ETWG Summer Conference and Writing Contest

Saturday, July 9th, 2016 ~ 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Register before June 1st to save $10!

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scroll_and_quill2016! First Chapter Writing Contest

  • Category 1 – Published Work
  • Category II – Unpublished Work

Enter by June 1st!


“Building Blocks for Writers”

ETWG is very pleased to bring you another fantastic summer conference this year. FOUR fabulous speakers! Check out the schedule below!

Schedule for the day           9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

9:00 – 9:30                  Registration

9:30 – 10:30                Roger Leslie  –  (Character Development)

10:30 – 10:40              Break

10:40 – 11:40              Sara Cortez  –  (Dialog & Dialect)

11:40 – 12:40              Lunch catered by Jason’s Deli

12:40 – 12:50              Announcement of Writing Contest Winners

12:50 – 1:50                Linda Burklin  –  (Speculative Fiction & Creating Worlds)

1:50 – 2:00                  Break

2:00 – 3:00                  Sasha Summers  –  (Conflict)

3:00 – 3:10                  Break and prize drawing

3:10 – 4:00                  Q&A Panel

Below is information for you about our FOUR fabulous Speakers!


Roger Leslie- What a Character! Developing Engaging, Complex Characters in Fiction

Award-winning author, teacher, and publisher Dr. Roger Leslie is a scholar in the fields of education and success, as well as motion pictures. A prolific writer of books that include inspirational self-help, teaching and librarianship, fiction, biography, and movie reference, Leslie is committed to inspiring people to live the life they dream.
A master of goal setting and achievement, Leslie travels the world sharing with groups of all ages his research on success and his techniques for using personal passion to create a life of purpose. His books on the topic, including Success Express for Teens and Teach Me SUCCESS, are core resources for educators at all levels, from elementary school through college, especially for character education and whole-child approaches to learning.
He shares empowering breakthroughs in My First Last Year, a Walden-like record of his personal experiment in living. His workshops on the topic have grown into a global movement where he teaches people to FLY® by living their own First Last Year.
An expert on movies (Film Stars & Their Awards, Countdown to Oscar®’s Favorite Actors), he has committed to memory enough movie facts to fill an encyclopedia. He uses that knowledge in his fun keynote speeches relating film awards to any group or interest.
When not on the road, Leslie lives in Houston where he writes, conducts workshops, teaches college, and runs Paradise Publishing LLC.


Sarah Cortez – You Said What?—How to Avoid the Most Common Errors in Writing Dialogue

Sarah CortezSarah Cortez, a native Houstonian and Councilor of the Texas Institute of Letters, is the author of an acclaimed poetry collection, How to Undress a Cop, and winner of the PEN Texas literary award in poetry. She has edited Urban Speak: Poetry of the City and Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives, winner of the 2008 Skipping Stones Honor Award. She has also edited Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, Indian Country Noir (Akashic Books), and You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens, which was short-listed for the 2012 International Latino Book Awards. In 2012, her spiritual memoir, in poetry and prose, entitled Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston was published by Texas Review Press and was hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “a love letter to the city of Houston.” A collection of poetry from the urban street cop’s perspective, Cold Blue Steel, was published in 2013 by Texas Review Press and short-listed for the Writer’s League of Texas Poetry Award. A volume she edited, Our Lost Border: Life Amid the Narco-Violence was also published in 2013 and has won both a Southwest Book Award and International Latino Book Award.

Ms. Cortez was recently named to the 2014-16 Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster.

Her writing has appeared in The Sun, Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century, The Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, The Texas Review, New Texas, Louisiana Literature, Blue Rock Review, Pennsylvania English, The Midwest Quarterly, and many other publications. Her work is widely anthologized both here and in Europe in collections by Penguin, the Great Books Foundation, and other international publishers.

Ms. Cortez was chosen by then-mayor of Houston, Bill White, to compose and deliver his inaugural poem in 2003. The United Nations tapped Ms. Cortez to compose and deliver a poem for the Eighth Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2009 in New York City. One of her poems was chosen for the national “Poetry in Motion” program, which places poems in city buses, and was featured on placards on METRO buses in August 2002. One of Cortez’s honors was having a poem chosen out of over 6,000 submissions for an Honorable Mention in the 2011 annual poetry contest by Rattle, an internationally prestigious poetry journal.

A dedicated, long-time educator, Ms. Cortez has taught poetry, fiction, and memoir to students ranging from third graders to senior citizens. She taught creative writing for six years at the University of Houston-Central, in addition to teaching throughout the community through Writers in the Schools, The C.G. Jung Center, Inprint, The River Visual and Performing Arts Center, and COH Multi-Service Centers. She is an inspiring and energetic teacher in every genre—poetry, memoir, fiction, and essay.   She has served as a Writing Consultant for HISD, working with at-risk teens. She also serves the Harris County Department of Education as a specialist in writing the college essay.

As a poised and polished public speaker, whether teaching, reading poetry, on panels, or in larger venues, Mr. Cortez has chaired presentations at the state and national conventions of the Texas Library Association, the American Library Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, Associated Writing Programs Conference, the Texas Book Festival, and Tucson Book Festival and many others.

Ms. Cortez received her bachelor’s degree from Rice University and continued her education to receive two advanced degrees, one from the University of Texas-Austin and one from the University of Houston-Central. Her Police Academy was completed at the University of Houston-Downtown. books.

Click here to find out more about Sarah and her work.


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Linda Burklin – Define Your Niche, Create Your World

I am a writer and I’ve released my first book, a memoir about my years at a remote boarding school in Zambia. Over time, there should be a lot more to look at here, including photos, recipes, and, eventually, novels. Grab yourself a nice hot cup of tea or coffee and stay awhile!
I’ve been a storyteller since childhood, and I started writing my first novel at 17. Fortunately, that one never saw the light of day! There was a long, long break during which I went to college, got a degree in English, got married, had seven kids, and started homeschooling them. Once I no longer had a baby in the house, I finally had time to start writing down the stories that had been piling up in my brain for two decades. The first thing I wrote was This Rich and Wondrous Earth, my memoir of the years I spent in boarding school in Zambia. I want those memories to be preserved because there is no other place like that on earth.

Click here to find out more about Linda and her work.


Sasha Summers – Conflict – author

“…made me further admire Ms. Summers’ writing. There is consistency in all her characters and their individual personalities. Moreover, the worldbuilding is impressive throughout. Every detail is well-thought-of, nothing is amiss.”
~ ~AO’s Reviews

The above is only one of the hundreds of reviews Ms. Summer’s has received for her writing prowess.
Sasha Summers is part gypsy – even if she has lived in Texas for most of her life. Maybe it’s her early years as an Air Force brat or all the places she’s ‘been’ while researching and writing? Her passions have always been storytelling, history, romance, and travel. She writes lyrical romantic fantasy, contemporary romance, and sci-fi romance. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

She is a member of several writing associations, including Romance Writers of America and chapters: Austin Romance Writers of America, San Antonio Romance Authors, and the Dallas Area Romance Authors. Ms. Summers has spoken on panels at several conferences and writing groups throughout the US.

Sasha lives in the Texas Hill Country with her family.

She will be sharing with us about CONFLICT.


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Our Workshop Sponsors

We would like to express our gratitude to our sponsors who help to make our workshop possible. Please be sure to visit them and let them know you appreciate their support of ETWG.

Coming Soon!