Spring Writers Retreat | Our Speakers

Acclaimed children’s author, Jessica Lee Anderson; New Mexico writing instructor and manuscript doctor, Lucia Zimmitti; Sul Ross State University research archivists, Melleta Bell and Jerri Garza; and newspaper photojournalist and humorist, Blair Pittman, highlight the annual Writing Round-Up of the Texas Mountain Trail Writers near Alpine on April 9, 10, 11, 2010. A weekend of learning and fun with celebrated speakers, western outdoor cooking, a haiku poetry walk, warm days, cool evenings, and readings around a campfire in the inspiring Davis Mountains is planned for guests. The 19th annual spring retreat in the Big Bend area has many repeat writers returning for the writing tips, publishing secrets, gorgeous scenery of Paisano Encampment, hiking, recharging of batteries, and congenial camaraderie.

Jessica Lee Anderson is the author of Trudy, which won the 2005 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature, as well as Border Crossing. Jessica has published two nonfiction readers, as well as fiction and nonfiction for a variety of magazines including Highlights for Children, Wee One’s Magazine, and Holiday Crafts 4 Kids. While her experiences have ranged from teaching to selling computers to coordinating a vision therapy clinic, her lifelong passion is writing literature for children. She lives near Austin with her husband, Michael.

Lucia Zimmitti has been guiding people in the art of writing for years, both as a high school English teacher and a writing instructor at the college level. She currently works as an editor, consultant, and writing coach with writers at all stages of development. Several of her clients have landed literary agents and publishing contracts. Lucia is a member of SouthWest Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Editorial Freelancers Assoc. Lucia has presented writing workshops and seminars at conferences and retreats across the country. She was recently interviewed on National Public Radio about her method for encouraging and inspiring writers and the particular challenges today’s writers face.

Melleta Bell and Jerri Garza, two experienced archivists at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, will open for a special Saturday afternoon session for the Texas Mountain Trail Writers’ guests. Writers will be allowed to examine primary research materials, hear oral histories, and research rare documents.

Following this session, retreat guests will be taken on an optional tour of the Museum of the Big Bend on the beautiful Sul Ross State University campus.

Blair Pittman, newspaper writer, photojournalist and humorous after-dinner speaker will entertain Saturday night. Pittman has spanned two decades covering the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, moon shots and space walks, and personalities like Elvis to LBJ. After leaving the Houston Chronicle and twenty years of free-lancing, Pittman fulfilled a lifelong dream to move to the Big Bend of Texas. He is author of five books, and now calls Terlingua home.

The annual Spring Retreat Writing Round-Up offers opportunities for exploring, enjoying the peace and solitude of the mountains or socially networking with other writers who share love of the written word.

The first opportunity to meet the guest speakers will be Friday evening, April 9, at the Front Street Books Reading Room on Holland Avenue and 4th Street at 7 p.m. Wine, soft drinks, and hors d’oeuvres will be served. The public is invited to this one event free of charge.
Saturday will be a full day of informative, entertaining sessions ending with a barbeque dinner at the encampment, after which attendees may read aloud their written assignments around a fire.

Sunday sessions will start with an optional Haiku poetry hike, cowboy breakfast, another exciting learning session, and end with more door prizes.

Rustic housing is available at the encampment, or attendees may make their own arrangements at motels/hotels in Alpine, Marfa, or Fort. Davis. Four meals, the Friday night reception and one copy of the annual house publication Chaos West of the Pecos are included into the registration fee. Early bird weekend prices for non-members are $120 for one person or $200 for a household of two. For more information and the registration form contact: Coordinators: Reba Cross Seals , Jackie Siglin, Lodging , Elaine Davenport, Registration

For more information, see http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2010-writers-retreat/


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