December 10, 2019

In This Issue:

Gift Certificates, New Class Package, Member News & More

It's hard to believe that it's already mid-December and before we know it, it will be 2020. Between now and then: 'Tis the holiday gift giving season, and we have just the thing for you.

Do you have an impossible-to-buy-for writer in your life? Maybe your brother is at work on his memoir, or perhaps you have a friend who's been talking about an idea for a novel for years but she's not sure where to start. And what about that young person you know with the runaway imagination of a born storyteller?

It's now easier than it's ever been to share with someone the gift that keeps on giving: The full array of WLT programs and services. Check out our Gift Certificate form (link below) and explore the many gift possibilities, including: 
  • Membership: We especially love this option for young writers, and our Student rate is only $15 -- the perfect stocking stuffer. If you opt to gift a membership, your writer friend will be entitled to a full year of great benefits, including one-on-one consultations with staff, steep discounts on all of our programming, opportunities to promote their projects in our newsletter and at festivals, bookstore discounts, and more. 
  • Class Registration: This includes our online class option that writers anywhere can enjoy, as well as half-day Saturday classes in Austin. Upcoming topics for 2020 include classes on first pages, point of view, creating conflict, and more.
  • 2020 Agents & Editors Conference Registration: For that extra deserving writer on your list, this weekend-long event, now in its 27th year, is a crash course in traditional publishing (complete with face time with literary agents and editors) and is not to be missed. 
OR you can choose a specific dollar amount and your lucky gift recipient will receive a credit to use however they'd like on our programming and services. 

Our online form makes it easy to order a gift certificate for delivery via USPS or email (you pick the date you'd like them to receive it, plus a customized message, and we'll do the rest). Just in time for the holidays!

Give the gift of writing this holiday season. It's priceless.

Fill That Blank Page: Three Classes to Fire the Imagination 
This package includes three classes at a discounted member rate of $40/class (or $120 total for a savings of $27)The full description of each class can be found by clicking on the class title. To purchase the package, click here
with Stacey Swann 
Saturday, January 18, 2020   
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
Writers often have a great idea for a novel but aren't sure how to dive in. Or they have already begun but hit an early wall. No matter the type of novel, this class will increase students' skills and confidence to jump in head first. Discussion will explore the following areas:
  • Foundational pre-writing, getting a clearer sense of characters and their problems
  • Roadmaps, whether they be detailed outlines or a handful of bullet points
  • Crafting effective opening chapters
  • Using craft elements to expand drafts: stakes, theme, and setting
with Antonio Ruiz-Camacho 
Saturday, February 15, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX  

Writers are often asked, "Where do you get your ideas?" The answer is usually some version of this: "All around me." We draw upon current events, personal memories and family anecdotes, and weird news from all sorts of media for our storytelling material. It's an impulse that comes naturally, to hear a story on the news and think, "I should write about that." The best writers know how to turn those random, unexpected pieces of inspiration into fully developed essays, stories, and novels.  
This class will teach students to observe reality with the eyes of a journalist and the imagination of a fiction writer in order to translate facts and events into riveting stories in any genre.
with Richard Santos 
Saturday, February 29, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
This class will review the common pitfalls of autobiographical writing. How do you know what to include? How do you know what to cut? Why isn't it enough to tell an interesting story? And what happens once I finish the thing? This class picks up where Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's class, "Twisting Facts into Stories" leaves off: with strategies for developing the stories your own life and experiences have generated. 
This is not quite a class for memoir writers-although it will discuss memoir best practices.  And this isn't quite a novel writing workshop-although it will look at examples of successful autobiographical novels.  This is a class for writers learning how to shape their own knowledge and experiences into a well-written book. Participants will explore their writing goals, undertake generative writing exercises, and make a plan for their future work.

Did you have a book, short story, or article published in 2019? Did you win an award or distinction? Did something exciting happen in your writing life this year? 

Let us know! 

Our next Footnotes newsletter will be a special year-end edition and we'd like to include a significant Member News section that highlights some of the wonderful things that have happened within our WLT community this year. 

If you're a current WLT member and you'd like to be included, please fill out  THIS FORM with details about something from 2019 you're celebrating as the year draws to a close -- i.e., your book's publication, publication in a journal or magazine, an award or honor you received, or maybe the launch of your blog or website. You can also include up to one website address that we will hyperlink to. (It's okay if you already included this news in one of our Footnotes newsletters this year.) 

Deadline is close-of-day Thursday, December 12, 2019. 
Sparkling Sentences and Glitzy Grammar     
with Tex Thompson  
"Hilariously entertaining; super smart."

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST
Are you tired of apologizing for your lack of syntactical savvy? Sick of crying in your commas, panicking over prepositions, and second-guessing your sentences? It's not too late to become a confident writer! Join us as we ditch the sentence diagrams and MLA handbooks to focus exclusively on the grammar issues that are relevant for storytellers of all stripes - in a fun, fearless, fast-paced workshop guaranteed to leave you feeling empowered and inspired!

Registration closes Tuesday, December 10, at 5 p.m. CST.
All registrants will have have access to the class recording for one month.
The Straight-Up Skinny on How to Submit to Journals
with M. M. Adjarian 
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST
Getting work into journals is a great way to begin building your literary credentials. But writers new to the submissions game are often mystified - even needlessly daunted - by the process. Where do you go to find out which journals are accepting work in your genre? How do you present your work to editors? And what happens on the way to an acceptance?
In this class, you'll learn about submissions best practices through a guided tour of the major online platforms to use when submitting and in-depth discussions of the submissions process.  The class is intended for any writer who has material to submit...or just wants the straight-up, no-bull skinny on the journal submission process.

Registration closes Wednesday, December 11, at 5 p.m. CST.
All registrants will have have access to the class recording for one week.
WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver recently picked up Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas by Stephen Harrigan: 

"I'm not sure which I admire more - the unbelievably exhaustive research that must have gone into this book or the brilliant and beautiful prose that brings that research and the Lone Star State to life."

WLT Program Director Michael Noll thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer duBois' The Spectators :

"When you spend years writing and reading like a writer, you can sometimes believe that you've lost the sense of magic that good writing holds. You see the smoke and mirrors, the trap doors, and diversions. And so when the wondrous sense of impossibility of a great passage hits you, the impact is even stronger..." 

WLT Leadership Austin Fellow, Neena Husid, loved Laurie Filipelli's Girl Paper Stone

"The smart, clear-eyed poems of Girl Paper Stone evoke a laconic urgency that's both prescriptive and addictive. "

Read their full accounts on our blog here
Member News

Diane Gonzales Bertrand (San Antonio) published her first bilingual collection of poems through Arte Publico Press called The Taco Magician and Other Poems for Kids/El Mago de los tacos y otros poemas para ninos. She will give readings across Texas in 2020, including the San Antonio Book Festival April 4, 2020.

Cynthia Leitich Smith (Austin) has teamed with Rosemary Brosnan, Vice
President, Editorial Director, HarperCollins Children's Books, to launch
the Heartdrum imprint, which will publish Native-focused books for young
readers. The first list is scheduled for winter 2021.

San dra Spicher (Lago Vista) on behalf of the  Austin Romance Writers Association presents Larry Brooks, " Elevate Your Novel: Criteria-Driven Story Development."  Examine element-specific criteria across the arc of a story using checklists. This event will take place on February 29, 2020 at the Norris Conference Center in Austin. For more information or to register: click 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.
Open Office Hours
Sign up for a one-on-one meeting with a WLT staffer! E very month, the Writers' League is happy to open its doors for an opportunity to schedule a 30 minute meeting with a staff member in person or over the phone. Bring all of your burning questions on the craft and business of writing!

Open Office Hours for January will be held on Wednesday, January 8.

Note: In 2020, we will hold Open Office Hours on the second Wednesday of every month.
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

December 10
 Online Class   
 Registration closes Tuesday, December 10, at 5 p.m. CST.
 All registrants will have have access to the class recording for one month. 
December 11
     Online Class
     Registration closes Wednesday, December 11, at 5 p.m. CST.
     All registrants will have have access to the class recording for one week.
December 31 
       Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX      
This pricing expires December 31 at midnight.
January 16, 2020
     BookPeople, Austin, TX  
Last chance to register for the "Fill That Blank Page" Class Package at the special discounted price. 
January 18
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
February 15
February 29 
     St. Edward's University, Austin, 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 .  

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,