The Houston Writers Guild is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization working to create a community of writers of all skill levels. Together we strive to improve our writing craft and help each other build successful careers through education, collaborative marketing efforts, and camaraderie.

The Guild offers a myriad of programs for both published and unpublished writers.  It creates opportunities to build careers through networking, as well as, opportunities for author book sales throughout the Greater Houston area and neighboring communities. The Guild is also a place for hobbist authors to enjoy writing in a relaxed and fun environment.

Mission Statement

The HWG is a community of Houston-area writers whose purpose is to support each other in the author’s craft and writing career through:

  1. Engendering safe environments for writers of all skill levels. (Critique Circles)
  2. Reciprocally sharing time, talent, and knowledge. (Socials and Round Tables)
  3. Creating opportunities for the development of writing careers. (Through Conferences and Workshops)
  4. Celebrating the success of each as a success of all. (Via Newsletter and Social Media)
  5. Providing a platform through which members forge life-long relationships in writing and publishing.
  6. Fostering a culture of continuous learning. (Through Conferences and Workshops)

Won’t you join us in some of our great programs? Browse our site to see all we have to offer.

Members receive substantial discounts on workshops, conferences and contests. Feel free to sign up for our monthly newsletter, whether you join or not. You must be a member to participate in critique circles (although you can visit once as a guest).

Meet our Leadership Team/Board Members:


Fern Brady

Executive Director/CEO

Fern is the founder and owner of Inklings Publishing. She began her writing career as foreign correspondent in Houston for the Mexico City Daily Bulletin. She taught for 15 years in Alief ISD and is a full-time Realtor in Houston. Her picture book, under the pen name Lady Nefari Ydarb, won 1st Place in the Texas Authors Association contest for Best Picture Book for All Ages. She enjoys a great life with her fabulous husband, Mike, and their three dog-babies — Arwen, Grace, and Merlin.



Alicia Richardson

Executive Director/CFO

Alicia Richardson is a non-so-common creature – a native Houstonian. While she grew up in and around the city, she did spend about half of the 80s living in Los Angeles. When she returned to the Gulf Coast, she spent a number of years in the oil patch, doing everything from being a production technician to a database application developer. Still, she yearned for creative expression. Alicia had been creating stories for as long as she could remember and was an avid reader. While she sat on the commuter bus to and from downtown every day, she wrote her first novel…that was really not ready for prime time. She tried again and wrote the well-received Earthbound – a ghost story from the ghost’s point of view – that had over 250,000 downloads on PodioBooks. Ultimately, she decided to take the indie plunge and Black Mare Books was born. She is a founding member of the author collective, Space City Scribes, and serves on the board of the Houston Writer’s Guild. Alicia has a number of stand-alone books for younger readers and tweens under the pen name Artemis Greenleaf. Artemis also writes the adult urban fantasy series, the Tarot-based Marti Keller Mysteries. Belinda Tate, a character in that series, writes romance novels under the nom de plume of Coda Sterling, so Alicia ghost writes those for her. For readers whose tastes run a bit darker, she writes supernatural horror as A.B. Richards. Readers can explore all of these brands at Alicia currently resides in the leafy Houston suburbs with her husband and two children.


Verstandt Shelton


Verstandt R.A. Shelton is a native born Houstonian living in the Galleria area with his wife Jennifer and their dog Joan. He is a horror author, graphic artist and IT specialist. He has worked as an IT specialist for fifteen years and now heads up the IT division of a company focused on renewable energy. His works have been published in multiple short story compilations including Absolutely Equitable and A Story and he has self-published his comic book in the End. His graphic design skills have produced the covers for the Eclectic Writing series, Blood on the PotomacWaves of Suspense and Twisted Reveries among others.


Andrea Barbosa

Vice President & HWG Press Director

Award-winning novelist and poet Andrea Barbosa is an avid reader, soccer fanatic, and a tourist at heart who studied Creative Writing at Texas Tech University.

In addition to her work as a writer for Yahoo Contributor Network she has worked in public relations for an international jewelry company in Brazil, as a tour guide for Space Center Houston, and as a medical interpreter for major hospitals before joining the corporate world. These fine places introduced her to new people, big ideas, and global concepts that helped shape the writer she is today. When not writing or working her full-time job, she travels in search of history, museums, and tourist attractions. She has published two novels and a poetry collection, and her short stories have appeared in several anthologies and in the Southern Pacific Review. Her poetry collection, Holes in Space, won the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Silver Medal and her Flash Fiction piece, The Queen of Carnival, won the 2016 Spider’s Web Prize from Spider Road Press. She has earned other accolades in Flash Fiction and Mystery.

Her work has been influenced by contemporary authors Paulo Coelho, Fernando Sabino, Sylvia Plath, Erica Jong and Joyce Carol Oates, among others. She's also the Flash Fiction Editor for The Ocotillo Review and writes award-winning romance under Andrya Bailey.


Manon Lavoie, A.K.A. Martine Lewis

Author Events Director

Born and raised in the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada, Martine spent her childhood looking forward to her summer vacations at the farm, which were a nice escape from the suburbs where she lived. Her first written endeavor was a 200-page handwritten Duran Duran band fiction which she wrote when she was eleven years old. Of all her written work, this is the only one she no longer has. All throughout high school, Martine wrote more band fiction some original work, then she went to write fanfictions in the Star Wars, Buffy and Har Following her viewing of Roswell on Netflix in 2012, Martine wrote book two and three of the Gray Eyes Series, then went on to create the Gray Eyes Series universe in which she has been playing ever since. She writes contemporary coming-of-age romance fiction (young adult/new adult) with a twist. Martine is an avry Potter universes. Her fanficiton in the Potterverse are mostly centered on characters of her own creation and can be found oid reader and rollerskater. She loves sushi, hot chocolate on a cold day, a
nd the beach. But what she loves above all else is to curl on her chair with her computer and write more stories for her readers. Martine currently lives in Houston, TX with her two cats.


Sandy Lawrence

Public Relations

Sandy Lawrence is a “people person” who works passionately to take her client’s message to the world and help them break through, get noticed, and be known. Her PR skills are available to anyone who needs a truly perceptive Public Relations expert. Sandy is a publicist, an international speaker, bestselling author and creator of DIY PR programs. She is the founder and CEO of Perceptive Public Relations. She has received awards for being #17 in Houston’s Top Social Media Influencers and listed in the Houston Business Journal’s Top 25 Public Relations firms. Sandy is the author of the Do It Yourself PR Guide and Soar 2 Success in Marketing: 58 to Getting the Word out and Growing your Business. Sandy’s story, “From Sandra and beyond” was on of the chapters in the Share Your Message with the World, Volumes I and II.


Mack Little

Membership Director

Mack Little holds an undergraduate in English Literature from the University of Dubuque, Iowa and a Masters of Information Science from the University of North Texas. Born in Conyers, GA, Mack has gone on to live as a university student in Seville, Spain and as a soldier, in Wurzburg, Germany. Her studies and career has taken her all over the United States. She now resides in Houston, Texas. Mack is currently an active member of the Houston Writer’s Guild. While The First Daughter is her first novel, she co-authored Disaster Planning: a How-to-Do-It Manual, published by Neal Schuman. She has also authored several articles for professional library journals.


Mike Brady

AV Needs & Facilities


Zarah Parket

Critique Group Director

Zarah studied writing at Houston Baptist University where she acquired her B.A. She loves writing in all forms, but specializes in short stories. While freelancing for nonprofits and small businesses, Zarah’s work has appeared on different blogs and has contributed to The Federalist.