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6.28.15 News Briefs


Western Writers of America to meet in Lubbock June 23-27


The Texas Panhandle beckons Western writers and anyone who writes about the American West for the 2015 Convention in Lubbock, Texas, June 23-27.


Western Historian Robert Utley (right), a past winner of the Wister Award and a 2015 inductee into the Western Writers Hall of Fame, will present a keynote address.


History presentations at the convention cover topics such as Buffalo Soldiers, the Alamo, Comanche Indians, and frontier ranch women. Other sessions will take place related to the craft of writing, book marketing, and research sources and techniques.


The convention tour will take convention participants to the American Wind Power Center and the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, plus the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University. The convention will take place at the Overton Hotel, 2322 Mac Davis Lane, Lubbock, Texas 79401. It is not necessary to be a member of WWA to attend the convention.

2015 Spur Award Winners and Western Writers Hall of Fame


During the week the association will pay tribute to the year’s Spur Award winners and recognize the literary contributions of Win Blevins (right), winner of the 2015 Owen Wister Award.


Last year, the Homestead Foundation board of directors, which oversees the Western Writers Hall of Fame, voted to induct the Owen Wister Award recipient into the Hall of Fame, housed at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.


Blevins is best known for his mountain man classic “Give Your Heart to the Hawks” and his novel of Crazy Horse, Stone Song, for which he won a Spur Award. His newest book is The Darkness Rolling, which he co-wrote with his wife, Meredith Blevins.


Among the other inductees to the Hall of Fame this year are Judy Alter, Matt Braun, James A. Crutchfield, David Dary, Max Evans, Andrew J. Fenady, John Jakes, Leon C. Metz, N. Scott Momaday, Robert M. Utley, Dale L. Walker, Richard S. Wheeler, and Jeanne Williams, all of whom who have previously been recognized by WWA with either a Saddleman Award or a Wister Award (both given for lifetime achievement).


Also included in this year’s list of inductees are non-writers such as John Wayne, John Ford, and Clint Eastwood.


Recently deceased Wister honorees not already in the Hall of Fame, including Robert J. Conley, Fred Grove, Tony Hillerman, Elmer Kelton, Norman Zollinger, Jory Sherman, and David Lavender, will be posthumously inducted, along with Edward Abbey, who was voted into the Hall of Fame by the membership of Western Writers of America.


Other writers being recognized this year are S. Omar Barker, Bill Gulick, Dee Brown, Alvin Josephy Jr., Benjamin Capps, José Cisneros, Tom Lea, Elmore Leonard, Nelson Nye, Gordon Shirreffs, and Don Worcester.


The induction ceremony will take place June 26 at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock.


Among the other writers who already hold a place in the Hall of fame are Andy Adams, Eve Ball, B. M. Bower, Willa Cather, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), Peggy Simpson Curry, Bernard Devoto, J. Frank Dobie, Frederick Glidden (Luke Short), Helen Hunt Jackson, Wallace Stegner, John Steinbeck, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.


For more information contact Candy Moulton, WWA executive director,


(information from


Western Writers of America Spur Awards winners, finalists to be honored during WWA’s convention In Lubbock June 23-27

Candy Moulton

Western Writers of America Executive Director


The Homesman, based on Glendon Swarthout’s 1988 Spur Award-winning novel, has won the 2015 Spur Award for Best Western Drama Script, while Jerome A. Greene’s American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890 has been recognized for Best Nonfiction-Historical book, Western Writers of America has announced.


Actor Tommy Lee Jones wrote the screenplay for The Homesman with Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley A. Oliver. Jones also starred with Hilary Swank in the critically acclaimed Ithaca Films production, which is about a frontier woman and a claim jumper who escort three insane women back to civilization in the 1850s. Greene’s book, published by the University of Oklahoma Press, details the tragic confrontation between the 7th Cavalry and Lakota Indians in South Dakota.


Since 1953, WWA has promoted and honored the best in Western literature with the annual Spur Awards, selected by panels of judges. Awards, for material published last year, are given for works whose inspiration, image, and literary excellence best represent the reality and spirit of the American West.


James D. Crownover’s Wild Ran the Rivers (Five Star Publishing) won for Best Western Historical Novel and Best First Novel, and Jefferson Glass’s Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard (High Plains Press) won the inaugural Spur for Best First Nonfiction Book.


Winners and finalists will be honored during WWA’s convention June 23-27 in Lubbock, Texas.


Other winners:

  • Traditional Novel: Patrick Dearen’s The Big Drift (TCU Press).
  • Contemporary Novel: C. B. McKenzie’s Bad Country (Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books).
  • Contemporary Nonfiction: Angela Day’s Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster (Washington State University Press).
  • Biography: Philip Burnham’s Song of Dewey Beard: Last Survivor of the Little Bighorn (Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press).
  • Storyteller (illustrated children’s book): author-illustrator Donald F. Montileaux’s Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend (South Dakota State Historical Society Press).
  • Juvenile Fiction: Rod Miller’s Rawhide Robinson Rides the Range: True Adventures of Bravery and Daring in the Wild West (Five Star Publishing).
  • Juvenile Nonfiction: Nancy Oswald’s Edward Wynkoop: Soldier and Indian Agent (Filter Press).
  •  Short Nonfiction: Richard W. Etulain’s “Calamity Jane: A Life and Legends” (Montana: The Magazine of Western History).
  •  Short Fiction: Andrew Geyer’s “Fingers” (Stephen F. Austin University Press).
  • Poem: Alan Birkelbach’s “A Little Longer Than the Moment” (Cowboy Poetry Press).
  • Song: Doug Figgs and Todd Carter’s “Charlie and Evangeline” (self-published).
  • Documentary Script: Kami Horton’s State of Jefferson (Oregon Public Broadcasting).


  • Traditional Novel: Michael Zimmer’s The Poacher’s Daughter (Five Star Publishing) and JD March’s Dance with the Devil (Five Star Publishing).
  • Historical Novel: Jane Kiratrick’s A Light in the Wilderness (Revell) and Michael McGarrity’s Backlands (Dutton).
  • Contemporary Novel: Craig Johnson’s Any Other Name (Viking) and Frances Washburn’s The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band (University of Arizona Press).
  • Historical Nonfiction: David L. Caffey’s Chasing the Santa Fe Ring: Power and Privilege in Territorial New Mexico (University of New Mexico Press) and Will Bagley’s South Pass: Gateway to a Continent (University of Oklahoma Press).
  • Contemporary Nonfiction: Lincoln Bramwell’s Wilderburbs: Communities on Nature’s Edge (University of Washington Press) and Dan O’Brien’s Wild Idea: Buffalo and Family in a Difficult Land (Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press).




Who’s Who of Dallas noir authors grace Oak Cliff Literary Festival at Wild Detectives June 27


Two years ago, Brooklyn, NY–based indie publisher Akashic Books added a Dallas collection to its award-winning noir series. Launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir, the Akashic anthologies features stories set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.


Dallas Noir, edited by literary agent David Hale Smith, features a list of contributing authors  which reads like a “who’s who” of the Big D literary scene.


On Saturday, June 27, beginning at 5.30 pm at The Wild Detectives, 314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff (Dallas), these authors are reunited for an evening of literary celebration with drinks, music, and discussion about books and book culture in Dallas. The event will feature contributors Matt Bondurant, Catherine Cuellar, Ben Fountain, Suzanne Frank, Daniel Hale, Fran Hillyer, Harry Hunsicker, Kathleen Kent, and Merritt Tierce.


(Information from The Wild Detectives website)



Writespace Houston celebrates first year, launches Indiegogo campaign


Writespace Houston is throwing itself a birthday party— a celebration of its first year. They’ll have drinks, snacks, and other festivities Friday, June 26, at 7 p.m. at Silver Street Studios, 2000A Edwards #212, in Houston.



According to their social media invitation, “We’ve seen writers come together and collaborate in new ways. We’ve seen people who thought that they were just "dabbling" at writing become committed to putting writing first in their lives. Through the amazing support of the Houston literary community, we've been able to keep our doors open.” Founded in April 2014, Writespace is seeking ways to grow, including an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.


But their party doesn’t stop there. They’ll be counting down their Indiegogo campaign, which launched June 1. Here’s a link to the campaign.


 Participation in Writespace Houston’s Indiegogo campaign offers perks, including:

• A curated collection of shorts and poems entitled “Our Space,” featuring writing from the Houston community.

• Individual writing consultations from Writespace faculty

• Book bundles from local Houston authors

• A writing retreat at Fetching Lab Brewery

• A writing retreat at Writespace

• The chance to support other writers through scholarships

For more information on the organization and event, visit




Fifty Shades of Sulphur Springs

E. L. James, author of the erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey, appeared at a sold-out book-signing Saturday, June 21, 2015, at the Bookworm Box in Sulphur Springs, Texas, Saturday. Yes, Sulphur Springs.


British author Erika Mitchell is better known by her pen name, E. L. James. The international publishing phenomenon appeared at the East Texas event as a result of the friendship between James and Bookworm Box owner and New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, who is a Hopkins County resident.


Hoover and James both skyrocketed to success as self-published authors, and then were quickly signed by major publishers.


Sulphur Springs author Hoover has had seven bestsellers since 2012 in the New Adult category, a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18–25 age bracket.


In March 2015 Hoover chose to “give back” by starting a bookstore where all proceeds go to charity. The Bookworm Box is not like any other bookstore because it helps local organizations while connecting fans with their favorite authors. To operate the Bookworm Box, authors donate hundreds of signed copies of their books to Hoover’s organization. In turn, the Bookworm Box sells the books and donates all the proceeds to local charities. Customers can also go online and purchase a box of two different signed books called “Good Deeds, Great Reads” to further raise money for the charities. Books can be purchased online at or inside the store.


When James heard of Hoover’s charitable efforts, she wanted to help and chose No Kid Hungry to receive all the funds from her book signing. The signing event came just one day after James’ highly anticipated fourth book in the “Fifty Shades” series — titled Grey and told from protagonist Christian Grey’s point of view — released for publication Friday.


The book signing, which was limited to 500 guests, quickly sold out. People from all over the country, who were able to purchase tickets online, flew in to Sulphur Springs for the event. More than 125 million copies of the ”50 Shades” trilogy have sold, and the film version earned more than $560 million worldwide.


(Compiled from reports on Bookworm Box website and Facebook page; EL James Facebook page; Sulphur Springs News-Telegram;


* * * * *


Writers' League of Texas draws hundreds to Austin conference; grows membership


WLT A&E Conference kicks off 22nd year in Austin June 26-28


Now in its twenty-second year, the Writers' League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference is one of the nation's premier conferences for writers, an invaluable opportunity for attendees to discover new tools to strengthen their writing (craft), gain insight and perspective on the ever-changing publishing landscape while connecting with some of the industry's top players (business), and meet and network with fellow writers (community). Where else can a Texas writer network with industry professionals, learn about publishing tips and trends, and improve one's craft among so many experienced leaders?


The Writers' League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference is for writers at every stage of their careers. Beginners can learn about the sometimes mystifying publishing industry and prepare themselves for the journey ahead. Those with completed manuscripts can pitch to industry professionals and gain knowledge about self-promotion and marketing. Published writers can deepen their understanding of market trends and network with other rising stars in the world of writing. No matter what a writer’s market, genre, or level, this conference can provide benefits on multiple levels.



KEYNOTERS: Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner (left), author of the thriller Phantom Instinct, will deliver some inspiring words during the keynote luncheon. Corpus Christi native Bret Anthony Johnston (right), author of the best-selling novel Remember Me Like This, will share his insights both as a writer and as the head of an esteemed creative writing program, during the cocktail hour on Saturday.


Full schedule

Agents & Editors Conference

Writers’ League of Texas

June 26-28, Hyatt Regency, Austin


Conference Sessions Friday, June 26

11:00 am to 5:00 pm Registration: Pick up your badge and conference materials. The Registration Desk is also where you can purchase tickets for conference add-ons, subject to availability Big Bend A-C (first floor)

12 noon to 6 pm Exhibit Hall Big Bend and Hill Country Foyers (first floor)

3:30 to 4:45 pm Pre-Conference Workshop: “Practice Makes Pitch Perfect” with Lance Fitzgerald and Linda McFall. Get ready to present your writing project at the conference and in one-on-one consultations during this workshop led by sales expert Lance Fitzgerald of Penguin Random House and professional editor Linda McFall. Note: This is a ticketed event. Only ticket holders will be admitted. Foothills II (17th floor)

6:00 to 7:30 pm. Welcome Cocktail Reception. Join the WLT Staff as we recognize the 2015 Manuscript Contest Winners and Finalists and kick off the conference with snacks and socializing. Refreshments provided. Cash bar. Zilker Ballroom (first floor)


Saturday, June 27

  • 8:00 am to 12 noon Registration. Pick up your badge and conference materials. The Registration Desk is also where you can purchase tickets for the Keynote Luncheon ($45 on-site), subject to availability. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 8:00 to 9:00 am. Breakfast. Get your day started right with coffee, breakfast tacos, and other refreshments. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 9:00 am. to 6:00 pm. Exhibit Hall Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 9:00 to 10:00 am. Opening Session Welcome and Panel Discussion. Join WLT staff for a quick overview of the weekend followed by the panel discussion “Work in Progress: The State of Publishing Today.” Panelists: author John Pipkin, agent Trena Keating, editor Meg Leder, and rights director Lance Fitzgerald | Moderator: Becka Oliver Texas Ballroom 1-3 (second floor)
  • 10:00 to 10:15 am. Break Enjoy refreshments while visiting the conference exhibitors. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 10:15 to 11:00 am Breakout Sessions.
  • BUSINESS “Match Game: How to Find the Right Agent for YOU” Panelists: Sandy Lu, Beth Miller, David Hale Smith, Matt Wise | Moderator: Vanessa Lee. Hill Country A&B (first floor)
  • BUSINESS “Peering Over the Transom: The View from Inside a Publishing House” Panelists: Lance Fitzgerald, Serena Jones, Mallory Kass, Linda McFall | Moderator: Clay Smith. Hill Country C&D (first floor)
  • COMMUNITY “Literary Guides: How to Find Help on Your Publishing Journey” Panelists: Samantha Clark, Bethany Hegedus, Michael Noll, Cecily Sailer | Moderator: Nikki Loftin. Texas Ballroom 5 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Am I Writing … Young Adult?” Panelists: Jessica Lee Anderson, Meghan Goel, Kirby Kim, Lindsey Lane | Moderator: PJ Hoover. Texas Ballroom 6 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “When Less Is More: Writing and Publishing Short Stories” Panelists: Owen Egerton, Melissa Flashman, PJ Mark, Jill Meyers | Moderator: Steph Opitz. Texas Ballroom 7 (second floor)
  • 11:00 to 11:15 am. Break. Enjoy refreshments while visiting the conference exhibitors.. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 11:15 am to 12 noon
  • Breakout Sessions
  • BUSINESS “Pet Peeves: What Agents Wish Authors Knew” Panelists: Susanna Einstein, Scott Hoffman, Kirby Kim, Monika Woods | Moderator: Cyndi Hughes. Hill Country A&B (first floor)
  • BUSINESS Letting Go: Knowing When It’s Time to Stop Writing and Start Submitting Panelists: Emily Forland, Charlotte Gullick, Trena Keating, Linda McFall | Moderator: Anne Bustard Hill Country C&D (first floor)
  • BUSINESS “Avoiding the Trend Trap: How to Study the Market the Smart Way” Panelists: Frank Campbell, Lance Fitzgerald, Meghan Goel, Erin Harris | Moderator: Salima Alikhan. Texas Ballroom 5 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Am I Writing … Literary Fiction?” Panelists: PJ Mark, Clay Smith, Mary Helen Specht, Maya Ziv | Moderator: Stephanie Noll. Texas Ballroom 6 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Same World, Different Book: Developing Sequels and Series” Panelists: Edward Carey, Jacqueline Kelly, Chelsea Lindman, Greg Leitich Smith | Moderator: Jo Whittemore. Texas Ballroom 7 (second floor)
  • 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Breakout Sessions
  • BUSINESS “Letter, Synopsis, Submission — Oh My! Understanding the Query Process” Panelists: Noah Ballard, Jessica Papin, Will Roberts, Jo Whittemore | Moderator: Stephanie Noll. Hill Country A&B (first floor)
  • BUSINESS “Revise, Revise, Revise: Editing Your Book to Land That Deal” Panelists: Charlotte Gullick, Sara Kocek, Linda McFall, Matt Wise | Moderator: Michael Noll. Hill Country C&D (first floor)
  • BUSINESS “Brave New Digital World: How Authors Are Going High Tech” Panelists: Melissa Flashman, Scott Hoffman, Sammy Patteson, Latoya Smith | Moderator: Lindsey Lane. Texas Ballroom 5 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Collect Your Thoughts: Writing and Publishing Memoir” Panelists: Jim Hornfischer, Donna Johnson, Kim Perel, Suzy Spencer | Moderator: Leila Levinson. Texas Ballroom 6 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Coming of Age: Writing for Teens & Tweens” Panelists: Katherine Catmull, Susanna Einstein, Mallory Kass, Nikki Loftin | Moderator: Greg Leitich Smith. Texas Ballroom 7 (second floor)
  • 3:00 to 3:15 pm. Break. Enjoy refreshments while visiting the conference exhibitors. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 3:15 to 4:15 pm. Breakout Sessions
  • BUSINESS “What Agents Can (and Can’t) Do for You” Panelists: Erin Harris, Jim Hornfischer, Chelsea Lindman, Kim Perel | Moderator: Vanessa Lee. Hill Country A&B (first floor)
  • BUSINESS/CRAFT “What I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then: Published Authors Speak Out” Panelists: Elizabeth Crook, Carol Dawson, Bret Anthony Johnston, James Magnuson | Moderator: Becka Oliver. Hill Country C&D (first floor)
  • BUSINESS “What Else Can a Story Be? Film, TV, Graphic Novels, and More” Panelists: Ryan Doherty, Greg Levin, Jason Neulander, Lisa Woods | Moderator: Owen Egerton
  • Texas Ballroom 5 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Edge-of-Your-Seat Fiction: Crafting Thrillers & Mysteries” Panelists: Noah Ballard, Alexandra Burt, Meg Gardiner, Will Roberts | Moderator: Scott Montgomery. Texas Ballroom 6 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Uncover Your Book: Researching Nonfiction or Historical Narratives” Panelists: Leila Levinson, Sandy Lu, Jessica Papin, John Pipkin | Moderator: Laura Cottam Sajbel. Texas Ballroom 7 (second floor)
  • 4:15 to 4:30 pm. Break Enjoy refreshments while visiting the conference exhibitors. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 4:30 to 5:30 Breakout Sessions
  • BUSINESS “When Mary (Helen) Met Emily: An Author/Agent Success Story” Panelists: Emily Forland, Mary Helen Specht | Moderator: Samantha Clark. Hill Country A&B (first floor)
  • BUSINESS “Big House, Small House, My Own House: Which Publishing Path Is Right for You?” Panelists: Chris Barton, Jill Meyers, Tracy Schorn, Maya Ziv | Moderator: Michael Noll. Hill Country C&D (first floor)
  • BUSINESS “Social Media 101 for Authors: Tips & Tricks from the Experts” Panelists: Wendi Aarons, Stephanie Barko, Rusty Shelton, Monika Woods | Moderator: Jason Neulander. Texas Ballroom 5 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Alternate Worlds: Writing Sci-Fi & Fantasy” Panelists: Katherine Catmull, PJ Hoover, Laura Liddell Nolen, Kelly O’Connor | Moderator: Bradley Wilson. Texas Ballroom 6 (second floor)
  • CRAFT “Rules of Love: Is It a Romance or a Romantic Story?” Panelists: Elizabeth Essex, Linda McFall, Beth Miller, Latoya Smith | Moderator: Vanessa Lee. Texas Ballroom 7 (second floor)


Sunday, June 28

  • 7:30 to 9:00 am. Breakfast. Get your day started right with coffee, baked treats, and other refreshments. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 8:00 to 9:00 am. “Meditation: A Writer’s Tool” Acclaimed writer and instructor Spike Gillespie will discuss her latest book — Sit. Heal. Stay.: How Meditation Changed My Mind, Grew My Heart and Saved My Ass — and lead attendees in a short meditation. Books will be available for purchase with a signing to follow. If you plan to participate in this morning session, please arrive on time. Texas Ballroom 1-3 (second floor)
  • 9:15 to 10:30 am. Breakout Sessions
  • PRESENTATION “Bootstrap Basics to Growing Your Online Platform” with Wes Fang | Emcee: Carlotta Stankiewicz . Texas Ballroom 5 (second floor)
  • PRESENTATION “Exploring the Evolving Digital Publishing World” with Kelly O’Connor | Emcee: Suzy Spencer. Texas Ballroom 6 (second floor)
  • PRESENTATION “Crafting a Great (and Saleable) Nonfiction Proposal” with Serena Jones | Emcee: Chris Barton. Texas Ballroom 7 (second floor)
  • PRESENTATION “The Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Self-Published Authors” with Deanna Roy | Emcee: Sam Bond. Texas Ballroom 1 (second floor)
  • 10:30 to 10:45 am. Break Enjoy refreshments while visiting the conference exhibitors. Texas Foyer (second floor)
  • 10:45 am. to 12:00 noon Breakout Sessions
  • PRESENTATION “Anatomy of a Blockbuster Deal: the Process of Book to Film and Television” with Ryan Doherty and David Hale Smith | Emcee: Olga Campos Benz. Texas Ballroom 5 (second floor)
  • PRESENTATION “Never Let Me Go: How to Grab the Attention of Readers, Editors, and Agents with Your Opening Pages” with Michael Noll | Emcee: Suzy Spencer. Texas Ballroom 6 (second floor)
  • PRESENTATION “Through the Looking Glass: From Editor to Author” with Meg Leder | Emcee: Carlotta Stankiewicz. Texas Ballroom 7 (second floor)
  • 12:15 to 1:45 pm. Closing Luncheon Join the WLT Staff and special guests for a closing meal and thoughts about where you go from here. Texas Ballroom 1-3 (second floor)


For more information about the conference or about becoming a member of the Writers’ League, visit or call at (512) 499-8914.










Above: Book signing at author Colleen Hoover's East Texas bookstore; below, authors E. L. James (left) and Colleen Hoover (right). Photos from Facebook.

















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