sex Romance –Tara Lain & Louisa Bacio

Been wondering about writing for the genre, but not sure who to ask? We’ll talk about what’s happening in the industry that’s pushing the boundaries, and try to answer all your questions.

Throwing a Facebook Party – Nikki Prince & Sabrina Sol

It’s a live party to celebrate a virtual one! Wahoo! Get inside look on planning, hosting and getting the most out of your time.

OCC needs volunteers! We can’t function without you, so please…please volunteer. It is rewarding, believe you me. The job as president and programs is a volunteer position and I have loved every bit of it. There are plenty more positions that need to be filled and can be made into committees so that one person isn’t doing it alone.

Mary Kozlowski has decided to step down as coordinator of the online classes. Please if you’d like to takeover get in touch with Mary and let her, know.

We are also in need of someone to do Hospitality during the meetings. Julia Nelson has blessed us for the past ten years doing it and would like to step down. Please if you’d like to take up this position get with her and she can tell you what needs to be done and will train you as well.

Decorating Committee (Programs), Ways and Means (Programs), Welcoming Committee (Secretary and Membership), and online class moderators contact Mary Kozlowski @ onlineclass@occrwa.org.


We’re also looking for fresh new articles on craft and the business of writing for the blog and the newsletter. In addition, we’d like to celebrate special days with you such as your birthday or anniversaries. If you’d care to submit those items please send them to Annette Macias. You can contact Annette Macias (communications@occrwa.org ) for articles for the newsletter and Marianne Donley (occblog@occrwa.org ). If interested please get hold of anyone on the board and we will steer you in the right direction.

Once again, my fellow authors thank you for all that you do and your commitment to OCC RWA where our motto is: “One hand reaching forward, one hand reaching back, in a continuing chain.”


Nichelle Scott-Williams
Aka Nikki Prince