Farewell, 2018
We've got a lot to be proud of this year -- more than 50 classes, another successful conference, dozens of events across the state, and hours of podcast episodes. Our members 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' achievements. Congratulations, truly, to everyone. 
See the article below for 2018 Member News.
We also want to look forward to 2019 and an already chock-full schedule of great programming:
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 Certificate.
Happy Holidays, y'all!
A Note from the Board President
As the end of the year draws near, it seems the perfect time to reflect on the Writers' League of Texas's 2018 accomplishments and to glance at what lies ahead. First, however, let me thank those who've continued to perpetuate and grow what started 37 years ago as a back-yard writing (and commiserating) group into what is today the largest literary arts organization in Texas. Those stalwarts are the Board of Directors and an outstanding staff, led by Executive Director Becka Oliver, including Program Director Michael Noll, Member Services Manager Kelsey Williams, and Administrative Assistant (and the one who keeps the trains running on time) Samantha Babiak. Thanks also to the WLT's sponsors and donors and to the many, many members and volunteers who give countless hours of their time to support its mission.
Here's a brief, bulleted look at some of what our remarkable team achieved this year--possibly why they may feel the need to take a collective breath before 2019 kicks into high gear. In 2018, the WLT planned, hosted, and managed the following:
  • 25th Annual Agents & Editors Conference in Austin--sold out!
  • 12th Annual Summer Writing Retreat--a week-long intensive focused on craft, held for the first time in East Texas at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.
  • Texas Writes--to date, this program has visited more than 50 rural libraries across the state, offering free and open half-day craft workshops for writers.
  • Project Wise--brought published authors into Austin area schools - 75 visits!--with more than 50,000 kids being impacted by this program since its start in 2006.
  • Book Awards Contest--honoring Texas authors in five categories with ten cash prizes.
  • Manuscript Contest--offering writers the chance to receive constructive feedback on unpublished work.
  • Year-round Classes--both online and in-person sessions with amazing instructors.
  • Book Festivals--a presence at festivals in Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin.
  • Third Thursday--monthly panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, made available to writers everywhere via the WLT podcast.
You get the idea. The WLT team was busy! And not just at the home office in Austin. In 2018, our staff visited and presented programs to an impressive list of communities, large and small, across this great state of ours. Alpine, Beaumont, Bridge City, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Krum, Lubbock, Midland, Nacogdoches, Odessa, Plains, San Antonio, Sonora, I could go on and on. With more than 1400 members and a full slate of programming that stretches from East to West, from the Panhandle to the Valley, the WLT is enriching the lives of more and more writers every year.
As I look back on the impressive year that is coming to a close, I find myself thinking "Well, that sure was fun." How about you? Want to do all that and perhaps even more next year? I do, and I hope you do, too. January's Third Thursday panel discussion has been announced and registration for the 2019 Agents & Editors Conference is open. (Hint: tickets are selling fast, so get yours soon!) Online and in person classes are coming together and we're already scouting locations for the summer retreat. 2019 is going to be fun, I have no doubt.
In closing, thanks so much for being a part of the literary community in Texas, for supporting and sustaining the work we're doing at the WLT. Year after year, there are more and more opportunities for us all to hang out with and learn so much from other writers--the brightest and most creative people anywhere. Here's to more of that in 2019. Happy Holidays from all of us, to you and yours.
Rodney Sprott
Board President
Len Bourland's (Dallas) SMU continuing ed course on self-publishing returns 1/28; 2/4; and 2/11 from 6:30-8:00pm. 
James Dean Jay Byrd's (Austin) experimental, collage-style memoir about grow up in the closet, Fumbling for the Knob, includes several play chapters. Two can be seen at FronteraFest on January 31, more info here. All will be produced by Salvage Vanguard Theater later in 2019.

Linda L. Carlow (Alvarado) published Seth's Door, a time-travel romance set in Fort Worth in 1981 and the late 1800's. She is working on the sequel. The book can be purchased here.

Karen Fort (Edinburg) notes that her book, A Feast of Reason (State House Press, 2017) is still available.  It is about the life of James Madison Hall, a farmer and a city mayor who kept a daily journal throughout the Civil War, describing life in Texas during those chaotic times.

Lucy Griffith (Comfort) a finalist in the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Contest is pleased to announce the publication of We Make a Tiny Herd, poems to honor the Burro Lady of Far West Texas. You can pre-order her book here.

Kat Kronenberg's (Austin) best selling book Dream Big was the Writer's League of Texas Discovery Award Winner for Picture Books in 2018. Kat also received The Mom's Gold Choice Award as one of their top picks for 2018.

Alison Macor (Austin) signed with University of Texas Press to publish her third book. The Best Years of Our Lives: The Forgotten Classic That United a Nation will chronicle the making of the 1946 Academy Award winner that changed the way we talk about PTSD.

Michael Noll (Austin) published The Writer's Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction (find it here) and the short story "Foreign Exchange" in Crazyhorse (read it here) .

Jordan Elizabeth Smith (Austin) had a food journalism feature published in a national magazine. If you're a fan of women-owned businesses, cute goats, or great cheese, read online here or buy the Autumn 2018 print issue at Antonelli's in Austin. P.S. Jordan misses working for WLT!

Larry Upshaw (Dallas) is now accepting entries in the third annual Ageless Authors International Writing Contest for writers age 65 and older. Earn cash prizes and publishing. Submit entries here.

James Wade signed a three-book deal with Blackstone Publishing. The deal, which includes Wade's debut novel, was brokered by Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media. For release dates and other news visit here.

Jessica Wilbanks (Houston) released her debut memoir, When I Spoke in Tongues: A Story of Faith and Its Loss (Beacon Press). The book received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly and was excerpted in The Guardian, Salon, the Houston Chronicle, and LitHub. To purchase, click 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 2018 Agents & Editors Conference wouldn't have been the same without our wonderful sponsors: 


Finally, thank you to Samantha Clark and Hailey Clement, 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!
Coming Up @ WLT
Classes, Free Programs, Deadlines, and Other Events Across the State

     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
     Friench Simpson Memorial Library, Hallettsville, TX
January 28
January 30 
     Online Class 
February 2 
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
February 7 
     Online Class 
February 9
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
February 12 
     Online Class 
February 13 
     Writers' League of Texas Offices, Austin, TX 
February 19
     Online Class 
February 23 
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX  
March 2-3
     ACC Highland, Austin, TX 
March 9
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
May 25
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
June 28-30 
     Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX  

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

Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to  www.arts.texas.gov .  

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities,
visit www.arts.gov.