Official blog of the San Antonio Writers Guild

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Writers Guild of Texas to host Spring workshop March 18

   The 2016 Spring Writers' Workshop sponsored by the Writers Guild of Texas will be held Saturday, March 19, from 9 am to noon in The Heights Room of the Richardson Civic Center.
Location: 411 W Arapaho Rd., Richardson, TX 75080.
Date/time: Saturday, March 19, 9 a.m. to noon
Cost: $35 for non-members. Seats are limited.
Presentation: Dr. Katherine "Kat" Smith, DHS will speak on "Interviewing Authority."
   The focus of this workshop is to help authors understand the importance of media interviewing skills and to polish and perfect their overall delivery and appearance to ensure the final product highlights them as an interesting and professional television/radio show guest or publication interview subject. Learn the dos and don'ts of engaging in a media interview and how to deliver an interesting conversation about your book.
   Dr. Smith is the author of several books and formerly co-host of a four-year syndicated morning show.

SAWG Blog Table of Contents

   The SAWG blog has many articles, but because they are posted as the information becomes available and not sorted by any scheme, there's no order to the blog. Because the listings are not organized, this blog needs a table of contents. The contents are listed in order of soonest date to latest day. Here is the table of contents and links to the individual articles:

Northwest Houston Romance Writers meeting set March 5
Austin Book Fest set March 5
Brazos Writers to host reading and discussion March 9
Centex meets March 12 for plot points
Writing About the Military at WLT March 17
Writers Guild of Texas meets March 21
DFW Writers Conference set April 23-24
The 2016 Agents & Editors Conference set June 24-26
ThrillerFest XI set July 5-9 in New York City
Rewriting – A checklist for Authors (from Writers Write)

If any of the links above are dead or go to the wrong place, please email: to report the problem.

Writing About the Military at WLT March 17

   The Writers' League of Texas in Austin meets regularly the third Thursday of the month, January through November.
Who: Writers' League of Texas
When: Thursday, March 17, 7-9 p.m.
Where: BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., 3rd floor*
*(please use the elevator in the back of the store to get to the third floor)
Free and open to the public
Phone: 512-499-8914
WLT's office is located at 611 S. Congress Ave, Suite 505, Austin, 78704

Program:Writing About the Military
   From Homer's The Odyssey to Joseph Heller's Catch 22 to Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried to Ben Fountain's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, war and military service have provided the settings for so much important literature. Authors draw on the courage, tension, tragedy, sacrifice, despair, and ridiculousness of war to expose human nature at its most basic - capturing characters at their most heroic, and their most evil.
   But how can writers accurately capture the details and mindset of those in the military, as well as honestly portray events that might unfold. What should writers consider during the research and writing process? What should they be wary of?


   Brandon Caro is the author of the debut novel, Old Silk Road (Post Hill Press, October 13, 2015). He was a Navy corpsman (combat medic) and advisor to the Afghan National Army in Afghanistan from 2006-2007. He holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Texas State University, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, and elsewhere. He lives in Austin, Texas.
   Leila Levinson has led writing workshops for veterans and their spouses in central Texas. She is a former member of Austin Veterans and Family Advisory Council which advises the Austin VA about its services. The daughter of a World War II veteran, she teaches writing and literature of the Holocaust at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Her book, Gated Grief, was a finalist for the 2013 Texas Nonfiction Book Award and won the 2011 President's Award from the Military Writers Society. Her website,, is a resource and forum for adult children of veterans.
   Jack Woodville London was honored as Author of the Year (2011-2012) by the Military Writers Society of America. His World War II-era novel Virginia’s War was a Finalist for Best Novel of the South and the Dear Author ‘Novel with a Romantic Element’ contest. His ‘parallel-quel’ novel, Engaged in War, won the silver medal at the London Book Festival for General Fiction and the Silver prize in the Stars and Flags Historical Fiction competition. It was also the Book of the Month by both Good Reads and the Military Writers Society of America. His third book, A Novel Approach, won the E-Lit Gold Medal for non-fiction in 2015.
   Jonathan Wei is a writer, director and producer. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Iowa Review, The North American Review, Glimmer Train, and other publications, and he is a past fellow of the Vermont Studio Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Jonathan’s work has been staged at the Guthrie Theater, the Library of Congress, Maryland Center for the Performing Arts and others, and featured by The New York Times, Washington Post, the Huffington Post, MSNBC, NPR and others. Jonathan founded The Telling Project in 2008, a national performing arts nonprofit that employs theater to deepen our understanding of the military and veterans’ experience. Jonathan continues to serve as executive director.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Writers Guild of Texas meets March 21

   The Writers’ Guild of Texas (WGT) Regularly meets on the third Monday (except January, when they meet on the fourth Monday)
Location: Richardson Public Library, 900 Civic Center Drive, Richardson, basement conference room
Date/time: Monday, March 21, 7-8:30 p.m.
Program: In the Trenches for Plotting
CL Stegall will discuss plotting. Once you have your basic outline and you want to begin detailing your plot, there are a myriad of techniques one can utilize. This presentation will discuss a few of those techniques and also provide examples and a template to get you started. Future programs:
  • April 17: Joe Milazzo
  • May 16: James Gaskin
  • June 20: Writers Read In

Centex meets March 12 for plot points

   The Central Texas Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers will host a Q&A session at their Nov 21 meeting.
   Program: Kayla J. Watson Marnach & Becky Dean — Part 2—"Creating Characters Through Plot Points"
   Regular meeting: the third Saturday of the month, except in May
   Location: Georgetown Public Library, 402 West 8th, Room 211, Georgetown.
   Date: Saturday, March 12
   Time: 9:30 a.m.
   Topic: Creating three-dimensional characters can be one of the hardest parts of developing your novel. Come learn how to do that through Plot Points.
   Future meetings:
  • April 9 ~ TBA
  • May 14 ~ Janice Hanna Thompson — "Creative Marketing Strategies"
  • June 11 ~ Karen Gaus — "Proven Techniques for Superior Writing"
  • July 9 ~ "Get Ready for ACFW Conference— Aug. 25-28, 2016, Nashville, Tennessee"
  • Aug. 13 ~ Becky Wade — "Taming the Social Media Beast"
  • Sept. 10 ~ "Sharing from ACFW 2016 Conference"
  • Oct. 8 ~ Diane Lee — "Editing—Get Ready!"
  • Nov. 12 ~ "Member Q & A"
  • Dec. 10 ~ No Meeting

Brazos Writers to host reading and discussion March 9

   The Brazos Writers of Bryan/College Station meets the second Wednesday of the month.
   Date/time: Wednesday, March 9, at 7 p.m.
   Where: Southwood Community Center at Brian Bachmann Park, 1520 Rock Prairie Rd., College Station.
   Program: Reading and Discussion
   Participants are allotted 9 minutes. You may read a selection of your work for 7 minutes and have 2 minutes of critique, or you may have a discussion of ideas to assist in your writing for the full 9 minutes. Theme: GREEN BEER. If you incorporate either of these words into your work, you will be eligible for a prize.
April 13: Legal Issues for Authors
   Manning Wolfe is a writer, attorney, and consultant residing in Austin. She will speak to the group about Legal Issues for Authors. Have you ever wondered if someone could steal your manuscript? Have you ever badmouthed someone in your book and wondered if they could sue you? Have you ever wondered if it's safe to say your character drank a Coke or a Lone Star Beer? These are the questions Manning will cuss and discuss. She'll also provide information on copyright, use of photos, ISBN's, tax obligations, and more. Lots of handouts will be given to allow a more in-depth study, and as a reminder of the tips she gives in her talk. Don't get caught with your proverbial pants down! Come out and learn the nuts and bolts of Legal Issues for Authors.
May 11: Reading and Discussion month
   Participants are allotted 9 minutes. You may read a selection of your work for 7 minutes and have 2 minutes of critique, or you may have a discussion of ideas to assist in your writing for the full 9 minutes. Theme: WEDDING CAKE. If you incorporate either of these words into your work, you will be eligible for a prize.
June 8: Social Media fuss
   What is all the fuss about social media? Are you worried you won't ever "get it" or that social media will take up all your writing time if you do? Come to this short, informative presentation on what social media platforms are best for writers, and how to streamline your time using them.
   Rebecca Nolen is the author of Deadly Thyme, a mystery set in Cornwall and The Dry, an award winning historical fantasy.

Northwest Houston Romance Writers meeting set March 5

   Rather than a meeting, the Northwest Houston Romance Writers will host a full-day spring workshop featuring Pamela Fagan Hutchins.
Date: Saturday, March 5.
Cost: $40 Non-members, lunch included
Location: Spring Creek Oaks Clubhouse, 17111 Misty Creek, Spring.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
Business meeting at 9:00 a.m.
Educational Program beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Pamela will present the following two classes:
1. Extreme Setting: Paint a High Impact Picture With Your Words
   Don’t waste setting in your books with wooden words and cardboard sentences. Make the sand burn your reader’s feet and the shade of the mango tree cool their sweat. Learn to involve your characters and all five senses in painting a scene so real your readers reach for aloe vera and a hand towel.
2. The First Six Months: Creating Your Own Book Launch Marketing Plan
   Whether you publish indie or traditional, the marketing and promotion of your book is up to you, and the launch is critical. Bestselling (Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iTunes), nationally-distributed indie author Pamela Fagan Hutchins will lead a hands-on workshop as you create a launch timeline, budget, and marketing plan for “your” book. Pamela will pull from her experience as President/chief mentor of the Houston Writers Guild, her many indie workshop presentations, and the launch of her own four romantic mysteries and six nonfiction books, as captured in her USA Best Book award-winning how-to, What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too? Bring your funny bone and a sharp #2 pencil (or laptop), as well as a book/manuscript (yours or someone else’s), with the blurb/description, genre, market, sales formats, a general budget, and price in mind.
About Hutchins:
   Writer of overly long e-mails, romantic mysteries, and (possibly) hilarious nonfiction. Resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, TX and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, WY. Passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile. She is a frequent presenter at women’s groups, writing groups, book clubs and libraries. Download her mystery SAVING GRACE free everywhere. Find out more about Pamela or drop her a line on her website:
You can register for the conference, by going to their website.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

ThrillerFest XI set July 5-9 in New York City

What: ThrillerFest XI
When: Tuesday-Saturday, July 5-9
Location: Grand Hyatt in NYC
Desc.: Premier thriller conference for authors, aspiring writers and fans.
   Want to learn from the masters of the genre? Sign with your dream literary agent? Hear from FBI special agents and other subject matter experts? Come join us at ThrillerFest 2016 at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan, New York City, for a week-long thriller extravaganza. We want to help you realize your dream of becoming a best-selling author!
   The festival will include panels, workshops, and lectures Friday and Saturday.
   Master CraftFest: Taking place Tuesday, July 5, this inaugural one-day, intensive workshop on craft
   CraftFest: Running from Wednesday, July 6, to Thursday, July 7, this fastest growing section of the conference is ideal you are looking to hone your writing skills.
   PitchFest: Taking place on Thursday, July 7, if you’d like to pitch your novel to the best literary agents in the business, this is the event for you. Last year, we had over 50 agents attending PitchFest.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DFW Writers Conference set April 23-24

   The DFW Writers Conference, sponsored by DFW Writers Workshop, has grown to be the premier writers conference in the southwest. Our goal is to provide writers with excellent education, networking, and industry exposure at the best value.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24
Where: Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth


   The Fort Worth Convention Center spans 14 blocks of the city’s Central Business District. The Convention Center hosts a wide range of events including: conventions, conferences, corporate meetings, sporting events, concerts, trade shows, banquets and consumer shows.

1201 Houston Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102-6432
Phone: (817) 392-6338
Region: Downtown

   The following website gives helpful information on the convention center, getting around and things to do:


   There are two unique workshops designed to help you get the most out of DFW Writers Conference. The DFW Writers Conference has been working on ways to make our education program more interactive and hands-on. Less listening to lectures and more conversing and collaborating. We want writers to bring their real-world writing challenges to the conference and leave with solutions, or at least a plan of action.
   As part of that, we’re going to bring back two unique DFWCon workshops from last year: “So Here’s My Problem” and “So Close and Yet So Far: Getting Good Writers Over the Hurdle.”
   Both of these workshops put writers at a table with a support team of agents, editors and published authors so they can work together and do some serious problem solving.
   In the “So Here’s My Problem” workshop, any writer at any skill level can bring any problem or question related to their writing or the business of publishing. You can ask for help with your cover letter, or your pitch, or a few pages of your manuscript. You can ask the panelists to help with voice, or character development, or plot structure. It’s up to you. Our team of industry experts will do their darndest to help.
   The “So Close and Yet So Far: Getting Good Writers Over the Hurdle” workshop is designed for writers who have been querying and submitting their work and have received multiple rejection letters. Part clinic, part support group, it is not for writers who are just starting out and are still working on their manuscript. The participating writers will share their tale of woe and seek advice from the experts on how to move forward. Writers can even bring their rejection letters for show and tell, though it’s not required.
   Here’s how these will work. Because of time constraints we’ll have to limit the number of participants who can bring their challenges in front of the panelists, so advance registration will be required. We’ll put up an online form well ahead of the conference. We’ll let conference registrants know by email newsletter when it’s time to sign up.
   Each petitioner will have an allotment of time to present their case to the panel and hear feedback. The petitioners are to listen to the feedback and not debate it, and may speak only to respond to direct questions from the panel.
   These workshops proved very popular at the 2015 conference. One big difference for 2016: the rooms will be big enough to allow an audience. We’ll have a table set up at the head of the room for the panelists and petitioners, and theater-style seating in the rest of the room so others can listen and learn. So, you can learn a lot from these workshops even if you’re not the one in the hot seat!
   No registration is required for observers.
   We’ll run the workshops multiple times to give lots of attendees a chance to petition the experts for help.

Special Speakers

   We’re excited to announce three special guest speakers who have graciously agreed to come to the2016 DFW Writer’s Conference!

In alphabetical order:

Christopher Golden
   Golden is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, Of Saints and Shadows, and (with Tim Lebbon) The Map of Moments. He has also written books for teens and young adults, including Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence, honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA’s Best Books for Young Readers. Upcoming teen novels include a new series of hardcover YA fantasy novels co-authored with Tim Lebbon and entitled The Secret Journeys of Jack London.

Thomas Kunkel
   Kunkel is the president of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He has served as president of American Journalism Review and as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. He is the author or editor of five previous books, including Genius in Disguise, Enormous Prayers, and Letters from the Editor. Recently, his book, Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of the New Yorker is causing quite a stir in literary circles.

Tara McKelvey
   McKelvey, a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, is a correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. She is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and the author of Monstering: Inside America’s Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War. She is now a White House reporter for the BBC.


   There are over 50 classes to chose from at the DFW Writers Conference. Here are some of them:

“The Seven Deadly First-Page Sins,” taught by Laura Maisano and Tex Thompson
   Laura Maisano, senior editor at Anaiah Press, and Tex Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought series, have teamed up to teach this class. This dynamic duo helped last year’s attendees trim and build their manuscripts with Prose P90X, and this year they’re up to shenanigans again. The class tackles the toughest part of getting an agent or editor to read on–the first five pages. Time to make your sample pages the best they can be to increase your odds of request!
The Seven Deadly First-Page Sins
   There’s no one right way to begin your story – but there are plenty of wrong ones. In this class, we’ll take you on a cautionary tour through the pits of page-one hell, complete with agent pet peeves, reader turn-offs, and “thanks but no thanks” editorial deal-breakers. Don’t let your manuscript suffer in form-rejection torment: let veteran editor Laura Maisano and author Tex Thompson guide you through the slush-pile inferno and lead your story toward the light!

“Writing the Odd, Publishable Poem,” a class by Joaquin Zihuatanejo
   Joaquín Zihuatanejo is a poet, writer, teacher and World Poetry Slam Champion from Dallas, Texas. He has been called by critics “one of the most passionate and poignant performance poets in the country melding equal parts poetry, story telling, and comedy into a crowd pleasing display of verbal fireworks.” His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Mas Tequila Review, Di-Verse-City, The San Diego Poetry Annual, Manteca, An Afro-Latino Anthology, among others. Here’s what Joaquin has to say about his class:
Writing the Odd, Publishable Poem
   In this interactive workshop, we will look at what goes into making a poem that forces an editor to lean into it because it is just so wonderfully odd. Walking that line between esoteric academic poetry and accessible poetry that borders on the narrative or spoken word is a very complicated thing to do well. In this workshop we will look at poets who do this exceptionally well and examine how they are doing it. There is not a great deal of room on that digest size or pocket digest sized anthology page, so in this workshop we will find ways to make the best use of the space we have to work within as poets. But we will find ways to do it that are odd, engaging, and above all publishable.

“Freelance Editing 101,” a class by Leslie Lutz
   Leslie Karen Lutz, will teach this class for the comma geeks. Yes, that’s you, the one in the corner who just noticed the misplaced apostrophe on the takeout menu. And let’s not forget the writer sitting next to you, that friend from workshop who always knows how to fix a broken scene or improve a flat character. Why not put your inner sticklers at the center of a brand new career?
   Whether you want to quit your day job or just make a little money on the side, freelance editing can help you take all that hard work you’ve been doing as a writer and turn it into income.
   Titled “Freelance Editing 101,” this class will teach you the basics of today’s editing marketplace.
   The workshop will be taught by Leslie Lutz, a local editor and the founder of the North Texas Chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association. She started editing in 2010 and has now edited over forty titles for small publishers, editing companies, and various authors. She earned her Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington in 2013.
   In this course, you’ll learn about the four different types of editing and which one fits your personality and skill set. Don’t like correcting punctuation? Perhaps developmental editing is right for you. Got an ear for rhythm and an eye for style? Line editing could be your new passion. Love a well-placed hyphen more than a good donut? Maybe you really are suited for the role of copyeditor or proofreader. In this workshop, we’ll try to get a sense of what kind of editor you are and how you can turn those skills into a business.
   We’ll also cover several other topics to help you get started:
  • Finding your clients
  • Setting your rates
  • Estimating how much time a project will take
  • Using the most popular editing tools
  • Writing a great editorial meme
  • Maintaining a positive editor-client relationship
  • Honing the art of diplomacy
  • Writing an editing contract
   You don’t have to work at a major publishing house for ten years in order to break out on your own as an editor. Come find out if this career is for you.

The 2016 Agents & Editors Conference set June 24-26

The 2016 Agents & Editors Conference set June 24-26 Date: Friday-Sunday, June 24-26
Where: Hyatt Regency, 208 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78704

   The Writers' League of Texas will offer a conference in June that's a chance to gather with those who write and publish in the same genre, market, or format as you, so that you can trade ideas and encouragement – but we have moved them to Friday. We’ve also inserted additional panel options to our Saturday line-up, and expanded our Sunday program to include breakout presentations and a closing luncheon. Plus, we have the largest visiting faculty of agents and editors to date.

Featured Agents include:
Ethan Bassoff, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin
Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Union Literary
Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group
Jessica Papin, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary Agency

   Ethan Bassoff attended Emerson College and managed Brookline Booksmith, a prominent Boston bookstore where he also hosted reading events. He then joined InkWell Management, where for six years he worked with recipients of the National Book Award, the Man Booker Prize, and finalists for the Story Prize. In 2012 he joined Lippincott Massie McQuilkin where he continues to represent both emerging and established writers of literary and crime fiction and narrative nonfiction including history, science, humor, and sports writing. His clients include New York Times bestselling writers, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the Whiting Award, PEN/USA Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, finalists for The National Book Critics Circle Award and the Edgar Awards, and many other honors. Ethan has moderated panels at the Association of Writers and Writing Program and regularly attends writers workshops including Bread Loaf. He keeps store browsers in mind when signing new authors and brings a strong editorial approach to all proposals and manuscripts, understanding that great ideas must also tell compelling stories.
   Jenni Ferrari-Adler is an agent at Union Literary in New York City. Jenni represents exciting novelists including Mo Daviau (EVERY ANXIOUS WAVE), and Brittani Sonnenberg (HOME LEAVE); the agency’s award-winning food writers and food shops; YA and Middle Grade; Narrative Nonfiction, and other categories. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Michigan and a BA from Oberlin. She edited the anthology ALONE IN THE KITCHEN WITH AN EGGPLANT, Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone. She has taught Fiction at the University of Michigan and the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, and worked as a reader for The Paris Review and as a bookseller at Housing Works. Jenni is on the contracts committee of the AAR and is a member of The IACP. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children. Follow her on twitter: @jenferrariadler or contact her at
   Mark Gottlieb’s focus on publishing began at Emerson College, where he was a founding member of the Publishing Club, later its President, overseeing its first publication and establishing the Wilde Press. He graduated with a degree in writing, literature and publishing. Mark enjoys working directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available to Trident. Since becoming an agent, he has ranked as high as #1 in Agents on in Overall Deals. He has also ranked #1 in categories such as Science-Fiction/Fantasy, Children's, and Graphic Novels. He has ranked in the top five for Thriller, Mystery/Crime, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, and certain nonfiction categories such as Pop Culture, Memoir, How-To, and Humor.
   Jessica Papin is an agent at Dystel and Goderich in New York. Prior to that, she was the Director of International Rights at the American University in Cairo Press, in Egypt, and an editor at Warner Books (now Grand Central Publishing) in New York. With a background on both sides of the desk, Papin loves working collaboratively with clients to shape and refine their work. She is interested in literary and smart commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction, history, medicine, science, economics and women’s issues. In every case, she looks for passion, erudition, and storytelling skill. A wry sense of humor doesn’t hurt.
   Michelle Tessler established her New York-based literary agency in 2004. She represents a select number of best-selling and emerging authors of upmarket fiction (literary and commercial) and nonfiction (including narrative, popular science, memoir, history, psychology, business, biography, food, and travel). She values fresh, original writing that has a compelling point of view. She represents, among many others, Paul Collins, Frans de Waal, Mira Jacob, Amy Stewart and Amanda Eyre Ward. She is a member of the Association of Author’s Representatives and Women’s Media Group. More about the agency can be found at

Featured Editors include:

Michelle Howry, Simon & Schuster/Touchstone
Jodi Warshaw, Amazon Publishing

   Michelle Howry specializes in commercial nonfiction. Her bestsellers at Touchstone include popular history books like THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY by Denise Kiernan, diet category-killers THE NEW ATKINS FOR A NEW YOU and THE FORKS OVER KNIVES PLAN, pint-sized Hollywood diva Kristin Chenoweth’s A LITTLE BIT WICKED, and the BRO CODE franchise of books (with more than 1.5 million copies in print). Michelle acquires platform-driven practical nonfiction in the areas of self-help, personal finance, psychology, relationships, cookbooks, and health, as well as narrative nonfiction in categories such as popular history, biography, popular science and technology, and some celebrity memoir, including two upcoming books from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Matthew Inman, aka The Oatmeal.
   Jodi Warshaw got her start in publishing as an intern for Gordon Lish at Alfred A. Knopf and his literary magazine, The Quarterly. From there she moved to San Francisco to edit pop-culture titles for Chronicle Books. For the past two years she’s been at Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, where she acquires book-club fiction. Her taste runs the gamut from historical to contemporary women’s fiction, and right now she’s particularly looking for issue-oriented fiction in the vein of THE PERFECT SON by Barbara Claypole White and INSIDE THE O’BRIENS by Lisa Genova.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Austin Book Fest set March 5

   Several authors, including Julie Kenner, will be in Austin, TX Saturday, March 5, noon until 4 p.m. at the Austin Book Fest, at the Hyatt Regency Austin.
   The event is hosted by Vilma's Book Blog and sponsored by InkSlinger PR and Atria Books. There will be a over 40 authors.
   The hotel is at 208 Barton Springs on shores of Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin.
For more info:

Friday, August 07, 2015

Rewriting – A checklist for Authors

Rewriting – A checklist for Authors
From Writers Write

  1. Have you started with an inciting moment?
  2. Have you introduced your main characters in the opening scenes?
  3. Have you checked genre requirements?
  4. Have you included enough dialogue? (At least 50%)
  5. What is your promise to the reader in the beginning? Is it clear?
  6. Is there enough conflict?
  7. Have you considered your target market?
  8. Have you explained something in dialogue and in the narrative?
  9. Have you given your protagonist a distinctive voice?
  10. Have you done a spell check?
  11. Do you have too many long sentences?
  12. Have you removed most of your adverbs?
  13. Have you reduced your adjectives?
  14. Have you removed the imprecise or nonsensical?
  15. Have you cut out gratuitous similes and metaphors?
  16. Have you cut out gratuitous profanity?
  17. Have you reduced the passive voice?
  18. Have you taken out your pretentious pieces of writing?
  19. Have you taken out author intrusion and inadvertent preaching?
  20. Have you used the correct lexicon for the genre?
  21. Have you rewritten your novel at least five times?
  22. Are there holes in your plot?
  23. Is your protagonist believable?
  24. Is your antagonist believable?
  25. Does your dialogue flow? Read it aloud.
  26. Have you used enough contractions?
  27. Have you chosen the correct viewpoint for the novel?
  28. Have you set your characters in time and place?
  29. Have you cut out modifiers and qualifiers?
  30. Have you made good on your promise? Is your reader satisfied?
See for more.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

John Green's aphasia book

   San Antonio Writers' Guild member John Green is having a book signing at The Twig Saturday, June 9, for his memoir, "Headlights: How I turned the lights back on after my stroke and aphasia, of his experience with aphasia."    If you want to know more about his book visit The Twig at 200 E Grayson at the Pearl in San Antonio (Take the Josephine Street exit off 281 and go two blocks to Grayson). The phone at The Twig is 210-826-6411.
Review of John Green's book
   John Green's memoir, "Headlights: How I turned the lights back on after my stroke and aphasia, of his experience with aphasia," concerns his stroke six years ago and the aftermath and recovery. He said his brain was totally scrambled, and after about three years of rehabilitation, he's back to near normal.    He wrote a book about his ordeal and published it through Create Space, a division of He had the book reviewed late last year by Kirkus Indie. The review is below.
   The book combines a self-help book for stroke victims with a memoir of a life permanently changed by the illness, Green offers a testimony to the efficacy of will and social networking in largely overcoming the loss of coherent speech.
Review by Kirkus Media, Austin. Email:
   Green had a long-time dream of becoming a writer, but that aspiration initially seemed defeated when he suffered a massive stroke accompanied by aphasia, the loss of expressively clear speech and writing skills. This book is a gripping account of the author’s sheer will to live—and thrive—whatever the odds, especially since his stroke was a subsequent trauma after a bout of cancer requiring chemotherapy.
   Writing in a disarmingly candid, modest fashion, Green makes clear his indebtedness to various individuals instrumental to his recovery. Photographs concluding the book showcase his network of helpers that included his speech therapist, family doctor, nieces and grandchildren. Green’s account underscores how these young family members demonstrated exceptional patience during his early recovery period when words came to him with exceptional difficulty, if at all.
   Also notable was the role played by casual acquaintances on the golf course, his favored recreation when sustaining a social conversation could amount to a handful of jumbled words. Ultimately, Green credits his own tenacious willpower as the major driving force behind his recovery. One might only fault the author for offering an all-too-familiar list of methods (humor, puzzles, being read to, recreation) to keep willpower vigorous. When one physician questions aloud to what extent Green should anticipate a complete return to health after such a major stroke, the author challenges the right of any medical professional to place a definite ceiling on a patient’s future health after a stroke. This book was written five years after Green’s trauma, and since the full extent of stroke recovery can only be medically assessed after eight years, a follow-up account a few years down the road from Green would be welcome.
   Combined with a list of print and online resources for stroke victims and their social networks, the book is exceedingly useful for anyone touched by this terrifying disorder. A riveting account of the terrible fear of being unable to communicate following a stroke and of the gradual return of verbal expressivity.