Party On, Wayne: Gathering Research From Area Festivals and Cultural Events

Wayne's WorldWriting conferences and conventions are informative and helpful in the quest for publication. However, there are a slew of cultural and fun events in this area that can enrich your prose with flavor, color and depth. You may want to attend these festivals and research subjects of interest to your readers. Make sure to get contact information from event organizers and participants to use in future projects.

Historical Fiction

Steamboating in Missouri and Iowa, exhibit and lecture, opens April 27, 2013, National Archives Central Plains Region, Kansas City, MO; Night at the Museum II, April 2014, National Frontier Trails Museum, Independence, MO; 23rd Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Children’s Cowboy Festival, May 25-26, 2013, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK; Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, May 4-June 2, 2013, The Castle of Muskogee, Muskogee, OK.


30th Annual Kansas Numismatic Association Coin & Stamp Show, June 15, 2013 at the Cessna Activity Center in Wichita, KS; Wichita Flight Festival, September 28, 2013, at Col. James Jabara Airport, Wichita, KS; Red Slough Birding Convention, May 2014, Idabel, OK.


Prague Kolache Festival, May 2014, Main Street, Prague, OK; Italian Wine Tasting, May 21, 2013, Ciao Italian Kitchen, Wichita, KS; Tabouleh Fest, May 11, 2013, Main Street, Bristow, OK; Ethnic Enrichment Festival, August 16-18, 2013, Swope Park, Kansas City, MO.

Paranormal and Science Fiction

Fort Reno Ghost Tour, May 18, 2013, El Reno, OK; Tombstone Tales, May 19, 2013, Newkirk, OK; Kansas City Ghost & Gangsters Tour, every Friday and Saturday through July 2013, Kansas City, MO; Steampunk Day, May 25, 2013, Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita, KS.

People and Lifestyles

Kid Fest, May 2014 at Century II Expo Hall, Wichita, KS; 2013 Homeschool Conference, May 31-June 1, Century II, Wichita, KS; Just For her Expo Kansas, organized by HERLIFE Magazine, June 7-9, 2013, Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, KS; Festa Italiana 2013, June 2013, Zona Rosa, Kansas City, MO; Germanfest, May 3-5, 2013, Tulsa, OK; 1800s Lawn Social, May 2014, George M. Murrell Home, Park Hill, OK.

New for Youth!

I’m happy to announce that our first Annual Youth Contest will begin in just a few short days! You have just enough time to polish them entries and get them ready for entry! We’re accepting entries from May 1- June 1, or until we reach 100 entries. We do have a few things up our sleeves which will be announced shortly. So keep your eyes on this site! As always if you have any questions, please email contest(at)kwawriters(dot)org.

~Samantha LaFantasie, Contest Coordinator

For more information on our contest, visit the Youth Writer Contest tab or click here.

Scene 2013 Conference Fast Approaches

Scene 2013If you missed the KWA meeting in February, HB Berlow–president, fills us in.  Discussing the idea of Writers Conferences, HB pointed out that there are “three primary reasons to go to a writer’s conference: learning, networking, socializing.”

A conference is a great opportunity to learn from other writers, to see what has worked.  Their experiences can provide great insight into what can be a very isolating experiencing.  April Pameticky notes that it was a presentation by Malena Lott at a previous conference that really inspired her to pursue and develop a blog.

A conference can be a great tool for networking as well.  It is recommended to have a business card ready and according to HB, “be prepared to talk about something interesting.”

A conference can also be an excellent opportunity to socialize with other writers.  Who else to better understand the isolating experience of wrestling with our muses than another writer?

The Scene Conference 2013 is uniquely designed to afford writers the chance to rub shoulders and learn from each other.  Interested in learning more?  Visit:

The Complete Writer

Writers talk about inspiration and where story ideas come from; characters and their names and quirks and personalities; locations and locales, whether they are gritty or exotic; where the story is going and how to get there.

Writers talk about agents and publishers and query letters and pitches; self-publishing versus traditional publishing; their blog or their web site or their Facebook page or their platform.

Listen to a writer’s conversation and you’ll hear the words “genre,” “voice,” “style.” You will hear impassioned mention of favorite authors, struggles with editing and revision, and the next writing conference or organizational meeting.

What you don’t seem to hear is any mention of the work week, a pending vacation, how the family is doing, a great new recipe. These are mundane items, to be sure. But writers are Human. They live as others, paying bills and taking out the garbage. They do laundry and mow the lawn.

It is that Human aspect that seems to blend into the background when the Art and Business of writing takes the lead in any conversation. This is ironic considering that the Human experience is so prominent in good writing.

N.M. Kelby’s book “The Constant Art of Being a Writer” intimately outlines the ongoing process of writing, from inspiration through marketing and the myriad steps in between. There is much truth to the word “constant” in the title.

But consider that it is important to contemplate the other side of the equation. Are you a writer who deals with his life or a person trying to become a writer? Is it necessary to differentiate? Should you separate these two entities or merge them into one?

We do not live in an age of patronage from wealth purveyors of art, grants and scholarships notwithstanding. The majority of writers are spouses and employees, possibly homeowners with family and friends, a series of responsibilities that determine our continued existence and functionality within society.

No one denies the fantasy: Wake up. Have some coffee and breakfast. Settle in for a bit of writing or research or editing. Make appointments. Send query letters. A little blogging. A little social networking. No clock to punch for someone else. Perhaps, one day, it will be so.

In the meantime, we must acknowledge, develop, and integrate the Human and the Artist into one being. We must recognize that our experiences and daily routines inform our writing by giving us the detail that enhances our stories. The dialogue we hear is spoken by our characters. The grocery store or shopping mall we visit becomes a locale in our scene.

Alternately, developing our sensitivities and sensibilities, allowing our imaginations to soar and accepting a creative impulse, will most certainly make us better people and more fully realized Human Beings.

This is the Complete Writer.


H.B. Berlow studied filmaking and creative writing at the University of Miami in the 1980s and was involved in the Boston Poetry Scene in the mid 90s.  He has been a member of KWA since 2007.  He was recently the featured writer on Keyhole Conversations, Writers Who Cook.  His novels, Kansas Two-Step and Quick, are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and Lulu.  H.B. also blogs at The Tikiman Says

Member’s Play in Production

Joyce Markley and Ken Gale. Photo credit: Carl Williams, East Wichita News
Joyce Markley and Ken Gale. Photo credit: Carl Williams, East Wichita News

We’re so proud of KWA member Joyce Markley for making the front page of East Wichita News! Check out the April issue here.

The newspaper’s story is about Joyce’s collaboration with Ken Gale to create the musical Save Me a Dance, inspired by the statue of a little girl seen in Wichita’s Maple Grove Cemetery. Gale, a local attorney, wrote the music and lyrics. Joyce wrote the story, and her Signature Exploratory Theatre and Arts is producing the show.

Save Me a Dance premieres May 4 in Century II’s Mary Jane Teall Theater. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on May 4-5 and 2 p.m. on May 6. We hope our members will turn out to support Joyce in this accomplishment!





Scene Conference 2012

Registration is open for our Scene Conference, March 16-17 at the Hyatt Regency Wichita!

We kick things off Friday night with a rollicking PITCHAPALOOZA event with The Book Doctors, Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, and a panel of publishing experts including an agent and two publishers. You’ll have the chance to give a short pitch of your book and then get feedback on how you did! We’ll follow the event with a mixer, where you can mingle with other writers and our conference speakers.

On Saturday, you’ll have your choice of sessions in two tracks, on everything from landing an agent to e-publishing. We’ll have the complete schedule posted shortly. In the meantime, check out our full slate of speakers to get a glimpse at what’s in store.

Visit the main Scene page to register online or by mail. In order to register for the Pitchapalooza event at this time, you’ll need to print the registration form and mail your payment.

A limited number of guest rooms are available at the Hyatt for a discount. Please ask for the KWA Scene Conference room rate when making reservations.

We’ll be posting more details very soon! Hope to see you on the Scene.

NaNoWriMo Stars in our Midst

Several of our members are putting up rock-star numbers in the annual writing marathon known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to its fans). The goal is to write 50,000 words of fiction before the clock strikes December.

NaNoWriMoIt’s more than a random number and a personal goal. NaNoWriMo is a community event. You can keep a running log of your progress at, chat with other writers for support, and generally encourage one another to keep the word count coming. Some might view is as a stunt, others as a lark. But for the vast majority, it works because it sets up a challenge and a deadline that, frankly, most of us need to stay on task.

If you’re participating in this year’s NaNo, post your progress here too so we can cheer you on! Just use the comment section below.

Workshops for Screenwriters

Is your work-in-progress a screenplay? Take advantage of the Bluecat Screenwriting Workshop coming to Wichita in October, sponsored by the Tallgrass Film Festival.

BlueCatFirst Ten Pages Workshop
Up to seven writers are accepted to submit the first 10 pages of their screenplays to the group before the workshop day. At the workshop, the pages are read out loud, providing each writer the valuable experience of hearing their script, followed by a discussion of the pages by the workshop. If you don’t have a completed screenplay but still want to participate, you can audit the workshop without submitting material.

When: Friday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Rock Island Studios, 121 N. Mead St., Suite 104, Wichita
Full Registration: $95
Audit: $45

Also check out the Full Script Workshop in Kansas City. Limited to seven writers, this workshop provides direct and in-depth feedback on each screenplay, with everyone encouraged to contribute his or her own thoughts and concerns. The Full Script Workshop is set for Oct. 2 at the Livestock Exchange Building, 1600 Genessee, in Kansas City, Mo. Visit for details.

Award-winning screenwriter Gordy Hoffman founded the BlueCat Screenplay Competition in 1998 and has since presided over the evaluation and adjudication of over 10,000 screenplays.

Keynote Speaker Announced for 2012 Scene Conference

William Bernhardt
William Bernhardt, Scene Conference 2012 Keynote Speaker
Our 2012 Scene Conference is taking shape fast! We’re thrilled to have landed author William Bernhardt as our keynote speaker for the event, which is set for March 16-17. William’s bestselling novels explore politics, power, ambition, crime, and the law. He’s written more than 20 books and teaches several writing workshops and seminars of his own. Find out more about him at

We’re also excited to welcome the founder of, Mark Coker, to our conference. According to a Q&A with Mark at the website, Smashwords publishes and distributes ebooks, and authors and publishers retain full control over how their works are published, sampled, priced and sold. Since the site was launched in May 2008, it’s become the leading ebook publishing platform for indie authors and publishers, with over 45,000 ebooks published. (We always get a little hungry thinking about it, though, because the name makes us think of Smashburger…)

There’s more at our Scene Conference page. Visit often for updates to our roster of exciting speakers and other conference details. Make plans now to join us in March!

Jubilee of Kansas Authors

A Barnes & Noble rep sent this announcement our way. Chatting with local authors, discovering new reads, and throwing some support to an area library: sounds like a good way to pass a hot summer afternoon!

The Barnes & Noble at Bradley Fair, located at 1920 N. Rock Road, will host eight Kansas authors at their July Jubilee Book Signing on Saturday, July 30, from 2 to 5 p.m. The authors will be available to chat with customers and sign copies of their books. The featured authors include Jim Baumgardner, Jefferson Knapp, Ramona Lampe, Roberta Seiwart Lampe, Kara Louise, Nancy Mehl, Judith Miller, and Kim Vogel Sawyer. Their newest books will be available at Barnes & Noble at Bradley Fair, as well as limited quantities of their previously released titles.

This book signing event is part of a Bookfair Fundraiser for the Rose Hill Public Library. If you mention the Rose Hill Public Library when making any purchase at the Barnes & Noble at Bradley Fair on July 30, a portion of your sale will be donated to the library. Also check out the Rose Hill Public Library’s Wish List table all day, where you will find books that you can buy to donate to the library.

Here is a brief description of each author:

Jim Baumgardner is the author of The Making of a Spy: Sarah’s Quest the latest book in the historical, young adult ‘Sarah’ series that includes Sarah’s Wish, Sarah’s Promise, and Sarah’s Escape. He was born and raised in Wichita. He helps keep history alive by volunteering at the Old Cowtown Museum and by giving various programs on writing, the Underground Railroad, cowboys and trail drives, and early Wichita history to schools and homeschool groups. His website is .

Jefferson Knapp is the author of the children’s adventure novel The Brave Journey (The Kingdom at the End of the Driveway, Part 1). He lives in the country outside Wichita. A graduate of Butler County Community College, Knapp’s career path has changed from stand-up comedian to children’s book author. Knapp is 33 years old and still has a love for animals – except snakes. His website is

Ramona Lampe is the author of the children’s books Ruby the Diva Clydesdale, Calves in the Kitchen, and Santa and the Clydesdales. Ramona was raised on a farm near Cheney, Kansas. She attended high school in Garden Plain, and college at Emporia State University. After college, Ramona toured the country, performing in various professional theatre shows. She now lives back in Kansas where her favorite hobby is taking care of the horses at the C3 Clydesdale Farm.

Roberta Seiwart Lampe is the author of the children’s books Air Dog First Class, A Pig Wish, and Two Farm Cats as well as the historical fiction book The Homestead Trail: Kansas Calls. She was raised in Garden Plain. She served as a newspaper reporter for the U.S. Army before returning home in 1959, when she met her husband and became a farm wife. Working as a library aide, she became inspired to write. Roberta and Ramona Lampe’s website is

Kara Louise is the author of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do and Darcy’s Voyage, which are both based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She grew up just north of Los Angeles. She moved to Wichita in 1991 with her husband and son. She now lives just outside Wichita on 10 acres where she and her husband have a big garden, 3 horses, 2 goats, 6 cats, and a dog. Since 2001 she has written 6 books based on Pride and Prejudice. Kara Louise’s website Jane Austen’s Land of Ahhhs is at .

Nancy Mehl is the author many books including the Curl Up and Dye mystery series that includes Blown Away and Missing Mabel, as well as the religious fiction novels of the Harmony Series that include Simple Choices, Simple Secrets, and Simple Deceit. She lives in Wichita with her husband, Norman, and her son, Danny. She spends extra time with her volunteer group, Wichita Homebound Outreach. Nancy’s website is, and her blog is

Judith Miller is the author of a number of religious fiction titles including the Daughters of Amana series that includes Somewhere to Belong, More Than Words, and A Bond Never Broken. She is the co-author of several books with Tracie Peterson including the upcoming To Have and To Hold (Bridal Veil Island, Book 1). She was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Kansas after high school. She is the mother of four and lives in Topeka, where she writes full time. Her website is .

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the bestselling and award-winning author of numerous religious fiction titles, the newest being Courting Miss Amsel and In Every Heartbeat. She is also the author of the Katy Lambright teen Mennonite series, the latest of which is Katy’s Decision (Katy Lambright #4). She is active at her church, and enjoys quilting, drama, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in Kansas and have 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren. Visit her on the web at