Saturday, January 7, 2017

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2017?

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2017 AT ACFW-HOUSTON?

#1. Officers


Three of our officers are returning this year. Lisa Godfrees (pres), Elizabeth Pina (vice-pres), and Marc Schooley (treas). Suzi Ronning joins us as secretary (yay!).

[Nancy Kimball doesn't live within spitting distance anymore, though we hope she might make it down to see us occasionally. Thank you for your hard work, Nancy. We love you.]


#2. Meetings


If you're an author, you've likely made writing resolutions for 2017. (If you didn't, it's not too late!)

We're here to help you keep those resolutions. This year, our meetings will focus on learning and honing the craft of writing. Each meeting will focus on an aspect of craft (character or plot development or general story techniques).

We will be using the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass. You're encouraged to purchase a copy, but it is not required.


#3. Location


We will move our meeting location approximately 1 block - from UBC to my house. It will be easier to find us and more comfortable as well. :)

We've also changed our web location to www.acfwhouston.com. Make note!

#4. Dues


Dues haven't changed (tricked you!). If you're joining us this year as a member, please use the PayPal button in the right sidebar to provide us with $10. We use these dues to keep the chapter running.

Please join us for our first meeting of 2017 - January 14th. We really hope to see you there. :)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fall Happenings

October meeting cancelled!

Plan to attend The Woodlands Chapter Mini Conference instead.

October 8th 8:30 am - 3 pm
St. Thomas Anglican Church
6819 Louetta Road
Spring, Texas


November 12th, 2 pm 
Final critique session of the year. 
Come and share your stories with us!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June Meeting Follow-up


If you missed our June meeting, you missed a lot of fun, and at least two stories involving rams. (It's an app thing).

As promised, here are links to information we promised to share:

Houston IWA's Conference is
Saturday, August 6, 2016 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Houston’s First Baptist Church
7401 Katy Freeway Houston, Texas 77024.
Brochure and registration info here.

We created a Short Story Resources tab for the contests and other writing opportunities discussed during our meeting. Check back because it will be updated periodically.

Our next meeting is a critique session scheduled for Saturday, July 9th at 1 pm. Why not bring one of those stories you worked on during our meeting to share? And bring a writer friend--the more the merrier!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June Annoucements


JUNE MEETING
SATURDAY, JUNE 12 


Join us on Saturday when HCA President Lisa Godfrees presents compelling evidence for who and why every writer should pen short stories (and what to do with them once you're done). Bring your computer or a notebook for hands-on exercises. This is one presentation you won't want to miss!

See our Events Calendar for information on meeting location.


WRITING RETREAT
Includes opportunity to hang out with our 
wonderful March speaker, DiAnn Mills

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Meet Nancy Kimball



Greetings literary brethren. Nancy Kimball here slowing down long enough to do one of my least favorite things--talk about myself! I'm a sinner saved by grace in Jesus Christ, a pet parent to Eric T. the most spectacular pitbull mix the world has ever seen, and a novelist. Though novelist implies more than one novel, and so far I have only released one novel. That should change this year when I release the much-anticipated sequel to Chasing the Lion. I'm an avid reader, a Texan, a fan of Ancient Rome and ALL things gladiator, and still don't understand the point of white crayons.  

How long have you been writing?

Since about the age of ten. I love story. But I got serious about it in 2010, and found out that just because you can write or tell a story does not mean that translates into being able to craft quality fiction. There is so much to learn, but I love it and am still learning all the time.

How did you end up with your first publication?

After
 racking up a lengthy resume of literary awards and recognition, ultimately I found that I didn't quite color inside the lines enough for the traditional publishing route. I self-published my debut novel, Chasing the Lion, in April of 2014.
How much, and what, do you read?

I am as sporadic in my reading as I am in my writing. I can binge books and read two or three in a week or go a few months without reading or listening to fiction. But I gravitate to any great story, be it young adult coming of age, contemporary romance like Amy Harmon's Making Faces, historical like good buddy Peter Leavell's West for the Black Hills, and lately, contemporary spy thrillers by Matthew Dunn, a former MI-6 agent. Matthew's Spycatcher series featuring Will Cochran are just, insanely amazing. AMAZING. I just finished #4, Dark Spies, and it has been my favorite so far. 

What is one piece of advise you'd give to someone just starting out?

Just start writing. Don't even be afraid of what you don't know until you are finished with your first story. Tell it start to finish. Get the electrifying thrill of typing those two beautiful words "The End." Because then if you want to commercialize it and sell it, you have a lot, lot of work to do.

What is your favorite book on the writing craft?

DiAnn Mills' Dance of Character and Plot. If you are only going to read one craft book in your life, read and study that one. If you're going to read two, then Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft should be second.

What is one thing about you that few people know? Or, if you prefer, what is a hobby you enjoy aside from reading/writing?

I grew up with horses. At one time I owned five, and am a fairly accomplished rider, though it has been about ten years since I've ridden. I hope one day it can be something I return to.

Nancy Kimball

fortitudine vincimusBy endurance, we conquer.
www.nancykimball.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meet Lisa Godfrees




My pen name is Lisa Godfrees. Godfrees is an anagram of my real name. If you change the o to an i and switch around the letters you might be able to figure it out. If you do, you'll see why I went with a pen name. ;)  

Several of my fantasy and science fiction short stories have appeared in anthologies, a magazine, and publisher's blog. I live in the Clear Lake area of Houston, a stone's throw from NASA with a fish, a dog, two cats, two daughters, and a husband. There are alligators in our subdivision.

I work part-time for my church as an audio/video production director, but my full-time job is being a mom and wife. Somewhere in there, I try to find time to write. 

How long have you been writing?

I started writing when I left my career as a forensic scientist in 2011. I'd always dreamed of being an author, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out where story ideas came from. Then I met Nancy Kimball (our wonderful chapter secretary), and she introduced me into the world of Christian fiction. Total God thing.

How did you end up with your first publication? 

I knew a guy that knew a guy. No seriously - a writer in one of the online groups I joined was looking for other writers to join with him in an anthology. All of our stories needed to revolve around his main character, a man named Stelfson. So I wrote a story, and it got published. In 2014, I co-wrote a book with the same author and it is scheduled to be published this year.
How much, and what, do you read?

I read all kinds of fantasy, science fiction, young adult, and middle grade fiction. Both general market and Christian. Aside from the Bible and books on writing craft, I avoid non-fiction like the plague. I read A LOT. Generally, 6-8 books a month.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone just starting out?

Find a writers group. The best place to learn writing is from other writers. And read a lot.

What is your favorite book on the writing craft?

That's hard. There have been so many that have been helpful. One of the most amusing, and helpful, is How NOT to Write a Novel by Mittelmark and Newman. Great examples of what not to do that show you want to do.

What is one thing about you that few people know? Or, if you prefer, what is a hobby you enjoy aside from reading/writing?

I mentioned this before, but people are really surprised I spent eleven years working in a crime lab performing DNA testing. I've been to the FBI for training, I've testified in court as an expert witness, and I've audited other DNA laboratories throughout our country. It was a cool job and I have quite a few stories, some humorous, most not. I like to put science into my science fiction but I don't write crime thrillers because it's too much like work and not enough like entertainment for me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Workshop on Characterization



Houston Christian Authors is proud to welcome DiAnn Mills to our March meeting. Mark your calendars now. This is an event you won't want to mis!
Who: Award-winning author, speaker, mentor DiAnn Mills
Topic: Everything I Ever Learned about Novel Writing Began with Characterization   
When: March 12th, 2016 from 2-4 pm 
Where: University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Drive, Houston, Texas 77059 
Description: An intense study of the art of characterization. Handouts and exercises. 
Hope to see you there!

Bio:

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.