JANUARY 2020 Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our January meeting will be held on Saturday,  January 25, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the home of Pam Breithaupt,   Directions to her lovely home will be sent via email.

Program:  Elaine has confirmed  our program will be presented by Jayson Woodward, author of Borderline:  A True Story of Courage and Justice.  This book is available on Amazon and she will have copies at the meeting.  Jayson has received national and international recognition for this book.

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

Moderator:  Pam Breithaupt

Refreshments:  Pam Breithaupt

Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

Date:  Saturday, January 25, 2020. This is the same date the Chinese New Year begins, the Year of the Rat.

Time: 10:00 A.M. until 12 Noon.

Site: Pam Breithaupt’s home in theFort Davis Estates. (Directions to Pam’s house will be emailed to local members).

Speaker: Jayson (Jan) Woodward. Ms. Woodward is the published author of two well-received memoirs. Her latest work, Borderline, has attracted national and international interest. Reviews from critics and readers praise the excellent writing and compelling narrative in this book. The program Ms. Woodward will present draws upon her knowledge of creative writing, which she once taught. She will speak about creating fictional characters and using settings as characters. Time will be provided for attendees to ask questions about other subjects.

Carpooling: People wanting to carpool from Alpine to Fort Davis should meet in the parking lot of the Big Bend Telephone Company (808 North 5th Street) at 9:20 A.M.

     The 2020 Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Saturday, January 25. The animal sign for 2020 is the rat. According to the Chinese horoscope, people will face radical lifestyle changes in a Year of the Rat. People must be alert, organized, and determined in order to maintain balance.

     I don’t think too many TMTW members arrange their lives by consulting the Chinese horoscope. Being alert, organized, and determined, however, are qualities all writers envy. Let’s forge ahead this year with gritted teeth through all obstacles, our neat files tucked under our arms, and our ears pricked to hear talk about the latest writing trends.

Elaine Davenport, Committee Member


Our meeting is Saturday, January 25, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the home of Pam Breithaupt in Fort Davis, TX.  Directions will be forthcoming via email.


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 Jerri Garza


Submitted by Marti Stebbins

Submitted by Pam Breithaupt

Submitted by Reba Seals


Writing as a Path to Awakening
Albert Flynn DeSilver Grab your FREE copy of Albert’s popular book,
Writing as a Path to Awakening
His guided meditation program,
Creativity Meditations for Writers & Artists

More Info:  https://workshop-directory.com/writing/writing-as-a-path-to-awakening/

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:  https://workshop-directory.com/writing/10-off-editing-services-for-your-book/


Diane from Black Lawrence Press here. We are an independent publisher based in New York specializing in poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction. We also publish hybrid work, chapbooks, translations from German, and anthologies.

Currently, we are accepting full-length poetry collections and short story collections for The Hudson Prize and novels for The Big Moose Prize. We also hold open reading periods every June and November. 

With best wishes for the new year, 


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 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B8H8ZVW

Managed Care – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H1GKLPP


Maxy Awards (www.maxyawards.com)

Donate and support reading and helping others

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


I came across your website via the Writer’s Relief website, and I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself.  My name is Tracey Ivey, and I work in the Curriculum Department at Colibri Group.  Colibri Group is a family of brands (Elite & McKissock) that provide learning solutions for licensed professionals across multiple industries, including Land Surveying, Home Inspection, Personal Care and many more.   We are currently seeking licensed professionals with a background from the following fields:





Nail Technicians



Land Surveyors

Home Inspectors

We would like these professionals to join our Curriculum Development Team as an author.   I hope that you can pass this information on to any member that may be interested in this unique opportunity.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to discuss the details.

**Please note, this is a remote, contractor position, and a contract for this project must be signed**

We look forward to hearing from you.



    • The writer will be given guidelines and must comply with all copyright protection rules. 
    • The writer must use APA documentation model and writing style while citing accurate references. 
    • The writer will be required to write measurable and relevant learning objectives.
    • The writer must provide multiple choice questions. (The number of questions is determined by credit hours)
    • Courses must be a minimum of 2 credit hours. (One credit hour consists of 6,000 words)

Check out :

Lone Star Literary Life Holiday Gift Guide : lonestarliterary.com

                       NaNoWriMo: NaNoWriMo.org.

Writers’ League of Texas 2020 Manuscript of Texas Contest – http://www.writersleague.org/

WWA Membership News – Fall 2019  https://westernwriters.org/

Spur Award Deadline Nears

Entries all categories (films, songs, poems, short stories, short nonfiction and books) for the 2020 Spur Awards should be submitted soon. The deadline to enter is Jan. 15, 2020 for material published, produced or released since Sept. 1. This year for the first time there are staggered entry deadlines. Material produced prior to Sept. 1 had to be entered by Oct. 1. For complete rules and award entry forms visit our website.  Spur Award Rules

WWA Promotes Western Literature

We have been very busy during the summer and fall on promotional activities to further interest in the Literature of the American West with marketing events that included a well-received panel at the National Book Festival featuring Paul Andrew Hutton, Craig Johnson, Johnny D. Boggs, and Anne Hillerman.  WWA President Nancy Plain planned and managed the program.

WWA also took part in the South Dakota Book Festival in Deadwood, SD, and Western History Association Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Assisting with those outreach activities were Bill Markley, Cowboy Mike Searles, and Jack Ravage.

Planning is underway for these future promotional activities: 

Public Library Association 

The Public Library Association meets in Nashville, TN Feb. 26-28, 2020, and WWA will have a booth. The show hosts are Micki Fuhrman (Vonn McKee) and James A. Crutchfield. Promotional materials like book marks and postcards can be sent for distribution. Copies of new books (Published in 2019 or early 2020) may also be sent for display. No materials or books will be returned following the show. Instead the materials will be donated to literacy programs in the Nashville area. Send all materials to: Micki Fuhrman, 316 Vaughn Road, Nashville, TN 34221. Materials must arrive by Feb. 20, 2020

Tucson Book Festival  

We will attend the Tucson Book Festival March 14-15, 2020. As we have done for several years, WWA will present a panel that includes Spur Winners and Finalists. The panelists for 2020 are Johnny D. Boggs, C. J. Box, and Chris Enss. We welcome our members to help out in the booth at the festival. 

WWA Partners with C. M. Russell Museum

Three years ago the WWA Board of Directors adopted a strategic goal to form partnerships with museums. The Board recognizes the common objectives we hold: preserving and promoting both historical and contemporary stories of the American West. 

WWA joined the Mountains and Plains Museum Association and we have attended the annual MPMA Convention for the past two years, promoting the work of our members, letting museums know we have writers who can work on museum exhibit development, present programs, or take part in book promotions.

This year we had a panel at the joint MPMA and New Mexico Museum Association conference in Albuquerque, which was presented by WWA members Steve Friesen, Kellen Cutsforth, and Melody Groves. Ollie Reed and Johnny D. Boggs assisted with the WWA booth we had at that conference where we distributed copies of Roundup Magazine and encouraged museums to sell books written by our members, or have them present programs, book talks, and other activities that enhance museum events. We also have expanded our bookseller display contest to include a contest for museums.

In the Summer of 2018, we were approached by the C. M. Russell Museum with a request that we work cooperatively with the museum to develop a new exhibit. We now have the preliminary planning in place — with an exhibit development team that includes several WWA members who represent all types of work that we do: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, film, and song. 

The exhibit — Storykeepers — is being developed by the WWA team of Chris Enss, Jon Chandler, W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear, Cowboy Mike Searles, S. D. Nelson, Deanna Dickinson McCall, Candy Moulton and Quackgrass Sally. The writers were selected based on their writing backgrounds, geographic locations, and past work related to C.M. Russell and related subject material.

Overall direction of the project is provided by the staff of the C. M. Russell Museum. 

The exhibit will take two more years in development, but is slated to open at the CMR on June 9, 2022. As many will recognize, we have strategically also planned to hold our annual WWA convention in Great Falls that year, in order to build on this program with the museum.

The exhibit will travel to other museums following its initial showing in Montana.

The Charles M. Russell Museum also partnered with WWA this year in sponsoring the James Ersfeld Symposium in September, which featured presentations by WWA Members Andrew P. Nelson, Kat Martin, L. J. Martin, Chris Enss, and Erin Turner. 

We anticipate the opportunity for future museum education programs and exhibit development projects that will involve other WWA members.

Tony Hillerman Prize Entries Sought

Entries are being accepted now for the Tony Hillerman Prize. The prize is an official award program of Western Writers of America. It is managed and funded by Minotaur Books. The prize is given for Best First Mystery Set in the Southwest. Please read all of the rules and guidelines before submitting your entry. You can find the complete rules and guidelines here:  Tony Hillerman Prize Rules https://westernwriters.org/

Dear Texas Mountain Trail Writers,

I am the Founder and Board President of an adult literacy nonprofit

located in Albuquerque, Reading Works. We are sponsoring a writing

contest that may be of interest to you:  Short Short Story Writing


The Challenge:  Write a short story using no more than 30 words.

Five topics:  sushi, pianos, caterpillars, Huck Finn’s mother,


6 cash prizes

Submission deadline: Jan. 10, 2020

Submission Fee: $5 per story.

Not only is the contest great fun, it supports the cause of literacy

You can get more information at: 


Thank you for getting the word out to your members about our contest.

Margaret Barker

Reading Works

8005 Pennsylvania Circle NE, Suite C

Albuquerque, New Mexico  87110

(505) 321-9620

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 www.collab-conference.com for more information or to register.

You can also follow along on Facebook at facebook.com/collabconferenceforwriters or Instagram at @collabconference

Hope to see you there!

Let’s Collaborate!

Elizabeth Oates



Inspirational Quotes:

“I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.” David Thoreau

“There’s always room for another story that can transport people to another place.” J.K. Rowling.


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 .










Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.