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WLT Craft + Business of Writing Workshop

September 11, 2022 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT



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Registration: $49 (includes all three presentations)

NOTE: Online registration for this special event will close at 5:00 PM CDT on Saturday, 9/10. Walk-up registrations will be accepted, as space allows. If you’d like to join us and register on site, we’ll be in the Wolfcamp Room on the first floor of the Marriott Odessa at 1:45 PM on Sunday, 9/11.

If you have any questions about this event, please reach out to our Executive Director, Becka Oliver, at becka@writersleague.org. We hope to see you there!

Hello, Permian Basin! We’re so excited to be headed your way for a special in-person writing workshop that covers craft and business and everything in-between.

In partnership with Odessa Arts, the WLT Craft + Business of Writing Workshop will take place on Sunday, September 11, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Marriott Odessa Hotel and Convention Center (305 East 5th Street, Odessa, Texas 79761).

The event will include three one-hour presentations (details below), including writing exercises and plenty of time for questions. PLUS, all registrants are invited to stick around after the workshop for a Happy Hour Meet-up at the hotel’s cash bar – a chance to mix & mingle and connect with fellow writers (and your friendly WLT instructors).

Details on the three presentations can be found below.

Seating is limited, register today!

“Take the First Step: Jumpstarting Your Writing Project” with Stacey Swann

Do you have a great idea for a novel or a memoir, or for a short story or an essay, but you aren’t sure how to take that first step? Perhaps you’ve already begun, but you’ve hit an early wall and see no clear path over it. So often, these initial steps can truly be the hardest!

In this talk, we’ll explore multiple paths that can help get you moving. From freewriting to pre-writing, from outlines to flying without a net, there’s no one right way to start your work-in-progress. Together, we will quell worries and stoke fun so you can find your own route to your best work.


“Finding Your ‘Why'” with James Wade

The reasons why writers write can run the gamut from “I love prose,” to “I’m so full of stories,” to “writing is cheaper than therapy.” There is no wrong answer.

In this talk, we’ll dig into success, failure, and what keeps us going, page after page. We’ll work together to uncover your ‘why’ and give you the tools to take that ‘why’ into your own writing sessions so that you feel motivated every time you sit down to work.


“The Path to Publication: The Agent Search” with Becka Oliver

Join a former literary agent for an informative, candid, no-holds-barred look at publishing today, with a focus on finding the ideal literary agent for you and your work.

In this talk, we’ll cover everything from identifying the most promising agents to approach for representation, crafting a compelling query letter, asking the right questions, and most everything in between.

Thank you to WLT Community Member Odessa Arts for their support of this program. 

Consider joining us at the Odessa Arts presentation of Literary Death Match on Monday, September 12. For more information and tickets, CLICK HERE.
Want to hang out for a night or two and enjoy all of this literary goodness in style? Grab a room under the group block at the Marriott Odessa Hotel & Convention Center, CLICK HERE.


Stacey Swann HeadshotStacey Swann’s debut novel Olympus, Texas (Doubleday) was a Good Morning America Book Club selection, an Indie Next Pick, and was longlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Swann holds an M.F.A. from Texas State University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her writing has appeared in LitHub, Electric Literature, Texas Highways, Epoch, and other journals. She splits her time between Austin and Lampasas, Texas.
James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is the author of River, Sing Out, and Beasts of the Earth (winner of the 2023 Spur Award for Best Contemporary Novel) as well as the critically-acclaimed debut novel All Things Left Wild (winner of the MPIBA Reading the West Award for Debut Fiction, and the Spur Award for Best Historical Novel). James's work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, and his novels have been featured by publications such as PopSugar, BookBub, Deep South Magazine, and the New York Journal of Books. James is currently working on his fourth novel, Hollow Out the Dark, coming 2024 from Blackstone Publishing.
Becka Oliver joined the WLT in September 2013 as Executive Director after more than two decades of experience working in newspaper and book publishing. She spent much of her publishing career inside two of the “big five” publishing leaders – Macmillan and Hachette Book Group — licensing domestic and foreign rights on behalf of countless notable authors, including Sandra Brown, Brad Meltzer, Nicholas Sparks, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, and more. In 2007, she made the leap from Associate Director of Subsidiary Rights at Grand Central Publishing to Literary Agent, first at Endeavor and then at William Morris Endeavor (WME) after the two powerhouse talent agencies merged. As a literary agent, Becka represented clients working in both fiction and nonfiction, including Brunonia Barry, Sheryl Crow, Kamran Pasha, Joanna Philbin, Susan Rebecca White, and the popular blog Awkward Family Photos.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well to ensure we add you to the class roster as soon as possible.

Expecting to see the member price, but it’s not appearing?

Confirm you are logged into your account first and foremost. The member price will only appear when you are logged into your account and have an active membership on file. If you are having trouble accessing your account, please email member@writersleague.org and explain the situation.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Accessibility Policy

Closed captioning is available for all online classes and special events.

The WLT is committed to making its programs & services accessible to all writers. Please contact us at wlt@writersleague.org or at 512-499-8914 for more information or to discuss accommodations you may need.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.


Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email the WLT staff at wlt@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform an hour before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.


September 11, 2022
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT
Event Categories:
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Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
305 East 5th Street
Odessa, TX 79761 United States