January 3, 2017


In This Issue
Quick Links
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Members Only
"Members Review"
Interested in reviewing books? Contact us at member@writersleague.org with "Members Review" in the subject line and we will respond with more details. 
Click HERE to read WLT member 
Tony Burnett's review of
Good As Gone
by Amy Gentry. 

"Meet the Members"
Want to be profiled on our blog? We are looking for willing subjects for our weekly Q&A posts with current members. If interested, write us at 

Community Member News
Stephanie Barko (Austin) was selected to be a 2017 SXSW Interactive Mentor/Speaker. Her session is "Booking Your Story: Publishing in the Digital Age."

The Writers Workshop (Austin) is registering writers for two weekly Creation Night series starting in January. Writers polish craft using exercises and creative sparks as prompts. Share what you've written to hear what's working in new writing. Meet at Creation Locations in North Austin ( Jan. 24) or South Austin ( Jan. 13). Details at the Writers Workshop website.
Are you a business or organization interested in Community Membership? Visit our website for more details, or email Member Services Manager Jordan Smith at  jordan@
Member News
Janice Law (Houston) was interviewed for Deborah Kalb's Book Q&A blog on her 2016 book Capitol Cat & Watch Dog Outwit the U.S. Supreme Court and her 2015 nonfiction book American Evita: Lurleen Wallace. Read the Q&A here and visit Janice's website here.

Are you a current WLT member interested in submitting to Member News? Email your 50-word blurb (including links and your city of residence) to member@writersleague.org. Please make sure to follow the third-person format used in our announcements. For a full list of guidelines, click here.

Texas Writes

Our next Texas Writes event will take place at the Jackson County Memorial Library in Edna, TX on January 12, 2017 at 1 pm.

Featured Speakers: 
Christie Craig and Varian Johnson.

For the full 2016/2017 schedule, visit the Texas Writes page on our website.
Bess Whitehead Scott Scholarship Fund
The Bess Whitehead Scott Scholarship Fund awards annual scholarships to aspiring journalists and writers. 

To learn more about the scholarships and apply online, visit their website.

 Open Office Hours - January 12
Registration closes
January 11 at 12 pm

Members can meet one-on-one with a WLT staffer (in person or call in). This option is available to all members regardless of their city of residence!

Click  here for guidelines and to sign up. Current members only.  

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2017 A&E Conference Registration Now Open!
JOIN US: Austin in June!

The Writers' League of Texas
2017 Agents & Editors Conference 
June 30 to July 2, 2017
Hyatt Regency Austin 

Ready to take the next step toward publishing your book?
  • Pitch your work to some of the industry's top agents and editors.
  • Learn what agents want and demystify the querying process.
  • Understand the state of publishing today.
  • Hear fellow writers' publication stories
    in their own words.
  • Get tips for polishing your manuscript so that it's ready to share.
  • Find your writing community and be inspired.
Reserve Your Spot
  • Three days of meeting and networking opportunities with literary agents, book editors, and fellow writers
  • Panel discussions and presentations focused on honing your craft and demystifying the publishing process
  • Keynote speakers
  • Genre sessions
  • A free one-on-one consultation (for registrants who opt-in before March 15)
  • and "Practice Your Pitch" (a participant favorite from 2016).

"The most significant investment I have made as a writer. Within the first hour of the conference I made two contacts and learned something new about my book that I hadn' t realized I needed to know. The inspiration of my fellow writers was palpable."
--2016 Conference Attendee  

A Few of the Literary Agencies That Are Already Confirmed for 2017:
More agents are added every week, plus editors and keynote speakers.

"I liked the fact that the agents were willing to talk to you during the evening gatherings. As a matter a fact, they 
people to talk to them."
--2016 Conference Attendee 

If you haven' t  been to our conference before, check  out  the 2016 program  here  and please do call us if you have any questions, 512-499-8914.

"I found my agent, and I launched my publishing career."
 -Jacqueline Kelly, Newberry Honor author

Hope to see you in Austin in June! 

2017 Manuscript Contest
2017 Manuscript Contest 
January 15, 2017

Have you been working hard on an unpublished manuscript that's finally ready to see the light of day? Are you looking for some professional feedback on your work-in-progress?
Well, here's your chance! You are invited to submit a short synopsis and the opening pages of your unpublished work to the Writers' League's 17th annual Manuscript Contest. (And no, you don't have to live in Texas to enter this contest. It's open to everyone, everywhere!)
The winner in each category will meet individually with a top literary agent (and the final judge in their category) at the 2017 Agents & Editors Conference in June.
Questions? Email contest coordinator Sara Kocek at sara@writersleague.org.

Writer Classifieds
2017 New Year's Resolution: Let's Connect!

This January, in keeping with setting New Year's Resolutions, we're highlighting member benefits that will help you as a writer connect with your community. First up: our newly launched Writer Classifieds program!

On this private members-only page on our website, we'll list "classifieds" for writers looking to find writing/critique groups and partners, or even new writer friends. (Login to your membership account and click on "Writer Classifieds" in the sidebar; call our offices at 512-499-8914 if you don't have your login information.)

To add a listing to these classifieds, current Writers' League of Texas members can fill out 
this form . Read more about this new member benefit in this blog post from Member Services Manager Jordan Smith. 
Memoir Writing Class
Add Depth to Your Memoir

Do you ever wonder, "Why should anyone care about my story?"
Does the subject of your memoir seem larger than yourself?
Want to learn to include cultural references, motifs, and reflection in your book? 

No matter how exciting or meaningful the story, memoir wears thin when focused solely on individual experience. In this class:
  • Students will learn how recurring images and reflection add depth and resonance to personal narratives.
  • Students will read and discuss short passages from some of today's most exciting memoirists.
  • The fun will come as students apply these strategies to their own memoirs.
This class is appropriate for book-length memoirs and personal essays and will help with both drafting new work and revision. 
What our members are saying about the instructor: 
  • "This was the best writing workshop I have ever attended."
  • "Donna is an excellent teacher. I like the way she involves all class members and values their writing, regardless of where they are in their writing development."
For more details and registration, click  here.

Donna M. Johnson is the author of Holy Ghost Girl , a memoir deemed "enthralling" by the New York Times  and "compulsively readable" by Texas Monthly . The book made the Oprah.com Memoirs We Love list twice and took top honors at the Books for a Better Life Awards in New York. Donna's work has appeared in several anthologies as well as the Huffington Post, Shambhala Sun, The Rumpus, Psychology Today  and other publications. She is currently at work on a second memoir as well as a journalistic project.

Novel Writing Online Class
Does Your Novel 
Feel Stuck? 

Have a great idea for a novel but aren't sure how to dive in? 
Tired of giving up on novel drafts when they hit the wall?

No matter the type of novel, this class will increase students' skills and confidence to jump in head first. Discussion will explore the following areas:
  • Foundational pre-writing, getting a clearer sense of characters and their problems
  • Roadmaps, whether they be detailed outlines or a handful of bullet points
  • Crafting effective opening chapters
  • Using craft elements to expand drafts: stakes, theme, and setting
This online class is designed for students ready for their novels to crack open their shells, grow and fly to completion. 

What our members are saying about the class: 

"I'm on my fifth novel attempt. I've quit four novels, all around the 100-150 page mark. I liked the focus on outlining. I've heard too often that outlining is bad and kills creativity. After this class, I'm really going to give it a try. I also liked the idea that writing is not just drafting my scenes. I've been writing every day, but that has meant I'll work on scenes even if it's like pulling teeth. And when I force it, it shows. Finally, the idea of writing a scene summary first really resonated with me. When I don't have a clear plan, I go off on so many tangents. I'll be looking into this further."

For more details and registration, click  here.

Stacey Swann's fiction has appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal , and other journals. A former Stegner Fellow, she teaches with Stanford University's Online Writer's Studio. She's at work on Olympus, TX , a novel-in-progress she is whittling down from Texas-sized to a more modest Montana or New Mexico size.

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The Writers' League of Texas
is a non-profit corporation, funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts.        

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.


611 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 200 A-3, Austin, TX 78704/ 512-499-8914/ wlt@writersleague.org