April Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our April meeting IS CANCELLED! Watch your Inbox for details on our May meeting.

From the President’s Corner

The TMTW annual retreat will start this Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m. with the reception at Front Street Books in Alpine, TX.  Our local members are excited and busy doing their jobs this week to make sure this is another outstanding event.  We have a few slots left, so if you are a last minute planner or just realized you are going to be free, please sign up and join us for the weekend. The retreat is a wonderful place for both beginning and advanced writers, and provides an intimate setting in which to meet fellow writers and the speakers.

Speaking of the presenters, here’s what I’m looking forward to hearing from each of them:

Becka Oliver brings us knowledge of the publishing world. Many in our group have made their decision re self-publishing or trying for an agent.  I’m still on the fence and when I read things on the internet, it seems I’m not alone.  Publishing is changing every day and I’m excited to hear her opinions.

Lisa Wingate is an author of twenty-one books and is said to be a masterful storyteller.  The second part is what intrigues me.  I can’t wait to get her hints on how to weave storytelling magic into the mysteries I intend to write.

WC Jameson is a treasure hunter.  Who wouldn’t want to meet someone with that title? He’s going to talk about research, and I hope, some about how to promote yourself.  It sounds like he does a great job, and I would like to do better.

I’m counting down the days until we get started.  Hope to see a lot of you there.


2014 TMTW “Writers Retreat” Spring Conference


Texas Mountain Trail Writers’

23rd Spring Retreat
April 11, 12, 13 2014

The Texas Mountain Trail Writers
welcome you to their 23rd annual retreat
in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

Mountain Trails Lodge between Fort Davis and Alpine
Check out the beauty!

Professional Published Speakers, Fabulous Food with
Fellow Writers, Awesome Scenery

More exciting details here!

Online Registration Form here.

Printable Registration Form here.


Texas Mountain Trail Writers–March Minutes

Tuesday, March 18, 2014–Jeff Davis County Library

Present: Aleta Belcher (Conference Chairperson), Elaine Davenport (Secretary), Edy Elfring (Social Chairperson), Bob Miles, Kip Piper (Conference Chairperson), David Seals, Reba Seals (Conference Chairperson), Jackie Siglin (President), Eleanor Taylor, Anne VanLoon (Treasurer).

Meeting Called to Order by Jackie Siglin. February Minutes Approved by those present.

Treasurer’s Report–February

  • In the checking account, the starting balance was $3,874.16. The ending balance was $4,889.16. A total of $1,015.00 was deposited into the account ($1,000 transfer from PayPal, $15 for membership dues). There were no disbursements.
  • In the PayPal account, the starting balance was $630.36. The ending balance was $194.53. A total of $597.13 was deposited into the account ($28.52 in membership dues; $567.13 in membership dues and registration fees). Disbursements from the account totaled $1,031.48 ($1,000 transfer to checking; $31.48 for Vistaprint promotional items).

Old Business

  • Edy Elfring reported she is having difficulty accessing the minutes. Kip Piper volunteered to help Ms. Elfring solve this problem.
  • Ms. VanLoon stated that, to date, twenty people have registered for the conference. She gave the Vistaprint conference promotional items to those present for distribution throughout this region.
  • Reba Seals reported she sent an email to Kip Piper with information on the writing assignment and the early bird special. This information is to be sent out to the TMTW mailing list.
  • Jackie Siglin stated she sent out a “blind cc” to invite people to the conference. Ms. Siglin reported that Marian Frueh is busy editing the Chaos and that Ms. Frueh states the anthology should be ready for distribution by conference time. The theme and writing opportunities for the conference have been finalized.
  • Ms. Elfring said that she needs more door prizes. Some have been collected at this meeting, but not enough.
  • Ms. Seals reported difficulty still exists in getting information regarding the conference published in the Alpine Avalanche.

New Business

  • Ms. Seals announced that a conference committee meeting will be held at 11:30 A.M. on Wednesday, March 19.
  • Aleta Belcher suggested that several conference attendees should read their writing opportunities at the Friday night (April 11) reception.
  • Several persons present mentioned the need to recruit new members. Ms. VanLoon stated the TMTW needs more young members.
  • Ms. Seals commended Elaine Davenport for the work she did on contacting writers‘ groups throughout the state, Janith Stephenson for her efforts regarding news releases, and Kip Piper for maintaining the club’s website since 2008.

Meeting Adjourned by Jackie Siglin.

Program— Kip Piper spoke on building a solid author platform. She detailed “three killer steps” necessary to accomplish this goal.
March’s Writing Opportunity–”The Dead Of Winter,” a mystery. Eleanor Taylor, Reba Seals, and Edy Elfring read their compositions.

Refreshments Provided by Aleta Belcher.
Submitted by Elaine Davenport, Secretary, on April 9, 2014.

Writers League of Texas – Calling all Texas authors!

If you published a book during 2013, this contest is for you.

Submit Your Recently-Published Book to the 2014 WLT Book Awards Contest

Click Here for More Information and Details

Nimrod International Journal – 36th annual Nimrod Literary Award

This is a reminder that there’s just about a month left to enter the 36th annual Nimrod Literary Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction.  The Awards offer first prizes of $2,000 and publication and second prizes of $1,000 and publication, along with a trip to Tulsa to receive the Awards and take part in our annual writing conference. The postmark deadline for this year’s Awards is April 30th, 2014.

For more information about Nimrod, please visit our website at www.utulsa.edu/nimrod.

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition 2014

Writers of short fiction are encouraged to enter the 2014 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. The competition has a thirty-four year history of literary excellence, and its organizers are dedicated to enthusiastically supporting the efforts and talent of emerging writers of short fiction whose voices have yet to be heard. Lorian Hemingway, granddaughter of Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, is the author of three critically acclaimed books: Walking into the River, Walk on Water, and A World Turned Over. Ms. Hemingway is the competition’s final judge.

Deadline is May 1, 2014. Click here for more information!

Braggin’ Rights

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals

Texas Mountain Trail Writers were thrilled to see a former Retreat presenter, Suzy Spencer, as a featured contributor in the March/April, 2014 issue of Writer’s Digest. Our Retreat presenters are always well-known published authors with much experience and expertise to share as Suzy demonstrated. Congratulations, Suzy, for one more publishing notch on your holster.

As Seen on Facebook

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals







Submitted by Kip Piper


oh look a book

Join or Renew Your TMTW Membership

Membership in the Texas Mountain Trail Writers can help you grow as a writer, whether you write purely for fun or for a living. AND we accept dues payments online at our website! For more information, click here.

Final Note from the Editor:

Have news? Toot your horn, clang your bell, raise your roof! Tell us your news and stories – or writing news in general, such as publications you would recommend, contests, book events, etc. Send your Braggin’ Rights and Trail Bits to .


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