Summer Series

When: Tuesdays — June 14 & 28, July 12 & 26, Aug 9 & 23, 2016

Where: Trini Mendenhall, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston, Tx 77055

Each Day from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


$10 per session to members / $30 per session to nonmembers

Summer Series Individual Sessions


$50 members for all 6 sessions/$150 nonmembers for all 6 sessions

Summer Series All 6 Sessions

June 14th, 2016 – Managing Time with Fern Brady



Have you ever wondered how some people manage to do so much with the same amount of time? Come learn some techniques and explore tools that can help you maximize your time and get the most out of your life’s pursuits.

** Bring a calendar and/or agenda-planner to practice some of the techniques and see if they will work for you.


Fern Brady is CEO of the Houston Writers Guild and owner of Inklings Publishing.  She began her career as a foreign correspondent, taught with Alief ISD for 15 years, and then became a full-time Realtor in Houston. Her award-winning children’s picture book, The Smiley Face Blatoon, is published under her pen name, Lady Nefari Ydarb. You can contact her at:  Check out other books published by Inklings at and visit the Houston Writers Guild at


June 28th, 2016 – Legal Issues for Authors with Melanie Bragg

Melanie Bragg


In this session, Melanie Bragg will discuss legal issues that indie authors should keep in mind as they prepare themselves for the business of selling their books.  Some areas to be covered: Setting up as a business entity, trademarking questions, managing and securing your copyrights for repurposing your work, taking care when using other people’s copyrighted work, and much more.



Melanie Bragg obtained her Bachelors of Science from the University of Texas at Austin with Honors in 1978 and her Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston Law Center in 1982. After serving a year as a Briefing Attorney for the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas, Melanie started her own law practice. She worked in the civil, criminal, probate and family courts. Her self-published legal thriller, Crosstown Park, explores social justice issues.  The sequel is in the works.


July 12th, 2016 – Plotting Thrillers and Action / Adventure – Story Arc and Comic Relief with Tony Burnett

Tony Burnett

In this session we will discuss:

plot development – how complex should your story be; pacing – tension and tension release; unique characteristics of thrillers versus action adventure versus mystery; finding your voice – reading to write; standalone versus series versus serial – what works for your story; character traits and quirks – making the believable interesting and the unbelievable believable; finding an audience and / or specific genre; having fun with writing


Educated at University of North Texas, Tony Burnett, the current president of the Writers League of Texas, is an award winning poet, journalist, activist and songwriter. His poetry and short fiction have been published in national literary magazines and anthologies including, Sixfold, Connotation Press, Short Story America, Frontier Tales, Texas Poetry Calendar, Poetry @ Round Top anthology, Tidal Basin Review, Di-verse-city and Toucan Literary Magazine. He has self-published two books:  Southern Gentlemen, a collection of short stories, and The Reckless Hope of Scoundrels, a collection of selected poems.


July 26th, 2016 – Finding Selling Venues For Your Print Books with Andrea Barbosa

Andrea Barbosa


Book festivals can be worthwhile endeavors, but you have to be well prepared and willing to stretch and grow. In this informational session, HWG’s Author Events Director Andrea Barbosa will talk about how to find selling venues for your print books, how to work at a book festival, how to sell, display, and market your books during events, and how to conduct book signing events.


Award-winning novelist and poet Andrea Barbosa is an avid reader, soccer fanatic and a tourist at heart. She took Creative Writing classes at Texas Tech University. Her poetry collection, Holes in Space is the recipient of the 2015 Silver Medal Award in Poetry from Readers’ Favorite, and is featured in the 50 Best Books of 2014 at website, voted top 5 in poetry by readers. She is currently working on Olympian Heartbreak, the second in the Olympian Love romance series.


August 9th, 2016 – Everything Romance with Christie Craig

Christy Craig Portrait 2


Books by James Patterson, Elmore Leonard, and George R.R. Martin are not considered romance novels, yet romance shines on their pages. It humanizes their characters and warms the hearts of their readers.  Come hear Christie Craig discuss what constitutes a book as a romance novel.  She’ll cover what’s hot and what’s not in the romance industry, popular tropes, different subgenres, and the various heat levels in the romance arena.  Non-romance writers don’t worry, her presentation also covers tips and tools on adding romantic subplots to books of all genres. Come prepared to laugh, learn, and be enlightened on everything romance.


New York Times Bestselling Author Christie Craig is an Alabama native, but she now hangs her hat in Texas.   Author of 35 books both in and out of the romance genre and presenter of over a thousand workshops, she’s known to entertain, educate, and motivate.


August 23rd, 2016 – Defining Your World: The Craft of World-building With Dorothy Tinker

Author Pic - short hairReading genre fiction, like science fiction or fantasy, is oftentimes a blessed escape from the dull and dreary strain of reality and a grand adventure into other worlds.  However, in order for readers to lose themselves within such other worlds, writers must first build the worlds into their stories.
At the heart of any story not based in modern Earth society, world-building is a beloved, and sometimes frustrating, tool for writers.  In this session, Dorothy Tinker will explain the breadth and importance of world-building, as well as offer tools and suggestions for defining the world you are writing in a way that your reader can understand without encountering the dreaded “info-dump.”  She will also explain how world-building can affect the story you write and offer examples of world-building within various published genre fiction.
Dorothy Tinker is a genre fiction writer, with a heavy focus in epic fantasy.  She is the author of the Peace of Evon young adult series, with three books published and the fourth, and final, book of the series in progress. Dorothy has two fantasy/romance short stories published in the HGW Press anthology, Riding the Waves, and a scifi/spiritual short story published in the Inklings Publishing anthology, Eclectically Cosmic.  The first two stories further explore the lives of two minor characters from her first book, Peace of Evon, while the third short story explores the mysteries of an extradimensional resort hotel. Dorothy is an enthusiast of languages, cultures, and fantastical worlds