Posts Tagged 'Writers’ League of Texas'

Do We Have AGENTS!

Okay, my writerly friends! The Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference is just around the corner, and we have a special online-only promotion going: If you register for the Conference from today through Sunday, you can SAVE 20% on your registration!

If you’ve been dreaming about writing a book, now’s your chance. Not only do we have some fabulous agents (Joe Veltre, Rebecca Oliver, Susan Schulman, Laura Rennert, and more!) and editors, but we also have industry expert Jane Friedman serving as our keynote speaker — and she’ll even do some on-the-spot query letter critiques as well as presenting “Is the Book Dead? WHO CARES!”  We’ll have the latest info on where publishing is going and why it’s a great time to be an author.

New this year is the First and Last Pitch sessions, in which panels of agents will give fast feedback to anonymous pitches.(For a preview of the schedule, click here.)

We have a lot of great information posted on the WLT’s Scribe blog (such as a Q&A with Penguin editor Beena Kamlani), and we’ll be Tweeting all about it at #WLTCon.

But don’t miss out on the fun. Sign up today and make that commitment to taking your writing career to the next level! Use the code BLITZ when you checkout to get your discount; offer expires at 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, June 5.


My Favorite Books of 2010

Oh, yeah! It’s that time of year again. Here are my picks from 2010:

Fiction: The Passage, by Justin Cronin.

Nonfiction: On the Outskirts of Normal: Forging a Family Against the Grain, by Debra Monroe

Young Adult: I Will Save You, by Matt de la Peña.

Of course, there are a whole lot of books I haven’t gotten around to reading, not to mention the three I’d love to find under my Christmas tree!

Read the whole post at the Writers’ League of Texas Scribe blog.

NaNoWriMo & Some Unfortunate Advice From Lemony Snicket

Okay, so I hit only 25,000 words during National Novel Writing Month. But at least I’m further along than I was on Oct. 31! Here’s my post at the Writers’ League’s Scribe blog, featuring the distinctively unmotivational pep talk from one Lemony Snicket.

Among the highlights:

“Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well….. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.”

There’s so much more!

The Long Road Home

Before starting the long road back to Austin, I met up with Steve and Arlene Griffis at Bread & Breakfast to talk about the upcoming Way Out West Texas Book Festival, which I regretfully had to pass on, because it’s the same weekend as Lydia’s wedding (Aug. 9). But we talked and talked and are cooking up a partnership for 2009 — I’m going to try to schedule the Summer Writing Academy to lead in to the WOW Festival, and that way we can share a bigger-name author or two! After breakfast, we went to Front Street Books, where I finally got to meet owner Jean Hardy, whom I immediately took a liking to! She had not known about the Writing Academy (yikes!) and said she would have been happy to host a reading by the instructor/authors! One more thing to work on for next year…

Then it was time to bid adios to Alpine and head back home. I went through Marathon this time, but didn’t stop. Steve and Arlene live there and have offered their guest house for me any time! Yay! I’ll definitely be ready to go back!

Fortunately, the looooong drive home coincided with the book I was listening to, The Last Girls, by Lee Smith — I started it shortly outside of Austin on the way up and it ended right around Dripping Springs on the return trip!

#13: My First Trip to West Texas

Here I sit, on the porch of the Austin Street Café in Marfa, a soft easy breeze blowing napkins off tables, birds chirping, and the threesome at the next table expounding on the merits of Italian sportscars! The Presidio County Courthouse is spectacular, but I cannot find the fabled Marfa galleries and shops. Maybe it’s the Sunday sleepiness.

I fully expected to be more charmed by Marfa, but so far, Alpine scores higher on the charm scale. Nonetheless, I love being in West Texas; it’s so similar to New Mexico and even Sun Valley. The Austin Street Café’s veggie wrap with black-eyed peas and a superb tomato-basil soup –– well, those hit the mark and made the short drive worthwhile.

My whole excuse for being in West Texas is the Writers’ League’s Summer Writing Academy at Sul Ross State Continue reading ‘#13: My First Trip to West Texas’

#12: My First “Official” Agents & Editors Conference

As part of my new job as executive director of the Writers’ League of Texas, I had the pleasure of spending the weekend at the WLT’s annual Agents & Editors Conference. We had 23 literary agents, editors, publicists, and various industry professionals in town to meet with the conference 345 attendees to talk about their books and this business of publishing. But for total coolness, our keynote speaker was Sara Nelson, editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly!

Overall, the agents and editors raved about the conference — several of them said this is the best one in the country and apparently, there is much jockeying within agencies to decide who gets to come to Austin! They were also impressed with the quality of the writers and their pitches. Plus, the attendees were really happy and those I spoke with really loved it. As much as I would have liked to bask in the glory, this one belongs to my co-ED, John Pipkin (who’s “co” till his last day on June 30) and our great staff, Amanda King and Kristy Bordine. They did all of the heavy lifting, and I just came along for the last two months!

Besides the conference, there was a whole lotta partying going on. We dinner for the agents on Friday night, and I got to spend time with my pal from last year, the irrepressible Jerry Gross. Then on Saturday we had dinner at Jaime’s Spanish Village (great dinner conversation with superstar agent Kimberley Cameron and her husband, Jerry again, and the wonderful Milton Kahn) followed by bar-hopping with a whole gaggle o’ agents. We ended up at Cedar Street, where we caught Trish Murphy’s band Skyrocket (with a guest appearance by author friend Melanie Wells). Among many blackmail memories was this photo snapped by Ted Weinstein of me “knock, knock, knock[ing] on wood.” I only wish I had video of Kristy dancing with John’s tush!

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