September 3, 2019

In This Issue:

Texas Book Festival, New Fall Classes, Member News,  & More 

ATTENTION WLT MEMBERS: Join us at the Writers' League booth at next month's Texas Book Festival! (The most fun literary weekend of the year. Guaranteed.)

October 26-27, 2019
Texas State Capitol and Grounds
Austin, TX

We love the Texas Book Festival (like, looooooovvvvvve it) and we especially love the chance to connect with so many authors, readers, members, and more during the action packed weekend. We'll host a special "Obsessed with Texas" panel in the Texas Tent, raise a glass to our WLT Book Award honorees on Saturday at our booth, and have loads of great materials and fun items to give away throughout the two day extravaganza. More on all of that to come as it gets closer...

In the meantime, for our current WLT members, we are once again offering an opportunity to promote, sell, and sign your books during one of our 45-minute promotion slots at our Texas Book Festival booth. The guidelines are fairly simple, and the process for submitting your name and book for consideration is easy -- find the guidelines and link to apply when you click the button below. 

If you're wondering what all the weekend has in store - beyond what's happening at our WLT booth - be sure to visit the Texas Book Festival site for updates, information on featured authors, details on where you can buy books during and before the event, volunteer opportunities, and more. 

Hope to see you in October!
How to Give and Receive Writing Critiques  
with John Pipkin  
Monday, September 9, 2019
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Are you in a writing group but not sure how to give good feedback on others' work?

Are you interested in taking an Advanced Craft Workshop through the Writers' League of Texas but haven't taken a formal workshop in the past? (If you haven't, past participation or current registration in this class is required.) Workshops for both fiction and memoir are scheduled for fall 2019.
Giving and receiving good feedback is a learned skill that writers can develop and hone, and learning how to participate in and benefit from a workshop can be invaluable to any writer looking to take their craft to the next level. Allowing other writers to critique your work in a group setting (where you critique their work in turn) offers fresh eyes and a fresh perspective, helps you to zero in on problems you might be overlooking, strengthens your skills as a reader, and opens the way to communing with your peers in a safe, nurturing environment.
  • You're not sure how to discuss craft in a practical way that allows you to give concrete advice.
  • You want to become better at translating others' advice for your writing into practical strategies that you can use.
Registration closes Monday, September 9, at 5 p.m. Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week. 
The Agent Search: Tips, Tricks, and Timeless Advice     
with Becka Oliver     
Saturday, September 14, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
Learn the process and expectations for finding a literary agent for your book.
Join a former literary agent for an informative, candid, no-holds-barred class on finding the ideal agent for you-and how to navigate the relationship once you've found that perfect match. This class will cover everything from nailing your pitch and presentation materials, identifying the most promising agents to approach for representation, avoiding the pitfalls that lead to rejection, asking the right questions (and never ever the wrong ones), and most everything in between. 
  • You're ready to begin the querying process for your book.
  • You're looking for common practices for communicating with literary agents.
  • You want to know how to write a query letter.
Publishing 101: What Authors Need to Know About the Publishing Business      
with Leila Sales      
Saturday, September 14, 2019
1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
Being a writer is a craft, but being an author is a career. Get an insider's view of how the book publishing business works.
This class aims to demystify the inner workings of the publishing business for authors: those approaching their first publication as well as those who have books out and those who simply want a better understanding of the business side of things. Writers who will benefit most from this class are those who find the publication process to be something of a black box and want to have more control over their relationships with publishers. Topics covered will include how responsibilities are divvied up within a publisher (as well as what responsibilities are the author's), how to understand the terms of your contract, how your books' finances and rights work, how to interact most effectively with your editor and publicist, and much more about what to expect all the way from submission through publication.
  • You're wondering how long the submission process takes and what happens while a book is out.
  • You're looking for common practices for dealing with book covers and in-house publicists.
  • You have practical questions about book sales and royalty checks.
with Jess Hagemann  
Application Deadline: Thursday, September 5
Saturday, October 19, 2019
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday, October 20, 2019
12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  
Location: Writers' League of Texas offices, Austin, TX  
This two -day workshop is designed to address the needs of the intermediate or advanced fiction writer. In an intimate setting (10 students maximum), registrants--with the guidance of an experienced instructor--workshop pages from a short story or novel excerpt, submitted in advance. This experience (modeled after the MFA workshop style) is an invaluable opportunity for writers to both receive and offer constructive criticism, delve into the more complex elements of writing, and take their craft to the next level.  
Applications close on Thursday, September 5, at midnight. Everyone who is accepted will be notified by Monday, September 16.  
For full details, click the link below. 
First Impressions Are Everything: Composing a Standout Query Letter     
with Becka Oliver   
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
6:00 to 8:30 p.m. 
Writers' League of Texas offices, Austin, TX 
In this special evening intensive class, you will learn the necessary components of query letters in the classroom component, and then work on your own letter in the lab component. Students will leave the class with a draft or revision of a query letter for their writing project. 

Prior to the class, each student will send the following to the instructor:
  1. The draft of a query letter for one writing project
  2. One-page synopsis of the same writing project
  3. Your author bio.
If you don't have any or all of these things, you can still attend the class, but we do urge you to send in what you can in order to have a richer experience.
Sign up soon (current members only!), as registration will be strictly capped at  8. This class will sell out.


Brenda Marie Smith (Austin) Winner 2018 SFK Press Novel Contest, If Darkness Takes Us, comes out October 15th.  A solar pulse destroys modern life, and Bea's left alone in South Austin with four grandkids. She must teach them to survive without power, cars, or running water in a danger-fraught world. Pre-orders here.

Jonathan Wei (Austin) was a Finalist in the C. Michael Curtis Short Fiction Book award (Hub City Press); winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Short Fiction Award (Nimrod International); and named an Interchange Arts Fellow by the Mid-America Arts Alliance (a new program underwritten by the Mellon Foundation). 
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!

Please note: Open Office Hours for September will be held on Wednesday, September 18. 
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

September 5 
September 9
     Online Class
     Registration closes Monday, September 9, at 5 p.m.  
     All registrants will have access to the class recording for one week. 
September 11
     Online Class 
September 14
     St. Edward's University (morning)

"Submissions 101: What Authors Need to Know About the Publishing Business" with Leila Sales
     St. Edward's University (afternoon)
September 18
     Online Class 

Writers' League of Texas offices (or via phone)

September 19
     BookPeople, Austin, TX 
September 21
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
Texas Writes with Meg Gardiner and Rachel Starnes
     McCulloch County Library, Brady, TX
September 24
     Writers' League of Texas offices, Austin, TX 
September 28
      St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX 
Texas Writes with Donna M. Johnson and Naomi Shihab Nye
    Lakehills Area Library, Lakehills, 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,