June 3, 2020
Hello, writers.

With so much going on in the world and much of it not great (what an understatement), we opted to not share these congratulations yesterday as we had originally planned to. Instead, we stepped back from promoting our programs and services and hit pause on mailers and social media posts.

Today, we feel like sharing some good news. We could use it, and we imagine many of you could too. To that end, and on behalf of everyone here at the WLT, we hope you'll join us in celebrating the winners and finalists for the 2020 Manuscript Contest. Across ten categories, with hundreds of entries to read, our judges had the unenviable job of selecting the submissions they felt were most deserving of this honor. It's a long list - more than forty names! - and we are so happy for each and every one of these writers.

We're also grateful to the many writers who aren't listed here who entered the contest and reminded our judges, again and again, just how talented our community is. Keep at it, please. And remember that we are here for you.

Congratulations, everyone. Thank you for giving us something to celebrate.

WLT Staff
GENERAL FICTION

WINNER
White Feathers  by Claire Mitchell

FINALISTS
TailFins  by Hamilton Beazley
Sisters of the Cloth  by Monique Danye
The Astronomer and Her Daughter  by Erin McGuff-Pennington
The Songs of Keni James  by Lee Reed
Naylor in the Coffin  by Rust Strong
How to Measure Things No One Can See  by M.C. Williams

NONFICTION (GENERAL NONFICTION & MEMOIR)

WINNER (General Nonfiction)
Corrected  by Maria Timm

WINNER (Memoir)
Little Dove  by Julie Gray

FINALISTS
Baby Rocker: Life and Death in the NICU  by Cathy Chapaty
Tender the Dark  by Grace Lightfoot Chairez
I've Seen You Naked Over 8,000 Times: Marriage and Other Risks of a One-Night Stand  by Ilene Haddad
The R.O.T. War; Texas' Fight for Secession  by Donna Marie Miller
Deliverance from Adultery  by Sara Parker
 
HISTORICAL FICTION 

WINNER
The Miracle of Kryshenshok  by Danielle Resh

FINALISTS
The Hellions  by Mitch Baranowski
TailFins  by Hamilton Beazley
Sisters of the Cloth  by Monique Danye
Warrensburg  by Fleury Sommers
 
SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY

WINNER
Trap Street  by Christopher Kerns

FINALISTS
Seer's Song  by Amanda Bennett
The Elementals  by Haleigh Dean
The Alistair Scrolls: The Unusual Murder of Countess Abigail Hector  by Neil Flinchbaugh
The Miracle of Kryshensho  by Danielle Resh
 
MYSTERY

WINNER
The Alistair Scrolls: The Unusual Murder of Countess Abigail Hector  by Neil Flinchbaugh

FINALISTS
Wolf of White Sands  by Robert Ashcroft
Hardscrabble Homecoming  by K.P. Gresham
Wrongs Hushed Up  by Elizabeth Tschurr
The Rich Get Dead  by Joy Zeigler
 
ROMANCE

WINNER
Elise and Jack  by Amanda Waters

FINALISTS
A Season of Clarity  by Donna Milakovic
Paroxysm  by Haley Peck-Law
Elisabeth With an "S"  by Sharon Roberts
Winter at Candlesend  by Amanda Wenger
 
THRILLER/ACTION ADVENTURE

WINNER
Mr. Lodol  by DF Salvador

FINALISTS
Murder is Personal  by BJ Condike
The Redhead at Café Du Monde  by Evelyn Donahoe
The Undoing: Escaping the Mob  by Francis Hicks
Almirante by Morning  by Don M. Patterson
 
MIDDLE GRADE

WINNER
The Pleiades Puzzle: A Constellation Clues Mystery  by Lee Reed

FINALISTS
The God Thieves: Hunger of Ammit  by Brad Christy
Lucy Renkin  by Parker Dorris
Desert of Dreams  by Sarah Kay Ndjerareou
Mae Morgan: Supernatural Detective  by Mary Osteen
The Reasoner's Apprentice  by Jennifer Tavares
 
YOUNG ADULT

WINNER
The Color of Gravity  by Roger Patrick

FINALISTS
TailFins  by Hamilton Beazley
Friday Night Fever  by James Brooks
Flower in the Ash  by Amélie Corner
Shame Chamber  by Sean Craypo


You can also find this list of winners and finalists on our website, here !
Thursday, June 4, 2020  
8:00 - 9:30 p.m. CDT
Streamed to your computer
Recorded for you to watch later 

Join WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver in conversation with a publishing insider (Michelle Howry, Executive Editor at Penguin Random House) and a published author (Carolyn Cohagan, author of the novel  The Lost Children  as well as the  Time Zero  trilogy) as they consider this much-debated and often bewildering age old question: "Do I traditionally publish or do it myself?"

During this live Zoom webinar, our panelists will answer any questions submitted in advance via  this Google form  and there will also be time for questions throughout.

Chat box chatter will be encouraged - it's a great way to connect with writers and socialize while social distancing.

This event is free and open to anyone, but you will need to RSVP. Follow the below to our event page (where you can also read full bios for our two special guests), sign up, and we'll send you a link to the webinar. Easy!

Hope to "see" you there!
 
DEADLINE TO RSVP: Thursday, June 4, 6:00 p.m. CDT
Saturday, June 6, 2020  
8:00 - 9:30 p.m. CDT
Streamed to your computer
Recorded for you to watch later 

One of Austin's most beloved reading series - One Page Salon - is going virtual and teaming up with the Writers' League of Texas every month for a special evening of quick readings, feel good fundraising, and lots of literary shenanigans.

One Page Salon (called "the best literary evening in town" by the  Austin American-Statesman ) is the brainchild of novelist, screenwriter, and comedian  Owen Egerton . For this special June 2020 event, five outstanding authors will read one page from a work in progress - which means the audience will be among the first to hear original new material from these talented writers. The brilliant and funny (and brilliantly funny) Owen Egerton will emcee.

Our readers for June 6: Tim Bauer, Bill Cotter, Sanderia Faye, Jennifer Hritz, and John Pipkin.  You can find their full bios on our event page.

All proceeds from this June event will go to support the newly announced Deep Vellum Emergency Fund for Texas Literary Artists (more about the fund below). IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION, simply select the "Suggested Donation" option. If you'd like to donate more than $10 (thank you for considering it!) increase the number from 1 to whatever.

Of course, we also know that many in our community are experiencing lost wages and work right now and we don't want this event to be cost prohibitive. If you can't make a donation this time around, simply select RSVP and you'll be added to the registration list at no charge, no problem!

DEADLINE TO RSVP: Saturday, June 6, 6:00 p.m. CDT
ABOUT THE DEEP VELLUM EMERGENCY FUND FOR TEXAS LITERARY ARTISTS:

The second largest state in the country, Texas is home to thousands of writers of all different backgrounds and walks of life. But with the publishing and book distribution industries on hold as a result of COVID-19, many of these writers are experiencing dire financial insecurity.

On May 13, Dallas-based nonprofit publisher Deep Vellum, launched the Deep Vellum Emergency Fund for Texas Literary Artists, the only statewide initiative to provide financial support for Texas writers through the COVID-19 crisis. As long as funds last, Deep Vellum will be awarding grants of at least $200 to Texas writers who demonstrate financial need.  The fund was started with a generous gift from a Deep Vellum board member, and now the Writers' League of Texas is partnering with Deep Vellum to help grow the fund. All donations made by anyone registering for the Saturday, June 6, One Page Salon event will support the emergency fund.

In addition, if you are a writer who would like to apply for the fund, you can submit an application  here . The deadline for applying for this first grant cycle has been extended to  Monday, June 8.