May 23, 2017

In This Issue:

2017 Manuscript Contest Winners & Finalists, Summer Writing Workshop, Classes,
Agents & Editors Conference, and More

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Announcing the 2017 Manuscript Contest Winners!
Thank you to everyone who submitted to our 2017 Manuscript Contest! What a stellar pool of submissions we had this year. We're so pleased to announce our 2017 Manuscript Contest Winners & Finalists. Congratulations, all!
Winner:  Julie Dalton
Finalists: Jane Estes, Tabitha Forney, Anna Near, DF Salvador, Rodney Walther

Winner:  Roger Collier
Finalists: Richard Cunningham, Alberta Deacon, Wendy Lym, Frank Kavanaugh, Linda Bennett Pennell

Winner: Shirley Redwine
Finalists: Wendy Gee, Lisanne Davidson, Meredith Lee, Robi Polgar

Winner in General Nonfiction:  Barry Cotton
Winner in Memoir: Jenny Fleming
Finalists: Bella LaVey, Michelle Olmsted, Ursula Pike 

Winner:  Julia Lee
Finalists: Diane Owens Prettyman, Lara Reznik, Masha Sukovic

Winner:  Katie Drake
Finalists: Kathy Benjamin, Brandi Endres, Courtney Larsen, Robert Witherspoon

Winner:  Summer Dale
Finalists: Annette Montez Kolda, Linda Bennett Pennell, Tom Rhyne, Robert Witherspoon

Winner:  S.E. Witschorke
Finalists: Erin Golden, Polly Holyoke, Lange Kawamura, Mobi Warren

Winner:  Flor Salcedo
Finalists: Lindsey Beilue, Shelli Cornelison, Adrienne DeWolfe, Kim O'Brien, Diane Owens Prettyman

NOTE: At this time, all critiques have been sent to any manuscript contest entrants who requested them. If you have not received your critique, please email with "Have not received my critique" in the subject line.

Registration Now Open!
Ever want to step away from the constant distractions of everyday life and spend a week with your fellow writers immersed in your craft and drawing inspiration from the literary community? Here's your chance.
From August 14-19, 2017 we'll host our annual Summer Writing Workshop in Austin for the first time. Think of it as a staycation if you live in town - or a chance to experience the city's literary community firsthand if you're from outside ATX. We're offering six classes, all taught by experienced and highly rated instructors, one of which has already sold out. Full class descriptions, including instructor bios, can be found on our website; click on the class titles below for more information.
You can find more information about the week and hotel accommodations here on our website. Please note: the price for hotel accommodations will jump after May 31. Hope to see you in August! 
Questions? Email us at or call 512-499-8914. 

Upcoming Classes

May 27, 2017
9 am - 12 pm
with Brian Yansky
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

This class will explore two different ways of approaching conflict in fiction. Inner conflict, as Faulkner said, is about the human heart in conflict with itself. External conflict, on the other hand, requires that we, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut, be sadistic with our characters so we can see what they're made of--which hints at the numerous unpleasant situations we can put a character through. The goal is to keep the reader turning pages and developing what the story is all about. 

In this class, students will identify and discuss different kinds of conflict (conflict with loved ones, enemies, society, nature, technology, and the supernatural) and how to use them in novels and stories. 

Find more info here on our  website Registration closes Thursday, May 25, at midnight. Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the venue, as space allows. 

June 3, 2017
9 am - 12 pm
Crafting Openings that Hook the Reader
with Nan Cuba
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

A story opening should multi-task. Not only must it capture the reader's attention; it should suggest the protagonist's gender, age, class, race or nationality; establish the setting, tone, and point of view; and hint at the plot's conflict. An opening should perform like a well-written query to an editor, telegraphing the kind of story that will follow. Opening with an introspective first-person voice sets up a story that will focus on thoughts and emotions of a person wrestling with an internal problem. Opening with actions between several characters indicates a story about an event and its ramifications. Several characters in conversation would signal an ensuing clash between people's attitudes and opinions.

During this half-day class for fiction and nonfiction writers, students will read examples with a professional eye, closely analyzing these and other craft techniques used to open classic stories.

Find more info here on our website.  Registration closes Thursday, June 1, at midnight.  Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the venue, as space allows. 

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. Last June, Becka Oliver (WLT Executive Director) and Lance Fitzgerald (VP, Director of Subsidiary Rights for The Crown Publishing Group at Penguin Random House) spoke about the art of pitching in query letters and in-person. If you're attending our 2017 A&E Conference, this is a must-listen! Find the podcast at the link below.

"The most significant investment I have made as a writer."
- 2016 Conference Attendee

Click  here  for more information on the 2017 Agents & Editors Conference, including registration details and a listing of confirmed agents, editors, and speakers. 

Meet the Faculty

Will Evans, Cinestate
Will Evans  is president and co-founder of  Cinestate , an entertainment studio established in 2016 with the film producer Dallas Sonnier, combining book publishing, film production, and audio experiences. In 2013, Evans founded Deep Vellum Publishing, a nonprofit literary publisher dedicated to translating the world's best novels into English. To read an interview with Will, click  here.

"Write with a sense of urgency palpable enough to hook a reader from the first page, and never let them go."
-Will Evans

Actively Seeking
Fiction: Literary, Mystery/Suspense, Thrillers, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Short Fiction, Horror, Action/Adventure
Nonfiction: True Crime

Tatiana Ryckman, Awst Press
Tatiana Ryckman  is the Editor-in-Chief of Awst Press, an Assistant Editor with  sunnyoutside , and former Managing Editor at  The Austin Review . Tatiana is a hands-on editor who works closely with authors to create the best possible version of their manuscript. To read an interview with Tatiana, click here.

"Often, we can learn more about ourselves through reading about the experiences of someone else. We can learn empathy through gaining an understanding of the world as we have not experienced it. It lets us know we're connected, that we're in this whole 'life' thing together." 
-Tatiana Ryckman

Actively Seeking
Fiction: Literary, Short Fiction, Poetry, Graphic Novels
Nonfiction: Narrative, Current Events, History, Pop Culture, Essays

Find the full list of  agents and  editors on our website. For more details on pricing and to register, click below.

Upcoming Class

May 24, 2017
6:30 - 9:30 pm CST
Marketing Beyond the Basics
with Shennandoah Goodson

The authors with the most creative marketing are the ones who truly stand out and get attention. They look  beyond social media, blogging, and media interviews to alternative methods of marketing and connecting with readers. This class will cover:
  • Alternative methods of marketing including events, competitions, video, cross-selling, and other strategies.
  • Case studies of authors who have successfully marketed "outside the box."
  • Ways authors can "borrow" ideas from other experts and sectors such as business, retail, celebrities, and more.
Find more info here on our website.  Registration closes May 24 at 5 pm CST. If you are not able to attend the live class, you will be able to watch a recording for one week following the live event.

Member News 

Book Signings
Alison Macor (Austin) will be reading from and signing copies of her new biography  Rewrite Man: The Life and Career of Screenwriter Warren Skaaren (a Publishers Weekly Staff Pick) at BookPeople in Austin on  Sunday, June 4 at 2 pm. Find more details  here.

Classes & Events
Jess Hagemann (Austin) will be teaching a class titled "Introduction to Screenwriting" on  Saturday, June 17. This 3-hour class will cover screenplay format, story beats, character and dialogue development, and also includes a group workshop component. Register here.

Jordan Smith (Austin) recently launched her gluten-free cooking blog, Small Comforts Kitchen. Her food photography was also recently featured in the Austin-American Statesman. Subscribe to her blog here.

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.  

Meet the Members
"If I were stranded on a deserted island, I'd want to have  The Norton Anthology of American Literature . I'd have such a variety of creative voices to keep me company."

-Chip Dameron

If you're a Writers' League member and you'd be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at for more information. It's a great way for our community to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you're working on!

Open Office Hours
June Open Office Hours will be on Thursday, June 8.  The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, June 7 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. 
Coming Up @ WLT
Classes, Free Programs, Deadlines, and Other Events Across the State
Registration closes Wednesday, May 24, at 5 pm.

May 27 

"Developing Conflict in Fiction" with Brian Yansky
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
Registration closes Thursday, May 25, at midnight. Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the venue, as space allows. 

June 3  
"Crafting Openings that Hook the Reader" with Nan Cuba
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
Registration closes Thursday, June, at midnight. Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the venue, as space allows. 

June 15
     Book People, Austin, TX     
June 30-July 2 
2017 Agents & Editors Conference
     Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX   

August 14-19
2017 Summer Writing Workshop
      ACC Highland and other venues, Austin, TX  

September 11 
     The Twig Book Shop, San Antonio, TX

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 .