January Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our January meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Fort Davis Public Library in Fort Davis, TX. If you wish to carpool from Alpine, meet us in the Big Bend Telephone parking lot at 6:20 pm so we can depart at 6:30 pm and get there a few minutes early!

Program: 2016 is Going to be a Savory Year  presented by Darrell White and David Seals

Writing “Opportunity”:  “The Mason-Dixon Line” Picture Writing Prompt! See more info and this month’s prompt below…

Refreshments: Darrell White and David Seals

Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

This week I’ve been reading Carson McCullers book, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, for my book club and also working on character descriptions for my new novel. This has made a good combination for my head because McCullers’ characters come off the page so real you think you might meet them in town or already know them. That’s how I would like my characters to be, and as I work on descriptions, I’m trying to enrich them, to develop my fictional people as both physical and emotional beings. It is my hope that when I put them in my book, they will come across as whole people.

When Reba sent her January writing opportunity to me, I realized she had given the TMTW members the same task I was giving myself. If you write about family history, you tell of people from your past. You may know them well, or not at all, but when you write their story, they become characters. Can you, through your words, make them as vivid on paper as they were in real life?

The steering committee hopes the TMTW members find the writing opportunities fun and challenging. Of course, those of you who attend the meetings can read their stories to the group. Out-of-town members can also have their stories read, if they will send them to Reba, , in advance of our meeting.

And speaking of your stories, we plan to publish the Chaos, our TMTW writing journal, this year, and would love to put your work in it. Our esteemed editor, Marian Frueh, has retired from her post. We will miss her very much. Kip Piper has stepped up and agreed to be our chief editor for this book and the steering committee will help. The call for submissions will be out early in February, but if you already have work you plan to submit, it would help greatly if you send it now. Reba is collecting them. Please email it as a doc to her at: .

Happy New Year to all of you, and Happy Writing, too!!

Jackie Siglin, TMTW Steering Committee

2016 is Going to be a Savory Year

Darrell White and David Seals have planned a savory New Year’s meeting for the Trail Writers. Darrell has a great program about the American historical novel from the period of the 1700s to the beginning of the Civil War.

The sweets of Christmas have been banished, and David is planning goodies that are tangy, spicy, salty, and flavorful.

Picture Writing Prompts

The Mason Dixon Line figures in many American family histories, possibly nearly all if we but knew. The January writing opportunity is for you to write something about your own family history. War stories would be great, or other episodes you have been told from your family’s past, on either side of the Mason Dixon line. These stories can be fiction if you choose. Try to write in the historical genre voice, example, The Red Badge of Courage. In 500 words of fewer, explore America’s historical past. Bring to read at the January 19th meeting or email to Reba at .

Facts About the Extent of the original Mason-Dixon line.

Mason and Dixon were prevented from finishing the western portion of the line due to a potential conflict with American Indians. The line was later extended (by others) to the Ohio River and not only established the Pennsylvania/Maryland/Virginia border, but also the border between Marshall and Wetzel Counties (now in West Virginia).

Click on image for a larger view.

Mason Dixon Line


Necessity-Is-A-Mother-Call-For-SubmissionsLAST CALL!!! Kip Piper & Marti Knobloch are Calling for Stories and Poems for New Anthology!

Needed are humorous stories of ingenuity and resourcefulness

Marta Knobloch and Kip Piper, editors at MTC Publications, announce the LAST CALL  for submissions of stories or poems for the anthology, “Necessity is a Mother: Toolbox Tales When All Else Fails”.

Read anthology guidelines at: http://necessityisamother.com/story-guidelines/

Short Story Contest from Fabula Press

Dates: Contest opens on 01Jan16, and submissions will be accepted till 31Mar16. The results will tentatively be declared in Jun16.

Prizes: The contest carries the following prizes:
1. First Prize: US$250
2. Second Prize: US$150
3. Third Prize: US$100

All longlisted entries (top 10-15) get published in an anthology, and non-prize winning published entries will be paid US$50 each. Also, at the sponsors’ discretion additional prizes may be declared for ‘Editors’ Pick’ category (in the last edition of the contest four such prizes of US$50 each were declared).

Theme: None. There is no restriction on genre either, and we are happy to read historical fiction, mystery/suspense, and horror. However, for consistency of presentation we cannot accept children’s stories, fantasy, young adult or chick lit; likewise hardcore science fiction is not something we are looking for, but are open to science based / alternative history based literary works. In case of doubt, it is best to query the editorial team.

Word count: Minimum 1500, maximum 7000. At the editors’ discretion some latitude may be allowed on both minimum and maximum word counts for stories of exceptional merit.

Entry fee: US$10.

Judges: The panel of judges includes literary agents, authors and essayists.

Detailed guidelines are available at www.fabulapress.com.

Love is strange, love is beautiful, love is dangerous…

Sam Hiyate, one of the editors of a new literary website called Don’t Talk to Me About Love, has announced their debut contest, offering $1,000.00 each in fiction, non-fiction and poetry for pieces about love. (Note that the contest deadline is Valentine’s day — just over a month away!)

P.S. If you enjoy the site, please subscribe to the website. (It’s free.) You can also like them on Facebook or tweet about them.

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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