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CWIA is proud to sponsor an exciting event for the Lubbock Book Festival. (October 15 and 16, 2022). We are hosting Writing Workshops for both days. Check out the powerhouse talent we've recruited to lead these workshops below.

CWIA Sponsored Writing Workshops (times tbd):

The Five Elements of a Great Opening​

with Darynda Jones

Have you ever been told you’re starting your story in the wrong place, that your opening falls flat, or that your characters fail to impress? Every opening needs five components to hook an audience. Five elements that are absolutely essential to capture a reader’s attention, to lure her to the next paragraph, to the next page, and to leave her breathless. Darynda will discuss these elements, give examples from those who have used them successfully, then show you how to take what might seem impossible and conquer it like a pro. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to look like a pro?


NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA®, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. Her books have been translated into 17 languages.

Bleeding on the Page – Writing Emotion

with Laura Drake

Whether you write suspense, mystery, memoirs, or romance, one of the most important tools in a writer’s toolbox is the ability express true emotion on the page. Emotion is the glue that binds a reader to your characters and to you as an author.


Laura will explain the tools you’ll need to achieve and refine this skill, including pacing, visceral responses, and expanding and contracting time. She’ll illustrate their use by breaking down examples from best-selling author’s novels.


Laura Drake's first novel, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist and then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She's since published 11 more novels. She is a founding member of Women's Fiction Writers Association, Writers in the Storm blog, as well as a member of Western Writers of America, and Women Writing the West.

Do you have trouble hooking readers in the first chapter or do you suffer from a saggy middle? Award-winning author Rick Treon will instruct authors of all genres and skill levels how to make their stories unputdownable. Keeping readers turning pages is part art, part science, and Rick gives an overview of both! 


Rick Treon writes about life and death in the Lone Star State. His thriller Let the Guilty Pay was nominated for the 2021 Silver Falchion Award for Best Suspense Novel, and Divided States was named a finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards. His debut novel, Deep Background, won the PenCraft Award for Literary Excellence in Suspense.


Before making up stories, he worked as a reporter and top editor for several newspapers in Texas, where he still lives and writes.

Picking up the Pace: How to Write Page-Turning Fiction

with Rick Treon

There will be a round table discussion on the elements of poetry.


JJ Chen Henderson, M.D., Ph.D., was born and raised in China. After she graduated from medical school, she left China to pursue a different life in the U.S., earning her Ph.D. in medical biology. JJ also pursued a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Texas Tech University.


Her passion has always been writing. Her first novel, Girl at Dawn (about to be republished under When Stones Bloom) is the culmination of over nearly twenty years of soul searching. Her short stories and poems are published in literary magazines and reviews, including Fourteen Hills, The Freshwater Review, Poetry East, SLANT, and many others. Her creative pursuits include painting, and she has sold over 50 original works.

Poetry Workshop

with Juan Juan Chen-Henderson

Learn how to connect with readers in affordable ways. We will cover tips on issues such as podcasting, speaking events, designing programs for museums, utilizing keywords and hashtags to make your posts “sticky,” and opportunities on social media. We will give examples, discuss the mistakes we’ve made, and the things we’ve done right. You can propel your work and connect with readers without breaking the bank. Q&A will follow as time permits.


Workshop Presenters:


Natalie Bright is the author of a cookbook, a middle-grade mystery series, an easy-reader series, and (with coauthor Denise F. McAllister) a Western romance series. She blogs every Friday at Prairie Purview about the Texas Panhandle and Western history.


Two-time SPUR Award-winner Janie Little Botkin is a retired teacher turned historical investigator and nonfiction author. The Girl Who Dared to Defy: Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver, a University of Oklahoma Press release, is her newest book. Digging deep into research, she discovers personal narratives of American families with compelling stories of western women, labor radicals, miners, lawmen, and outlaws in settings rich with a history that transitions into the New West.

Chris Mullen is the award-winning author of coming-of-age westerns about a thirteen-year-old boy named Rowdy who must overcome a series of hardships to survive in the Old West. The first book in the series – ROWDY: WILD AND MEAN, SHARP AND KEEN launched February 2020. It won the 2020 American Fiction Awards in the Western category and was a finalist in the 2020 Best Book Awards. Chris is a former teacher where his imagination and love for storytelling blossomed. Find Chris online at


Randi Samuelson-Brown writes award-winning historical fiction and has always enjoyed uncovering strange and obscure historical facts. The Dark Range Series – Brand Chaser is her newest release from Wolfpack Publishing.

Connecting with Readers: Promoting Books on a Budget

with Natalie Bright, Janie Little Botkin, Chris Mullen, and Randi Samuelson-Brown

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