A Fond Farewell to 2017

2017 is almost over, and at the end of the year, we like to take a moment to reflect. We've got a lot to be proud of this year -- a year full of in-person and  online classes, our podcast, our conference, and events in towns and cities across Texas! Our members - from Buda to Sulphur Springs, from San Antonio to Dallas -- have finished writing projects, published books and articles, served on panels, traveled the world, won awards, and more. And that's why our last newsletter of the year is always dedicated to celebrating our members' 2017 achievements. Congratulations, truly, to everyone.  See the article below for 2017 Member News.

One final thing: if you're still on the hunt for a last-minute Christmas gift for a writer in your life, consider a Writers' League Gift CertificateCheck out our new Gift Certificate form here and explore the many gift possibilities, including membership, class registration for online and in-person classes, the 2018 Agents & Editors Conference Registration, or a specific dollar amount. Our online form makes it easy to order a gift certificate for delivery via USPS or email. 

Happy Holidays, y'all!
Irene Aldrich's (Austin) book Bits of Blue Taffeta: Remembering the Forgotten Generation was published by Palmetto Publishing Group, an imprint of Arcadia Publishing. The book chronicles experiences of children growing up during the Great Depression, World War II, and postwar years. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.

Russell Ashworth (Austin) published his debut novel, Souls of Men, in April (Crooked Lane Books). His second novel, Two-Faced, was accepted for publication in November. He's currently working on the third novel in the Elaine Hope series of mysteries.

Stephanie Barko's (Austin) 2017 highlights include mentoring writers at SXSW Interactive, moderating at the Texas Book Festival, and presenting a client at BookExpo in NYC. Stephanie looks forward to presenting to the Las Vegas Writer's Conference in 2018 and hopes to be in Glasgow for the Historical Novel Society UK Conference. Visit her website here.

Chris Barton (Austin) received an Orbis Pictus Honor from the National Council of Teachers of English for his latest nonfiction book, Dazzle Ships. He's putting the finishing touches on his next nonfiction book, What Do You Do With A Voice Like That?, a picture book biography of Barbara Jordan.

Sandra Blair (Austin) finally published her book Alphabet Animals: I Spy My ABCs. She is currently illustrating and writing Book 2. She placed 10th (adult story) and Honorable Mention (children's story) in the 2016 Atlantis Short Story Contest and was a finalist in the WOW! Winter 2017 Flash Fiction Contest. 

Len Bourland (Dallas) continues to teach popular continuing education publishing courses. Her course "How to Self-Publish Quickly, Professionally, and Economically to Get into Bookstores" will be held at SMU over three nights in Jan/Feb. Register here

Paige Britt's (Georgetown) debut picture book Why Am I Me? received four starred reviews and was included on Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews best books of 2017 lists. Learn more here.

Chris Cander (Houston) sold her most recent novel The Weight of a Piano to Gary Fisketjon at Knopf for publication in January 2019. So far, it has sold in six foreign territories in four pre-empts and two auctions. Read more about Chris's work here.

Jerry Craven (Jasper) had two books published in 2017 by Angelina River Press: Ceremonial Stones of Fire, stories from SE Asia where Craven lived for 2 years; and Parallel Hours, a time-travel novel co-written with Andrew Geyer. Both books are available to order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Laura Creedle (Austin) published her YA novel The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily this year, available online here. She is working on a new YA novel about Austin Girls Rock Camp.

Lucia DiStefano (Georgetown) was recently awarded the 2018 Helen Sheehan Book Prize for her Young Adult novel; Borrowed will be published by Elephant Rock Books in the fall of 2018. This will be her first book. You can read the judges' comments here.

Mae Edwards (Waller) published her autobiography Stolen Options this year. She shares how her faith sustained her through many trials and tribulations of foster care, an alcoholic step-father, an abusive husband while in the USAF, battling breast cancer, and many other obstacles. Purchase through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Amber Elby (Austin) released her debut novel  Cauldron's Bubble in September. It is an enthralling work of original fiction that deftly weaves characters from Shakespeare's most magical plays into a novel that appeals to younger readers and older generations alike. More information is available here.

Dixie Lee Evatt and Sue Meredith Cleveland, aka Meredith Lee, (Austin) published their book Shrouded: A Crispin Leads Mystery this year. Shrouded, a 2017 WLT Manuscript finalist, received a starred Blue Ink review. You can purchase the book here.

Sharon Feldt (Sulphur Springs) published Sarah O'Shea and the Wacky Faucet this year. The Scary Hair of Sarah O'Shea won the Grand Prize in the 2017 Red City Review Book Awards. She is currently working on another Sarah book and a Christmas book. Books sold on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Patricia Flaherty-Pagan (Houston) is excited to announce that her collection of award-winning short fiction Enduring Spirit will be published by Spider Road Press in Spring 2018 and her award-winning crime story "Padre" has been featured in Tales of Texas from Houston Writers House, available here.

Lauren Flake (Buda) published her second picture book, Where Did My Sweet Grandpa Go?: A Preschooler's Guide to Losing a Loved One. Her first book, Where Did My Sweet Grandma Go?, received a Mom's Choice Awards Gold Medal and was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist. Find more information here.

Greg Garrett (Austin) published his latest nonfiction book, Living with the Living Dead, with Oxford University Press in May. This year he talked about the book at BookExpo, the Edinburgh and Texas Book Festivals, and for BBC Radio, Playboy, Vice, The Spectator, Google Talks, and 50 other media sources.

James Garrison (Houston) won an award for literary fiction from the Military Writers Society of America for his novel QL 4, and his poem "Lost: On the Staten Island Ferry" was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize. See more on QL 4 and his poetry here.

Joe Giordano's (Austin) second novel, Appointment with ISIL: An Anthony Provati Thriller, was published by Harvard Square Editions in June. Joe was among one-hundred Italian-American authors invited by Barnes & Noble to march in the Manhattan Columbus Day Parade. Read the first chapters of Joe's novels here.

Walt Gragg (Georgetown) released his debut novel The Red Line (Berkley) in May. The book received a coveted boxed, starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named Best Book Award Winner in the Thriller/Adventure Category at the 14th Annual American Book Fest. It has been optioned to Hollywood.

Jeanette Hargreaves (Austin) wrote and illustrated LĂ­ona the Lionheart: An Old New Fairy Tale. It's a special story for big and little women alike. Learn more here.

Gina Harlow (Austin) had her essay "Tan Lines" accepted for publication by Narratively, forthcoming summer 2018.

Jo Ivester's (Fort Worth) book, The Outskirts of Hope, was a silver medalist for the May Sarton  Women's 2015-2016 Book Award in the Memoir Category. This book about her family's experience in the Civil Rights Movement in the segregated Deep South is available here. Jo is now working on a new book about her transgender son.

Jennifer Jackson (Austin) began drafting her Fantasy novel Florum this year. Florum is about a group of girls who work together to save the world.

Frankie Joseph (San Antonio) celebrated the release of her new book Called to the Marketplace: Leadership Lessons for Christian Entrepreneurs and Professionals. You can buy her book here.

Vicki Joyner (Austin) added new priorities in 2017: growth and health. Through Charlotte Gullick's WLT summer workshop, she studied craft. Using GoodReads, she enjoyed fifty books. By hiking and good nutrition, she strengthened and lost eighty pounds. As a Literacy Partner, she returned to a first-grade classroom.

Lindsey Lane (Austin) is pretty freaking delighted that The Ocotillo Review selected "The Knee Poem" as the Editor's Choice in their upcoming edition. Also, this recent interview about her YA novel Evidence of Things Not Seen talks about the craft of writing a missing protagonist.

John Langenfeld (Austin) had personal essays appear in Entropy, The Threepenny Review, and Barnstorm Journal. He was also a finalist for the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize 2017. Follow him on Twitter or contact him via his website.

Greg Levin (Austin) won a 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award for his novel Sick to Death. (This was Greg's second "IPPY" award.) In October, he published his fourth novel, In Wolves' Clothing, which has already received ample critical acclaim.You can buy the book here.

Victoria Hodge Lightman (Houston) published flash fiction in the following journals: Found Polaroids Project, both online and in print; "If The Shoe Fits" in  Cutthroat Journal of the Arts, Volume 22, Issue 1, page 50; and "Tales: Some True, Some Not," in Glass Mountain, Vol. 19.

Maureen Lomo (Austin) published her women's fiction book Tenth Year in the Sun this year. She is hard at work on its dramatic sequel. You can purchase the novel at BookPeople or on Amazon.

Susan Morrison's (Austin) book  A Medial Woman's Companion: Women's Lives in the European Middle Ages was translated into German and won a number of awards, including the Gold Medal in College Nonfiction from Literary Classics and 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award: Bronze Medal in Women's Studies. Purchase the book here.
JoDee Neathery (Mabank) realized a dream five years in the making with the publication of her literary novel  Life in a Box in July and was honored to receive a signing slot in the WLT booth at the Texas Book Festival in November. The book is available on her website and at Book People, Paragraphs on Padre, and other select independent bookstores.

Laura Oles (San Marcos) released her debut mystery  Daughters of Bad Men on November 14. The first in a new series, published by Red Adept Publishing, this novel introduces skip tracer Jamie Rush and her partner Cookie Hinojosa as they take on an emotional missing persons case. Visit her website here.

S.C. Perkins (Houston) won the 2017 Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. As always, she's working on her next mystery novel. Find out more at her website and @SCPerkinsWriter on Twitter and Facebook.

Norma Inman Schmelling (Fair Oaks Ranch) is writing columns for The Hill Country Weekly. Most of her columns are about her travels to Africa, but she has also written about the challenges of downsizing, attending a citizenship naturalization ceremony of a former student, and being at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Pearl Harbor.

Stacia Seaman (Austin) and co-editor Sandy Lowe published their anthology Girls Next Door this year. They are currently working on their next anthology.

Martin Shelton (Georgetown) has updated his website to include his new monograph titled The Avengers: the Romance Between John Steed and Emma Peel.

Elisabeth Commanday Swim (Houston) published her second book Piano without Tears for grownups who love music and want to share it with their kids (no prior training needed!). Piano Without Tears and her first book Generous Attention for Stressed-Out Grownups who Love their Kids are available on Amazon. When not writing food poems, she enjoys flying kites.

Bill Thompson (Dallas), an award-winning author, published three thrillers this year. The latest is Callie: The Bayou Hauntings. He's working on his next novel. You can find his books on Amazon and get more information here.

Helen Thompson's (Austin) book Marfa Modern has gone into a second printing. She is currently working on another book about Texas modern architecture.

Patricia Vermillion's (Dallas) Hound Dawg was featured at the 48th Annual LBJ State Park Tree Lighting on December 17. You can purchase this book from the LBJ State Park or online here. Her new book, Have You Seen My Family, will be published in 2018 by TCU Press.

Nancy G. West (San Antonio) is delighted that River City Dead is a Finalist for Chanticleer's Mystery & Mayhem Award. Aggie and Detective Sam's rendezvous on the San Antonio River Walk during Fiesta is marred by mischief, humor and corpses. River City Dead is Book 4 in the Aggie Mundeen Mystery Series. Purchase here.

Kate Winkler Dawson (Austin) published her debut book Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, The Great London Smog, and the Strangling of A City. She's now working on a book about a genius killer in Gilded Age New York. You can purchase Death in the Air here.

Gay Yellen (Houston) won The Chanticleer Mystery & Mayhem Award and The Readers' Favorite Mystery Award for The Body Next Door, Book 2 in The Samantha Newman Series, available online here.

First, let's hear it for our wonderful Community Members!

Community membership in the Writers' League of Texas allows businesses and organizations to support our programming and services.

Our year-round programming receives valuable support from the following folks (thank you, thank you, thank you)!:

And the 2017 Agents & Editors Conference wouldn't have been the same without our wonderful sponsors: 

Finally, thank you to Samantha Clark, for helping us with our Online Classes; to Sara Kocek, for wrangling our Book Awards and Manuscript Contest; and to Anne Stevenson and Jane Sharpe, amazing designers, for making us look good all year long. We couldn't do it without you!

Our offices are closed Dec 15-Jan 1. 
See you in 2018!