2014 Writers Retreat

23rd Annual
Texas Mountain Trail Writers Spring Retreat

Writing Round-Up

Mountain Trails Lodge
Alpine & Fort Davis, Texas

April 11, 12, 13, 2014

Write into the Sunset

Lisa Wingate: Fiction master, award winning, best selling author of twenty-one books

WC Jameson: Prolific, nonfiction author of adventure, western research & memoir

Becka Oliver: Literary agent with major publishing house experience & WLT


Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, and a national best selling author of twenty-one books and countless magazine articles. Lisa is also a popular inspirational speaker, a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books and a regular contributor at Southern BelleView Daily web magazine. Her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, is in its nineteenth printing from Penguin Putnam.

Lisa skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable Southern settings with elements of women’’s fiction, history and mystery to create stories that Publisher’s Weekly referred to her as ““Masterful” and having “Texas-sized charm.” Romance Reviews Today hailed her work as “”not to be missed… – a perfect 10!”” And Texas Monthly calls her “a “skilled writer.””

Lisa is one of a select group of fiction authors to find success in both the Christian and mainstream markets, writing for Bethany House, a Christian publisher, Penguin Books in mainstream fiction and Tyndale House. She has held positions on many bestseller lists, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Her works have been featured by the National Reader’s Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild and American Profiles, along with numerous other awards. She has been a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, an Inspy Award nominee, seven time ACFW Carol award nominee, a two-time Carol Award winner, and a #1 Kindle Bestseller.

Lisa’s books have become hallmarks of southern fiction. Her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women’’s literacy in India. Closer to home in Tulsa , Oklahoma, the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteer mentors teach adults to read.

WC Jameson is the award-winning and best-selling author of more than ninety books and over 1,500 published articles and essays!

WC’’s latest book is the adventure memoir, Treasure Hunter: Caches, Curses, and Deadly Confrontations. This book is garnering positive reviews, impressive sales, and has generated interest from movie producers. He is the best selling treasure author in the world!

WC is the creator of the “Buried Treasurers of America” series. His success and fame as a professional treasure hunter have led to appearances on TV’s Unsolved Mysteries, the Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel, Nightline and National Public Radio.

Another of WC Jameson’’s most popular books is Billy the Kid: Beyond the Grave, a regional best seller. This popular nonfiction western writer presents stunning evidence that Billy the Kid was not killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in 1881, but went on to live an amazing life for the next sixty-nine years.

WC has won numerous awards for his writing from a number of professional associations. A nationally recognized and honored author, he has served as a judge for several prestigious literary competitions.

When not on an expedition or writing a book, Jameson tours the country performing his music at folk festivals, colleges and universities, concert halls, and roadhouses. He is an accomplished songwriter and performer. WC has recorded five albums of his original music and acted in five films. He wrote and performed in the musical, Whatever Happened to the Outlaw, Jesse James?

This fascinating, prolific nonfiction writer shows many facets. All his writings are frank and unvarnished and show intensive research.

Becka Oliver is the lady who holds the key of knowledge about how to share artists’ writings with the world.  Becka cut her literary teeth while working at major publishing houses in various branches of the industry. She spent sixteen years developing skills and knowledge of what is wanted and needed in the book publishing industry.

Becka spent much of her publishing career inside two of the “big five” publishing leaders — —Macmillan and Hachette Book Group ——licensing domestic and foreign rights on behalf of several notable authors, including Nicholas Sparks, Sandra Brown, Nelson DeMille, Brad Meltzer, David Baldacci, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, and more.

In 2007 she made the leap from Associate Director of Subsidiary Rights at Grand Central Publishing to Literary Agent, first at Endeavor, and then at William Morris Endeavor (WME) after the two powerhouse talent agencies merged in 2009. As a literary agent for five years, Becka represented clients writing both fiction and non-fiction, including Brunonia Barry, Sheryl Crow, Kamran Pasha, Joanna Philbin, Susan Rebecca White and the popular blog, Awkward Family Photos.

Following this stint, she has recently come to Austin as the new Executive Director of the Writers’ League of Texas, a statewide non-profit dedicated to supporting writers (both published and not yet published.) Becka oversees a full slate of year-round programming and events, including monthly classes, panel discussions, and author presentations in rural libraries and public schools. She also oversees a summer writing retreat at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, and the annual Agents & Editors Conference held in Austin in June each year. The Writers’ League has over 900 members across Texas.

Becka’’s presentations will concern the business end of writing and helping retreat attendees get enough knowledge to get their works published after they are written and polished to a high sheen.

Adventure, Memoir, History, Romance & Mystery…
Writing Round-Up
has a Genre for everyone. 

Texas Mountain Trail Writers Spring Retreat
April 11, 12, 13, 2014 at the Mountain Trails Lodge
just south of Fort Davis, Texas.

Enjoy the western atmosphere, pleasant warm days and cool mountain nights, while listening to presentations from professional, published and award-winning authors.

You’ll love the home cooked meals and attractive cabins.

You may choose to go hiking on a mountain trail, birding, exploring shops in town, photographing, visiting nearby cemeteries, or sitting and thinking up your new work!  There is also a star pad if you would like to bring your telescope to set up under the awesome stars. There will be many opportunities for sharing and networking at mealtimes and in the cool breezes after dark while listening to music.  If you enjoy pickin’ and grinnin’, bring your own guitar for Saturday night.

Weekend Schedule:

Friday Night Writers Reception: April 11, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Your first opportunity to meet our presenters and fellow writers will be at the Front Street Books Reading Room, 201 E. Holland Avenue, in Alpine. Join us for an evening of informal chatting, relaxation and fun. Enjoy wine or soft drinks and a fabulous hors d’oeuvres spread. Introductions will be made, and schedules, along with maps, will be furnished for the Saturday location. This event only is free and open to the public.

Saturday Conference Sessions: April 12, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

All sessions will be at Mountain Trails Lodge beginning with a full breakfast and picking up registration packets. Lunch, dinner and snacks will also be at this location. Dress is country casual, walking shoes encouraged, and audience feedback is welcomed during the friendly presentations.

In the evening after dinner and the guest speaker presentation, stories by participants will be read aloud, and guitar music will float through the air. Bring a jacket and flashlight for chilly mountain evenings.

Sunday Final Session: April 13, 7:00 am to 11:00

An early morning Haiku poetry hike to a nearby cemetery or star pad, a hearty cowboy breakfast, the last dynamic presentation, and a final chance to glean ideas from the speakers are on the agenda.

Retreat participants exchange cards and fond farewells after a weekend of fun and sharing of ideas in the fresh mountain setting.

Registration Form links:   

Downloadable PDF – to print out, complete, pay with check, and mail via post office
ONLINE Registration Form – to complete online and pay via credit card or PayPal

Lodging: Mountain Trail Lodge

501 S. Hwy.118, Fort Davis, TX; 432-426-3481 gro.s1417111723axetc1417111723emd@o1417111723fni1417111723

The Lodge has sixteen very nice cabins that will go quickly. Accommodations are also available in Alpine or Fort Davis that you can reach on the Chamber of Commerce websites.


The following meals are included in your registration fee:

  • Friday – Evening wine/punch & lavish hors d’oeuvres Reception
  • Saturday – Full Breakfast, Lunch Buffet, Round-Up Supper
  • Sunday – Cowboy Breakfast


Door prizes will be given frequently during the weekend. Free time is allowed for exploring or resting. The Lodge has 8 acres overlooking Fort Davis and Sleeping Lion Mountain. Hiking & photography opportunities surround you. A short shopping trip could be made into nearby Fort Davis.

The famous McDonald Observatory is about twenty miles, a half-hour, away on beautiful mountain roads, but an extra day should be allowed to enjoy a visit to the Observatory and the nearby Davis Mountain State Park.

Writing Opportunities for the Retreat

2014 Theme: Write into the Sunset

“Treasure at Dusk”
“In the Shadows of the Mountains”
“Evening Star”

Our 2014 retreat theme is Writing into the Sunset. Our local Trail Writers chose the three writing titles named above. You are invited to write, either prose or poetry, on one of these choices and to read your writing aloud sometime during the conference. The specific rules for the writing opportunity follow.

Rules for Write into the Sunset, 2014

Rules for the after dinner reading and inclusion in the Chaos West of the Pecos, 2014 edition of the annual printed house publication book are:

  1. Title of poem or prose will be one of the above 3 choices, or a variation.
  2. The poem or prose must be fewer than 500 words.
  3. Extreme political opinion essays and explicitly sexual submissions are not appropriate and will be omitted.
  4. Plan to read your work aloud on Saturday night, or select someone to read for you. If you are a paid-up member and can’t attend, send your work to a retreat coordinator who will select someone to read it for you if you wish.
  5. Strong flashlights will be furnished for outside reading if needed.

All stories or poetry will be printed in the next Chaos West of the Pecos. If you are unable to attend, but send in your $15 membership fee by the end of April to our treasurer, Anne Van Loon, you will be eligible to have your work printed in the annual publication.

Additional Information:

Authors with books to sell may do so at no cost if they are paid up members of the Texas Mountain Trail Writers and attend the retreat.  Dues are $15 per year and payment may be made with the retreat fee. Please request a sellers’ table on your registration form. Additional copies of Chaos West of the Pecos will be available for sale at $8 each.

Pet Policy: The Mountain Trails Lodge enjoys a quiet country setting. Wild animals may wander through at will. We think your pet would be happier and safer staying at home, and you don’t risk your lonesome dog crying and disturbing your neighbors while you are out of your room. You must check with the Lodge about their pet policy in the rooms.

Registration Form Links:

Downloadable PDF – to print out, complete, pay with check, and mail via post office
ONLINE Registration Form – to complete online and pay via credit card or PayPal

For More Information contact a member listed below:

Reba Cross Seals
Retreat Co-coordinator

Jackie Siglin

Janith Stephenson
Retreat Co-coordinator

Aleta Belcher
Retreat Co-coordinator

Anne VanLoon

Kip Piper