San Antonio Writers' Guild Meetings, Critiques and Workshops
The San Antonio Writers' Guild meets the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Bethany Congregational Church at 500 Pilgrim Drive in San Antonio. The first Thursday date is bumped to the second Thursday when holidays interfere, such as New Year's Day, Independence Day, and church holidays. The Board of Directors Meeting begins at 6 p.m., before the general meeting. The directors meeting is open to the general membership, but closed to visitors, except by invitation.
What Happens at a SAWG Meeting?
At the beginning of meetings we welcome new members, members share good/bad/funny news, guild business transpires, sometimes we raffle donated books. A program follows, most often presented by guest speakers on a wide range of topics of interest to writers. Afterwards, membership splits into groups for workshops.
All persons interested in the writing profession are invited to the meetings of the San Antonio Writers' Guild. Visitors are welcome to attend. If you like our group, we encourage you to become a member and attend future meetings.
Workshops at the monthly meeting are divided into fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Each workshop has its own rules about how much is read, but generally a person's work is read and workshop participants offer friendly criticism and advice. Workshops are held after the business and program part of the meeting. Workshops are held 11 months of the year: January through November. (The December meeting is the Holiday Party.)
A person must be a member to have their work read at a Thursday workshop. The piece should be no longer than 10 double-spaced pages in 12-point font, i.e. a short story, part of a chapter, or similar. TThe author should bring about 12 copies of the piece, which is read aloud to the group by another member. The workshop participants critique the work after the reading and the advice is given on a "take it or leave it basis."
Usually there are three pieces read at each workshop.
A person must be a member to have their work read. Each piece is up to five double-spaced pages. The author can bring enough copies so each person (usually from six to nine) can have a copy to follow along during the reading. The workshop members generally make notes on the copy and hand it back to the author. The author can read the piece and explain it. Advice given by workshop participants is on a "take it or leave it basis."
A person must be a member to have their work read. Usually three poems from each person are read and there is time to read the poems from three or four people, which means from nine to 12 poems are read each night. After a poem is read, the workshop participants offer editorial and friendly comments. The workshop participants tell the poet how they saw the poem and the poet tells the workshop participants how s/he saw the poem.
SPEAKER/ACTIVITIES AT PREVIOUS MEETINGS
Our speaker for September 2013 was our very own Marjorie Brody, a very active SAWG member and author of Twisted.
She gave a fascinating presentation about author identity, and how to create goals and structure for your writing career.
As a licensed marriage and family therapist for over two decades, Dr. Marjorie E. Brody observed the joy, suffering, and potential of the human spirit. Now in her second career, she transforms her experience and passion for writing into tales of wonder, drama, and suspense. Her award-winning novels and short stories, some of which have been adapted for the stage, are characterized by extraordinary insight, creative, and understanding of the human condition. Her latest, Twisted, came out through Bell Bridge Books in April and is garnering rave reviews. Tonight, Marjorie will talk about how she made the transition from a career as therapist to the writing life.
Marjorie's website is http://www.marjoriespages.com/
Marjorie's presentation was followed by our very first SAWG Open Mic Night, at which 12 members showcased work in all genres. The evening was a great success, and more are planned for the future.
Our speaker for July 2013 was Lianne Mercer of Fredericksburg.
Lianne's topic for our meeting was "Switchback: Story's Unique Road."
Lianne is a licensed poetry therapist (one of two in Texas) and retired psychiatric nurse. She taught at the University of Michigan, Texas Women's University and San Jacinto Junior College. She has published both prose and poetry in numerous journals and anthologies. Her poems have appeared in The Texas Poetry Calendar since its inception 15 years ago. Her memoir, Compassionate Witness: Before We Say Goodbye, was written following her mother's death at age 97.
Our speaker for June 2013 was Robert Jackson Bennett, Austin-based speculative fiction author.
He spoke on finding your author's voice. His debut Mr. Shivers won the Shirley Jackson award as well as the Sydney J. Bounds Newcomer Award. His second novel, The Company Man, won a Special Citation of Excellence from the Philip K. Dick Award, as well as an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. His third novel, The Troupe, has topped many "Best of 2012" lists, including that of Publishers Weekly. His fourth novel, American Elsewhere, is now out to wide acclaim.
He lives in Austin with his wife and son. He can be found on Twitter at @robertjbennett.
His website is http://robertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com.
Our speaker in April of 2013 was Austin-based editor/anthologist and essayist Rick Klaw. His topic was Apes & Rayguns: A Conversation with Acclaimed Editor Richard Klaw about the 21st Century Anthology.
Richard “Rick” Klaw is editor of Apes of Wrath and the forthcoming Ray Guns Over Texas, a pair of speculative fiction anthologies. He also is co-founder of the pioneering Mojo Press, one of the first publishers to produce both graphic novels and prose books. After leaving Mojo, he became the initial fiction editor for RevolutionSF, where he still serves as an editor-at-large. He is called “the smartest mouth on the Internet” (Michael Moorcock) because of his popular columns on pop culture for SF Site and his acclaimed blog The Geek Curmudgeon.
Over the past decade, Klaw has written for a variety of publications including The Austin Chronicle, The San Antonio Current, Moving Pictures Magazine, The San Antonio Business Journal, Geek Dad, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Tor.com, The Steampunk Bible, Steampunk, King Kong Is Back!, Conversations With Texas Writers, and Cross Plains Universe. His essays and observations were collected in Geek Confidential: Echoes from the 21st Century.
In February of 2013, Poet Juan Perez spoke about and read some of his "Chupacabra" poetry, discussed his forthcoming anthology and revealed how South Texas lore and legends can inspire our writing.
Juan has been selected as the 2011-2012 Poet Laureate for the San Antonio Poets' Association.
Juan Manuel Perez is a native of La Pryor, Texas, and son to second Generation Mexican-Americans. He is also a former Navy/Marine Medic and currently a high school history teacher. Juan served in the First Gulf War earning the title of combat medic and extending his expertise to civilians in Florida in 1992 during the Hurricane Andrew operation. He is also the author of 6 chapbooks including BENEATH THE TIGHTS (2006), WITHIN THE FUNNY COLORED PAGES (2006), and the SPIRIT OF MOTECUHZOMA II, 2nd. ed. (2006). He is also a member of the San Antonio Poets Association, San Angelo Writers' Club, and the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
Here is a link to his website: www.juanmperez.com
Lori discussed how to make your manuscript jump out of the slush pile.