MARCH 2020 Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our March 28, 2020 meeting is cancelled. Please see the note from the Steering Committee below.

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

Program: None

Moderator:  None

Refreshments:  None

Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

The meeting for March 28, 2020 has been cancelled.

COVID-19 is dominating our new feeds each and every day.  Many of our members fall within the most threatened age category and some have compromised immune systems.  In order to follow the trend of many organizations and activities, we have made the decision to cancel the meeting for March 28, 2020.  As time progresses, and we see where this virus will take our country, we will keep you posted on our future meetings. We hope that you will continue to write those wonderful short stories, poems, or working on your novel during this time.

Robbie Ann Burns, Steering Committee


Our meeting is cancelled for March 28, 2020. Please see the note from the Steering Committee above.


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 Robbie Burns

Submitted by Marti Stebbins


Submitted by Reba Seals

Submitted by Pam Breithaupt


Inspirational Quotes:

“You fail only if you stop writing.” Ray Bradbury

“I am writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” Shannon Hale



Libraries are how many of us fell in love with reading and books. So it makes sense that getting a book into a library is a big deal for many authors.

In this month’s post, we explain how authors can get their eBooks, physical books and audiobooks into libraries.

Read The Post

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


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|

Dear Program Coordinator,

My name is Andrea Christmas and I am the Summer School Coordinator at The American University of Paris.

I wrote to you last month to share information about our Creative Writing Institute and its corresponding travel stipend competition. We are extending the deadline for this competition to March 15, 2020. I hope you will share this information with interested writers in Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

For more information, please visit our Summer School website, where students can learn more about housing, extracurricular cultural excursions, and how to apply.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me should you, or any of your members, have any questions.

All best,


Winner of the Fall 2018 Black River Chapbook Competition

This house has seen things it won’t let you forget.

When a new family moves in to the house at 25 Trumbulls Road, the narrator’s vivid dreams of a teary-eyed, raw-smelling woman who lives beneath the floor turn chillingly real. Five years later, the house’s new set of inhabitants are visited by the spectral presence of the little girl they lost. In these five tales linked by a single haunted house, the characters move through a world suspended between nightmare and loss, where the unexplainable and disquieting are fueled by ordinary grief and longing. Christopher Locke explores the ways in which our unspoken fears and everyday regrets sustain the darker heart of a home—its doorways and windows, its basements and lights—until it fills those corners of our lives with something close to terror. His stories ask: how does a home feed on this energy, growing stronger with each new, sinister end? As compulsively readable as it is unsettling, 25 Trumbulls Road takes us to the places we’re afraid to go, then leaves us at a destination where we are our most human.

Praise for 25 Trumbulls Road

A haunting, surreal, visceral collection of tales that is lyrical and poetic, while not losing its bite. Christopher Locke has channeled the ghosts of Matt Bell, Denis Johnson, and Jac Jemc, while retaining his own unique voice.

—Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration and Breaker, an ITW Thriller Award finalist

Locke is a master of the slow burn. The events at 25 Trumbulls Road will stick and cycle back through your head for weeks. 

—Richard Peabody, editor of Gargoyle Magazine

In 25 Trumbulls Road, Christopher Locke weaves together a series of eerily gorgeous narratives in which fathers, mothers, children, and dogs stumble into waking nightmares. Each ghostly flash glows with damage, mystery, and inevitability. This enchanting chapbook of tiny horror stories chills and entertains from beginning to end.

—Meg Pokrass, author of Alligators at Night and The Smell of Good Luck

Subject: Re: The Author Event Grid is Live!

I met C.J. Box at a WWA  Conference. Nice guy and a good storyteller. I also like Craig Johnson,a Wyoming author who wrote the Longmire series of books that was filmed as a TV series. My book about the Colorado cannibal, Alferd Packer, was optioned as a TV series for HBO. I helped write the screenplay and worked on the series synopsis with HBO. I thought I had a breakout coming, but after 3 years it was rejected and the option dropped. But I did get a check every six months and after 20 years Lone Survivor is still in print. I found out that out of seven options  only one  gets selected.

Kinky Friedman consoled me by saying every CJ Box’s Joe Pickett series are a good read. Wyoming game warden. Fictionalized location, but sounds like Meetesee area to me. A good read if you haven’t tried him.

 festival event grid

Ken Hodgson

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:

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-


Dear Literary Advocate,

We would love nothing better than to kickoff the New Year with your consideration in submitting some of your titles or passing along to your authors so they can have a chance at winning a great book award with an even better cause!

The Maxy Awards are dedicated to awarding only excellence for indie and self-published authors. They are unique in that all entrants may submit their book digitally, as a manuscript or published eBook; therefore, the award can be issued prior to an author’s publication. Authors are invited to enter our next competition for qualifying books with a 2018 or future copyright. Enter today, a large part of every entry goes directly to the Home of the Innocents to help those families that need it most, in honor of Maxy (read her full story here). Awards for nine categories and one “Book of the Year” will be announced each year on Maxy’s birthday, May 2nd.

Check out how our last two “Book of the Year’s” are doing on Amazon:

The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride –

Managed Care –


Maxy Awards (

Donate and support reading and helping others

Part of every award entry goes directly to the Home of the Innocents

Greetings from Nimrod International Journal. I’m writing with some information about the 42nd annual Nimrod Literary Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. The Awards offer first prizes of $2,000 and publication and second prizes of $1,000 and publication, along with a trip to Tulsa to receive the Awards and take part in our annual writing conference.  

The postmark deadline for this year’s Awards is April 1st, 2020—if you’ve followed our contests in the past, you’ll know this new deadline falls a little earlier, so please note this change. 

The Awards are among the most distinguished literary prizes in the country. One of the oldest “little magazines” in the country, Nimrod has continually published new and extraordinary writers since 1956. We are dedicated to the discovery of new voices in literature, and the Nimrod Literary Awards are a special way to reward talented poets and fiction writers. 

I am including the contest rules with this email and hope that you will make them available to the members of your group. Feel free to pass the information along in any way you like—be it in emails, newsletters, or on your website. For more information about Nimrod, please visit our website at, and to submit online visit

Thank you for your help in spreading the word about the Nimrod Literary Awards to the writers in your writing group. We hope to see your submissions soon!


Eilis O’Neal



Nimrod Literary Awards

The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction &

The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry 

First Prize: $2,000 and publication

Second Prize: $1,000 and publication

Contest Rules:

Poetry: 3-10 pages of poetry (one long poem or several short poems

Fiction: 7,500 words maximum (one short story or a self-contained excerpt from a novel)

No previously published works or works accepted for publication elsewhere. Author’s name must not appear on the manuscript. Include a cover sheet containing titles, author’s name, address, phone and email. Submitters must be living in the U.S. by October of the contest year to enter. Postmark deadline: April 1.

Online Submissions: Work may be submitted online using our online submission manager system:

Postal Submissions: Clearly indicate “Contest Entry” on both the outer envelope and the cover sheet. Staple manuscript if possible. Manuscripts will not be returned. Include SASE for results, which will also be posted on Nimrod’s website. 

Mail to:

Nimrod International Journal Literary Contest—Fiction or Poetry (indicate the appropriate category)

The University of Tulsa

800 S. Tucker Dr.

Tulsa, OK 74104

Entry/Subscription Fee: Each entry must be accompanied by a $20 fee. Make checks payable to Nimrod. $20 includes both the entry fee & a one-year subscription (two issues). Writers may submit multiple entries, but each entry must include its own $20 fee.

Email: ; Website: 

Nimrod International Journal

The University of Tulsa

800 S. Tucker Dr.

Tulsa, OK 74104

(918) 631-3080

Check out :

Lone Star Literary Life Holiday Gift Guide :


Writers’ League of Texas 2020 Manuscript of Texas Contest –

WWA Membership News – Fall 2019


Collab Conference is a distinct Christian women’s conference for those longing to live out their God-given calling through writing, blogging, speaking, teaching, and leading. This year we are meeting in Waco, Texas, April 22-24, 2020.

Collab Conference is offering: 

3 days
6 authors
1 social media expert
1 literary agent
An abundance of workshops, breakout sessions, and opportunities for spiritual and practical encouragement and equipping.

Do you want to:

take your writing to the next level?
learn top tips to help you grow your platform and social media influence
pitch your next BIG idea to a literary agent?
learn about self-publishing?
network with other writers?

YES? Then this conference is for YOU!

Early Bird registration is going on NOW through Jan 31, but space is limited so don’t wait . . . sign up TODAY!  Go to for more information or to register.

You can also follow along on Facebook at or Instagram at @collabconference

Hope to see you there!

Let’s Collaborate!

Elizabeth Oates


I have the perfect place for events, and meet-ups.

I offer you a 25 acre farm located in Waelder,Texas about one hour drive from Austin,1 hour and forty five minutes from Houston. 

There is a main house with a working kitchen, 5 beds and 2 bathrooms and rooms for presentations. There are also plenty of areas on the back porch, and on the land for camping. There is a barn and garage, livestock pens and plenty of land with oak and mesquite trees to write under. 

Please check out the ranch at  (go to film location search. Find my place under the search : “Texas Western Farm Ranchita” .

Or simply go to the website:

We can offer homemade meals for lunch and dinner to be delivered- vegan and vegetarian options are available.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you see potential for some great fun.

I look forward to hearing your feedback. I would love it if someone could help me figure out a way to offer this Victorian home for some sort of writing retreat.

Best Regards,

Genevieve Withers

713 205 2473

I’d like to invite all members to view our television series entitled “In Search of the West Texas Wordsmith,” which airs every Saturday at 3:00 P.M. over the Basin PBS station.  Each episode is a 30-minute interview with a West Texas writer.  Hope you’ll join us! – Tom Parks, host

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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