ETWG Annual Conference 2019

Brown background with brown cartoon boot in lower left corner. Boot has a yellow pencil and red pen sticking out of it. Text says: Boot Camp for Writers

East Texas Writers Guild Annual Summer Conference

Saturday, July 20  *  8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Tyler Junior College – West Campus – 1530 S SW Loop 323, Tyler, Texas 75701


***Bring a Jacket or  Sweater for Comfort since A/C is often cold***

***Ready to show off your ETWG style and gear up for Boot Camp? 

Click here to order your 2019 T-shirt.***


Boot Camp for Writers

Speakers and Topics

Sally Berneathy: Fortune, Editors, and Readers Favor Those Who Write Correct English

Suzette Doescher: How to Write About Crazy People Like You Know What You’re Writing About

Tex Thompson: Prose P90X – Ten Steps to a Leaner, Cleaner, Meaner Manuscript

Reavis Wortham: Lessons I Didn’t Know I Should Learn




8:30 – 8:55 Sign in, Registration

8:55 – 9:00 Welcome, Housekeeping

9:00 – 10:00 Sally Berneathy “Fortune, Editors, and Readers Favor Those Who Write Correct English”

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 10:25 Door Prizes  

10:25 – 11:25 Suzette Doescher “How to Write About Crazy People Like You Know What You’re Writing About”

 11:25 – 12:25  Lunch catered by Jason’s Deli

12:25 – 12:35  Door Prizes

12:35 -1:35 Tex Thompson “Prose P90X – Ten Steps to a Leaner, Cleaner, Meaner Manuscript”

1:35 -1:45 Break

1:45 -2:45 Reavis Wortham “Lessons I Didn’t Know I Should Learn” 

2:45 – 3:00 Door Prizes, Conclusion  


$65 members; $75 non-members; $25 students; $10 Early Bird discount before June 1
  (Lunch included)

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Sally Berneathy – Fortune, Editors, and Readers Favor Those Who Write Correct English    

Class Description:
Grammar Policewoman Sally Berneathy explains how to avoid common grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
Time to eat grandma.
Time to eat, Grandma.
The first is spoken by a psycho. The second is an invitation to dinner.
John peaked inside the theater.
I’m pretty sure he could be arrested for that.

“Lay Down Sally”
Lie down, Sally.
Eric Clapton’s musical abilities aside, the first could be painful. The second could be fun.

Grammar is not really a form of torture devised by the Grammar Police. Grammar and punctuation allow us to communicate our thoughts to others in a way they can understand. When we speak, our expressions and vocal intonations help to convey our meaning. When we write, we are dependent on correct grammar, punctuation, and word usage. (That last is a serial comma, FYI.)

Don’t be the only one in your writing group who doesn’t know what a gerund is. In this workshop you will learn whether you should accept that award or except it, if the man went further or farther down the road, when single quote marks should be used, and what Detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda said on television that made Sally fall out of love with him. It could have the same effect on your readers. Unfortunately, you will not learn why Eric Clapton’s friend was holding Sally in the first place. Repeated e-mails to Eric have been ignored.

Sally grew up in a small rural town in southeastern Oklahoma where her family’s favorite entertainment on summer evenings was to sit outside under the stars and tell stories. When she went to bed at night, instead of a lullaby, she got a story. That could be due to the fact that everybody in her family has a singing voice like a bullfrog with laryngitis, but they sure could tell stories.

For as long as she can remember, Sally has been a storyteller. Thank goodness for computers so she can write down her stories. It’s hard to make listeners sit still for the length of a book.

Sally has two ongoing cozy mystery series: Death by Chocolate (7 books) and Charley’s Ghost (4 books). The first book in each series is a USA Today Bestseller.
She previously sold fifteen romance novels ranging from comedy to dark suspense. For those novels, she won several awards including National Readers’ Choice, Romantic Times Best Silhouette Romance and two Rita finalist slots.

Besides writing, her interests are reading, eating chocolate and riding her Harley. You can find out more about Sally at

Suzette Doescher –How to Write About Crazy People Like You Know What You’re Writing About

Class Description:
This presentation describes highly dysfunctional behavior and unhealthy coping skills.
Even though it may be unusual, it creates an opportunity for creative writing. When done in a knowledgeable manner, it can be a very interesting read.

This presentation will provide the knowledge and information necessary to write about
the human condition in its most vulnerable manner.

Suzette began her career as a licensed clinical social worker over 20 years ago. She is a graduate of Tulane University of Social Work in New Orleans, La. She worked in areas of substance abuse, dual diagnosis, adult and adolescent mental health.

She is a native of New Orleans, La. and relocated to Texas after Hurricane Katrina. She currently has a part time practice in Commerce where she specializes in treating adults with trauma, post traumatic stress and disassociation.

Suzette is certified in trauma therapy, hypnotherapy, EMDR and Archetypal Pattern Analysis.


TEX THOMPSON – Prose P90X: Ten Steps to a Leaner, Cleaner, Meaner Manuscript

Class Description:
Do your sentences sag? Does your description drag? Or is your manuscript simply struggling to lose those last 5,000 words? Never fear! Now you can trim and tone your prose in a fearless, fun session that’s guaranteed to leave your work leaner, cleaner, and meaner than ever before. Come learn how to take your writing style from flab to fab!

Arianne “Tex” Thompson was once described as “an explosion of 52 enthusiastic kittens latching onto everything at once.” In addition to writing the ‘Children of the Drought’ epic fantasy Western series, Tex is the founder and ‘chief instigator’ for WORD – Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas.

When she’s not leading the charge at home in Dallas, Tex brings her particular brand of ‘red-penthusiasm’ to conferences, conventions, and workshops all over the country – as an egregiously enthusiastic, endlessly energetic one-woman stampede. Click here to find out more about Tex.

REAVIS Z. WORTHAM – Lessons I Didn’t Know I Should Learn

Class Description:
In this workshop, Spur Award Winner Reavis Z. Wortham takes you through the essential craft lessons he’s learned as an author. He’ll touch on writing crisp, realistic dialogue, how to re-write weak sentences, and what to avoid in that manuscript you keep massaging. He’s learned through hard work and error how to avoid the passive sentence, those pesky adverbs that seem to sprout up out of nowhere, and how to build suspense and tension as your work progresses to the climax.

Spur Award-winning author Reavis Z. Wortham writes the Red River historical mystery series and the high octane Sonny Hawke contemporary westerns. Hawke’s War was recognized by the Western Writers of America as the Best Mass Market Paperback of 2019.

Kirkus Reviews listed his first novel in a Starred Review, The Rock Hole, as one of the “Top 12 Mysteries of 2011.” True West magazine recognized Vengeance is Mine as one of the Top 5 Westerns of 2015, while The Strand Magazine placed Dark Places in their Top 12 Novels of 2015.

The Sonny Hawke series by Kensington Publishing debuted in July, 2017, with Hawke’s Prey, featuring contemporary Texas Ranger, Sonny Hawke. Hawke’s War, released in May 2018. Click here to learn more about Reavis.

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