August 29, 2017

In This Issue:

Panel Discussions in San Antonio, Houston, & Dallas; New Fall Classes; and More!

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To Our Friends & Members in Houston, Southeast Texas, & Louisiana :

Our thoughts are with you during these challenging times. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at 512-499-8914 if we may be of assistance. If you're not in the area affected by Harvey but would like to support the relief effort, here are a few links for donations and support.
All our love,
WLT Staff

San Antonio -- We're Headed Your Way!
Panel Discussion: How to Turn a Mess of Pages into A Book

Monday, September 11,  6:30 pm
The Twig Book Shop
306 Pearl Pkwy #106
San Antonio, TX 78215


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. 

At three panel discussions across Texas this month, we'll be discussing strategies for shaping early drafts of book-length projects. 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.

Our panelists will be Kate Winkler Dawson (author of the forthcoming  Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City ),  Joe JimĂ©nez  (author of  The Possibilities of Mud and  Bloodline ), Chaitali Sen (author of The Pathless Sky ), and Nancy G. West (author of the Aggie Mundeen murder mystery series).

RSVP here on our website;  RSVPs are not required but are suggested. Hope to see you there!  If you can't join us in San Antonio, we'll also be visiting Houston and Dallas in October.

We're Kicking Off Texas Writes 2017-18 with Three Great Events in September!

We're so excited to kick off Texas Writes for the 2017-18 year! If you're not familiar with this program,  Texas Writes brings accomplished authors to rural libraries for a half day of presentations and panel discussions on writing topics. With support from the Tocker Foundation, we've hosted 45 visits in rural communities since 2013 and impacted hundreds of writers in communities across the state. These events are always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Our fall calendar kicks off with two events in Clifton, Texas on Saturday, September 23, and one in Shallowater, Texas on Saturday, September 30. Details below. We'll be visiting small communities in Texas throughout the year, so keep an eye on the Texas Writes page on our website for updates!

Saturday, September 23, 2017
10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
Bosque Arts Center (Hosted by Nellie Pederson Civic Library)
215 S. College Hill Drive, Clifton, Texas 76634
If you're interested in attending, please contact the library to pre-register at (254) 675-6495.
Featured authors: 
Morning session: Jennifer duBois and  Greg Garrett
Afternoon session:   Meg Gardiner and Jeremy Kraatz
More details here.

Saturday, September 30, 2017
10:00 a.m.
Shallowater School County Library
1202 12th Street, Shallowater, TX 79363
If you're interested in attending, please contact the library to pre-register at (806) 832-4951.
Featured authors: Charlotte Gullick and Donna Johnson
More details  here.

Hope to see you there! Call us at 512-499-8914 if you have any questions. And if you live in a community of 12,000 or less and would like to learn more about bringing the Texas Writes program to your local library, reach out to us at

LAST CHANCE: The Craft of Short Fiction: Telling the Story with Fewer Words and More Punch 
with Lindsey Lane
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. CST  

Learn how to  build a strong narrative arc, use  dialogue to advance plot and reveal character, bring  the setting to life with the tiniest details, and create  a balance between action and exposition .
In this class, the instructor will examine specific published stories and offer writing exercises to make every tool in your writing toolbox more accessible and easier to use. As an added bonus, participants will receive an up to date document of short story submission outlets.
  • "It was fast paced, keeping the class busy throughout."
  • "Great examples to fortify the instruction."
  • "With the prompts, I was really quite surprised at how easily I could conjure up little stories."
Online registration closes Wednesday, August 30, at 5 p.m.  
Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week.

LAST CHANCE: Better Novel Beginnings Through Character Development
with Greg Garrett
Saturday, September 2, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
Are you starting a novel and worried about getting off on the wrong foot?  Learn how to imagine your character's yearnings and foreshadow future events so that your beginning can engage your readers and prepare them for what is to come.
In this class, participants will learn how to build a character who feels compelled (internally or externally) toward change and transformation, and exercises for introducing plot and complications at the beginning of a novel.
  • "Masterful."
  • "I couldn't have asked for more."
  • "It felt like brain fuel. I needed this course."

Online registration closes Thursday, August 31, at midnight.  Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the venue, as space allows. 

Worldbuilding for Speculative Fiction
with Amanda Downum and Marshall Ryan Maresca  
Saturday, September 16, 2017
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

Learn techniques to build a rich, immersive world without infodumping or overwhelming readers. Particular focus will be given to incorporating worldbuilding into characterization and description, whether you're starting a project from scratch or want to add nuance to an existing story. 
  • Amanda was a featured panelist on the Third Thursday discussion, "Thrills and Chills: Writing to Thrill and Scare" which you can listen to here.
  • Marshall was a featured panelist on the Third Thursday discussion, "Straight Out of Science Fiction and Fantasy," which you can listen to here.
  • Both were featured in this recent Austin Chronicle story about Austin's speculative fiction writing community.

Online registration closes Thursday, September 7, at midnight.  Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the venue, as space allows. 

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!

We've all heard the statement, "It's like something out of science fiction." Changes in politics and technology often seem to resemble the invented worlds of writers like Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin. But those novelists' most famous books were written more than 40 years ago. What stories is this prescient genre creating today? What worlds do writers invent when reality seems so fantastic?
At our September 15 Third Thursday, WLT Program Director Michael Noll discussed these issues and more with panelists P.J. (Tricia) Hoover, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Adam Soto, and Rebecca Schwarz.

Member News 

New Releases & Publications
Holly Castillo (Pleasanton) will be signing her books Texas Conquest and Texas Desire at the  Barnes & Noble in Bee Caves,  Wednesday, September 13  from  4-7 pm . Her books are historical romances set during the Texas Revolution and are the first two of four books coming out this year. Visit Holly's website here.

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
September Open Office Hours will be on Thursday, September 14.   The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, September 13 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. 

Due to limited availability, please email to sign up. Please be sure to indicate whether or not you'd like to speak in person or over the phone (and provide your phone number), and outline what questions you'd like to discuss so we can be prepared for your appointment. Before you send an email, please read the OOH guidelines available here.
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

      Online Class
       Registration closes Wednesday, August 30, at 5 p.m.
      Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week.

September 2
"Better Novel Beginnings Through Character Development" with Greg Garrett 
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
Online registration closes Thursday, August 31, at midnight.  
      Walk-in registrations will be accepted, space permitting.

September 9
"Rock Star Publicity: Book Promotion for the Bold and Bashful" with Marika Flatt and Elena Meredith
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

September 11 
      The Twig Book Shop, San Antonio, TX 

September 14-16
Creatives Meet Business Experience 2017 (September 14-16)
      "Building Your Own Compelling Story" with Michael Noll on September 16 
      (ticket must be purchased for the full weekend to attend Michael's session)
      Various locations, Austin, TX
     Bosque Arts Center, Clifton, TX

September 26 

Intensive: "First Impressions Are Everything: Composing a Standout Query Letter" with Becka Oliver
     Writers' League of Texas Offices, Austin, TX
     Members Only

September 28  

"Effective Research Methods for Fiction: How Much Is Enough" with John Pipkin
     Online Class

September 30  

"The Secret to Making Picture Books" with Liz Garton Scanlon
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX   
     Shallowater School County Library, Shallowater, TX

October 6
      Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX 

October 7
"The Agent Search" with Becka Oliver
      Inprint, Houston, TX
      This class is sold out. 

October 10
      Interabang Books, Dallas, TX
October 11  
      Online Class

October 12
Intensive: "Make a Long Story Short: Writing a Novel Synopsis" with Jo Whittemore
      Mitte Carriage House, Austin, TX
      Members Only 

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 .