HWG-01March 28, 2015 PRE-CONFERENCE


Please join us at the March 28 Pre-conference workshop as a warm-up for the Spring 2015 Conference coming April 24, 25 & 26.  We are offer two morning presenters and two afternoon presenters to choose from.  In addition, we are offering in person and via Skype pitch practices.

Date:  March 28, 2015

Location:  Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston, TX  77055

Morning Session – choose one

 1. Presenter:  Kathleen M. Rodgers – 9:30 am – 11:30 am

A Writer’s Journey:

Kathleen will discuss her career, from getting an agent to publishing her books.  Come here and be motivated by this wonderful author as she shares her struggles and victories with us.

2. Presenter:  Melanie Bragg 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Author as Speaker: “Prepare Yourself to Promote Your Book”

Public speaking is an integral part of being a writer. Once your book comes out you will need to appear at launch parties, book signings, author panels, book fairs/fests; you might even be asked to appear as a speaker at conferences. All of these events are marketing events to endear you to your fans and create a loyal following for this and future publications. You are a public person now! This hands-on workshop will prepare you to dazzle audiences at book events. In our time together you will get some clarity about your talking points in the three major areas of focus that audiences want to know about: 1) You: audiences want to know about you the author. What is your story of you? We will drill down to the main qualities you want to share with audiences. 2) Your Process: the most frequently asked question is, “how long did it take you?” We will craft your story of your process. 3) The book: How do you talk about the book? It needs to be exciting, interesting, and draw the audience into wanting to read. All three of these elements combined- the story of you, your process, and your book comprise the package you present to your audiences. Coming up with your basic talking points and practicing conveying them in an easy to understand language is a vital skill for any author. We will create, share, and provide feedback to one another in our time together and you will learn tips on breathing, using your voice, what to wear, and preparing to take the stage with confidence through solo and interactive exercises.

It will be fun and invaluable to your future as an author

Afternoon Session – choose one

1. Presenter:  Shelley K. Wall – 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

 Presentation on “Pitching Tips”

Shelley will provide valuable tips on how to sell yourself and your book to agents, editors, and other industry professional.s

2. Presenter: Steve Pagan – (Toastmasters)- 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

“Interpretive Reading”

Steve will guide participants in an interactive session applying techniques for reading aloud your work at author events.  This specialized skill will help you engage your listener and make fans of your audience!

March 28 Pre-Conference Workshop

Pitch Practice – via Skype

Agent Jeanie Loiacono – Members $10 Non-members $15

Pitch Practice Skype – Agent Jeanie Loiacono

Pitch Practice in person with

Jessica Kirkland, Marketing  and  Literary  Agent, The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc.

Members $15 Non-members $20

Pitch Practice – Jessica Kirkland

Location to be announced soon.


The Houston Writers Guild Annual Agents & Editors Conference, voted best in Texas!

Location:  Houston Marriott Westchase . 2900 Briarpark Drive . Houston, TX 77042

Date:  April 24, 25, 26, 2015

Special Guest:   Jane Friedman, co-founder and publisher of Scratch

Preparation for the Spring Conference is underway!  Christie Craig will present on Friday Afternoon from 2 – 5.  The Main Event begins on Saturday, April 25 with Jane Freidman’s Keynote Presentation, ” The Digital Age Author: Principles for Flourishing When Everything Keeps Changing.”  We have 15 presenters offering 45 min breakout sessions in 3 different locations throughout the day.  Please see list below.  Pick and choose who you want to sit in with for the day or move around – the choice is yours.  After a day of conferencing, huddle up for a Q&A session with a talented panel to be announced. On Sunday, April 26, Jane Friedman will conduct a Post-Conference Workshop on, “How to Get Your Book Published: Everything You Need to Know About Editors, Agents, Publishers, and Self-Publishing Options” from 9- 12 noon.

Conference attendees will have an opportunity to have a 10-minute pitch session with one or two of the below listed Editors or Agents during the course of the day on April 25, 2015.  Consultations are $20 each for members.  Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with Editor Jeanie Loiacono from Loiacono Literary Agency, Dawn Dawdle from Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Katharine Sands from Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, NY,  Doris Booth, Editor-in-Chief, Authorlink.com., Ann Collette, freelance writer and editor for over fifteen years before joining the Rees Literary Agency in 2000, or Rita Rosenkrantz from Rita Rosenkrantz Literary Agency, NY.

Editor/Agent Pitches

Conference Schedule


April 24, 2015: Pre-Workshop – Christie Craig


Christie Craig

April 24, 2015

Pre-Conference Speaker

New York Times Best Selling author, Christie Craig, will present.

Time 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Christie Craig Presentation

April 25, 2015: Key Note Speaker Jane Friedman Presents,

” The Digital Age Author: Principles for Flourishing When Everything Keeps Changing”


Jane Friedman

April 25, 2015

Main Event Day

Keynote Speaker/Special Guest

Jane Friedman, co-founder and publisher of Scratch.

Jane Friedman has more than 15 years of experience inside the publishing industry and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest.  She has spoken at industry events across the world, including BookExpo American, Digital Book World, and Frankfurt Book Fair, and her expertise in digital media has led to service with the National Endowment for the Arts and been quoted on NPR’s Morning Edition.  She is the co-founder of Scratch magazine, a publication focusing on the business side of the writing life, which has received coverage in the New York Times, The Nation, and Poets and Writers magazine.  Find out more at JaneFriedman.com .

DON’T MISS OUT!!!  Register early for the Main Event and receive the EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!  After February 28, 2015 prices go up!

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Members $100/Non-members $125 — After February 28, 2015 – Members $125/Non-members $150

April 25, 2015 HWG Main Event

FriedmanApril 26, 2015: Post-Conference Speaker Jane Friedman Presents,

“How to Get Your Book Published: Everything You Need to Know About Editors, Agents, Publishers, and Self-Publishing Options”

April 26, 2015 HWG Event

 The Main Event

APRIL 25, 2015

Breakout Sessions Lineup

Megan LaFollett

Megan LaFollett

Chart House Press

Megan LaFollett, Editor, Chart House Press Presents, “How to Format Ebooks” and “How to Format Print Books.

Megan is an experienced editor and book designer who has worked with both fiction and nonfiction.  A book lover from  birth, she has fond memories of devouring every story from the children’s and folklore sections in her hometown library. Then she discovered Madeleine L’Engle, Anne McCaffrey, and Alexandre Dumas, and out came the flashlight under the bed covers. Before pursuing her passion in helping writers bring their stories to life, she graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. It was during her years as a graduate student studying infectious diseases and immunology that her love for editing was kindled, and eventually developed into a career in publishing. While the mountains of Oregon will always hold a place in her heart, she enjoys living in Texas sunshine with her husband and three children.

Shelley K. Wall – to be announced

Katharine Sands – to be announced

Chris RogersChris Rogers Presents, “Building Your Story: 5 Essential Parts of a Great Screenplay or Novel.”

A visual and literary creative, Chris Rogers began her journey as a graphic designer.  With the advent of computerized graphics, she faced a difficult choice: learn this new electronic design tool or choose a new career.  Writing and illustrating children’s books?  Travel writing and photography?  Before she was fully committed in any direction, a fire gutted her studio.   After salvaging a single drawing table from the ruins, she continued working with clients while seeking a new path in the literary world.  Many rejections later, her short stories began to win awards.  Several were published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and a major publisher produced her suspense novels in hard/soft print, electronic, and audio formats.  Lauded by fans and critics, the books were translated into three languages, and the series was optioned for film.   In 2014, Rogers signed with a new publisher for Emissary, the first novel in a cross-genre trilogy (December 2, 2014, Chart House Press).

Doris Booth – Editor-in-chief Authorlink.com

Elizabeth WhiteElizabeth White Presents,  – Topic to be announced

Elizabeth White-Olsen is the director of Writespace, Houston’s newest literary arts organization.  She has two Master’s of Fine Arts degrees, one in Poetry from Texas State University and one in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She’s published poems and articles in print journals and online, and her first poetry collection, Given Words will be published in 2015.   Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Pamela Fagan Hutchins Presents, “Break Out Book Promotion Strategies.”

Pamela Fagan Hutchins is a recovering attorney and investigator who writes award-winning and bestselling romance mysteries and hilarious nonfiction.  She is passionate about great writing, smart authorpreneurship, and her two household hunks, husband Eric and one-eyed boston terrier Petey.  She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

Ann Collette, Agent/Ashley Weaver, Author/ Mark Pryor, Author – Panel discussion on, “How to Get an Agent.”

Ann Collette was a freelance writer and editor before joining the Rees Literary Agency in 2000.  Her list includes books by Barbara Shapiro, Ashley Weaver, Steven Sidor, Vicki Lane, Carol Carr, Clay and Susan Griffith, and Chrystle Fiedler. She likes literary, mystery, thrillers, suspense, vampire, and commercial women’s fiction; in non-fiction, she prefers narrative non-fiction, military & war, work to do with race & class, and work set in or about Southeast Asia. Ann does not represent children’s, YA, sci-fi, or high fantasy (Lord of the Rings-type books). Ashley Weaver is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Oberlin, Louisiana.  Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University.  She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana.  Her first novel, Murder at the Brightwell, was published in October 2014 Mark Pryor is a former newspaper reporter from England, and now an assistant district attorney with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office in Austin Texas. He is the creator of the nationally-recognized true-crime blog D.A. Confidential.  He has appeared on CBS News’s 48 Hours and Discovery Channel’s Discovery ID: Cold Blood. The Bookseller was his first novel and featured Hugo Marston, head of security at the US Embassy in Paris.  Upon release, the novel was Library Journal’s Debut of the Month with a starred review.  RT Book Reviews called it “a fantastic debut!” and gave it 4 and ½ start, and Oprah.com listed it as an “unputdownable mystery.”  Since then, he has published three more in the Hugo Marston series: The Crypt Thief, The Blood Promise, and The Button Man.  Two more are in the works.

Ramon de Villar – to be announced

Kimberly Morris – to be announced

Julian Kindred – to be announced


Ann Weisgarber Photo by Christine Meeker

Ann Weisbarger Presents, “Reading Like a Writer.”

Ann Weisgarber’s second novel, The Promise was shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, making Ms. Weisgarber the first American to be a finalist for this prize. In the United States, The Promise was a finalist for the Spur Award in Best Western Historical Fiction as well as The Ohioana Book Award for Fiction, The novel is due out in paperback in April 2015. Weisgarber’s first novel was The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, for which actress Viola Davis’s JuVee Productions has optioned the film rights. For her first novel, Weisgarber was nominated for England’s 2009 Orange Prize and for the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers. In the United States, she won the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction and the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction. She was shortlisted for the Ohioana Book Award and was a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writer. Weisgarber serves on the selection committee for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. Originally from Ohio, she now divides her time between Sugar Land and Galveston, Texas.

Elena Meredith – PR by the Book – Topic to be announced

More information coming daily so check back soon!

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL FOR THE MAIN EVENT – Members $100/Non-members $125 — After February 28, 2015 – Members $125/Non-members $150

April 25, 2015 HWG Main Event

Hotel accommodations at the Marriott Houston Westchase are available at corporate rates.  Click link below to make reservations. 

Houston Writer’s Guild Start date: 4/24/15 End date: 4/26/15 Last day to book by: 4/6/15 Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:

  • Houston Marriott Westchase  for 93.00 USD  per night

Book your group rate: Houston Writer’s Guild >>

Interested in becoming an exhibitor for our 2015 Conference? Contact rlnolen@hotmail.com  for more.