AIPF’s Upcoming Deadlines and Call for Support

Austin International Poetry Fest’s Registration and Submission Deadline Approaching

The 18th annual Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) will be held April 15th through 18th, 2010. AIPF is a four-day, city-wide celebration of poetry and poets of every age and every kind.

Over a dozen poetry readings, 8 open mics, 6 workshops, 3 poetry slams, 2 anthology readings, and a poetry all-nighter will be held at local coffeeshops, bookstores, theaters, gardens and historical sites throughout beautiful downtown Austin, Texas. Over 20 featured international and national poets will be in attendance, stage and page-poets alike, reading alongside over 150 registered AIPF poets.

All events, including open-mics and children/youth readings and workshops, are free and open to the public. Registration is required only for adult participants. 2010 AIPF Headquarters will be Ruta Maya Coffeehouse.

Deadline for adult submissions is February 10.

Adult poets (18+) who wish to submit poems for the annual Adult Anthology Competition must register on our website before February 10th, 2010.

Youth (under 18) wishing to submit poetry for the annual Youth Anthology Competition submit through the mail and can learn more on the AIPF website.


Registration occurs through the AIPF website and is required only for adult poets wishing to submit poetry to the yearly anthology competition, participate in formal workshops, and perform at local venue readings.

Early registration (before March 12th, 2010) is $30, and late registration (through April 17th, 2010) is $50. Adult poets who register early will have their biographies listed in the annual program.


The volunteer board of non-profit Austin Poets International, local business sponsors, literary partners, private donors, and the dedication of dozens of poetry-loving volunteers just like you. Join the celebration! Call or text (512)731-5907 to find out how you, or your organization, can get involved with AIPF.


2009 Book Award Winner in Hunger Mountain

Hunger Mountation, a print and online journal, based in Vermont College of Fine Arts published WLT 2009 Children’s Book Award winner, Kathi Appelt. She contributes to the theme with her piece, “Blurring the Lines,” a creative discussion on the ever-shifting audience line of children’s books.

Kathi Appelt

Kathi Appelt

The Winter Issue for Hunger Mountain is dedicated to “Confronting Controversy.”  The theme explores the controversy in children’s and young adult’s literature.

“In a field as dynamic as ours, where merit is subjective and opinions are strong, how do we distinguish the best of the best? Who gets to decide what’s good, and what’s appropriate, and how do they do so?”

Appelt is the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. Her numerous awards include the Growing Good Kids Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature, the Irma and Simon Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature, the Paterson Poetry Prize for Young Adult Literature, and the Institute of Texas Letters Award for Children’s Literature. Her first novel, The Underneath, was a National Book Award Finalist, a Newbery Honor Book, a Writers’ League of Texas Award Winner, and most recently the PEN USA Literature for Children Award. She was also named the 2009 “Texas Distinguished Author.”

The Underneath

The Underneath

Our very own office manager, Bethany Hegedus, is one of the co-editors of Hunger Mountain. She is also  actively involved in the thriving Austin kid lit scene.  Her second novel Truth With a Capital T, is forthcoming with Delacorte Press in fall 2010.

Don’t forget that we’ve extended the 2010 WLT Book Award deadline to March 15. Sumbit your book before it’s too late! Click here for more information.

TCA Deadline This Monday, February 1



Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) maintains a roster of artists available to perform, give workshops, and or create works of art with community members. For the next roster, TCA really wants the literary field to be well-represented. This is a competitive process, but we do hope to get a wider array of applications from writers, including slam poets, “page poets,” and fiction writers. Writers must be Texas-based.

The deadline to apply is January 31, but since that falls on a Sunday, it’s extended to February 1.

To apply, writers need to get an account set up with TCA by calling at 512/936-6573.  They will use the account to fill out an online application, and they will need to send in a few supporting materials– notable among those is an audiovisual sample of the writer in performance.

Placement on the roster does not guarantee bookings, nor does it have any direct money associated with it, but roster artists can refer nonprofit clients, schools, and municipalities in Texas to the Arts Respond Performance Support grant program— the fact that TCA can provide a grant for up to half of the artist fee is a great incentive to help the artist get bookings.

Please feel free to pass this information along to folks who you think are good candidates, or apply yourselves!

Interested? Learn more here.

Lorain Hemingway Short Story Competition

$2,000 Awaits Winners of Competition

Entries are now being accepted for the 2010 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, created to enthusiastically support the efforts and talent of emerging writers of short fiction whose voices have yet to be heard. (Yes, emerging writers, this is for you!)

Writers will compete for a $1,000 first-place prize, $500 second-place prize, and $500 third-place prize in this internationally-acclaimed competition. Several honorable mentions are also awarded each year. As an added prize, beginning in 2009, The Saturday Evening Post will publish our first-place winner. Payment by The Saturday Evening Post for publication of the winning story will be in addition to our $1000 first-place prize.

Stories in all genres of fiction are welcome. Maximum length is 3,000 words, and writers retain all rights to their work. The final deadline is May 15, 2010; winners will be announced at the end of July.

Interested? Visit their web site for complete guidelines, further background, and listings of previous winners. You can also find their listings in Writer’s Market, Poets and Writers, and other literary references.

What the heck is a Platform, anyway?!

Ten building blocks every writer needs with Bill Crawford and Rusty Shelton

WLT 2010 Third Thursday Series

“Building Your Buzz!”

7 p.m. January 21
at the Writers’ League Office
611 S. Congress Ave., Suite 130

This session, our first of the New Year, will focus on defining that annoying, ever-present, and oh-so-hard to define buzz word of the publishing industry: platform. What is it? Why do I need one? And how do I build one? It will be an overarching introduction to the world of buzz-building and will touch on the ten topics, or building blocks, to be covered throughout the year’s Third Thursday meetings.

Bill Crawford

Bill Crawford

Rusty Shelton

Rusty Shelton

We’re lucky to have Bill Crawford and Rusty Shelton as our panelists this time around!

Bill Crawford is a development editor for the Greenleaf Book Group in Austin and is ghostwriting a history of the HGTV network.

Rusty Shelton is the managing director of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists.

Before the program, join us from 5-7 PM for Happy Hour at Doc’s Motorworks, 1123 S. Congress Ave., a few blocks down the street from the WLT office. This is a great time to meet and mingle with other writers! We also like it because we get to know our writing community better, both WLT members and nonmembers alike.

To learn more about this free program and upcoming Third Thursdays, please click here.

We really hope to see you there!

Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award

Glimmer Train‘s January Very Short Fiction Award closes its deadline January 31. Entries should not exceed 3,000 words. (Any shorter lengths are welcome.) First place wins $1,200 and publication in Issue 79 of Glimmer Train Stories. Second- and third-place winners receive $500/$300 (or, if chosen for publication, $700).

Glimmer Train doesn’t publish stories for children. It’s fine to submit more than one story or to submit the same story to different categories. This award is open to all levels of writers.

Interested? Click here for more information.

“If You Build It, They Will Read”

WLT’s Office Manager Teaches a Lesson in Scene and Structure

Bethany Hegedus

Bethany Hegedus

11 a.m. – noon February 13
at Book People
603 N. Lamar
* Free & Open to the public

The Austin Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators presents our office manager, author Bethany Hegedus, for a nuts and bolts approach to scene and structure. No hammer needed, or nails— just bring a notebook and get ready to examine Aristotle’s Incline and the 7 Key Scenes every book needs.

Please be familiar with Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, (and who isn’t?) as Bethany will discuss the 7 Key Scenes used to build this gem of a book.

Final Call: 2010 Eric Hoffer Book Award

Each year independent publishers release extraordinary books to little or no recognition. The Eric Hoffer Book Award recognizes excellence in publishing. A single gives you five ways to win: genre, press, the Montaigne Medal, the da Vince Eye, and the Hoffer grand prize. The least expensive way to promote your book is with point-of-sale award recognition and international press coverage.

Deadline: January 21

Awards and Benefits:

  • $1,500 grand prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Books
  • Winner of the Montaigne Medal for most thought-provoking books
  • Winner of the da Vinci Eye for best cover
  • Winner and First Runner-Up awarded for every category
  • Honorable Mentions for every category
  • Individual Awards for Micro, Small, and Academic Presses, as well as Self-Published Books
  • Coverage in The US Review of Books, in the annual anthology Best New Writing, and on the Eric Hoffer website
  • Gold Seal Certificates
  • Worldwide Exposure

Why is the Eric Hoffer Award Unique?

  • Low entrance fee ($45)
  • Montaigne Medal (for most thought-provoking book)
  • da Vinci Eye (for superior cover art)
  • Categories in all book genres
  • Legacy categories for any book older than two years
  • Coverage in the US Review of Books
  • Coverage in Best New Writing
  • Recognition with one of America’s premier philosophers, Eric Hoffer

Awards are open to academic, independent, small press, and self-published books that were released or copyrighted in the last 2 years, including unique books with small print runs.

Go to the Eric Hoffer Award website for more details.

Gival Press Announces Winner of the Sixth Annual Short Story Award

Congratulations to winner Perry Glasser!

Perry Glasser

Perry Glasser

Gival Press is a business member with the Writers’ League and we’re proud to honor their winner, Glasser. His winning story, I-95, Southbound, can be found at the Gival website. Glasser received the $1,000 prize. He is the author of Dangerous Places, a collection of short fiction that received the 2008 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize from BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2009 the book was named the recipient of the National “Best Books 2009” Award—Fiction & Literature: Short Story Fiction by USA Book News.

Tim Johnston, last year’s winner and the final judge, said, “In a field of strong contenders, I-95, Southbound prevailed because in addition to its incredible fineness of language, its mastery of point-of-view, and its pitch-perfect voice, it simply knocked me out of my chair with a great wallop of surprise.”

We’d also like to congratulate the finalists: Kindal Gray, Clarinda Harriss, Diedra McAffee, and Jose Skinner.

The Practice of Reading and Writing Together

Only 4 seats left in Dr. Saundra Goldman’s class!

Saundra Goldman

Dr. Saundra Goldman

3 – 6 PM Sundays, January 10, February 14,
March 14, April 11, & May 16

at the Writers’ League Office
611 S. Congress Ave., Suite 130
$299 members/ $359 nonmembers

Start the New Year off right with a writing gift to yourself! There are only a few seats still available for Dr. Saundra Goldman’s spring class: The Practice of Reading and Writing Together, so register today.

This class combines writing practice with the practice of close and careful reading for craft. Each month the class will cover a different book, selected for its example of structure, scene, setting, etc. Then, students will try those techniques in class using the structure of writing practice. In between meetings, students will write in small groups, either online or in person, depending on the schedules of group members.

This class requires a commitment to regular writing practice, including writing with the small group, reading the assigned material at least once, and reading/listening to one another’s work without judgment or comment. Students will have the opportunity to turn in one piece of writing to the instructor for feedback.

Preliminary Reading List:
· Thunder and Lightning, by Natalie Goldberg
· Insatiable, by Erica Rivera (author will do phone chat with the class)
· The Best Day, The Worst Day, by Donald Hall
· On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
· Larry’s Party, by Carol Shields

Dr. Saundra Goldman brings years of experience in writing practice, including intensive study with Natalie Goldberg. She is a writer and art historian. Her short stories, essays, and reviews have been published in literary journals, museum catalogs, textbooks, anthologies, and professional journals, including Art News, New Art Examiner, Art Papers, Theater and Drama Review, and the Texas Observer. She also served as art critic to the Austin American-Statesman and the Austin Chronicle. She is currently writing a book about the feminist performance artist and sculptor Hannah Wilke.

Interested? Register here now!