Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wordcraft – Readers & writers: Texas wants you!

When it’s spring in Texas, literary events pop up faster than bluebonnets after a rain. Here are some of the events for readers and writers that have sprouted in my inbox lately.

Current – April 22: Contestants are already duking it out at DL Hammons WRiTE CLUB 2016. Everyone is welcome to drop by and vote on the anonymous 500-word writing samples from every imaginable genre. Voting for each bout remains open for a week, so there’s still time to catch up on some of last week’s contestants. I participated in this quirky contest last year and found readers’ comment immeasurably helpful, not only on my own work but on that of other writers. If you find yourself one of the 30 contestants, you may even vote for yourself.

March 19: Find yourself suddenly tongue-tied when asked about your book? The Richardson, Texas-based Writers Guild of Texas spring workshop this coming Saturday, March 19, aims to overcome that and help writers deliver engaging conversations about their books. Speaker Dr. Katherine “Kat” Smith  offers tips on voice techniques, listening skills, body language and more when dealing with public media. Nine a.m. – noon in the Heights Room of the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road. Cost is $25 for WGT members, $35 for nonmembers, payable at the door by cash or check.

March 21: Also in March, author/publisher C.L. Stegall offers advice on plotting techniques at the regular monthly meeting of the Writers Guild of Texas. The discussion is aimed at writers who have an initial outline for a manuscript and want to begin detailing their plots. The WGT meets from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the basement of the Richardson Public Library, 900 Civic Center Dr. (adjacent to the Civic Center). Annual dues are $25, or visit one time free.

April 1 -30: Stegall’s plot techniques should also come in hand for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo project. No longer confined to November, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) hosts 2-person online writing groups it calls cabins during April. Unlike the November write-a-thon that aims for 50,000 words per writer in 30 days, the camp lets writers choose their own word count goals, with NaNoWriMo’s free online support and progress tracking ability. The real goal? To encourage commitment to writing on a daily basis. Sign up here.

April 22: DFW Writers Conference pre-conference workshops. Love DFW’s professional instructors but don’t want to commit to the full conference experience? Or maybe you just want more, more, more than the conference can cram into its two-day event April 23-24? Try one or more of its pre-conference workshops with authors/journalists Christopher Golden, Tara McKelvey and Thomas Kunkel. The cost of each two-hour workshop is $39-$49, all in the same site as the regular conference, this year in the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., Fort Worth.

Need more events? Check out last Tuesday’s post (“Young writers wanted, and Houston’s calling”) about events for young readers and writers, and the Houston Writers Guild conference and pre-conference workshops.

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