September 21 Meeting

Your Book Marketing Recipe for Sizzling Sales

From social media to your website to an email list, we’ll cover everything you need to know so you can create an authentic platform and do the author thing forever!

An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 400 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients.

Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books.

She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and The Suicide Tree. In her not-so-free time, she acts as organizer for the Yukon Writers’ Society, volunteers at the Oklahoma County Jail, and obsesses over squirrels. She lives in Oklahoma with her dogs, Chanel, Wednesday, and Baker.

July 20, 2019 Program

Authors Revolution: The Hidden Cost of Being a Published Author

B Alan Bourgeois

B Alan Bourgeois has been a writer for 30 years and during this time, he has also been a book publisher for 5 years producing 60 books for authors around the world. Since 2011, Bourgeois has also worked with Authors to help develop marketing tools to help them to build a platform that allows them to succeed in their career as a writer.

During this time, Bourgeois continues to see how authors give away their income and rights as writers in a variety of ways. As a published writer himself, he knows the difficulties involved with selling books. From this experience, Bourgeois has begun to work on a concept and platform that will help empower authors to reclaim their income and their power as authors. He is calling it the Authors Revolution.

In this session of the Authors Revolution, an author will learn the hidden cost of being a published author, tips & tools to reduce the cost and to become more profitable.

At this special session, Bourgeois will also be doing 1 min live Facebook Interviews for any published author. In 2018, the average view count for these videos was over 500 per author. Interviews are left up so that thousands more over time can learn about the author and their books.

May 18, 2019 Program

SUBTEXT: The Often-Missing Ingredient That Can Make Your Fiction Richer

While carefully cooking up an intriguing plotline, true-to-life characters, and conflicts with obstacles at every turn, authors often don’t think about one very delicious storytelling ingredient that can take their writing to a higher, more complex (in a good way!) level. That ingredient is subtext, and it has the capability of drawing readers more deeply into the text, to a place at which they become involved with the writer in creating the story’s meaning.

In this program, Amarillo writer and editor Jennifer Archer will discuss:

  • The two different types of subtext.
  • The purpose(s) of subtext for plot, and the purpose(s) of subtext for characterization.
  • How to create subtext in your stories.
  • How subtext makes readers co-creators
  • Why readers love subtext (even if they don’t know it).

An eclectic writer of women’s fiction, young adult fiction, and non-fiction, Jennifer was a finalist twice for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and was a finalist for that same organization’s Rita Award. She is the author of eleven novels, three novellas, several non-fiction works, and has edited and helped to develop numerous written projects for other writers. Her debut novel for teens, Through Her Eyes, was selected by the Texas Library Association for their TAYSHA reading list and for the Spirit of Texas Reading Program – Middle Grade. She is co-owner of Archer Editing & Writing Services, where she writes and edits stories for clients. A native Texan, she received a business management degree from West Texas A&M University.

March 16, 2019 Program

Freelance Writing with Dee Burks

Dee Burks has worked in publishing more than 25 years and owned a publishing company in Texas for ten years that specialized in personal development and business books. Dee has worked with authors such as Bob Proctor, Joe Vitale, Mark Victor Hanson, David Oreck, John Maxwell and many others. Dee is a #1 bestselling author and taught continuing education classes on writing at Amarillo College for several years. She now concentrates most of her time on her own books many of which are set in beautiful Northern New Mexico. She also freelances and teaches writing classes.

This publishing professional will speak with us about the exciting world of freelance writing. Whether you’re currently freelancing or are interested in new ways to expand your writing income, join us at 9:30 on March 16. We’ll be meeting in our usual location, the Edward Davis Room on the 9th floor of the First Bank Southwest Tower (formerly Chase Tower), 600 S Tyler St., Amarillo, TX 79101. Click here for a map.

If you’re not already a member of the Texas High Plains Writers, we’d love for you to join us. Learn about the benefits of THPW and how to become a member here.

January 19, 2019 Program

Marketing and Book Promotion with Barbara Brannon

Finishing your book is a huge accomplishment, but the job isn’t finished. Whether you work with a publisher or self-publish, authors are expected to work as hard promoting their books as they do writing them. In our next program, Barbara Brannon will walk us through the steps of marketing our books. Join us on January 19 to learn how to reach a larger audience and improve your sales.

Currently the executive director of the Texas Plains Trail Region, Barbara Brannon has served as the head of the ground-breaking Publishing Laboratory at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and as marketing manager of Texas Tech University Press. A writer, photographer, and editor, she is a veteran of publishing and marketing in higher education. Her poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including the Asheville Poetry Review, Cenacle, the South Carolina Review, and Yemassee. She also writes on the subjects of travel and history, such as her book The Ferries of North Carolina: Traveling the State’s Nautical Highways.

Barbara Brannon has helped many authors successfully market their books, and we’re excited to hear her speak at the next meeting of the Texas High Plains Writers.

November 17, 2018 Program

Clarity in Writing by Bill Briscoe

Is your story clear and the reader able to understand what’s going on? Or is it convoluted and muddled? If it’s the latter, do you know how to fix it?

Bill Briscoe, our November speaker, will share things he’s learned through his own writing process that may be helpful to you. He encourages you to bring a couple of pages of your work to check for clarity as he goes through his presentation.

His lovely wife, Liz, will also share what she’s done to increase his social media presence that may spark ideas. After all, if you’ve put a book out, what good is it if no one knows about it? So many busy authors overlook the importance of a social media platform and of studying various ways to market.

Author of the successful Pepperman Mystery Series, Bill Briscoe, grew up in the oil refinery town of Phillips in the Texas Panhandle. After a career spent working for a major insurance company, he turned his focus to writing the stories that had been rumbling around in his head for years. He’s published the first two mysteries in the series thus far with a new one set to release. When he’s not writing, you can find him watching baseball and football.


September 15, 2018 Program

The Doctor Is In

We’re very pleased to have the book doctor, Robyn Conley, speak to us on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Robyn has been helping writers publish for over twenty years. In addition to holding workshops, she taught the mechanics of writing at TCU and UTA universities.

This meeting we’ll have both a morning and afternoon session – a sort of one day workshop.

Need help with characters? Robyn will devote the morning to DRIVING YOUR CHARACTER: HOW TO DEVELOP A WELL-ROUNDED PROTAGONIST. She’ll also have interactive exercises that help layer emotional and physical depth to main characters.

The hour-long afternoon session from 1:00 to 2:00 – SELF-EDITING WITHOUT SELF-DESTRUCTING – will feature a checklist of sample editing tips. If you’re struggling to get your manuscript in shape to publish, this will be an excellent class.

If you would like help with your W-I-P, the doctor is in. All you have to do is show up.

Robyn has graciously offered to read and critique the first two pages of your manuscript, but she’ll need it ahead of time. She requires that it be two pages only, in Courier 12 font, double-spaced.

Send those to Robyn Conley, 6376 CR 252, Clyde, Texas 79510.

Then make plans to attend the September meeting.

Robyn co-founded and led the Writer’s Group of Fort Worth for over a decade in addition to speaking at writing conferences around the country. She has a passion for helping writers and showing them what their manuscripts are missing.

She’s also a writer herself with thirteen published books.

Take advantage of her expertise and attend the September meeting. You’ll come away a better writer.

November 17 ~ Bill Briscoe

This Phillips, Texas native told his wife that he wanted to write a novel only five years into his retirement. Based on an idea he’d had in his head for ten years, the result is Pepperman’s Promise, the prequel to The Pepperman Mystery Series.


July 21, 2018 Program

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Publication

Ryan McSwain ~ Rory C. Keel ~Vicki Schoen ~ Natalie Bright


Where to Begin to Publish Your Book?

The topic always comes up at our meetings. Reach for the stars and snag a literary agent who will negotiate a deal with a Big House publishing company? Or go it alone and join the throng of independent authors who self-publish? What should you do? I know, it’s a lot of information to absorb. Here are a few main points to consider as you move closer to publishing your work.

Option 1:

If you have a high concept book theme or genre, the urgency of publication is not an issue, and you are willing to relinquish the rights to said work, then Traditional Publishing is your best option. This will require you to sign with a literary agent who will “shop” your manuscript to the five major publishing houses which are closed to un-agented submissions. This process takes years. Dollars are well spent in attending conferences to network with agents and editors. Develop a phenomenal one-line synopsis. Practice your pitch.

Option 2:

If you have a polished manuscript ready to go, a clear idea of your genre and target market, and a Type A personality that likes the control, then becoming an Indie Author and self-publishing your work is the perfect fit. You can do as much or as little of the process that you want. Dollars are well spent in hiring the professionals to do the work that you don’t want to learn. Become proficient on social media.

It is a great time to be a creator of new and original content.

 Save the Date: July 21 in Amarillo

No RSVP required; nonmembers are welcome. Our meetings are open to the public and guests may attend for a small $10 fee. It all starts at 10:00 AM and you’re invited! Hope to see you in July in Amarillo.

Robyn Conley on September 15

Morning Session: Driving Your Character – How to Develop a Well-rounded Protagonist.

Afternoon Session: Self-Editing Without Self-Destructing

November 17 ~ Bill Briscoe

This Phillips, Texas native told his wife that he wanted to write a novel only five years into his retirement. Based on an idea he’d had in his head for ten years, the result is Pepperman’s Promise, the prequel to The Pepperman Mystery Series.


May 19, 2018 Program


Putting Core Writing Elements Into Place

Our May speaker, Rosa Latimer, says, “Behind the everyday discipline of writing there are core elements that you must have in place to enable you to be successful in telling your story.”

Her presentation will focus on these main points:

  • Organizing research
  • Keeping the story on track
  • Staying true to your purpose

No matter what you write, you have to have certain core elements. Almost every type of writing requires research—some more than others. Research can eat up your time. Often, we get so engrossed in little side roads that our story begins to meander, and we lose sight of the main reason for writing it.

Rosa will give us pointers and advice on how to stay focused on your goal. While most of her presentation will be on writing non-fiction, she’ll have basic information that will also help fiction writers.

She says, “Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, this information will help establish a simple, clear path to reaching your publishing goals.”

Bring pen and paper to takes notes.

* * *

Rosa has written a fascinating non-fiction series about Harvey House girls that are inspired by her grandmother who once worked in one of the famous restaurants and hotels that set up along the railroad lines. Each book is set in a different state. She’ll share entertaining stories from her books as well as her experience establishing and keeping a successful relationship with her publisher.

Besides being an award-winning author, Rosa is a playwright and an award-winning photographer. She’s also a writing consultant and teacher and has served on the faculty of the West Texas Writing Academy for the last two years.

Upcoming Programs

Our July Program will be a panel discussion with Indie Authors, including Natalie Bright, Ryan McSwain, Craig Keel, and Vickie Schoen.

Our September Program will be Robin Conley, the Book Doctor, who will present an all-day program.

Please mark your calendars and be sure to attend these events.