Monday, June 27, 2011

July meeting

On July 9, 2011 William (Bill) Cummings, author of three stage plays, will be presenting a program on play writing, a new category in the El Paso Writers’ League annual contest. The League meets at the Dorris Van Doren library, 551 Redd Road, at 2:00 P.M. the second Saturday of each month. Visitors are welcome.

President's Corner
We're in the homestretch for our annual contest.  Beginning in June with the Musical Chair Authors to show our members their creativity extends into all genre's, we will have William (Bill) Cummings give a program in July on play writing, a new category in our contest.  We will conclude in August with another workshop designed to excite and stretch your "muse".

I challenge every member to submit a contest entry in a category for which they have never before written.  My goal is to have one entry in every major category, so, for one day a week, I am setting aside writing on my current novel "Seasons" to write for the contest.  The feedback from professionals who judge our contest is priceless and helps me write better, even when I don't agree with every single point.  As the author, we are the final authority for what ends up in our piece, but, hey, the reader is the real boss!  Get out of the box we put ourselves in.  Join, re-join, and commit to El Paso Writers' League.  We're learning and having fun in the process.

Friday, June 17, 2011

June, 2011 meeting minutes

June 11, 2011 EPWL Regular Meeting Minutes
CALL TO ORDER:  President, Janice Brooks called the meeting to order.

INTRODUCTIONS (VISITORS/NEW MEMBERS) & BRAGS:  Pam Kogler & Watertiger introduced themselves.  Diane Morgan stated her book was in the 3rd print & continues to sell well with book signings in Pennsylvania.

MINUTES:  5/14/11Minutes were approved as written.

TREASURER REPORT:  Treasurer’s report will be filed for audit .  No questions. Janice reminded members that dues need to be paid.

  1.  Junior Jotters Chair A. C. Sanders reported schedule is on Tuesdays & Thursdays beginning July 12 for 3 weeks, from 1-3PM.  Cost is $25 per week or $60 for 3 weeks.  He needs volunteers for table monitors.  Applications for students available at Library this week.
  2. Contest Chair Mike Grunsten stated contest fees were revised – 5 entries for $20 and $3each additional entry.
  1.  Reminder that all information is available on the blog athttp://EPWL.BLOGSPOT.COM
  2. Entries for Logo Contest for EPWL are due 7/7/11 to VP Grunsten by e-mail at for vote by membership at 7/9/11 meeting.  Ties will be broken by board.
  1.  Membership feedback about dues resulted in Board deciding a change should be made to Constitution Article VI.1.- delete word not in third sentence to read.  “Membership fees are pro-rated.  This will be voted on at 7/9/11 meeting.  The Standing Rules will then be modified to read dues of $40 per year or $4 per mo.
  2. Southwest Writers from Albuquerque requested a partnership in publicizing one another’s activities which the board agreed to.  BLOG will list info as available.
PROGRAM:  Musical Chair Authors - Each member drew a paper slip upon entrance which gave table assignments for two exercises. President Brooks explained that each table had a posted genre for the participants to use in writing a story.  They had to use the words listed on the inside of the ‘table tent’ which showed the table number and genre.  Participants were given 10 minutes to write then read within their group/table.  The groups then chose 2 persons to read their stories to the entire meeting.  Attendees then changed tables and repeated the process.  The results were a creative and interesting assortment of stories using the same words in 8 different genres from persons who normally would not write Romance, Poetry, Op Ed, Historical, Southwest, Fantasy, Mystery or Journal/Memoir/Diary.  A good time was had by all!  

  1.  Deen Underwood broke a hip and is in rehab.
  2. 50/50 drawing paid $12 with additional drawings for 3 paperback books..
Next month’s program will be Play Writing by W. C. Cummings on July 9, 2011.
 -- Janice Brooks for Secretary Vonda Frampton

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 Writing Contest Guidelines

The El Paso Writer’s League
2011 Writing Contest Guidelines


The contest is exclusive to EPWL members who have paid their annual dues in full before the contest deadline.


  • Submissions must be original and unpublished.
  • Submissions may not have been awarded prizes in either an EPWL or any other literary contest.
  • Manuscripts being considered, but not under contract, by publishers are eligible for submission in this contest.
  • All entries must follow the rules written down anywhere in this document.


POETRY: ANY TOPIC (Nature, Southwest, Humorous, or whatever inspires you.)

  1. Traditional: Poetry distinguished by the prosody of historic structures of meter, rhythm, rhyme, and versification, (including Blank Verse).
  2. Closed Form: Poetry in specific and traditional patterns recognizable by their structure, e.g. couplets, ballad, sonnet, villanelle, limerick, sestina, among others.
  3. Open Form (Free Verse): Poetry that does not conform to any established or historic meter, rhyme, or stanza structure. Such poetry derives its poetic qualities from the repetition of words, phrases, grammatical structures, arrangement of words or lines on the printed page, or any other innovative means of expression.
  4. Haiku, Tanka, Senryu, Ghazal, and other forms of international poetic expression.
  5. Children’s: Poetry that consists of whimsical, lyrical, laughable, loveable expressions of wit and wisdom. ANY FORM.

PROSE, NON-FICTION (2,000 words MAX.)

  1. Inspirational: Think Chicken Soup stories. What are the words of wisdom that have guided you along your life’s path? What inspiring message or insights would you like share with others?
  2. Personal Essay/Op-Ed/Feature Article: Discussion of a single subject from a personal point of view. Think newspaper Editorial Page or Living Section. Challenge others to think about, act upon, or appreciate your perspective on issues of common interest or concern.
  3. Character Profile: Description of the qualities and characteristics that contribute to a particular person or pet’s unique personality.
  4. Southwest / Travel: An article or essay describing and detailing the cultural, geographic, or historical significance and/or current events impacting an interesting local, national, or international location you have experienced.
  5. Reminiscence: An account of your personal reflections about a memorable time or event that had a significant impact upon you and your life.


  1. Adult Short Story: 3000 words MAX.
  2. Adult FLASH Fiction: 500 words MAX.
  3. Children/ YA Story: 1500 words MAX. Please specify appropriate age group.
  4. Book Chapter: Please specify fiction or non-fiction.
  5. Theater/Screen Play: A one-act play, or the first ten pages of a longer play.

Submitting entries

A member may enter any or all categories, but no more than two entries per category .
Submit two copies of each entry along with an official Entry Form to Mike Grunsten by the deadline: Sept. 11, 2010.

Entry fees

$20 for 1-5 submissions and $3 for each additional entry. If a contest entrant brings in a sponsor of $60 or more, the $20 entry fee will be waived.

Minimum entries

Categories with fewer than five entries will be absorbed into a Mainstream category.

How to submit
  • All submissions are to be submitted anonymously, enclosed in a manila envelope at least 10x14, with the name and telephone number of the author on the outside of the envelope.
  • Use standard size, plain white paper. Do not staple the pages of your entry. Instead, hold the pages together with a removable clip.
  • All contest entries must be typed, and with the exception of poetry, double-spaced. Use one-inch margins all around. Indent each paragraph 5 to 7 spaces. Entries must be typed according to appropriate, professional form. See attached example of format.
  • Contest entries must be clean and neat. Misspellings, strikeovers, hard-to-read, and old or yellowed manuscripts are not acceptable.
  • Do not use fancy or script fonts for your text, except when stating character’s thoughts. Those go in italics. Stick to Times New Roman or one of the other fonts that most publishers use. Use 12 point size.
  • The category and subject matter of each entry must appear in the left hand margin of the first page. (Example: Fiction: Romance or Book Length: Nonfiction or Poetry: Children’s, etc.) Word count of prose entries needs to appear on the right. Word count for poetry is unnecessary. On the following pages, type a key word from the title of the contest entry in the upper left-hand corner and page number in the upper right-hand corner. Do not put your name on any page of the manuscript.
  • Do not include a cover page, illustrations, or pictures in the manuscript.
  • Please sign your official Entry Form (to be given out at the August meeting) with your name, the titles of your entries, and the amount of money you submitted with the entries.
  • Any deviation from these rules could be basis for disqualification.


The contest deadline is Saturday, September 10, 2011. If you want to submit prior to the contest deadline, please send the completed Entry Form (August meeting), two copies of each entry, and the entry fee to:

El Paso Writers’ League
P.O.Box 13567
El Paso, Texas 70013

Attn: Mike Grunsten, Contest Chair

No entries will be accepted after the close of the EPWL business meeting on Saturday, September 10.

Need help?
If you have questions, feel free to call Mike Grunsten at 915-731-1318, or send an email to

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 2011 Inkslinger (excerpts)

The President’s Corner
Get your creative juices flowing at the June Meeting.  Too often we live in our comfort zone and never stray from the same genre only to find our Muse is missing.  This will be a unique approach to stimulate you into writing something different.  From poetry to mystery and romance to history, let's try our hand at broadening the brain.  Last year a ten-minute write triggered my foray into sci-fi.  It was a blast and even my son met my try with enthusiastic support.  What a thrill and we hope you will be thrilled as well when you play a new game we call "Musical Chair Authors".  There will be writing and sharing, so bring paper and pen and 'reading glasses'!

June Meeting Topic — The June 11, 2011 meeting is entitled “Musical Chair Authors” and will be a workshop highlighting the various genres and skill of attending embers.contest winners.

Logo Contest

It was suggested during our May meeting that the design of a logo for the League should be open to all. The board has elected to do just that and will be accepting your entries for the July meeting. Send your entries as picture files to Mike Grunsten ( on the Wednesday before the July meeting. The entries will be printed out for a vote by the membership and the board will select a final design from the top three entries. The designer of that entry will be awarded a $25 Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

Introducing Two of This Year’s Contest Judges

Chris Eboch
Children’s Poetry
Children/YA Fiction

Chris Eboch's novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, an ancient Egyptian mystery; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; and the Haunted series. Read samples at Chris teaches through the Institute of Children's Literature and is the New Mexico
Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Chris also writes for adults as Kris Bock. Rattled launches her new romantic suspense series featuring treasure hunting adventures in New Mexico. Read the first three chapters at

Steven D. Rogers
Short Story/Fiction

Stephen D. Rogers is a multi-published writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Over six hundred of his stories and poems have been selected to appear in more than two hundred publications, earning among other honors two "Best of Soft SF" winners, a Derringer (and six additional nominations), two "Notable Online Stories" from storySouth's Million Writers Award, honorable mention in "The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror," mention in "The Best American Mystery Stories," and numerous Readers' Choice awards. Stephen is a proud member of the Horror Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, the Private Eye Writers of America, and the Short Short Mystery Fiction Society. Other memberships include Mensa, the National SCRABBLE® Association, and the Monday Murder Club. A participant in the Fairfield University Writer's Institute of 1989, the Bread Loaf conference of 1994, and Robert McKee's STORY seminar, Stephen is the director of the non-profit literacy organization Literature Is For Everybody, Incorporated and the head writer at Crime Scene.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 6, 2011 EPWL Board Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance: Janice Brooks, Mike Grunsten, Sarah Purcell, Vonda Frampton, Bob Sanchez

Previous Minutes: No action

Treasurer/ Financial Report: no action

President Report: Patsy King has asked that she be excused from attending some meetings but still remain eligible for the contest. The board agreed to give her credit for meetings due to her on-going medical issues. League information given to Betty Marcus-Randal people who are handling estate. They need to let Janice know what action the League needs to take. Sarah will send new constitution information to the state.

Committee Reports: Junior Jotters: none/ Border Tapestry: on schedule

Old Business: 1. Blog: important information will continue to be placed in the newsletter as well as on the blog until members become familiar with the new site.

2. Tote bags and welcome packets: tote bags will be bought, but member packet information will be placed on the blog. Business cards will be printed with blog address.

3.Name tags: $50.00 will be made available to treasurer, Sarah Purcell, to purchase lanyards to replace laminated name tags. Any monies left over from the purchase of tags will go back into the League account. For the time being only new members will receive the new form of name tags.

4. EPWL Logo contest: submission deadline is July 6. submissions will be sent to Mike on or before that date. Members will vote on the submissions at the July 6 regular meeting. The top three entries will then be voted on. A $25.00 Barnes & Noble gift card will be the prize for the winning entry. To offset printing costs, it was determined that a maximum of two colors will be accepted for logo artwork. Guidelines for the contest will be announced at the June 11 meeting. Mike will put the guidelines in the Inkslinger.

5.Contest: Mike will hand out worksheets for the contest at the June meeting.

New Business: 1. Member roster discussed. Sarah relayed the names of those members who haven’t paid their dues for the year. Janice will email those members who haven’t been attending meetings to determine their status. Bob will update the member information and photos after Janice determines those active members.
2. Membership dues: dues will be $4.00 a month or $40.00 for the year. This action was decided on to better accommodate those members who join in the middle or latter part of a year. It was agreed that the dues amount should not change from president to president, but be a fixed amount. This will be added to the constitution.

3. Constitution change: Article 6-1 will read “membership fees are pro-rated by quarter.

4. Extension Cord Purchase: Mike will purchase an extension cord for use with the sound system. A receipt for the purchase is to be given to the treasurer for reimbursement to Mike.

5. Southwest Writers of New Mexico contacted Mike about teaming up with the League. Bob will contact Melanie Groves of SWNM.

6. School-Wear-Rock info will be filed for possible later use.

Programming: June: Musical Chair Authors: Categories in the contest will be the
July: William Cummings-Playwriting: tentative. Jan will call
William to firm up program

August: Bob Sanchez: Blogs and Websites

September: Contest writing prompts (10 minutes & then sharing)

October: Announce Slate of Officers for 2012 & Creating Subjects

November: Election of new officers & appointment of committee
chairs. Marketing Mistakes Pre & Post Publishing

December: Banquet-Contest Winner Announcements & Officer

The meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by 2011 EPWL Secretary Vonda Frampton

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Board meeting notice

The next EPWL board meeting will be held on Monday, June 6 at 11:30 a.m. at the Rancher's Grill (Old K-Bobs on Mesa near WalMart)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June meeting

El Paso Writers’ League Monthly Meeting, June 11, 2011, 2:00 PM at the Dorris Van Doren Library,  551 Redd Road, El Paso. Visitors welcome.

Get your creative juices flowing at the June Meeting.  Too often we live in our comfort zone and never stray from the same genre only to find our Muse is missing.  This will be a unique approach to stimulate you into writing something different.  From poetry to mystery and romance to history, let's try our hand at broadening the brain.  Last year a ten-minute write triggered my foray into sci-fi.  It was a blast and even my son met my try with enthusiastic support.  What a thrill and we hope you will be thrilled as well when you play a new game we call "Musical Chair Authors".  There will be writing and sharing, so bring paper and pen and 'reading glasses'!

--Janice Brooks, Author of "Illusions" & "A Price for Fame"