July 18, 2017

In This Issue:

July Third Thursday, Summer Writing Workshop, Classes, and More

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July Third Thursday
The Secret to Great Picture Books

Thursday, July 20, 2017, 7 PM
BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., 3rd Floor 

Do you have fantastic idea for a picture book but aren't sure how to go about committing the story to paper? Or maybe you've completed your manuscript, but you're at a loss when it comes to the ins-and-outs of the publishing industry. This panel will deconstruct the parts and structure of picture books, answer commonly asked questions, and discuss the business of getting books published.  Join four picture book authors and/or illustrators for this conversation: Chris Barton, Jason Gallaher, Liz Garton Scanlon, and Emma J. Virj√°n.   Find the event on   Facebook .

And remember, if you can't make it in person on July 20, the recording will be available (alongside past Third Thursday recordings) as a podcast.

Upcoming Class

July 19, 2017
6:30 - 9:30 pm CST
Jump Start Your Novel
with Sara Kocek

From plotting an outline to polishing an opening page, the class will cover everything a writer needs to kick-start a manuscript with compelling tension and a vivid, distinct, voice, including:
  • How to create a flexible outline that grows with a novel
  • Simple methods for organizing a work in progress
  • The six elements of a strong beginning
  • How NOT to open a first chapter
  • How to set -- and raise -- the stakes of a novel
Who should register:
  • Writers who are just beginning the process of working on a novel
  • Writers who are knee-deep in the process and want to hone their opening pages
  • Anyone who has an idea for a novel, but doesn't know where to start
Online registration closes Wednesday, July 19, at 5 p.m. 
Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week.

Are You Ready to Change Your Writing Life? Attend the 2017 Summer Writing Workshop!
Ever want to step away from life's distractions, focus on your craft, and get inspired? 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. Seats are still available in four of our classes!

Not sure which class to take? Do you...

...have a great idea for a novel or short story but aren't sure how to dive in?

Stacey Swann's class, "The Fiction Hatchery: Moving Ideas to the Page Through Characterization, Plot, Setting, and Theme," is for you! This week-long version of one of our most popular classes  will give you the skills and confidence to jump in head first. Find out more and sign up here.

...want to write a winning nonfiction essay?

Back by popular demand, Texas Monthly's Michael Hall is an expert in writing long-form narrative nonfiction. In addition to learning from this award-winning journalist about the fundamentals of constructing a nonfiction narrative, students who take his class   "Capturing Real Life: Long-Form Narrative in a Short-Form World"  will also be treated to a tour of the Texas Monthly offices.  Find out more and sign up here.

...want to learn how to write poetry from an award-winning poet?

Sasha West is new to this event, but she's far from new to the poetry world: She's an award-winning poet and sought-after instructor. Students in Sasha's class  "Making Meaning: Writing and Revising Poems That Help Us Understand the World" will emerge with new angles of approach for both drafting and revising meaningful poems, whether they're beginning poets or veterans of the craft. Find out more and sign up  here .

...have a finished manuscript, but aren't sure what to do now that it's time to revise and edit?

Carol Dawson is one of our most beloved instructors, and we're so excited she's back to once again walk students through the process of editing and revising. Her class "The Joy of Revision: Editing and Revising Your Manuscript for the Marketplace" is appropriate for novelists, memoirists, and nonfiction writers alike, and students will receive personal edits from Carol on the first five pages of their manuscript. Find out more and sign up  here, and read a Q&A with Carol about her class here.

You can find more information about the week and hotel accommodations here on our website.  Hope to see you in August! 
Questions? Email us at or call 512-499-8914. 

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!

Horror writers like Stephen King and thriller writers like Gillian Flynn make us fear for their characters and look over our own shoulders. But it's not as easy as writing, "Suddenly someone jumped out of the dark!" How do novels create that spooky, white-knuckle effect?
In October, WLT Program Director Michael Noll spoke about these topics and more with writers Amanda Downum, Meg Gardiner, Amy Gentry, and Scott Johnson. Listen to this episode, "Thrills and Chills: Writing to Thrill and Scare," to learn more.

Member News 

New Releases & Publications
Glen Aaron (Midland) announces the release of his new novel The Curse of Sacerdozio: A tale of judicial conspiracy. It is a legal thriller/mystery featuring political intrigue, judicial deceit, and greed in the US Supreme Court. The book is available on  Amazon.

Shelli Cornelison (Buda) announces that her short story "Pirate Smile" has been published by Monkeybicycle. Shelli was also a WLT manuscript contest finalist. Read "Pirate Smile" here.

JoDee Neathery (Mabank) announces the publication of her debut novel,  Life in a Box. Its publication completes a five-year journey. This multi-layered saga rich with humor and heartache, discovery and growth asks the question, "how much would you sacrifice to hide a secret?" Visit JoDee's website here.

Robert Schwab (Dallas) is pleased to announce the release of his second novel, Back Side Of A Hurricane, which is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A talk and book-signing will be held at Interabang Books, in Dallas, on  August 10. Visit Robert's website  here.

Lilas Taha (Houston), winner of the 2017 International Book Award in Multicultural Fiction genre for her novel  Bitter Almonds , will conduct a month-long workshop on novel writing Saturdays in September at Fig Writers' Studio. C reate believable characters and learn story development, scene, imagery, conflict, adequate dramatization and ending. More details  here .

Awards & Honors
Nancy G. West's (San Antonio) book River City Dead (Aggie Mundeen Mystery #4) is July's recommended read in Rio Magazine, premier publication for San Antonio's River Walk. In this book, Aggie and SAPD Detective Sam plan a rendezvous on the River Walk. Mischief, mayhem, and murder intervene.

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.

2017 Special Board Election Results
Thank you so much to all members who voted! By an overwhelming majority, the entire slate of board members was confirmed. Please reach out to us at if you have questions related to this process or if you'd like to learn more about board service. We'd love to hear from you!
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. 
Coming Up @ WLT
Classes, Free Programs, Deadlines, and Other Events Across the State

July 19

July 20
     BookPeople, Austin, TX     

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

August 16
      AFS Cinema, Austin, TX

August 17
     The Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
     ***note that our August Third Thursday is NOT at BookPeople 

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 .