September 2019 Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our September meeting will be held Saturday, September 28, 2019, from 3:00-5:00 p.m., in the Community Room of the West Texas National Bank at 101 East Avenue E in Alpine.

 Moderator:  Robbie Burns

Program: Beating Writer’s Block presented by Rachel Barrett

Photo Writing Prompts: (See below for information)

Refreshments provided by Robbie Burns

Beating Writer’s Block:  Presented by Rachel Barrett

Writer’s block – we’ve all been there! As the late outdoor humorist Patrick McManus once said, “I can’t count the times I’ve stared into the cold muzzle of a blank sheet of paper!”

Maybe you’ve got a new project you want to dig in to, but aren’t sure where to begin. Or maybe you’re working through some rough spots in the middle, and just need a fresh perspective. September’s program will share some great ways to find inspiration, create goals, and make progress in your writing. Get ready for some creative exercises and fun discussion!

This month’s meeting is at 3:00 p.m. at West Texas National Bank, on September 28th

Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

Our Second Annual Summer Writing Challenge was a fantastic success, with ten entries submitted! All paid members will get to read the entries and send in their votes for first, second, and third place, as well as three Honorable Mentions. Winners will be announced at our September meeting. The suspense builds! The deadline for voting is September 20, 2019.

Where has the summer gone?  It seems like only yesterday that we were all sitting under the trees eating pizza and enjoying the afternoon breeze as we passed around our Chaos books for autographs.  We hope that your summer writing adventures continued and you were able to put them on paper.  The committee has planned a great year of programs and we  would like to extend an invitation to attend a meeting or two to anyone who might be passing through town.  Enjoy the prompts provided by different individuals throughout this coming year.  Hopefully they will inspire and we look forward to submittals from our out-of-town friends as well.

Rachel Barrett and Robbie Ann Burns, TMTW Steering Committee Members

What’s New:
“Novels, like any works of art, are prone to negative criticism and, if they push the boundaries enough, can even get censored or banned. As the saying goes, however, any press is good press, and even heavily criticized and banned books have gone on to become some of the most popular works of all time.” – Check out a lot more great discussion in this Insider article:

Searching for the perfect setting for that story idea? Here’s a fun and lively look at famous books set in each of our unique and wonderful states:

Inspirational Quotes:

“Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little.” – Holley Gerth

“Have the audacity to be a writer, because your words matter!” – Bryan Hutchinson

Photo Writing Prompts – Members’ Photos

TMTW members are invited to participate in choosing the monthly Photo Writing Prompt by submitting good quality, sharp ORIGINAL (YOUR photo – not someone else’s) images in JPG format to Jerri Garza.  Do not send anything from the Internet as we would be subject to heavy fines.

Send two to four images no later than the 10th of each month to Jerri at .  Jerri will then send four selections to Kip for inclusion in the newsletter.  Please have images at high resolution for publication. There is no monetary compensation for TMTW use of members’ images.  Images must be received by the deadline for use in the writing prompts.  It is not required to submit images for writing prompts participation.

The writing guidelines remain at 500 words or fewer, Times New Roman, 12-point font.  If you wish, you may read or have your Opportunity read at the monthly meeting.  You can choose to write about one, several, or all images.  If all images are selected for the Writing Opportunity, then attempt to combine the images into one related assignment.

Use these as they are or use anything they might inspire in you.  You can also choose not to read, but whatever your choice you can always submit it for publication in Chaos.  Black and white versions of members photos may be included in the Chaos if anyone chooses their photo as writing inspiration.  Submitting a photo implies permission to reproduce as TMTW chooses and we will credit the photographer in every instance.  Questions? Email Jerri at .

September’s four photo writing prompts are the images below, should you like to use them.

Submitted by Pam Breithaupt

Submitted by Reba Seals

Submitted by Jerri Garza

Submitted by Marti Stebbins

Call for Submissions:
Got a short story burning a hole in your pocket? Don’t miss this year’s ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story contest. They are seeking short stories up to 20,000 words, with “special cinematic potential”. Early deadline is September 30, with a $39 reading fee, and cash prizes of $1,000 for 1st place, and $300 for 2nd place! Details at For those whose tastes run longer, check out their sister contest at! 

Calling all poets! Check out the 17th annual Tom Howard & Margaret Reed Poetry contest. With a fee of just $12 per poem (up to 250 lines, any style!), and a $2,000 cash prize, this is one you don’t want to miss! Deadline September 30. Learn more at

Nonfiction folks, here’s a great chance: Boulevard Magazine’s nonfiction contest, for writers who have not yet been published via a nationally distributed press. Deadline September 30, and the $16 reading fee includes a one year subscription to Boulevard! Get the scoop at

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

Texas Authors <>


I wanted to share with you information about the National Authors Day on November 2, 2019 in Houston Texas.  This is an event to celebrate being a writer/author while also reminding the world of the great books authors write.

I hope you will check out our website at and the share the information with your membership and email list.

With over 10,000 authors in Texas, we know will have a great turn out with your help.  Each author that registers to attend will be listed on the site along with up to four of the books.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thanks for your help,

B. Alan Bourgeois
Texas Authors, Inc. – 

IndieLector.Store – http://IndieLector.Store 
Dear Texas –

Authors Marketing Event – http://2019.Authors.Marketing 
Book Festival Network – http://BookFestival.Network 

Authors Marketing Certification – http://Campus.Authors.Marketing 

Texas Authors Institute –

Short Stories by Texas Authors –

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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