Our Speakers from the 2015 Ozark Creative Writers, Eureka Springs.
Five Star Publishing
Waterville, Maine-based Five Star, an imprint of Gale, part of Cengage Learning, debuted in 1995 with four original Western titles published in hardcover format. Five Star’s Westerns have earned rave reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, with hundreds of titles reviewed to date. Western Writers of America has honored multiple Five Star Western titles with Spur Awards for their superior quality.
Elizabeth Lyon, a freelance book editor since 1988, is the author of Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write, The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit, A Writer’s Guide to Nonfiction, A Writer’s Guide to Fiction, and Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore. Manuscript Makeover was reviewed in “The Writer” magazine as one of the “8 Great Writing Books of 2008,” and described as “perhaps the most comprehensive book on revising fiction.” She also launched a booklet series, including Writing Subtext andCrafting Titles. Under the ruthless guidance of her critique group, she is revising a memoir set in 1967, a fantasy for girls ages -11, and Mabel: The Story of One Midwife, her first book, self-published in 1980.
Brett Cogburn is the author of Panhandle, 2013 Spur Award Winner at Western Writers of America. Brett also published The Texans in 2013 and was the 2014 winner of the Spur in Short Fiction for a story published in Cactus Country III. Brett lives in Oklahoma with his wife and two children.
Donna Volkenannat is a writer and creative writing teacher who believes good stories start in a writer’s imagination and touch a reader’s heart. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cup of Comfort, Irish Inspirations, Mid Rivers Review, Sauce, St. Louis Events, Well Versed, Cactus Country, Cuivre River, and other publications. Her writing has received more than 100 awards, including honorable mention in the national Steinbeck short story competition and nominations for a Pushcart Prize and a Spur Award. First-place winner of the University of Dayton’s 2012 Erma Bombeck Global Humor writing competition, she lives in the Show Me State with her husband, their two grandchildren, and one unruly but lovable black Lab. Visit her at http://donnasbookpub.blogspot.com
As an avid snowboarder from Utah, Ben Hale grew up with a passion for learning. After a year of college, he did volunteer work in Brazil and became fluent in three languages. Graduating from the University of Central Florida, he started and ran several successful businesses before publishing his first novel in June of 2012. By the end of the year he’d sold almost ten thousand copies of The Second Draeken War, and he began writing full-time. Now spanning 10,000 years, ten titles, and two series, The Chronicles of Lumineia represents a sprawling YA series that has sold over fifty thousand copies, and continues to expand its readership across all ages. Each of his books has been inspired by his wonderful wife and five beautiful children.
An attorney by trade, Lonnie Whitaker’s first novel, Geese to a Poor Market, was published September 2010 and was awarded the Ozark Writers’ League Best Book of the Year. His stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Missouri Life, The Ozark Mountaineer, Echoes of the Ozarks ,Cuivre River Anthology, and have received awards in nationally advertised fiction contests. He served as an editor for Peculiar Pilgrims: Stories from the Left Hand of God, (Hourglass Books, 2007) and is currently the editor for literary fiction for High Hill Press. He was awarded the 2005 Starr Fellowship at the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow
McKendree R. (Mike) Long III is a former soldier with two tours as an advisor to South Vietnamese Army units. His awards and decorations include the Parachutist Badge, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Silver Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (Gold and Silver Stars).
After retiring from the Army in 1980, he was a financial advisor with a major investment firm for 29 years. He now devotes his time to his family, his writing, his guns, and travel.
Married in 1960, he and his wife Mary have two married daughters and four grandchildren. He is a gun enthusiast, life member of the NRA and VFW, and is active in Sertoma. He is often found on Seabrook Island, S.C.
His first novel, No Good Like It Is, is a winding tale of violence, tolerance, and changing racial acceptance. In it, two hard-bitten Confederate cavalrymen barely survive the Civil War, riding with the famed Eighth Texas Cavalry. They then must struggle home to the Texas Panhandle, while accumulating enough misfits and strays to populate a small village. This rowdy historical fiction is filled with rich characters, both real and should-have-been. The sequel, Dog Soldier Moon, became available in December 2011. A centerpiece of this second historical novel is the attack by the Seventh Cavalry on a peaceful Cheyenne village on the Washita River in November 1868.
Tom Eaton is a fourth generation Wyoming native who still lives on the land to which he was born. An author, editor, teacher, and drover, Eaton resides in Little Rock, Arkansas with his southern bride during part of the year and dreams on the skeleton, muscle, and mysticism of a place in the other months in a magical west known to him as home –A place called Mission County.
A former newspaper editor Sarah Kohnle is the managing editor for Missouri’s largest teachers’ association and is an adjunct literary instructor at the University of Missouri. When she’s not on the clock, she enjoys writing fiction. Sarah is also the coordinator for a writers retreat at Bunker Hill the first week-end in October. It is at this wonderful week-end on the bank of the Jack’s Fork that she lets her mind go free while encouraging each attendee to unleash their creativity.
Other speakers in our October 2015 lineup are:
Alison Taylor-Brown, Sarah Kohnle, Norm Dickson. Watch this site for more information about these writers and teachers.