NEWS & EVENTS: WCCW
There is so much happening at White County Creative Writers among our members and our friends. Here’s some information about recent news and scheduled events, as well as other activities of interest.
By the way, if you have a newsy announcement to add to this page, please let us know.
December 31, 2023
Winter Contest Deadline. (Special contest for those who attended this year’s conference.)
December 11, 2023 (Monday)
WCCW Christmas Party. 6:30 p.m. The party will be held at Daisy’s Lunch Box, 311 N Spruce St in Searcy. Includes a No-Name Read-Around. Bring something you have written (500 – 700 words), but don’t put your name on it. We’ll read it and let everyone guess who wrote it.
Anthony Wood Book Signing
December 5, 2023. Anthony Wood was featured at the Choctaw Library Open House (Ackerman, MS) yesterday, where he signed books and discussed his work.
Another Great Meeting!
November 20, 2023. 6:30. We had 20 attend our November meeting — this is great, considering the bad weather. The program was led by Don Money, focusing on Writing to Get Published. Don has had much success in this area and had much to offer in the way of tips and advice.
Anthony Wood Book Signing Today and Tomorrow
November 15-16, 2023. The Carroll County (MS) Library and the Viaden Public Library will each host a book signing for WCCW member Anthony Wood. The Carroll County event is November 15 at 10:00 a.m. The Vaiden Public Library event is November 16 at 6:00 p.m. He will be presenting all four of his books in his historical fiction series A Tale of Two Colors, including the recently released The Storm That Carries Me Home. Good luck, Anthony!
WCCW Members Stand Out at OWL
November 6, 2023. WCCW members Kim Vernon Rodgers and Gary Rodgers attended the 40th Annual Ozark Writers League (OWL) Fall Conference in Branson during the last weekend of October. Member Alyssa Darby also entered contests but was unable to attend.
The three members brought home 15 awards.
Alyssa Darby won 3 first place and 2 third place awards.
Kim Vernon Rodgers won 3 first place and 2 third place awards.
Gary Rodgers won a second place, 2 third place and two honorable mentions!
Congratulations Gary, Alyssa, and Kim!
Alyssa Darby wins the Sybil Nash Abrams Award
October 30, 2023. Congratulations to WCCW member Alyssa Darby, who won the Sybil Nash Abrams Award at the recent Poetry Day event sponsored by Poets Rountable of Arkansas. In addition to this prestigious award, Alyssa received four honorable mentions, a second place prize, and four first place prizes. Way to go Alyssa!
Another First Place for Gary Rodgers
October 24, 2023. Gary Rodgers won First place in Short Story from the 2023 Alabama Writer’s Cooperative for his story “Raised on Diamonds.” Congratulations Gary!
Another Great Meeting!
October 16, 2023. (Monday) We had 26 in attendance at our meeting in October. The program, led by Terry Engels, discussed various facets of screenplay writing. (Terry teaches a screenplay writing course at Harding University.) We also watched a presentation of Terry’s short film: Second Childhood.
Ozark Creative Writers Conference.
October 12-14, 2023. This weekend Ozark Creative Writers sponsored the Writing in the Ozarks Conference, which featured Jane Friedman and Jeff Shaara. The Conference was held in Eureka Springs, AR. (Here are some details.)
7 people affiliated with WCCW attended the conference: Don Money, Kim Vernon, Gary Rodgers, Anthony Wood, Shirley Howard, Rick Houston, & Jodi Whitehurst. The group took 21 awards total.
Don Money won 6 first place awards and a second place award. Kim Vernon won 2 first place awards 5 second place awards and a third place award. Gary Rodgers won a first, second and third place award, with 2 honorable mentions. And Jodi Whitehurst won a first place award. Congratulations to our writers!
Don Money’s Stupefying Story
October 6, 2023. Don Money’s story “Department of Murderous Vixens” was published in Issue No. 26 of Stupefying Stories. The Kindle version of the publication was released October 1. The printed version of the magazine will be available later this month. This issue of Stupefying Stories broke into the Amazon Kindle Top 100 in three categories: science fiction, fantasy, and horror. This story also received first place in the WCCW contest: Death & Dismemberment at the DMV. You can find a copy of the magazine here at Amazon.
Dot Hatfield published in ASUB Magazine
September 28, 2023. Dot Hatfield’s article “Finding My Voice” is in this semester’s issue of Uncharted, a magazine published by ASU Beebe journalism and photography departments. (The article can be found on page 35.)
Notes on the September Meeting
September 18, 2023. Another great meeting! We had 28 in attendance, including several first and second time guests! It was so good to see everyone. Our program was a group read around in which many members read pieces that had been entered in the WCCW contests. Others, including some of our newer members, also brought stories and poems to read. Del Garrett even contributed a song he had written, though, sadly, he didn’t sing it to us; he just read it. Thanks to all who participated. This group has more talent than can be measured!
WCCW Member published in Stygian Lepus
September 15, 2023. Don Money’s story “Soul of Rock” was published in Stygian Lepus: Edition 6 (August 2023). The story is his fifth to be published with the magazine. Until recently, Stygian Lepus has been an online-only publication, but now they are making all all of their back issues available in print. Here’s a link to Don’s story.
Anthony Wood Book Signing
September 9, 2023. We’re posting this now, but the event took place last month.
The Choctaw County Library System hosted an Author Talk with WCCW Member Anthony Wood on Thursday, August 24, 2023, in Ackerman, Mississippi. He spoke about how his historical fiction series, A Tale of Two Colors, came about and the story of his 2G uncle and Choctaw County ancestor, Columbus “Lummy” Nathan Tullos, who lived through the troubled times surrounding the Civil War. He enjoyed fielding questions and signing books, especially his latest release, The Storm that Carries Me Home, that brings Lummy back to his hometown of Bankston, Mississippi during the Civil War at the time when Union soldiers burned the factories located there.
Anthony said, “Having a book signing in the county that my ancestors pioneered and where the story of Lummy Tullos begins, was nothing short of exhilarating.”
Creative Writer Newsletter, September 2023
September 6, 2023. The WCCW September 2023 Creative Writer Newsletter has been released. If you subscribe, it should arrive in your inbox in a day or two. Or you can read it here, online. It contains notes about the recent conference, our upcoming meeting, and a Member Spotlight on James Gabel.
September 2, 2023. Our 28th Annual White County Creative Writers Conference was a big success by every measurable standard! More than 60 attendees participated in 5 sessions led by Linda Apple and Clarissa Willis. Plus, there was an afternoon read-around … and a great lunch! You can find out more about it on the Conference page. We also announced all Contest Winners, and have posted the results on the Contest page.
Notes on the August Meeting
August 21, 2023. We had 32 in attendance at our August meeting, including several first time guests! It was so good to see everyone. The program was led by Lisa Lindsey, focusing on character and story arc building. This was our final meeting before this year’s Conference, which will be held September 2.
Illinois Poetry Contest
August 10, 2023. The Illinois State Poetry Society is sponsoring a series of contests through October 31, 2023. The cost for entry is $10 for 8 poems. Here are the complete details.
WCCW Member Spotlight
July 22, 2023. WCCW Member (and Poets Roundtable of Arkansas President) John McPherson will be one of the featured speakers at the Siloam Springs Writers Guild’s Fifth Summer Writers Conference. The conference will be held at First Baptist Church, Siloam Springs. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. Other speakers include Paul Linzy and Sharon Rose Gibson. Registration is $45. For complete details, visit their website.
Notes on the July Meeting
July 17, 2023. There were 22 members and guests in attendance at our July meeting. In addition to great conversation and the friendly banter that takes place when writers get together, we had a discussion on how to add the element of inspiration to any genre of writing. We also spent some time critiquing a short story by Lisa Lindsey.
July 13, 2023. The Book of Drabbles, a new anthology release from Shacklebound Books, features 4 short stories from WCCW member Don Money The stories are “Nano-terato”, “Reckoning”, “Red Ice”, and “Sandbar Sirens.”
Saddlebag Dispatches: Summer Issue
July 12, 2023. The Summer 2023 issue of Saddlebag Dispatches magazine is out which includes our own Anthony Wood’s short fiction entitled, “Blood of My Birth,” part one of the story of Rainy Mills, a major character in his historical fiction series, A Tale of Two Colors.
Anthony serves as Managing Editor for the award winning western magazine. Take a peek at this issue at and then order your copy today!
New Release from Ellen E. Withers
Here’s the story: Two deaths occur decades apart. Is it possible these deaths are related? What motivates a killer, who got away with murder sixty years ago, to kill again? Was it uncontrollable rage or the hope of silencing someone who fit all the puzzle pieces together and deduced who committed the crime?
Set in the picturesque town of Mexico, Missouri, Show Me Betrayal takes flight in words and emotions of rich characters woven together into a story you won’t want to put down.
Ellen says, “I wanted to incorporate the beautiful structures of my hometown of Mexico, Missouri in a mystery series. Each book in the series has a historical element and a present day storyline with elements of faith woven throughout.”
Show Me Betrayal is available at Amazon.
Honorable Mention PRA June Contest
July 2, 2023. Congratulations to Alyssa Darby, whose poem “The Step” received 1st Honorable Mention in the June Contest at Poets Roundtable of Arkansas. Also, congratulations to Donna Nelson, whose poem “A Sea of Sunflowers” received 2nd Honorable Mention in the June Contest. Way to go, Donna and Alyssa!
This month’s Member Spotlight
July 1, 2023. This month’s Member Spotlight features John McPherson and his award-winning poem Labor Day. Also, congratulations to John for being named Poetry Editor for Saddlebag Dispatches Magazine.
Saddelbag Dispatches Contest for Western Short Stories
June 29, 2023. Saddlebag Dispatches is sponsoring a new contest: the Longhorn Prize for Western short stories. Submissions are open until August 1, 2023. There’s no submission fee, and you can submit your entry online, via email. Winner receives $300 and will be published in the Winter 2023 issue. Just send your email submission to email@example.com, and include “LONGHORN SUBMISSION” in the subject line. (More details here.)
Another great meeting!
June 19, 2023. Once again we had 23 in attendance at our meeting this month, and what a great meeting it was! Several members read stories that had won or placed in an AWC contest. And then we group-critiqued a short story by Donna Nelson, breaking it down piece by piece.
Arkansas Writers Conference.
June 3, 2023 It was a great day at the AWC Conference in North Little Rock. There were about 50 in attendance, including a dozen WCCW members. Linda Apple (who will be speaking at our conference this year) was inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame. Congratulations Linda!
Several WCCW members won and/or placed in a number of contests. Our group winners include: Gary Breezeel, Del Garrett, Kim Vernon, Julia Zellner, Don Money, Peggy Sanders, Anthony Wood, Dot Hatfield, John McPherson, Gary Rodgers, and Mike Bass. Another standout performance for the members of WCCW! (You can find more details here.)
June 2, 2023. The fourth novel in Anthony Wood’s historical fiction series, A Tale of Two Colors, is out! In The Storm that Carries Me Home, Lummy Tullos exchanges his gray uniform for the blue to help end the War Between the States by enlisting in the 1st Mississippi Mounted Rifles. He made an oath. He switched sides to keep it. He just didn’t know it would lead him to his own hometown. Available wherever books are sold. Or you can contact Anthony to purchase a signed copy.
Member Spotlight / New Publication
June 1, 2023. A short story by WCCW member Don Money has been included in a new anthology by Shacklebound Books: Dread Space 2: 22 Dark Military Science Fiction Stories, available in print and Kindle versions. The story is titled Tenebris Auctus. Another story by Don, Tunnel Rat, is featured in this month’s Member Spotlight.
R&W Publishing’s New Editor
May 19, 2023. We’re happy to announce that Lisa Lindsey recently became a line editor for Roan & Weatherford Publishing Associates, where her obsession with grammar rules are put to good use. Congratulations Lisa!
May 18, 2023. The Vault of Terror: Tales to Tell Vol. 5 — a collection of stories designed to tickle your spine while making your blood run cold — was recently released by Raven’s Inn Press. It features the work of several WCCW members, including Gary Breezeel, Dr. Rebecca Foster, Lisa Lindsey, John McPherson, Gary Rodgers, and Don Money, and Del Garrett. You can find it on Amazon.
Another Great Meeting!
May 15, 2023. Our May meeting was attended by 23 members and guests. The program, led by Donna Nelson and John McPherson, included a lesson on poetry basics, followed by a read around of poems brought by members.
Oklahoma Writers Federation Contest Award
May 8, 2023 . WCCW member Don Money took 3rd place in the Oklahoma Writers Federation 2023 Writing Contest. The awarded entry was a memoir titled Last One on the Line. OWF sponsors annual contests and hosts an annual writer’s conference each May.
Season Finale: WCCW Podcast
May 6, 2023. Podcast host Lisa Lindsey and guest host Jamie interview WCCW member Rhonda Roberts about her writing experience. At the same time, Rhonda interviews Jamie to get a kid’s thoughts on what makes a good story. This concludes Season Two of the WCCW Podcast. Next season begins in September! Visit the Podcast page.
Creative Writer Newsletter, May Edition
May 3, 2023. WCCW Press Secretary Del Garrett has released the newest issue of The Creative Writer, our group newsletter. Here’s the May issue. 30 p.m. You can view all newsletters from the past few years here.
May 2, 2023. WCCW Press Agent and Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame member Del Garrett has recently republished his novel Whispers in the Wind: The Search for Jack the Ripper to include research footnotes for the material used in completing this investigation. This will help readers do their own research into this mystifying case. The updated version is available on Amazon.
Member Spotlight May 2023
Our Poetry Winners
April 20, 2023 John McPherson won the Serious Verse Contest at the Spring Celebration sponsored by Poets Roundtable of Arkansas with an entry titled Godly Timing. Also, Alyssa Darby won second place in the PRA March Contest with her poem Dust. Congratulations John and Alyssa!
Another Great Meeting!
April 17, 2023. Our April meeting was attended by 23 members and guests. About a dozen writers shared their stories in a group read around. Then we folded conference brochures, ate lots of snacks, and took part in some great conversation! Here are some pictures.
Don Money’s New Story
April 10, 2023. WCCW member Don Money has been published again! The story, Protocol, appears in Martian Magazine, Issue #8. It will also be included in the year end anthology. Congratulations Don!
WCCW 2023 Writing Contests
New Podcast Episode Released!
April 4 , 2023
The Gary & Gary Show. Gary Rodgers and Gary Breezeel share their secrets for winning contests. LISTEN HERE.
A New Contest from Tim Saunders Publications!
March 30, 2023. An exciting prize for emerging writers launched this day. The Paul Cave Prize for Literature invites submissions for all forms of poetry, flash fiction, short stories and even novellas up to 10,000 words. Entries close on September 30. Winners of each category will also receive a complimentary copy of The Paul Cave Prize for Literature 2023 book. More information can be found here.
WCCW Member is Published … Again!
March 28, 2023. Congratulations to Don Money who has just had three new stories published in the recently released anthology Dark Stars. The stories — titled Sunset Cruise, Wrong One, and Void Madness — are each 100 words in length. Congratulations Don!
WCCW Member is a Contest Winner!
March 22, 2023. Donna Nelson, who serves as secretary for White County Creative Writers, won first prize in the Poet’s Roundtable of Arkansas February contest. The name of her winning entry is Enduring Winter Weather. The type of poem entered was a Hexaduad — a 12-line poem compromised of rhymed couplets. Congratulations Donna!
A Great March Meeting!
March 20, 2023. We had 25 in attendance for our March Meeting. The program, led by Donna Nelson and John McPherson, featured a review on the basic elements of poetry, as well as guidelines for those who critique and judge contests. The follow up assignment to this meeting: write a poem of any style for the May Meeting read around. More details here.
WCCW Member Published in Troopers Quarterly
March 8, 2023. A short story written by WCCW Member Don Money was recently published in Troopers, a quarterly publication devoted to military science fiction. The story is titled Sentinel. Troopers Quarterly is available in Kindle format at Amazon.
Dot Hatfield’s New Column
March 5, 2023
Dot Hatfield, a member of the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame since 2020, is now a contributing columnist for the Beebe News. Her opinion column (op-ed) “As I See It” appears monthly in the hometown weekly newspaper.
New Podcast Episode Released!
March 4 , 2023
Getting Paid to Lie. Listen to WCCW Podcast host Lisa Lindsey talk about the process of writing fiction. LISTEN HERE.
A New Book from Del Garrett!
February 27, 2023. Del Garrett has released the fourth book in Felix Nash, Private Detective, series.
Introducing Felix Nash launched Del’s hard boiled private detective series in March 2022. Nash’s adventures continued with The Case of the Deadly Dame in May, and The Case of the Stolen Jade Buddha in July.
For 2023, Garrett just published The Case of the Bloody Butcher, available at Amazon.
“My first book grew out of a short story I’d written for a contest. It won 1st Place,” Garrett said. “I liked the character so well that I decided to introduce Felix Nash as a novella-length private eye series.”
Avoiding the usual suave, sophisticated gentleman private investigator type, Garrett’s depiction is a more gritty, in your face, down and dirty ex-soldier, ex-cop who barely gets by on his bills, using his cheap apartment as his office and taking whatever cases he can find just to survive.
Garrett said he didn’t know how far his Felix Nash series will take him. “I’ll write (about Nash) until I run out of ideas,” he said.
Another Great Meeting!
February 20, 2023. We had a great turnout at the February meeting, with 21 in attendance. After some conversation and taking a little time to get to know our guests, Anthony Wood led the program — a presentation packed with ideas about how to judge / evaluate / critique a short story. The follow-up assignment is to write a 500 word short story that will be read in the April meeting. See our meeting schedule here.
Valentine Contest Winners Announced!
February 10, 2023. WCCW sponsored two Valentine Contests this year, and the winners have been announced. Congratulations to Peggy Sanders for winning 1st place in the Prose Contest, and to Mike Bass for 1st place in the Poetry Contest. And thanks to all who entered! You can read the full contest details here.
New Podcast Episode!
February 4, 2023
Supporting Local Authors. Find out how you, the reader, are needed to help small press/local authors. LISTEN HERE.
The WCCW Christmas Party, 2022 Edition!
December 12, 2022. We had a wonderful time at the 2022 WCCW Christmas party on December 12. More than 35 people were there, including kids and spouses. The party was held at Daisy’s Lunchbox on the Court Square in Search — and the food was amazing.
After the meal, we took part in a read around. More than a dozen members shared their stories and poetry, with everyone guessing who wrote which piece. No question about it: there are a lot of talented people in this group!
You can view pictures of the Christmas Party on our Facebook page.
Anthony Wood’s Third Novel Is Now Available!
November 2022. Tiree Press has announced the release of Peace Before the Second Storm, the third volume in Anthony Wood’s historical fiction novel series, A Tale of Two Colors.
A Will Rogers Medallion Award winning author whose work has been published in Saddlebag Dispatches, The Vault of Terror, and The Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poetry, Wood has also won a number of writing contests. He serves as Vice President for White County Creative Writers, Assistant Managing Editor for Saddlebag Magazine, and is a member of Oghma Creative Media’s Executive Board.
In Peace before the Second Storm, the main character Lummy Tullos travels to Winn Parish only to discover the real reason his wife Susannah died. After settling matters there, he returns to the home of his birth, Choctaw County. It is there he wrestles with what his next step should be—lead a quiet and secluded life or switch sides to help end the war. The adventure has really only begun.
You can find Wood’s series on Amazon.com or wherever fine books are sold. Visit Anthony’s profile.
Kim Vernon’s Toolshed Suprise Has Been Released.
The story: The last thing ten year old Timmy wants to do is go into the spooky old toolshed and get a shovel for his mom. Fearing snakes, spiders, and mice, the last thing he expects is a big hairy creature who is scared too. Who is this smelly creature? Can Timmy help him escape before his mother finds out?
Kim says, “I wrote the story about three years ago for a contest that called for Bigfoot stories. In 2020, Young Dragons Press sponsored a contest for a children’s story, so I made a few revisions and entered the story there. The story won first place, and they expressed interest in publishing it.
“Toolshed Surprise is a fun little story, with a subtle, kind message. The illustrations are bold and colorful, and overall, I think it is a beautiful book. I hope you’ll check it out.”