Last week, we hit the road to meet face to face with our Writers’ League of Texas members in Houston. (It’s our plan to make similar trips to other areas throughout the state in the months ahead; stay tuned!)
With close to 100 members in and around the Houston area, we thought it was high time we made an appearance on their doorstep to say hello and spend some quality getting-to-know-you time (and, truly, what an easy car ride away it is, made even more enjoyable by the roadside wildflowers along TX 71 already in full bloom; expect to see more of us, Houston!).
We came away from our two full days of meetings beyond impressed by the vibrant and varied literary community in Houston and its environs. In the coming weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of the terrific people we met via 5 Question Q&A’s here on Scribe, starting with an introduction to a very impressive Houstonite, Pamela Fagan Hutchins, the new(ish) President of the Houston Writers Guild. Pamela was kind enough to join us for coffee one morning and we were excited to learn more about the HWG and its programming (her kindness has extended to our membership with the generous offer of a discount for their upcoming April event — details below!).
More from us soon!
Becka and Jennifer
5 Questions for Pamela Fagan Hutchins:
Scribe: What’s it like running the Houston Writers Guild?
Pamela: Crazy in a good way. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do for this group, and write, and keep working the day job, and pay enough attention to my long-suffering husband and brood of five offspring, four dogs, two ducks, one heifer, and six goats. The writing community in the city of Houston has been so good to me, though, that I couldn’t repay it in a lifetime, even with a clone working side by side with me. Luckily, I have an amazing cadre of hard-core volunteers, and we’re making it happen together.
Scribe: With all that, how’d you end up saying yes to this role?
Pamela: How could I not? Roger Paulding founded the Houston Writers Guild fifteen years ago, and he lovingly built the organization, even funding it with his own money when it struggled financially. He needed a break from it, and the organization needed to transition from being, essentially, a sole-proprietorship, to a non-profit run by volunteers. He asked me to buy it from him, and I did. We’re in the process of converting it to a 501(c)(3) now. It’s very exciting.
Scribe: What’s up next for the HWG?
Pamela: We’re gearing up for our annual writers conference April 11-13. This year’s theme is Fifty Shades Beyond Gray: Coloring Your Writing and Infusing Your Future. We’ll have six agents and acquiring editors taking pitches, rising star Texan Nikki Loftin delivering our keynote (Penguin/Razorbill author of Nightingale’s Nest), a pre-conference Revision 101 workshop and a post-conference Author Platform workshop, an informal dinner with the editors and agents April 11, manuscript consults, and three concurrent tracks featuring Kobo’s US Manager Christine Munroe and 14 other top-notch topics and speakers capped with an agent “state and future of the industry” Q&A.
Scribe: Is it just for local writers?
Pamela: Absolutely not. Houston is a fantastic destination city, and our conference should attract people from all over the country. Hotels are abundant near our venue, the Marriott Sugar Land Town Center, and inexpensive. Houston is famous for its restaurant scene, and we’ve got great airports.
Scribe: Can you sweeten the pot for members of the Writers’ League of Texas who might want to attend? And where can they find more information about registration?
Pamela: No problem! We will extend our member discount of 20+% to all members of the Writers’ League of Texas. Not only that, but, while spots remain available, your first agent pitch or manuscript consult is on us with a paid, member-discount registration for the conference, and a second free pitch or consult is yours with paid, member-discount registration to both the Friday and Sunday workshops. When you register for your free pitch or consult, choose the free option from the pull-down choices. Be sure to download and return via email (HoustonWritersGuild@Hotmail.com) the Conference Registration Form and Agent/Editor Preferences forms from our registration page (http://houstonwritersguild.org/annual-conference/registration-for-2014-annual-conference/), and note that you are a member of the Writers’ League of Texas.
A little about Pamela
Pamela Fagan Hutchins, President of the Houston Writers Guild, writes award-winning and bestselling romantic mysteries and hilarious nonfiction by night and is an employment attorney and workplace investigator by day. She is passionate about great writing, smart authorpreneurship and her oddball urban family: good-looking husband (1), offspring (5), dogs (4), goats (4), ducks (2), and heifer (1). She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start. You can reach Pamela through her website, http://pamelahutchins.com.