September/October 2020 Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement:   Due to Covid-19, our meeting venues are closed until further notice.  We have scheduled our first invitational meeting for October 10, 2020, 3:00 p.m. on Zoom.  Please watch your email for invite to this meeting.  All paid members will receive the invitation.

Photo Writing Prompts:  Members’ Photos (See description below)

Program: None

Moderator:  None

Refreshments:  None

Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

Well, has life ever come along and messed with your plans and calendar?  It did mine and this is the reason our newsletter is covering a two month period.  Sometimes there are those things that cannot be ignored, but we find that we can accommodate whatever comes along our way.  You might also find a story lurking in the pathway of life’s events.  Hope that you are continuing to write and the photo prompts help in some way. 

We are looking forward to hearing some of your stories so please plan on attending our Zoom meeting on October 10, 2020, 3 p.m.  Also, looking forward to seeing some of our new member smiling faces.  Watch your email for the meeting invitation.

Robbie Ann Burns, TMTW Board Member

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 Robbie 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 .

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

Submitted by Marti Stebbins

Submitted by Robbie Ann Burns

Inspirational Quotes:

“The first chapter sells the book.  The last chapter sells the next book. ” Mickey Spillane

“Write the book you want to read.” Austin Kleon

Announcing the winners of the Memorial Summer Memorial Writing Contest:  

Texas Mountain Trail Writers held a summer writing contest to honor the memory of a member of our writing community, Gwynne Jamieson.   We had three entries for this contest and all the writings were awesome!

The results are in, and votes have been counted.  Thank you to the members who entered the contest and to those who voted for placings.  Congratulations to all winners listed below.

1st  Place          Job Well Done by Robbie Burns; Prize Award $50

2nd Place         A Chaos of Blooms by Jerri Garza; Prize Award $30

3rd Place          The Garden Cemetery by Reba Cross Seals; Prize Award $20

Chaos Cover Photo

Kuddos to Jerri Garza!  Here photo “Between the Yuccas” was chosen to be on the front cover of our Chaos publication.  The cover looks great and the books are in and will be mailed out soon to all paid members.  


If you have any news to tell us about, please send to Robbie Ann Burns so that we can share in your accomplishments with your writing submittals.


2nd Annual
Short Short Story Contest

G U I D E L I N E S:  100 words or less – Prose, any genre

C A T E G O R I E S:  water – 1940s – bowling – ants

SUBMISSION DATES: October 1, 2020 – January 15, 2021

Learn more at

Check out:

International Directory
of Writing Workshops, Writers Conferences, Book Festivals, Organizations & Professional Services

Hi there,

This is Amanda from Dreame. Dreame is one of the world’s largest multilingual online original story writing platforms, with more than 20 million readers, 150,000 books, and 60,000 writers worldwide. (Know more about Dreame: To help more writers o develop the potential and achieve their writing dreams, Dreame is holding a writing competition called the Dreame Writing Academy.

Dreame Writing Academy is a great opportunity for talented and experienced authors to open up new horizons for their writing careers. Once your work is submitted, you will not only have the chance to win a big prize, get sponsorship and promotion from the platform, but also your work will potentially be seen by 20 million readers online and get published with help from Dreame. On top of that, this free-entry competition provides free online writing training courses taught by award-winning authors weekly during the competition.

Dreame writing Academy will last for six months, from its official launch on July 15, 2020, to January 2021. There will be more than 30K contestants and estimate 50 million of the event exposure. This writing contest will be with the highest prizes ever for online fiction writing contests, with the top winners receiving the $100K prize. (Know more about this competition:

Dreame wants to invite members of your society to participate in this writing competition. Your participation is what Dreame values the most because helping talented writers to achieve more in their writing career is always our goal. For the society with more members participate in this competition, Dreame would like to sponsor the society or individuals in society to help with the society’s daily operation and events.

I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

Stary PTE. Ltd


My name is Destiny Rutherford and I am the Chief Marketing Officer here at Inside Edge. At Inside Edge we offer publishing services to all writers and authors at any level and with any genre. Our goal here is to help upcoming writers with getting their name out there and their work published. We have worked with many high profile clients from all over and really enjoy offering our services to those that are interested. Feel free to give me a call at 832.687.9236 or email me if you have any questions! 

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you.

Destiny Rutherford 

CMO @ Inside Edge Publishing

Can You Share Our Call for Entries?

Now Open: Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2020
Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

I’m getting in touch from the internationally recognised Aesthetica Creative Writing Award to ask if you could share our call for entries with your audiences? The 2020 competition is now open and we’re looking for new writing talent.

Running for over a decade, the Creative Writing Award presents both emerging and established writers with an opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences.

Open to Poetry and Short Fiction entries from both UK and international writersthe award is supported by some of the biggest names in the literary world, including The Poetry Society, Granta, VINTAGE, Bloodaxe Books and Redhammer Management.

Prizes include: £1,000 awarded to both the Poetry and Short Fiction winners, and publication within the inspiring Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthologywhich is awarded to 60 writers, shortlisted by the prestigious judging panel.

We’re proud to champion new writing talent. We want to make sure as many writers know about the Creative Writing Award as possible. It would be great if you could let your followers know that entries are now open for the 2020 Award. 

      • Suggested copy for Social Media: Further your involvement in the literary world with our friends at @AestheticaMag. The Creative Writing Award is now open for entries. Submit your #Poetry and #ShortFiction work and win £1,000 + publication within an inspiring anthology. Find out more: 

      • Twitter: @AestheticaMag
      • Instagram: @AestheticaMag
      • Facebook: @AestheticaMagazine


Thank you in advance for sharing. We’d also be happy to send across posters and flyers for free, so that you can help us spread the word even further.

To request CLICK HERE, and simply let us know where to post them.

For more information please visit our website, or feel free to drop me an email if you wish to discuss partnership opportunities.

Warmest Regards,


Kathryn Pearson
Marketing and Administration Assistant

Aesthetica Magazine

PO Box 371


YO23 1WL, UK

(0044) (0)1904 629 137|

Author News and Resources

Ways Writing Can Help You Cope With Stress, Anxiety, And Feeling Overwhelmed

Writer’s Relief, Inc.
(866) 405-3003

Hello fellow writers,​

Maybe it’s the solitude of this pandemic year, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how we keep our own company as writers. What does it mean to lead ourselves, to be with ourselves, to recognize ourselves in the writing life?​

There are many layers to that question, and I’m reflecting on ways we could make space for them in future workshops or retreats. One layer I want to touch on today is how we respond to our own writing. Especially since so many of you have been writing new material with me through the Hummingbird Sessions, I want to offer some thoughtful ways to return to that fresh writing.​

Wherever you are in your journey with feedback, I believe there’s always room to make it clearer, kinder, and more meaningful. Here are three steps for heading in that direction:

One | Root your feedback in the writing itself.
Many writers think they’re giving themselves feedback, only to feel at a loss about where to go next. I sometimes notice they’re checking the writing against a broad list of “shoulds” and “should nots” — rather than tuning in to the piece itself first. What’s happening on the page, in your own words, with the creative choices you’re making?​

Get specific. Bring your curiosity. Try to make feedback a conversation with the piece, rather than a visit from the Department of Quality Control. This may mean going paragraph by paragraph, or stanza by stanza, to ask honestly and specifically: What is this line doing? Is that what it wants to do? How did I put these words together, and what life does that bring to the page (or not)? What choices did I make instinctively, and how do those feel now? Do I want to change any, as I bring more intention to the process?​

Two | Prompt your piece first… “fix it” later.
Good feedback doesn’t just critique — it also prompts. Every strength you found in the first step is a tool you can use to move forward. These strengths are a well you can draw from, to get energy for parts that need fresh attention or aren’t working like you want. Go to the spots that feel flat, unclear, or less-than-strong. Compare them to parts where the writing flows, feels strong, or moves you in some way. What’s one technique or choice you use in the strong parts that you could apply to the weaker parts? Turn this into a prompt for yourself. Maybe you try repeating an image or the phrasing from the stronger parts. Maybe you notice the speaker is more present in one spot than the other, and you write a little more to get their voice in both spots. Try tinkering before you go straight to “fix it” mode.​

So often we go to the weakest parts and ask: Well, what’s wrong with you? This is the quality control voice coming back into the process. Stay with the generative, curious conversation as much as you can. Go to the strong parts and ask: What could you share with the rest of the piece?

Three | Identify at least one creative risk you’ve taken.
It may not come from a part you love. It could even be a line you’re going to cut eventually. But meaningful feedback seeks out our honest attempts. Clear, kind feedback recognizes when we’ve tried something new, reached toward heated material, or stretched our voice on the page. Again, feedback that only points out failures is probably quality control in disguise. And quality control is really about eliminating risk… which is the last thing we want for a rich creative life.​

Risk is part of the journey, so let’s make it part of our feedback. If you want to challenge yourself here, return to each thing you feel is flat, off, or missing about the writing. And then prompt yourself again: what creative risk are you trying out in these moments? And even if that risk fell flat in those spots, is there something about it that belongs in the piece in another spot?​

How does feedback show up in your writing life? If you try any of these practices, I’d love to hear what you learn or what surprises you. As always, thanks for the chance to visit your inbox and share some field notes. The company of writers has meant so much this year… I hope you’re doing well, staying safe and healthy, and finding space to keep writing.​


Voice & Vessel – A Writing Studio

Marketing Can Be Fun 
 When we conducted a survey of over 1,000 authors last year, marketing was the one area that authors universally found the most challenging.  In this month’s post, we address why marketing can feel so daunting and how to develop a positive marketing framework that plays to your strengths.

Written Word Media + PublishDrive
 We’ve partnered with PublishDrive to make editorial submissions and scheduling promotions easily available to PublishDrive authors. PublishDrive provides free ebook conversion, global distribution and a price promotion scheduling tool to its authors. 

Kinga Jentetics, CEO of Publish Drive, dug into her company’s trove of data and shares best practices when it comes to running effective price promos. 

Promote Your Steamy Romance Audiobook

You can now promote audiobooks on Red Feather Romance. The audiobook feature is a great way to drive Audible credit redemptions as well as audiobook sales on Amazon, Apple, Google Play and more. Now that’s what we call more bang for your book! 

Schedule Your Spring Promos
Promo inventory is now open through June. Book your dates while they are still available!

Book A Freebooksy Promotion

Book A Bargain Booksy Promotion

Book A NewInBooks Promotion

Book A Red Feather Romance Promotion

Book A Reading Stacks Promotion 

Here’s what bestselling Author Ann Omasta had to say about promoting with Written Word Media (Thanks Ann!):

“I can’t recommend Written Word Media enough. My promos with WWM consistently get great results, and they go the extra mile by checking in on ad performance and giving more than expected. Authors, if you haven’t yet promoted a special with WWM, give them a try. You’ll be glad you did!” – Ann Omasta 

What We’re Reading 

Some articles of interest for authors from around the web:

How Authors Can Calculate Series Read Through – Kindlepreneur

The Hottest New Literary Genre is ‘Doomer Lit’ – Wired

4 Reasons to Spend Time With ‘Bad’ Books – Susann Cokal

Coronavirus Reading List – The Guardian 

10% off Editing Services for Your Book

Editorial Services of LA

EDITORIAL SERVICES OF LOS ANGELES offers everything from line editing with a detailed and specific critique letter + free query letter edit, to self-publishing edit and book page layout, to ghostwriting, book packaging, and creative and developmental literary consulting.

More Info:

Dianne Goettel –Check out this site –  They offer critiques of one’s manuscript by different experts.


We’ve Got Your Golden Ticket!

It won’t get you into the chocolate factory… but it might get you an awesome publication, prize, or chance to escape and spend some time writing!

CLICK HERE to access listings for the top writing contests, calls for submission, conferences, and residencies for this week:


A.I.R. Studio Paducah Residency

Location: Paducah, KY

Deadline: Rolling Admissions

Application Fee: $25

Talking Gourds Fischer Prize

Deadline: 8/30/2020

Entry Fee: $10

First Prize: $1,000

Genre: Poetry

Seven Hills Literary & Penumbra Poetry Contest 

Deadline: 8/31/2020

Entry Fee: $8 – $20

First Prize: $100

Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

Novel Slices First Novel Excerpt Awards

Deadline: 8/31/2020

Entry Fee: $20

First Prize: $150 each for 5 winners

Genre: All Novel Genres

Diode Editions Book & Chapbook Contests

Deadline: 9/1/2020

Entry Fee: $15/$18

First Prize: $500/$1,000

Genre: Poetry Chapbooks/Manuscripts


Morton Marcus Poetry Contest

Deadline: 9/1/2020

Entry Fee: $ 15

First Prize: $1,000

Genre: Poetry

Diode Editions Anthology Submissions

Deadline: 9/15/2020

Entry Fee: None

Genre: Poetry

Winning Writers Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Deadline: 9/30/2020

Entry Fee: $15

First Prize: $3,000

Genre: Poetry

Dzanc Books Prizes

Deadline: 9/30/2020

Entry Fee: $25

First Prize: $2,000//$3,000/$5,000

Genre: Novels, Memoirs

Art Omni Writers Residency

Location: Ghent, NY

Deadline: 10/15/2020

Application Fee: N/A


Click here to see more details and links for all the Featured Listings!


Writer’s Relief, Inc.


(866) 405-3003 



Websites using images to assist with writing:

Thanks to Reba Seal’s submittal:  It’s called Visual Hunt and it finds photos of Creative Commons and public domain images. Hope this info helps you now or in the future.

Teacher Treasures: Picture Quick Writes, Picture Narratives-

Writing Forward: Creative Writing Prompts for Crafting Compelling Imagery-

The Balance Careers: Photographs as Creative Writing Prompts-

Check out :

Lone Star Literary Life Holiday Gift Guide :


Writers’ League of Texas 2020 Manuscript of Texas Contest –

WWA Membership News – Fall 2019

           Written Word Media


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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