October 10, 2017

In This Issue:

October Third Thursday; 2017 Book Awards; fall classes; member discounts on events throughout the state

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October Third Thursday
How To Turn A Mess of Pages Into A Book

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 7 p.m.
603 N. Lamar Blvd., 3rd Floor
Austin, TX  

First drafts of novels and memoirs can begin with a spark of an idea and a rush of enthusiasm. But after 70-100 pages, that initial clarity often vanishes, along with any sense of the way forward into the book. Or perhaps you're researching for a nonfiction project, but you feel lost at the thought of organizing your notes into a coherent narrative.
This panel will discuss strategies for shaping early drafts of book-length projects and giving them direction--a must-attend event for anyone who has recently thrown themselves into a new project or wants to return to a memoir or nonfiction draft that they've put aside.
Our illustrious panelists will be: 
  • Dalia Azim, whose stories and essays have appeared in  American Short Fiction, Glimmer Train, Aperture, Other Voices, Pindeldyboz , and  Columbia Journal , among other places;
  • James Crowley, who has over 20 years of experience as a writer and filmmaker and whose second novel  Monsterland  was released this year;
  • Alison Macor, author of Rewrite Man: The Life and Career of Screenwriter Warren Skaaren and the award-winning Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids: Thirty Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas;
  • Cory Putman Oakes, author of books for young readers including The Veil, Dinosaur Boy, Dinosaur Boy Saves Mars, and Witchtown  
You won't want to miss this look at the writing process and revision. Find the event on  Facebook.

The 2017 Book Awards Are Now Open For Submissions!

The state of Texas has a long tradition of serving as a setting for and inspiring great storytelling. Honoring that tradition, the Writers' League of Texas Book Awards were established in 1991 (known first as the Violet Crown Awards before being renamed in 2008) to recognize the year's best among those stories and to celebrate the exceptional writers behind them.

Entries for the 2017 Book Awards are now being accepted. Click here to read the full guidelines on our website.

If you're attending the Texas Book Festival, stop by our booth at 3 pm on Saturday, November 4 for a toast honoring last year's winners and finalists.

Join Us TONIGHT in Dallas!
How to Turn a Mess of Pages Into A Book

October 10, 2017
7 p.m.
Free and Open to the Public

10720 Preston Rd. 
Ste. 1009B
Dallas, Texas 75230

First drafts of novels and memoirs can begin with a spark of an idea and a rush of enthusiasm. But after 70-100 pages, that initial clarity often vanishes, along with any sense of the way forward into the book. Or perhaps you're researching for a nonfiction project, but you feel lost at the thought of organizing your notes into a coherent narrative. This panel will discuss strategies for shaping early drafts of book-length projects and giving them direction. This is a must-attend event for anyone who has recently thrown themselves into a new project or wants to return to a memoir or nonfiction draft that they've put aside.

The event will feature four great panelists, including:
  • Sanderia Faye, author of Mourner's Bench, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in debut fiction and The Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit for fiction;
  • Sarah Hepola, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget;
  • Jeramey Kraatz, author of The Cloak Society and Space Runners series from HarperCollins;
  • Michael Merschel , author of the debut novel Revenge of the Star Survivors and editor at the Dallas Morning News.
Full panelist bios are available  on our website . Share the Facebook event with your friends here.

RSVPs are suggested, but not required.

   RSVP Here

Honing the Spark and Mapping Out Your Revision 
with Charlotte Gullick 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. CST
Revision may be the toughest area of writing craft to teach because it's idiosyncratic to each person's work. Somehow, though, Charlotte Gullick has found a way to offer strategies, exercises, and approaches that can be tailored to each person's unique novel, stories, or memoir. Explore strategies for assessing what you have and what is needed and how to close the gap between the two--at the same time honoring the initial  spark  that started the work. Be ready to work on the first 5 and last 5 pages of your current draft, as well as 5 middle pages. 
  • "Very rich content! Took many notes. Thoroughly enjoyed the instructor's style."
  • "The class was excellent! There was so much new material to think about. It sparked new ideas about the novel I'm now revising. At least two of the short pieces of writing we did will be part of the final draft in some form."  
Online registration closes Wednesday, October 11 at 5 p.m. CST.
All registrants will have access to the class recording until October 20.

Crafting Nonlinear Narratives
with Varian Johnson
Saturday, October 14, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
ACC Highland Campus, Austin, TX

If you're writing a novel that shifts between different characters, POVs, or time periods, then this class is for you. Learn to juggle the different sections of your book and also how to build connections between them in order to create foreshadowing, handle backstory, and create suspense. You don't need to stick to chronological order in order to create a clear, coherent story; this class will show you how.  
  • The Washington Post: "An intriguingly twisty plot."
  • The New York Times: "A thrilling ride that may con reluctant readers into settling down on the couch with books."
Online registration closes Thursday, October 12 at midnight.
Walk-in registrations will be accepted. 

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 

Classes & Workshops
Jess Hagemann (Austin) will teach a workshop on  Writing & Publishing Self-Help and Business E-Books  on  October 28 . On  November 18 , she'll teach  Graphic Novels & Novel Graphics . Each class costs $99 and participants are encouraged to register early by clicking on the links above.

New Releases
Michael Hurd (Austin), WLT Board Member, will be speaking and signing his new book Thursday Night Lights at BookPeople on Saturday, October 21 at 6 p.m.  Thursday Night Lights tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of African American high school football in Texas. More details here.

Marty Shelton's (Georgetown) new book  The Avengers: The Romance Between John Steed and Emma Peel is now available on Amazon Kindle. Print copies are available from his website . The Avengers was a popular 1960s British television series featuring Patrick Macnee as the character John Steed and Diana Rigg as Emma Peel.

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.

Community Member Q&A

"Be true to your craft but share your vision and your work with your tribe. Community will give you an anchor."
-Tony Burnett

Kallisto Gaia Press's  Winter issue of The Ocotillo Review will be published January 2018. The deadline for submissions October 31, 2017. Read the interview for more details about KGP and TOR.

Are you a business or organization interested in getting involved? Community Membership is a great way to connect with the Writers' League's membership base and share news and information about writing-related services and events. For more information on Community Membership click here or call our office at (512) 499-8914.

Join Us at BookPeople for a Conversation & Signing with Kate Winkler Dawson

Saturday, October 28, 2017, 6 p.m.
BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., 2nd Floor
Austin, TX  

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. At her BookPeople event, she'll be in conversation with WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver about her new book Death in the Air

A real-life thriller in the vein of  The Devil in the White City , Death in the Air  is a gripping, historical narrative of a serial killer, an environmental disaster, and an iconic city struggling to regain its footing.  

In winter 1952, London automobiles and thousands of coal-burning hearths belched particulate matter into the air. But the smog that descended on December 5th of 1952 was different; it was a type that held the city hostage for five long days. Mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and 12,000 people died. That same month, there was another killer at large in London: John Reginald Christie, who murdered at least seven women. In a braided narrative that draws on extensive interviews, never-before-published material, and archival research, Dawson captivatingly recounts the intersecting stories of the these two killers and their longstanding impact on modern history.

We hope you can join us us!

November Open Office Hours: With a Special Guest!

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.

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 Michael Noll will be representing! If you'd like to attend, WLT members receive a special discount. Call us at 512-499-8914 if you'd like the discount code.
Visit with Us at the ASJA Writers Conference!
Special Discount for WLT Members

February 3, 2018
Joe C. Thompson Conference Center
University of Texas
2405 Robert Dedman Dr
Austin, TX 78712

Join the American Society of Journalists and Authors in Austin for a full day of insights and inspiration for emerging and established nonfiction writers. Get inspired with a keynote speech by acclaimed novelist and essayist Sarah Bird. Hone your writing skills with sessions on interview techniques, content marketing, self-editing, and landing your first national story. Boost your business savvy with panels on personal branding and money management for freelancers, handling sticky situations with editors and more.  Network with like-minded writers over coffee, lunch, and a cocktail reception (included in your registration fee). 

We'll be exhibiting at this event, so come say hello! And, WLT members get a special discount. Just call us at 512-499-8914 for the discount code. Register or learn more at
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 10
      Interabang Books, Dallas, TX
October 11  
Online Class
Registration closes Wednesday, October 11, at 5 p.m. CST.
Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording until October 20.
October 12 
      Austin, TX 
      Members Only
       Registration closes Wednesday, October 11, at midnight. 
      ACC Highland, Austin, TX
      Registration closes Thursday, October 12, at midnight
      Walk-in registrations will be accepted. 
October 18
      Online Class
October 19
      BookPeople, Austin, TX  
October 21 
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
October 28
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

October 30
      Online Class  
November 4
November 8
      Online Class 

November 11
      Alpine Public Library, Alpine, TX  
December 9-10
      ACC Highland Campus, 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,