August 1, 2017

In This Issue:

2016 Book Award Honorees, Summer Writing Workshop, Classes, and More

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Congratulations to our 2016 Book Award 
Winners, Finalists and Discovery Prize Winners!

Year after year, a new crop of important and worthy books by Texas writers is added to the literary landscape. 2016 was no exception and we couldn't be more honored to recognize the books and authors listed here as our 2016 Writers' League of Texas Book Award Winners, Finalists, and Discovery Prize Winners.
News of the World by Paulette Jiles          
The Regional Office is Under Attack!  by Manuel Gonzales
Pull Me Under by  Kelly Luce
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith          
Discovery Prize Winner:     
The Tombstone Race by Jos é Skinner       
The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer by Skip Hollandsworth
Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story  by John Bloom
The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War by H.W. Brands 
The Glamour of Strangeness: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic by Jamie James 
Who Killed These Girls? Cold Case: The Yogurt Shop Murders by Beverly Lowry
Discovery Prize Winner:     
Amado Muro and Me: A Tale of Honesty and Deception by Robert L. Seltzer     
Hammer is the Prayer by Christian Wiman
Ultra-Cabin  by Kimberly Lambright          
Plenty by Corinne Lee
Her, Infinite by Sawnie Morris
Discovery Prize Winner:     
Take to the Highway: Arabesques for Travelers by Bryce Milligan
Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History  by Karen Blumenthal
The Radiant Road by Katherine Catmull 
Time Zero by Carolyn Cohagan 
A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
Discovery Prize Winner:     
Bloodline by Joe Jim énez
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman
Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
Lucy by Randy Cecil
Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus
Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver
Discovery Prize Winner:     
The Tale of Lucky the Dog by Lynn G. Abrams

Upcoming Class

Strategies for Structure Within a Novel 
with Stephanie Noll
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST  

Are you struggling to find a structure that works for chapters or pieces within your novel? Do you feel trapped by the minute-to-minute movement of time in particular scenes or between them? 
When organizing a novel, writers have a lot of strategies for structure at their disposal. Still, most novels are broken into chapters, and it can be challenging to figure out how to structure those chapters.
In this class, participants will learn  the function of chapters in a novel, the difference between successful and unsuccessful chapters , how to determine chapter length , and strategies for the beginning, middle, and end of chapters. Participants will read published excerpts and participate in writing exercises (on new work or their work-in-progress) so that they leave the class with a stronger sense of how to best arrange pieces of their manuscript into a coherent whole.
  • You are looking for practical ideas on how to organize a book length work.
  • Your novel chapters start with the character waking up and end with the end of a day--and you wish that they didn't.
Online registration closes Wednesday, August 23, at 5 p.m.  
Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week. 
Upcoming Class

The Craft of Short Fiction: Telling the Story with Fewer Words and More Punch 
with Lindsey Lane
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST 

Are you struggling to integrate backstory into the fabric of your story or novel? If someone asked you, "Why is this story happening now?" would you have a good answer? 
Crafting short stories requires great openings, vivid details, escalating tension, a tightly choreographed climax, and a perfect ten ending. Short stories must do everything that novels do in much less space. In addition to tackling the craft elements above, this class will also look at these very important questions: Why is this story happening now? How do you use backstory so that it works like fate on the pages of your story?

In this class, participants will learn how to build a strong narrative arc, use dialogue to advance plot and reveal character, bring setting to life with the tiniest details, and create a balance between action and exposition. The instructor will examine specific published stories and offer writing exercises to make every tool in your writing toolbox more accessible and easier to use. As an added bonus, participants will receive an up to date document of short story submission outlets.
  • You're writing short stories.
  • You're writing a novel or memoir and struggling with compression and backstory.
  • You want tips for finding the right narrative frame for your story.
Online registration closes Wednesday, August 30, at 5 p.m.  
Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week.

Writers' League of Texas Podcast  

Have you checked out our podcast lately? If not, you're missing out on an array of great discussions featuring some of our favorite writers sharing craft tips, tricks, and advice. And remember, you can now find us wherever you get your podcasts Subscribe  so you never miss an episode!

It has been said that all fiction is autobiographical to a degree.   But how can a writer borrow overtly from their past -- or someone else's? How does the writing process change when a elements in a narrative are clearly torn from real life?  In February 2016, moderator Jennifer Ziegler spoke with authors Charlotte Gullick, Varian Johnson, Ruth Pennebaker, and Mary Helen Specht on these issues and more.  Listen to this episode, " Fictionalizing True Stories: Mining Real Life for Plots & Characters ," to learn more.

Member News 

New Releases & Publications

Jennifer Ziegler (Austin) will be appearing at a family-friendly event o August 2 at 11  at Holy Grounds Coffeehouse featuring crafts, cake, and a book talk on her latest novel for kids Revenge of the Happy Campers. Admission free!

Interested in having your news listed here? Current Writers' League members can submit their news to Announcements should adhere to the following guidelines: third-person, starting with your first and last name, followed by your city of residence, maximum 50 words. We may edit your announcement for style and clarity.

Open Office Hours
We're taking an Open Office Hours break in July. The August Open Office Hours will be on Thursday, August 10.  The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, August 9 at noon. Writers' League m embers can meet one-on-one with a WLT staffer (in person or call in). This member benefit is available to all members regardless of their city of residence. Current members only. After signing up, please email to confirm your appointment time and to let us know what you'd like to discuss with a staff member.
Writer Classifieds 
Looking for a writing group or critique partner? Look no further than our Writer Classifieds. Current Writers' League members can submit their name, contact information, and additional details to be included as a listing on a private page on our website. 

Help A Fellow Writer
Austin author and Writers' League friend Jeff Abbott recently lost his home and everything in it to a fire caused by a lightning strike. Our thoughts are with him and his family (all of them safe and sound) during this difficult time.
If you'd like to help Jeff and his family, please consider contributing to the GoFundMe campaign. Thank you! 

Coming Up @ WLT
Classes, Free Programs, Deadlines, and Other Events Across the State

August 14-19
      ACC Highland and other venues, Austin, TX

August 17
Third Thursday: Writing About Myth
      Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
      Please Note: This panel will not be held at BookPeople.
      6:30 pm start time.
      Online Class
      Online Class

September 2
"Beginning Your Novel and Starting Your Story Well" with Greg Garrett
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

September 11 
      The Twig Book Shop, San Antonio, TX

October 4
"The Agent Search" with Becka Oliver
      Inprint, Houston, TX
      This class is sold out. 

October 6
      Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX  

October 10
      Interabang Books, Dallas, TX

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

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 .