Posts Tagged With: Texas


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Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter (Austin) calls on all unpublished, aspiring writers of cozies, thrillers, true crime, noir, young adult, middle grade, and other mystery genres to submit the first 500 words of their mystery manuscript to the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event (BBSAWE). Include a brief synopsis. Aspiring writers are chosen and matched with published author-mentors for one-on-one sessions and recognition at the BBSAWE in May of each year. The submission deadline is March 31, 2014.

This is not a contest – there is no judging and no fee. It is a wonderful opportunity for writers unpublished in the mystery field to be mentored by published authors and recognized by the Austin Sisters in Crime chapter.  All aspiring writers MUST attend the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event to be held Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas, at 2 p.m. at Recycled Reads, 5335 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX78756.

Please e-mail entries to Gale Albright at

If you have questions about submission guidelines or other concerns, please contact Gale Albright at the above e-mail address.


  1. Unpublished writers submit by e-mail a 100 word (maximum) synopsis and the first 500 words of a mystery short story or novel.
  2. Entries should be in standard submission format: 12 point Times New Roman or Courier New font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
  3. Attach Word file document with the synopsis (100 word max) on first page. Please put your name, e-mail address, phone number, and title of story or novel in the top left-hand corner of first page. Start story/novel 500-word submission on second page. Put name, title, and page number on all pages.
  4. E-mail subject line: BBSAWE ENTRY
  5. One submission per person
  6. E-mail entries to
  7. Submission deadline is March 31, 2014
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River Bluff Writer’s Retreat

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Snack, snack, talk, talk, talk, snack, snack.

Oh, and some writing.

Last Friday and Saturday, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, an Austin writing group, held a Year One First Ever Annual Retreat at the River Bluff cabin near Fentress, Texas, on the lovely pecan bottoms by the San Marcos River.

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We acquired hamburgers Friday night and pizza Saturday night from the local convenience store. There was no television, land-line phone, or Internet service. We had to sit around and…talk…and snack….a lot. And the snacks! Trail mix, cookies, hummus, crackers, grapes, strawberries, cherries, bananas, tangerines, cheeses, veggie chips, Cheetos, booze, soda, and Guatemalan Dark coffee.

On Saturday, discipline reared its head, and the group did three fifteen-minute timed writings with a prompt. The first prompt was “retreat,” then “grip,” (as in get a), then “murder in the woods” suggested by yours truly. We all scribbled furiously, then read our offerings aloud.

It was great fun. I haven’t sat down and talked continuously with a small group of people in I don’t know when. Many topics were touched upon, but none were exhausted. Although the conference attendees were rather exhausted when Sunday morning rolled around.

One person slept on a cot on the upstairs deck, sheltered by giant pecan trees, two of us on beds on the second floor, and two more downstairs on couch/rollaway bed combinations.

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I can safely say a good time was had by all. The addition of Chucho, an Airedale-poodle mix dog, was a great delight.

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The place was gorgeous and peaceful, visited by sweet brown deer and chirpy birds. And chirpy writers.

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