OWL Spring 2020 Conference

OWL Membership is $30, includes every conference offered in a year.  Join Now

Cheryl Harness

A Note from the Author/Illustrator

Cheryl Harness earned a degree in art education at the University of Central MO (UCM), but  earned her living as a commercial artist at companies such as Hallmark, Current, Inc., and,  as a freelancer, a variety of others. She designed greeting cards, giftwraps, Kleenex boxes,  needlework kits, and music boxes. But in the summer of 1984, a children's book workshop  led by noted author/illustrator, Uri Shulevitz, set her on a new path. Over the next thirty years she would research, write and/or illustrate some fifty children's books, mostly historical, published by Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, the National Geographic, and others. At literature festivals and at schools around the country, she would speak to, draw pictures and play her harmonica for thousands of young readers around the country.

Cheryl lives in Harry Truman's old neighborhood, in Independence, MO, with her three elderly pets (2 dogs, 1 cat), plus countless books and art projects.
Website: cherylharness.com

Nancy Hartney

Five Steps to Building Your Writing Chops

Nancy Hartney writes non-fiction for magazines, historical journals, and newspapers.  Her work has appeared in Horsemen’s Roundup, Arkansas Life, Flashback, a quarterly historical publication of Washington County, and other periodicals. She has published two collections of short stories, piddles with free verse, and is currently seeking a publication home for her debut novel. Learn more about Nancy at NancyHartney.com.

Duke Pennell


Writing the West

Originally from East St. Louis and southern Illinois, Duke and his wife Kimberly fell in love with, and moved to, Fayetteville in 1985. 

In 2010 Duke joined a critique group led by the late Dusty Richards, a name well-known to most OWL members. When Duke had finally polished a Western short story to the point it was worth submitting, he asked Dusty where to send it. Dusty told him the sad news that publishers were not buying Westerns because, they said, no one was buying them. Duke didn’t believe that no one wanted to read Westerns anymore and, being both stubborn and a computer engineer by trade, he decided to create a website where anyone could submit their Western story. And so Frontier Tales was born. The e-zine—www.FrontierTales.com—brings both new and old Western authors to a wide audience with the monthly publication, now in its 11th continuous year and 126th issue.

A many-year member and past officer and board member of OWL, he and Kimberly also founded Pen-L Publishing (www.Pen-L.com) in 2012, and have now published over 120 fine fiction and non-fiction books. (Note they are closed for submissions at this time.)

Duke has shepherded books by many authors (some of whom are OWL members) to win national and regional awards. Himself an award-winning author, Duke has written both fiction and nonfiction but finds more demands on his time for editing than writing at this point.

 By the way, Duke is his real name. His advice to writers is “Push harder, learn more, and dig deeper into yourself. That’s where the gold lies.”

Website: www.dukepennell.com

OWL April 2020 Agenda

Ballroom Grand C


Friday, April 24, 2020

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Open Mic



Saturday, April 25, 2020

8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

Art Entry Registration


8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Registration and Browse book tables and Purchase Raffle Tickets


9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Welcome to OWL

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. 

Cheryl Harness:

A Note from the Author/Illustrator

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Nancy Hartney:

5 Steps to Building Your Writing Chops


11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Duke Pennell:

Writing the West


2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Veda Boyd Jones:

Researching Fiction


3:15 p.m.

Art Contest Winners Announced


Veda Boyd Jones 
Researching Fiction

Veda Boyd Jones credits her degrees in history for teaching her research skills for nonfiction and fiction alike. She researches fiction by going into the field-- taking the citizen’s police academy classes for developing a policewoman character, observing at a TV station to make up a TV newscaster character, etc. Her publishing credits include over 600 articles and short stories in magazines and 47 books, romances and children’s books, for traditional publishers (Barbour Books, Scholastic, McGraw-Hill, Lucent, Learner, etc.) plus ten original e-books on Amazon. She earned an MFA in creative writing and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

OWL Special room rates start at $75 for one person. Call: (417) 334-8404

© 2015 by Ozarks Writers League

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