December Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our December CHRISTMAS PARTY will be held on FRIDAY, December 14, 2018, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the Community Room of the West Texas National Bank in Alpine. (See details below.) (Note different day of the week!)

Writing Prompts: First Line Prompts (See description below)

Party Refreshments provided by TMTW Members

Guests, friends, spouses, writers or not.. ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee


Recipe: Invite two writers/speakers from the Writers’ League of Texas in Austin; add a strong dash of savory finger foods, a smidgen of delectable desserts, and a sip of cinnamon cider, wine, or coffee, and you’ve got yourself a Texas Mountain Trail Writers’ Christmas Shindig!

Becka Oliver and Michael Noll, fearless leaders in the Writers’ League of Texas with a lot of writing and presentation credits to their names, will present a free program on The Craft and Business of Writing.

Refreshments will be served at 5:30 and the program will be from 6 – 7:30 pm. on Friday, Dec. 14, at the West Texas National Bank conference room in Alpine, on the corner of Avenue E and 5th Street. All are welcome!

It’s not a traditional Trail Writers’ Christmas party: no gifts, no reading of our Christmas stories, and no usual potluck. Instead, members are asked to bring finger foods for nibbling and a pad on which to take notes if they wish.

Please email Reba at and let her know what you will bringing as a finger food.

Visitors are always welcome!

Merry Christmas!

Reba Cross Seals for the Steering Committee: 

December Program: The Craft + Business of Writing with WLT

12/14/2018 From 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

We’re excited to visit the Texas Mountain Trail Writers in West Texas to offer this free and open event featuring two presentations on the craft of writing and the business of publishing from Writers’ League of Texas staff members, plus the opportunity to meet other writers in the area, learn about local programs and offerings, and more.

WLT Program Director Michael Noll, author of the recently published book The Writer’s Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction, will discuss strategies for solving problems of character, scene, plot, and structure. A great way to find such strategies, Michael says, is by doing close readings of great writing and adapting the techniques gleaned from these close readings to your own work. This presentation will offer practical tips for doing just that.

WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver spent more than 16 years working in the book industry, first at major publishing houses and then as a literary agent, before joining the Writers’ League. In this presentation about the business side of publishing, Becka will talk about best practices for querying agents and how the process – from query, to submission, to publishing deal, to publication – works.

There will be plenty of time for questions (bring your burning questions!) for both presenters. We hope to see you there!

Becka Oliver, Executive Director, WLT

December Writing Prompts — First Line Prompts

First Line Prompts for members who were not able to attend the November Auction. These lines are free for your choosing. All First Line stories will be read at the January meeting, whether purchased at November auction or selected from the choices below.

The writing guidelines remain at 500 words or fewer, Times New Roman, 12-point font.

Here are the First Line Prompts for December and to be read at the January meeting:

She crept up the stairs, hoping she would miss the creaks in the old wooden boards.

I knew you wanted a family.

My ticket of admission is my entry fee, and my ringmaster is the clown beyond the chutes.

Just please don’t do it again!

Now it was my turn.

It’s the third blue house on the left.

Request for Submissions: Kaleidoscope™, A Reflection on Women’s Journeys™

We are hoping that you might have some women in your group who would be interested in submitting to an ongoing anthology.  All information on the themes we are looking for can be found on our website

We also have a Facebook page and hope that you might take a moment to like us.

Marianne Chester, Co-Founder, Kaleidoscope™, A Reflection on Women’s Journeys™

Ireland Writing Retreat

Ireland Writing Retreat inspiration weeks are built as creative writing vacations with a difference – scenic walks, expeditions to historical sites, fascinating talks and daily practical writing and editing workshops – all providing rich material for specific writing assignments which are then discussed with tutors.

Please note – we can only accommodate a maximum of ten participants for every session, so as to guarantee the kind of personalized experience the retreat is renown for.

The above discount is valid only for your members who register for next year’s retreat before the above mentioned date and they must mention the code IWR19 in their message.

Columbia Hillen
Retreat Coordinator

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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