October 24, 2017

In This Issue:

2017 Texas Book Festival; 2018 Manuscript Contest; fall classes; member discounts on events throughout the state

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Come Say "Hello!" To Us at the Texas Book Festival

November 4-5, 2017
State Capitol Grounds 
Booths 320-321, Exhibitor Tent 3
Austin, TX  

We love participating in the Texas Book Festival every year, and we're excited to announce some extra special Writers' League events that we hope to see you at during what is always a pretty amazing festival weekend.
On Saturday, join us at 4 p.m. for a Writers' League of Texas panel discussion in the Texas Tent (on Congress Avenue & 8th Street). We'll be talking  to authors Owen Egerton, Amy Gentry, Skip Hollandsworth, and Michael Hurd about the enduring draw of the Lone Star State, and why writing about its unique landscape, complex history, and compelling people never gets old. Moderated by WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver, this "Obsessed with Texas" conversation promises to be fascinating. Hope to see you there!
And if you're free beforehand, join us at our booth (Booths 320-321, Exhibitor Tent 3) at 3 p.m. for a champagne toast to celebrate the 2016 Book Award Honorees. Every year, we take a pause during the busy weekend to raise a glass to our winners and finalists. Stop by, enjoy some bubbly, and support terrific Texas authors. Full list of honorees can be found here .

On Sunday, if you have little ones, head to the Children's Activity Tent (on Congress near 9th street) at 3 p.m. for a fun watercolor activity with author/illustrator Salima Alikhan, sponsored by our Project WISE program. Salima will lead the children through a hands-on project to make beautiful art that mimics natural phenomena like snow, coral, leaves, and rain.

We're also thrilled to once again have several of our members signing their books at our booth all weekend long. The signing schedule is available here. Keep an eye on our blog next week for more information about these great authors!
Hope to see you there!

Have you been working hard on an unpublished manuscript that's finally ready to see the light of day? Are you looking for some constructive feedback on your work-in-progress? Would you like the chance to sit down with a literary agent in person to discuss your project?
You're invited to submit the opening pages of your unpublished work along with a short synopsis to the Writers' League of Texas's 18th annual Manuscript Contest. (And no, you don't have to live in Texas to enter this contest. It's open to everyone, everywhere!)
The winners in each category (for the first time!) will receive a complimentary registration to the WLT's 2018 Agents & Editors Conference (yes, you heard us right!) and will meet individually with a top literary agent (and the final judge in their category).  All entrants who opt for a critique--whether winners or not--will receive feedback on their submission from an experienced editor.
Best of all, you do NOT need to have a complete, finished manuscript to enter this contest. All you need are the first (roughly) ten pages of the manuscript plus a synopsis that describes the rest of the book you have planned.

The Novel Hatchery: Moving a Novel Idea Into Its First Draft  
with Stacey Swann        
Monday, October 30, 2017
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST
Are you planning to tackle a new novel during National Novel Writing Month? Or, do you have an unfinished novel draft that's been sitting in a drawer, calling your name? Every brilliant novel  idea eventually succumbs to the reality of novel  writing: you need to figure out where the story is going and who will be transformed by the ride. This means using pre-writing, character sketches, and outlines--tools that help not only keep the novel on track but also get it started on the right foot. In this class, crack open your novel and grow it to completion. 
  • "The various ways she outlined to move your story forward, combined with the craft books she mentioned, were incredibly helpful, a veritable tool chest of tricks and tips to return to whenever the going gets rough."
  • "I really found the "Dates of Future Past" exercise to be extremely helpful."
Registration closes Monday, October 30, at 5 p.m. CST.  
Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording until November 7.  

How to Get Writing Gigs with Marketing and PR Agencies  
with Shennandoah Goodson        
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. CST
Good news for writers: The demand for copy in marketing and advertising is going up, but the supply of skilled writers hasn't. If you've ever wondered, "How can I make money doing freelance writing?" this is the class for you.
Discover what opportunities are available to writers at marketing and publicity agencies, how to secure gigs, and how to act like a seasoned professional. Learn what types of agencies are hiring, who's in charge of contracting writers and how to contact them, the types of projects writers work on, how to price services, industry lingo, and other best practices.
  • "Everything about this class was an 'aha' moment."
  • "Her classes are providing exactly what I hoped they would."
  • "She is a wealth of information."
Registration closes Wednesday, November 8, at 5 p.m. CST.  
Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording until November 16.  

Plotting Your Book with Scenes and Narrative Arcs
with Stuart Horwitz         

Saturday, November 11, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
ACC Highland, Austin, TX
For many writers, outlines are great until they fall apart and are discarded. But then we get lost and off track, and so we return to the outline, updating it--and then the same thing happens all over again. What if there was a way to combine the structure and sense of direction of an outline with the freedom and creativity of writing blind?  
This class will introduce a new approach to "plotting." Rather than trying to create a single narrative arc for your book, Stuart will show how most books have multiple arcs and show you how to discover yours by looking at your manuscript scene by scene. 
Everyone who registers for the class will receive a complimentary copy of Book Architecture , Horwitz's practical craft-of-writing guide, which offers different detailed outlines based on well-known books that anyone can adapt to their own work.
  • "If you have yet to consider how series/throughlines intersect and/or interrelate in a story, then this book is a must-read."
  • "I love the approach to writing a book based on how often and when ideas or elements happen rather than plots or "pinch" spots."
  • "Some powerful advice (and not your run-of-the-mill story structure advice either) with some comprehensive case studies. Highly recommended.
Registration closes Thursday, November 9, at midnight.

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!

Member News 

Kate Winkler Dawson (Austin) announces the following signing events for Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City:
  • Austin: October 28, 6 p.m. - BookPeople, in conversation with Becka Oliver, WLT Executive Director
  • Dallas: November 8, 7 p.m. - Half Price Books (5803 E Northwest Hwy), in conversation with Mike Merschel of the Dallas Morning News
  • Houston: November 10,  6:30 p.m. - Murder By The Book
  • San Antonio: November 16, 5:30 p.m. - The Twig Bookstore, in conversation with O. Ricardo Pimentel of the San Antonio Express-News
Meredith Lee (Austin), aka Dixie Lee Evatt and Sue Meredith Cleveland, will be at BookPeople o Friday, November 10 , at 7 pm to talk about their debut thriller,  Shrouded, A Crispin Leads Mystery To get a book signed at the event, purchase a copy from BookPeople. Visit Meredith Lee's website here.
Chick Morgan (Wimberley) announces an intimate, small group Descanso Writers Retreat and Workshop in Tuscany, Italy, with Nathan Brown, Ph.D., acclaimed poet, author, and songwriter. Taking place May 16-May 23, "Writing Life From Your Five Senses" will explore memoir, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and song through the sights, sounds, tastes, music, and wine of Tuscany. For more information, please go to or email Chick Morgan at .

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 - Kate Winkler Dawson

"Writing a book is a thorough education that's invaluable to anyone hoping to learn more about themselves."

-Kate Winkler Dawson

Kate Winkler Dawson is one of WLT's success stories. She met her agent at our Agents & Editors Conference and is an active member of our writing community. Her debut book Death in the Air was released this month. 

Read her interview below, and catch her at BookPeople on Saturday, October 28, at 6 p.m., where she'll be in conversation with Becka Oliver, followed by a signing of Death in the Air. 

November Open Office Hours:
Meet with a Creativity Coach!
November Open Office Hours will be on Thursday, November 9.  The deadline to sign up is Thursday, November 2.  We're excited to offer appointments with a very special guest at this month's Open Office Hours:  Gina P. Woodruff  (The Austin Creativity Coach) will be offering free 30-minute coaching sessions. 
Are you struggling to overcome distractions, resistance, or procrastination in order to meet your writing goals? Are you looking to become more disciplined or establish meaning and purpose in your creative work? Reach out and connect with someone who understands your creative challenges. T he Austin Creativity Coach will guide you to develop realistic goals and focus on expediting real-world solutions.

If you book an appointment with Gina, come ready to discuss a specific challenge you are having in regards to your writing life. Those who book an appointment with Gina will be required to fill out a brief pre-appointment questionnaire.
Due to limited availability, please email to sign up.  Before you send an email, please read the OOH guidelines available  here If you'd like to speak with Gina, please include "Austin Creativity Coach" in the subject line. If you'd like to speak with a WLT staff member, please outline what questions you'd like to discuss so we can be prepared for your appointment. Please also indicate if you'd like to speak in person or over the phone (and provide your phone number). 
Note that Executive Director Becka Oliver will NOT be available in November due to travel. You can schedule appointments with her for our December Open Office Hours, taking place on Thursday, December 7.

HOUSTON AREA WRITERS: Come Say "Hello" at the Writers' Family Reunion!
Special Discount for WLT Members

November 11, 2017
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Silver Street Studios
2000 Edwards Street
Houston, TX 77007

The Writers' Family Reunion  is a one-day gathering and Build-Your-Writing-Community event designed to give writers an opportunity to develop friendships with other writers, learn from more experienced writers, and fortify their knowledge of craft and career. All levels and all genres are welcome! 
Just as a family reunion nourishes ties amongst long-lost relatives, the Writers' Family Reunion is an opportunity for the large, diverse family of writers living in and near Houston to come home to one another and nurture the deep love of writing that we share.

Come visit the Writers' League booth in the exhibitor area, where Program Director Michael Noll will be representing! If you'd like to attend, WLT members receive a special discount. The discount code is WLTMEMBER.
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

October 28
BookPeople, Austin, TX
October 30  
      Online Class  
      Registration closes Monday, October 30, at 5 p.m. CST
      Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording until November 7.

November 4-5
      State Capitol Grounds, Austin, TX
      Find the WLT at Booth 320-321 in Exhibitor Tent 3. For a list of WLT events at the festival, click here.

November 8
      Online Class 

November 11
      ACC Highland, Austin, TX

      Alpine Public Library, Alpine, TX

      Silver Street Studios, Houston, TX

November 16
      BookPeople, Austin, TX

November 18
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

December 2
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

December 5
      Online Class

December 9-10
      ACC Highland Campus, Austin, TX

December 11
      Online Class

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,