Farewell, 2019
 
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 2019 Member News.
 
We also want to look forward to 2020 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!
A Note from the Board President
 
As the year nears its end, it's time to reflect on the WLT's 2019 accomplishments and to glance ahead at our exciting plans for 2020. First, though, I want to say thanks to those who've continued to support and grow what started 38 years ago as a backyard gathering of friends and writers into what is now the largest-and dare I say the best-literary arts organization in Texas. Among those are the current Board of Directors and WLT's outstanding staff, Executive Director Becka Oliver, Program Director Michael Noll, Member Services Director Samantha Babiak, Office Manager Kelsey Williams, Leadership Austin Fellow Neena Husid, and part-time "Project Dude" par excellence Evan Parks. Thanks also goes to our sponsors, donors, and to the way too- many-to-name-individually members and volunteers who gave countless hours of their time to support WLT's mission. Much appreciated, everyone! You're amazing!
 
Moving on, what follows is a brief, bulleted look at some of what this remarkable team achieved this year-quite possibly the reason they'll soon want to take a collective holiday break before 2020 kicks into high gear. Here goes!
  • 26th Annual Agents & Editors Conference in Austin
  • 13th Annual Summer Writing Retreat--a week-long intensive focused on craft, held for the first time at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas.
  • Texas Writes-visited 11 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 close to 60,000 kids being impacted by this program since its start in 2006.
  • Book Awards Contest--honored Texas authors in five categories with ten cash prizes.
  • Manuscript Contest--offered writers the chance to receive constructive feedback on unpublished work.
  • Year-round Classes-provided online and in-person instructor-led sessions.
  • Third Thursday-presented monthly panel discussions on the craft and business of writing that were made available to writers everywhere via the WLT podcast.
  • "Ask Us Anything," hosted a free members-only webinar where more than 150+ members asked Michael and Becka their burning questions about craft, business, and community.
  • "Texas Writes in ATX" - A 2-day, ten presenter, craft workshop held at Austin Community College-Riverside campus.
  • "Visiting Agent" program - hosted literary agent Kirby Kim in conversation with ED Becka Oliver where he discussed the role literary agents play in the development of a writer's career.
  • As if that wasn't enough, the list goes on. We also twice-hosted One Page Salon, updated our marketing brand, introduced a new logo, and soon will introduce a new website.
 
Pretty amazing, huh? With more than 1300 members and a full slate of programming that stretches from East to West, from the Panhandle to the Valley, WLT is enriching the lives of more and more writers every year, so thanks so much for being a part of the literary community in Texas-the brightest and most creative people anywhere. You rock!
 
So, what's next, ya say? All of that and much, much more! January's Third Thursday panel discussion has been announced and registration for the 2020 Agents & Editors Conference is open. (Hint: tickets are selling fast, so get yours soon!) Amazing online and in person classes are being scheduled-check'em out! --and we're already preparing for our return to the Texas Hill Country-Kerrville-for the Summer Writing Retreat. I can assure you 2020 is gonna be busy, fun, and better than ever! Happy holidays to you and yours!
 
Rodney Sprott
Board President
Diane Gonzales Bertrand (San Antonio) published her first bilingual collection of poetry for children,  The Taco Magician and Other Poems for Kids/ El Mago de los tacos y Otros Poemas para ninos  (Pinata Books, 2019) is now in bookstores and available on Amazon.

Amy Brazda (Houston) published her first children's book, Jesse Unleashed, in Summer 2019. Featured in the Houston Chronicle, signings have been "paws-i-tively" successful at premier dog resorts and bakeries, schools, and numerous children's stores. Barnes and Noble will host her in January. The book is for sale here.

Amanda Gann Churchill (Roanoke) will have her story, "Manchego," included in the special
Witness Magazine zine, "Dark Holidays," online December 21 and in print soon thereafter. 

Joanne Easley (Medina) is pleased to announce the publication of her debut novel, Sweet Jane, on March 19, 2020. The book can be pre-ordered here. Sweet Jane was a 2019 Faulkner/Wisdom Writing Competition Finalist. Joanne is editing her next novel, Just One Look, and writing another, Lauren Eaton.

Patti Fisher (Blacksburg, VA) founder of Editor World, received a Gold Stevie┬« Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year - Consumer Services - 10 or Less Employees category. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world's premier business awards.
Terry Gene (Bonham) released Causality Rebound, his 3rd novel in the Causality Series. It moves the action from 18th century Russian colonies to the spy colonies in Arlington. He's hard at work on his next novel featuring pre-contact Native American Northwest tribes. Available worldwide at all retailers here .

W. R. Klemm (Bryan) published a new book, Triune Brain, Triune Mind, Triune Worldview with Brighton Publishing. The book shows how neuroscience, mental health, and religion should be mutually informative. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Kate Manser (Austin) completed the manuscript for her first book, You Might Die Tomorrow , and grew followership of her blog and movement to 99 countries. You can learn about the book, the movement, and about how to find the urgency to really live before you die here .
Mary McCormick (Smithville) won first place in the 2019 Texas Christian Writer's Contest for her non-fiction article called "Doc". She has an article called "Love Scent" in the current issue of The Good News Journal.

Thomas Mitchell (Georgetown) published his book Winds, Waves, and Warriors in October 2019 with the LSU Press. It explains how the ocean affected amphibious landings of WWII and Korea and examines the oceanographic parameters that military planners should have considered when planning amphibious invasions. It is available from Amazon.

Deanna Roy (Austin) launched her new pen name Abby Tyler for sweet small-town romance. She released the first book in March and has already sold Portuguese translation rights to a publisher in Brazil.

Richard Z. Santos (Austin) sold his debut novel to Arte P├║blico Press for publication in March 2020. Richard also served as the critic judge for the nonfiction Kirkus Prize. You can find his book on Goodreads here.

Scott Semegran (Austin) is the winner of the 2019 Texas Author Project for Adult Fiction for his novel To Squeeze A Prairie Dog. Read the official announcement from the Indie Author Project here.

Ron Seybold (Austin) produced and narrated the audio-book of Stealing Home, a fatherhood and sports memoir published in 2019 by Skin Horse Press. The story of a road trip with a historic finale is available on Audible and iTunes, with a new hardback edition and paperbacks now sold at BookPeople.

Eva Silverfine (San Marcos) was awarded North Texas Book Festival's second place in nonfiction for her essay collection Elastic Walls: From Brooklyn to Texas and Points in Between. You can find her book here.

Bill Thompson's (Dallas) latest addition to his award-winning Bayou Hauntings series of ghostly thrillers is available now. The Experiments occurs in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana where five friends seek refuge from a hurricane inside long-abandoned Amelia House. Once they arrive, secrets are revealed and the terrifying experiments begin once again.

Rick Treon (Amarillo) earned the 2019 PenCraft Award for Literary Excellence in the suspense category for his debut novel Deep Background. You can purchase the book here. He also signed a two-book deal with Fawkes Press for a new thriller series launching in July 2020.

Larry Upshaw (Dallas) announces the Ageless Authors contest of short stories and essays (1,000 words max) and poetry (12 lines max) for writers age 65+. Judges also needed. Submit now through February 1 here.

Manning Wolfe (Austin) co-wrote and published 12 books in a new series, Bullet Books Speed Reads. Co-authors include Kathy Waller, Helen Currie Foster, V.P. Chandler, Scott Montgomery, Billy Kring, Mark Pryor, Jay Brandon, Suzanne Waltz, Laura Oles, Kay Kendall, Beth Garcia and Bill Rodgers. For more information click here.
Visit our blog for the full list of some* of our favorite reads of 2019 here.
Coming Up @ WLT
Classes, Free Programs, Deadlines, and Other Events Across the State

January 16, 2020
     BookPeople, Austin, TX   
 
 
January 18
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

January 25
Medina Community Library, Medina, TX 
 
February 1
 
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX  

Burkburnett Library, Burkburnett, TX

February 5
Online
 
February 15
 
February 29 
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

March 14

March 19
Menard Public Library, Menard, TX

March 21
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

March 28
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

Leon Valley Public Library, Leon Valley, TX

April 4
Reagan County Library, Big Lake, TX

April 18 
Nueces County Keach Family Library, Robstown, TX

April 25
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

May 9
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

May 16
Quitman Public Library, Quitman, TX

June 26-28
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.
STAY CONNECTED: