Saturday, December 3, 2011

White Elephant Book Exchange Christmas Party!

If you missed our First Annual White Elephant Book Exchange Christmas Party, you missed a doozy!!!
We had a great turnout. Cheese grits, quiches, sausage/cheese balls, Swedish meatballs, Pumpkin/banana breads, muffins, fruit, vegetables, brownies, eclairs, cream puffs, and more adorned the tables, countertops and every available space. We washed it all down with soft drinks, coffee and Pointsettia Punch.
But the real fun came with we picked numbers. . .
The quest to find a white elephant book is not as easy as it sounds. Our first rule was: "Don't do it. Don't cross the line and bring one of our published author's books up in here." Of course, it should go without saying, but some of us were quaking in our boots:) Slightly.
You want to find a book with a quirky title. Something fun or funny. Outdated or just plain silly. Boring or technical is good too. Anything with the word "Annotated in the title usually works.
Besides a White Elephant book, everyone went home with a "Published Author" ornament. Not that we claim to be prophetic or anything, but Martha Rogers DID get her first contract after receiving one at the last Christmas party. . .

Noelle Marchand does not need this "How To Be A Skinny Girl" book:)

Elizabeth--we're gonna be calling on you when our dogs are under the weather.

Preach it, Janetta!

Janice Thompson finds out that people in Middle America take their Ranch Dressing seriously.

Bethany McManus--Been there. Done that. Got the stretch marks:)

Carla Hoch--This book caused quite a stir at the American Society of Electrocircuitry Convention.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Writers On The Storm and Guests
YOU are invited to our annual

White Elephant Book Exchange Christmas Party!
Saturday, December 3rd from 11:00 am-1:00 am
Linda Kozar's home
Bring a:
  • Dish to share (in the breakfast or lunch category)
  • Suitable White Elephant Book gift-wrapped on in a gift bag with your name written in the "From" part ofthe gift tag. You'll have to own up to the one you brought! Stealing is okay, (though not likely).
If you have questions (like where it is:), just ask! (There's no way I'm posting my address and phone number on the blog:) Please RSVP!

WOTS Chapter Secretary


Friends, we are delighted to announce the following winners of our first-ever Category Five writing contest. First place winners receive a plaque. Second and third place winners receive a certificate. A press release will go out to our local paper to celebrate the good news. Congratulations to all of our winners and thanks to all who entered. 


FIRST: In God's Time/Dawn Turner
SECOND: Clowing Around/Janetta Messmer
THIRD: Eye of the Storm/Rebekah Hatcher

FIRST: What Your heart Says/Marilyn Peveto
SECOND: Almost God's Country/Joanne Hillman
THIRD: Taken by Storm/Ann M. Pearson

FIRST: Angela's Rescue/Charlotte Holt
SECOND: A Keepsake Christmas/Marilyn Peveto
THIRD: Ransomed and Redeemed/Charlotte Holt

FIRST: Chasing the Lion/Nancy J. Diekmann (pseudonym, Nancy Kimball)
SECOND: The Children of Main Street/Merilyn Marriott
THIRD: On a Summer Night/Diane Dean White

FIRST: Sword of the Covenant: Demon Sword/Ann Wilds
SECOND: Death in Dahlonega/Deborah Malone

FIRST: The Recessives/Carla Hoch
SECOND: Sticks and Stones/Mary Hamilton
THIRD: Kelsey in Love/Stephanie Carver

I would like to add a HUGE thank you to our professional judges for all of their hard work.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

November 12th Speaker--Martha Rogers!

Our November schedule has changed. Martha Rogers will be speaking--heralding the release of her latest book! She will be teaching a workshop on how to layer sensory details into your novel. RSVP now by leaving a comment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Saturday October 1st Speaker--Lena Nelson Dooley!

Author/Speaker Lena Nelson Dooley
Come join us at Lupe Tortillas on Saturday, October 1st from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Lena Nelson Dooley is a dynamic teacher and writing mentor who has helped and encouraged many writers to attain success in the publishing industry. If you miss her workshop, you'll be mad at yourself! RSVP Linda Kozar today!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September 10th Speaker--Linda Kozar

Linda Kozar--Author/Speaker
Author/Speaker Linda Kozar will present: "How To Join The Club Of The Pubb'd," an overview on eveything from proposals to punctuation, pitches, people and the publishing world. Think of it as a Spark Notes course on how to get agents and editors to notice you and your work for all the right reasons.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Avon Romance |  Family Affair Contest

Alta Goodnight forwarded this contest opportunity. The winning entry will be published in the back of Debbie Macomber's next book, receive $500 and maybe a contract with Avon inspire!!!
If you haven't yet entered our Category Five Writing Contest, why not enter both! There's still time to enter our contest (ends August 31st). And the Avon Romance contest offers a very big high profile to the winner. Writers On The Storm--take the challenge!

Monday, June 6, 2011

WRITING OP! c/oJoanne Hillman with permission from Focus On The Family

Linda, this is from the editor of Thriving Family magazine (Focus on the Family).  She has given me permission to share the opportunity with my writing guild.

--- On Fri, 6/3/11, Gutierrez, Andrea <> wrote:

Date: Friday, June 3, 2011, 6:12 PM

I am seeking a story about a creative way you have updated relatives with the news and goings-on about your kids and spouse. Is there a unique way you share everyday moments (or special achievements) with extended family—even with those relatives who live in another town, city, country? Be specific in your example of how you accomplished this. Show the reader, not just tell. The idea could come from an accidental discovery or an intentional effort.
If you have a story that is a departure from the angle I have presented, feel free to offer those ideas, too. Maybe you’ve discovered a way to bridge the miles that does not quite fit my proposed angle.
Send a first-person account, but please understand that this article may take the shape of a “compilation of best ideas” type of piece where stories are changed to third-person perspective and no individual bylines are offered. However, you will be attributed as the source in the article. The format will be determined later in the layout and design process. If you’re OK with submitting your idea as part of this arrangement, please send the completed manuscript in the body of an email. Use reply feature of email to keep conversation and subject line intact.

Department: Family Life, extended family
Due date: Friday, June 10th
Payment: $50 on acceptance
Rights: First non-exclusive
Word count: 50-200 words
Tentative publication: December 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

News From Our Newest Chapter Member

Barbara Bush Kept a Smile On Her Face (Cardboard Cutout)

I think I told you a book club chose my book for May and met at Barnes & Noble to discuss it.  It went great!  And one said she had bought her paperback off the shelf there at the B&N!  I was so happy!  The Barbara Bush library was there and I gave a book to them as well.  One of the library ladies asked "Are you available for ..." and then she lost her train of thought.  I said, "Yes, whatever you are about to say.  Yes." 
Here is a pic of some of the book club members.  Barbara was really quiet.  I don't know what her deal was.  But she smiled the whole time! (pic will explain)--

Carla Hoch

Saturday, May 14, 2011

TWO WINNERS from our Chapter! Bethany McManus and Louise Looney!!!

Louise Looney
Bethany McManus
BETHANY McMANUS finalled in the Genesis, MYSTERY/SUSPENSE/THRILLER category!!! There were 47 entries in her category. Best wishes to our friend in this final phase of the competition!!!

LOUISE LOONEY won the SELAH award (best first time published author) at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference in North Carolina.
Louise shared, "It was open to all Christian publishers and agents to submit one of their client's book for the contest or for any first time published Christian writer--even if they were not attendees at the conference.  I sent two copies of my book back in April to be read by the judges. The lady who was in charge of the contest said I received excellent reviews. (She will send them to me.) They gave me a beautiful engraved plaque." 
Take some time to send congratulations to these fellow writers and friends. Bethany and Louise--You Rock!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The How-to's on Putting Together a Media Packet--By Linda P. Kozar

Lately I've had a lot of questions from writers about media packets, also known as press packets. People want to know "What is a press packet? What goes in one?  How do I go about it?" Before those questions start to tangle, let's address each one.

A media packet is a kit in physical or electronic format to give to news reporters for the purpose of announcing the release of a book or your presence at an event where you plan to speak, sign or support. A kit saves reporters time and energy. You make their job easier by giving them the information you want them to have about you, your career and your book (s). You give them a headshot instead of having your picture taken by a staff photographer and wondering what your mug is going to look like in the paper:) Of course most reporters worth their salt will still want to ask you some questions, but hopefully those questions will flow organically from that base of information.

The thought of putting a media packet together can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Where do you start. At the beginning of course!

First, write down all your accomplishments, education and experience. Then add connections--social network presence, websites, blogs. Write a long bio (as long as it needs to be) and a shortened version of that same bio (a paragraph).  Then condense the short bio into a peewee bio--2 or 3 lines. You'll need all three versions of your bio at one time or another. Once you have these written, you can tweak as needed, but you'll have the basic versions complete.

Cover Letter
            Introducing yourself, the kind of books you write and why. Keep it brief but interesting. Make every word count. You have to hook their interest right away.
One Sheet
            A One Sheet is one sheet of paper all about YOU. Your One Sheet should contain a short bio with a picture of you and your tagline (theme as a writer), a list your books with ISBNs or WIP titles and short pitches (descriptions), your website and blog addresses. Your One Sheet should not contain extraneous details like you're favorite color, flower or pet peeve. Writing might be your calling, but it is also a business. Be professional.
Include a photo of you (or a line that you will send photos electronically upon request). Invest in a really good photo of yourself. Most photographers will do a headshot for a reasonable price. Try not to use a photo your husband or a friend took of you sitting at the kitchen table. The key is to look professional and pleasant. Brooding looks are best reserved for Stephen King or James Patterson. 
            If you send out an electronic newsletter, (Constant Contact for example), be sure to include a copy of it. But only if the newsletter is really good. If your newsletter articles are scotch-taped crooked and xeroxed, you might want to leave the newsletter out.
Business card
            People get so many business cards it’s hard to put a face with the name. That’s why it's a good practice to include your picture on your card. You want whoever gets your card to remember who your are and what you do.
Press Release
Promoting an upcoming booksigning or event you were at or announcing the release of your new book. (If you’ve never done a press release there are plenty of examples on the internet).

***Feel free to leave your ideas regarding media packets in the comment section. Nothing talks like experience!

Category 5 Winners Announced at:

Category 5 Winners Announced at:
the Meet The Christian Authors Event!

Contest Deadline Extended!

Our Category Five Contest deadline has been extended to August 31st, 2011. If you missed the previous (July 31st) deadline, here's your chance to send your entry(s)!

Contest Details--UPDATE

Hi friends,

Janice Thompson here. I'm sending an updated version of an earlier email about our Writers on the Storm Category Five Fiction Writing Contest. We've added more information. We would like to ask three things of our WOTS members and/or Houston area writing friends:

1). If you are unpublished (on not traditionally published) please consider entering the contest.
2). Please help us spread the word to other writers by placing this information on your facebook page, blog, etc.
3). Please pray for our organization as we move forward with this, our first-ever writing contest.

Thanks so much for your support. Now, here's the updated information about the contest (per Linda Kozar):

Dear Writers,

Details for entry to the Writers On The Storm "CATEGORY FIVE" Writing Contest are below. The contest is open to unpublished and non-traditionally published FICTION authors, both members and non-members of the Writers on the Storm group. NOTE: If you have previously been "traditionally" published, you are not eligible. However, if you paid to publish your book(s), you are eligible and encouraged to participate.

Judges are all published authors and/or industry pros, though not members of our chapter. Entering a writing contest is a great way to get feedback or accolades, and we hope you will enter this one with great enthusiasm! The WOTS Chapter Board invite you to BLOW THE JUDGES AWAY with your fiction writing brilliance!

Our Cat Five Writing Contest OPENED on JUNE 1st and CLOSES on Friday, JULY 29th. Judges will receive entries for review on August 1st, 2011. Winners will be announced at our MEET THE CHRISTIAN AUTHOR event on September 17th, 2011 and winners will be notified by phone.
Our Five Categories (novels and/or short stories)
1. Romance (Historical and Contemporary)
2. Women's Fiction
3. General Fiction
4. Mystery/Suspense
5. Young Adult/Children's
Contest Fees:
Members-$20 per entry (Two or more entries $15/per entry)
NonMembers-$25 per entry (Two or more entries $20/per entry).

Make checks out to: Writers on the Storm

The overall grand prize (for the highest scoring entry) is the FICTION WRITING MASTER COURSE from, a $249 value. The grand prize winner will also receive a plaque, a press release he/she can share with others and a news splash on our website. The category winners will each receive a free edit of the first chapter of their book from a multi-published author, along with a certificate. Their names will be listed on our website, as well. We will also post the list to facebook, twitter, the ACFW loop, etc.

Send the first 15 pages of your novel or short story. If you have a prologue, you may send the prologue and part of chapter one or just 15 pages of chapter one if chapter one exceeds 15 pages. The total pages of your entries may not exceed 15).

Entries must be double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point on white paper.
Entries should reflect a Christian world-view.
Entries with inappropriate content (i.e. profanity, pornography, extreme violence) will not be considered.
Entries will not be returned to contestants via the U.S. Post Office unless a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) is enclosed with each entry submitted.
Judges are all published authors and/or industry pros, though not members of the Writers On The Storm chapter.
Send your entries via SNAIL MAIL to:
Linda Kozar
7 South Chandler Creek
The Woodlands, Texas 77381
Questions? Contact Linda Kozar at

Category Five Contest Entry Form

Registration Form Name:_____________________________________________________________ Address:_________________________________City_______State____ZIP_____ Email address:_______________________________________________________ Member of WOTS: Yes….. No….. Category Entered: 1. Historical/Contemporary Romance ______ 2. Women’s Fiction ______ 3. General Fiction ______ 4. Suspense/Mystery ______ 5. Young Adult/Children ______ Amount Enclosed: __________ Check:___ Money Order:______ Make Checks out to: Writers On The Storm Checklist: Correct Manuscript Form ___ SASE Envelope ____ Registration Form ____ Check or money order ____ Mail entries to: Linda Kozar 7 South Chandler Creek The Woodlands, Texas 77381 Contact: If you have questions. Linda Kozar: Martha Rogers: Janice Thompson:

SATURDAY, May 7th from 9:30-11:00 followed by a booksigning 11-12:30

The Multiple-Author Booksigning will feature Patrick Scott, Martha Rogers and Linda Kozar!

Patrick Scott currently serves as the Founder / Design Architect for Creative Solutions, Patrick Scott is the creator and author of the Archangels: The Saga™ comic book series. First published in 1995 - 2010; the series has sold over 1.2 Million copies.

Patrick Scott pioneered the Christian comic book market in 1995 and is a 12 time published author, a trading card game creator (Timestream: The Remnant™) and has developed and published 15 inspirational posters. Under his leadership, Cahaba Productions, Inc. received the International Christian Retail Show’s highest honor by receiving an “IMPACT AWARD” in 2003.

Patrick Scott has over 17 years of graphic design, venture capital fundraising and business experience within mainstream and the International Christian Retail Marketplace. Over those years Patrick Scott has developed a professional working relationship with Lovell-Fairchild, Dynamic Marketing, Focus on the Family, Propeller Consulting, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Dickson’s Inc., Cactus Game Design, Universal Designs, Lifeway Christian Stores and many more.

Writers On The Storm presents...

Writers On The Storm presents...
Category Five Writing Contest

Patrick Scott--May 7th Speaker

Patrick Scott--May 7th Speaker
Christian Comic Book Author

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