October 29, 2019

In This Issue:

NaNoWriMo, Upcoming Classes, What We're Reading Now & More

November (aka National Novel Writing Month) is upon us and, whether you're officially participating in NaNoWriMo or not, we've curated a month filled with lots of writerly events to h elp get your writer brains working. But we also don't want you to get bogged down in word counts and revisions. Commit to spending time with fellow writers for the next 30+ days. We know you'll find that any goals you decide to set for yourself in November are not as impossible as they may seem when you've got an entire community cheering you on. 

Whether you live in Austin or anywhere across the state of Texas (or beyond), we've got something planned for you: in person or from your favorite comfy chair!
Ask Us Anything  
with Michael Noll and Becka Oliver  
Monday, November 4, 2019
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. CST 
Writers' League Executive Director (and former literary agent) Becka Oliver and Program Director (and author of  The Writer's Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction ) Michael Noll will answer your burning questions about writing and publishing in a live webinar, plus any questions you have about the WLT and our programs and events. (Can't make it? The recording will also be made available to everyone who signs up.)
It's going to be a fun, informative event that is open to all WLT members (no matter where you live). You can also invite a +1! Just let us know on the form we send when you RSVP.  
DEADLINE TO REGISTER:  Monday, November 4, 5:00 p.m. CST

We've curated seven opportunities for you to write in a group setting this month (quiet, in public, no program, in partnership with some of our favorite organizations and members). That's a total of 16 hours of writing! 
Just show up and write. You can RSVP to receive a reminder email by clicking on the date(s) you wish to attend.  
Writers' League-sponsored write-ins at the Austin Public Library
Free and open to the public.
6:00 -8:30 p.m. each night 
Writers' League-sponsored write-ins at Lark & Owl Booksellers
Free and open to the public.
205 W 6th St Suite 101 
Georgetown, TX 
Write-ins sponsored by Deanna Roy at Cenote Coffee Shop 
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cenote Coffee Shop*
1010 E. Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX
*Parking along street and at the church lot one block north.
Sprinting wars with prizes
Attendees average 2000 words per night.
Look for the NaNoWriMo sign.
Click the titles for more information 
The Craft + Business of Writing: Kerrville Edition  
with Michael Noll and Becka Oliver
Saturday, November 2, 2019
10:30 a.m. 
Butt-Holdsworth Library, Kerrville, TX 
with ten authors, plus Michael Noll and Becka Oliver 
Saturday, November 9, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Noon to 6 p.m.  
ACC Riverside, Austin, TX 
with Michael Noll and Becka Oliver
Saturday, November 16, 2019
5:30 p.m.
Lark & Owl Booksellers, Georgetown, TX 
with Michael Noll 
Thursday, November 21, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Huston-Tillotson University, Agard-Lovingood Auditorium, Austin, TX 
The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret to Successful Story Structure 
with Jill Chamberlain    
Saturday, November 2, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
ACC Highland, Austin, TX 
In this information-packed class,  author and script consultant Jill Chamberlain will walk through the Nutshell Technique, the method she created to visually demonstrate to writers the difference and to show them how to transform mere situations into surprising and satisfying stories.
Participants will learn:
  • the eight linked elements required to successfully tell a story and not just present a situation
  • how the protagonist's central flaw is the single best writing tool you're not fully utilizing
  • how to find that "inevitable yet unexpected" ending that both surprises and satisfies audiences.
Appropriate for all levels of writers, from those completely new to screenwriting to those who have already finished scripts. The Nutshell Technique can be used with film screenplays, television scripts, and novels.
  • "I'm a novelist, but this class gave me different ways of looking at story structure."
  • "While she was covering her theory of screenwriting structure, I was able to start outlining my next script. I left the class excited about my next project."
Online registration closes Thursday, October 31, at midnight. Walk-in registrations will be accepted as space allows. 
Throw More Stones: How to Build Your Character Through Conflict 
with Samantha M. Clark   
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST
No matter whether you're writing a character-driven or plot-driven story, comedy, drama or tragedy, it's the characters that readers follow. And to keep those characters moving and growing, you need conflict. Conflict can be big or small, come from outside or inside, but it must be challenging. When story gurus tell students to chase their characters up a tree then throw stones at them, they're talking about conflict. Conflict not only drives stories forward, it helps readers learn who the characters are by the decisions and actions they make. Conflict makes the story go round!
In this class, you'll learn about developing well-rounded, fully realized characters, the importance of conflict, types of conflict and how to use it to make your stories better.
Character-Driven and Intricately-Plotted Mysteries 
with Sherry Thomas     
Saturday, November 16, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
ACC Highland, Austin, TX 
Learn an approach to mystery writing that focuses on characters and conflict rather than figuring out your plot in advance.
Bestselling author Sherry Thomas shares her secrets for building a well-paced, well-structured mystery organically, by drawing on what a writer already knows about storytelling and characters-in-conflict. There's often an expectation that mysteries, because of their twists and turns, require a detailed outline, but this class will offer strategies for creating and finding conflicts as you go.
Ten Steps to a Leaner, Cleaner, Meaner Manuscript    
with Tex Thompson   
"The instructor was energetic and knowledgeable. The slides were excellent."
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST
Do your sentences sag? Does your description drag? Or is your manuscript simply struggling to lose those last 5,000 words? Never fear! Now you can trim and tone your prose in a fearless, fun session that's guaranteed to leave your work leaner, cleaner, and meaner than ever before. Come learn how to take your writing style from flab to fab!
Sparkling Sentences and Glitzy Grammar     
with Tex Thompson  
"Hilariously entertaining; super smart."
Wednesday, November 20, 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!
WLT Program Director Michael Noll recently picked up Heather Harper Elletts's debut novel, Aint't Nobody Nobody: 

" Heather Harper Ellett's country crime novel Ain't Nobody Nobody gets all three [essential aspects of rural novels] right."

Our Leadership Austin Fellow, Neena Husid, thoroughly enjoyed Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren:

" From birth to her ridiculously young death, the story of how this quirky, overly bright, artistic soul blossomed into a larger than life legend grabs you as urgently as her mind-bowing voice once did."

WLT Administrative Assistant Catherine Gregoire, couldn't put down Walter Mosley's Elements of Fiction:

"Not many guide books on writing have left me entranced by the voice while also learning practical tools and tips like Mosley's has."

WLT Project Specialist Evan Parks, recommends Julie Murphy's newest novel, Dear Sweet Pea:

"Murphy describes the complexities of human relationships and life in a way that's full of hope and empathy."

Read their full accounts on our blog here
Member News

This spring  Lindsey Lane (Austin) will be teaching the Introduction to Children's Literature course at the Austin Community College South campus. This is a great opportunity to learn about children's writing and try your hand at it. It is a 16-week class on Tuesdays from 6:00-8:30pm, starting on January 21st. This course is being offered for credit and for continuing education. This is the best deal in town in terms of getting an overview of children's literature in theory and practice!

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!  On the second Thursday of every 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 November will be held on Thursday, November 14. 
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

November 2
     ACC Highland, Austin, TX  
      Online registration closes Thursday, October 31, at midnight. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows. 
     Butt-Holdsworth Library, Kerrville, TX 
November 4
November 6 
      Austin Public Library, Carver Branch, Austin, TX 
November 7
     Cenote Coffee Shop, Austin, TX 
November 9-10
     ACC Riverside, Austin, TX   
November 12
     Austin Public Library, University Hills Branch, Austin, TX  
November 13
     Austin Public Library, Windsor Park Branch, Austin, TX  
November 14
Group Write-In      
Cenote Coffee Shop, Austin, TX
November 16
     ACC Highland, Austin, TX
     Lark & Owl Booksellers, Georgetown, TX  
November 19
     Online Class 
November 20
     Online Class   
     Austin Public Library, Windsor Park Branch, Austin, TX  
November 21
     Agard-Lovingood Auditorium, Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, TX  
December 7-8
     Writers' League of Texas offices 

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,