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Message from the Presidents

September 1, 2005 by in category Blogs tagged as with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > Message from the Presidents

Suite Sweet Success… I know it’s been over a month since the National RWA conference in Reno, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to write about it and share with those of you who couldn’t attend.

Our OCC hospitality suite was indeed a sweet success. A place where first timers could gather and catch their breath when the sheer volume of conference attendees became overwhelming. A place where we could practice pitch sessions with those who were anxiously awaiting their editor or agent appointments. A place where we could celebrate our OCC RITA winner, Barbara McCauley, our OCC Golden Heart winner, Lorelle Marinello, and our Golden Heart finalist, Debra Holland. A place where we could announce the finalists in our published author’s contest; interview agents and editors for future newsletter articles; eat, drink and network with friends, industry professionals, and long distance acquaintances; and a place where we could honor Mary Teresa Hussy with our chapter’s first ever Helping Hands Industry award.

I’d like to thank Michelle Thorne, Lana Kreivis, Patty Taylor and Julie Nelson for doing such a fabulous job of hosting the suite and making sure that we all had a soft place to land when we needed one–and a party place when we wanted one!

As Jennifer told you last month, we unveiled our new OCC slogan:
Opportunity, Creativity, Community.

And believe me, Bobbie Cimo and Michelle Thorne highlighted this “brand” in a stunningly innovative way. Using a room service cart, they wheeled around a microwave gathering author signatures! What could be more fun that having a unique microwave in your office, signed by all of your favorite authors?
Our ways and means people will be raffling off this gem at our October birthday bash. Don’t miss the OPPORTUNITY to get in on this raffle. Tickets will be on sale at the meeting.

If you missed the Reno conference, then please don’t miss OCC’s one day Autumn Affaire with Harlequin’s Executive Editor, and author of Writing A Romance Novel for Dummies, Leslie Wainger. Ms. Wainger will be speaking on both craft and career. I’ll certainly be there. Even after 26 published books, I still don’t miss an OPPORTUNITY to learn from CREATIVITY masters in our writing COMMUNITY such as Leslie Wainger.


By the time you all read this, we will be back from the RWA National Conference. In our OCC Suite, we unveiled the new slogan for OCC:

Opportunity, Creativity, Community.

Opportunity—The chance to learn and grow in the craft of writing and publishing.
Creativity—A place for ideas to spark and grow.
Community—A group of writers pursuing the same dream in a supportive environment.

Several of us formed a committee to work on this (myself, Louise Ahern, Sandy Chvostal, Marianne Donley, and Bobbie Cimo with Mindy Neff monitoring us to make sure we behaved). But it was Bobbie Cimo who took all our ideas about what OCC means and put them into this fantastic slogan. Thank you, Bobbie! In three words, you captured the spirit of OCC.

I’d like to tell you a little about why we formed a slogan. A caveat here, I am borrowing heavily from what Louise Ahern, a Public Relations Professional, taught us on the committee and very possibly making a mess of it. As we continue to grow OCC, we need to be clear on what OCC is about. For instance, when you think of Disneyland, you may think of family, fun, entertainment. We want to “brand” OCC in a similar way. So we came up with opportunity, creativity, community. Now what do we do with that?

First we put it everywhere to establish our “brand.” But it’s much more than that. Just like RWA has the slogan, “Have we got a story for you!” OCC will have the slogan that we are about “Opportunity, Creativity, Community.”

Second, as the board and other volunteers look at new programs, ideas, etc. we need to make sure we are staying with our “brand.” Are we implementing a new program that provides opportunity? Sparks creativity? Grows a sense of community?

Third, as we deal with publishing professionals (authors, editors, agents, etc.) our brand tells them that we take ourselves seriously, and that they will be treated as a serious professional as well.

There are many more uses, but you get the idea. We must be true to our brand. While working with this, we tossed out and discarded many ideas that were too narrow in scope, or too vague of a concept. We really wanted to zero in on the heart of OCC.

So that’s our slogan. OCC — Opportunity, Creativity, Community.


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