Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We Have Moved!

We have moved to: http://bayouwritersgroup.com/   This is our newly designed website AND blog. We will no longer update this page.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Website Design

Check out our new website design: http://bayouwritersgroup.com/

If you would like to see any changes or updates to the blog or the website, please leave a comment below.


Friday, August 30, 2013

And the Young Winner is…

by Beth Savoie

For high school students, spring means prom, finals, and looking forward to summer.  It’s hard to motivate them to finish homework, let alone write a short story.  But, as we in BWG know, writers will write, no matter what their age.  Offer them cash prizes, a free critique, and a chance to add to their writing resume and they are in!  

            Of course, I’m referring to the BWG Young Writer’s Contest.  Open to high school students in Cameron, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, Beauregard, and Allan Parishes, the yearly contest gives students a chance to submit and receive feedback on their work.  Fiction and non-fiction pieces not longer than 2,000 words were accepted with up to two entries per student.  First place prize was $25.00 and admission to the Bridge to Publication Conference in November.  Second Place was $15.00, and Third was $10.  

            This year we had 13 entries.  Sam Houston, Barbe, DeRidder, East Beauregard, and Johnson Bayou were represented.  Two entries were from an area Homeschooler.   Our judges included myself, Connie McDonald, a retired high school creative writing teacher and Rachel Rinehart, an MFA student at McNeese.  Both ladies teach in the Governor’s Program at McNeese. They were a great help in the contest. 

Competition was close, with some places separated only by a few points.  These kids really showed their talent. As there was no theme, the judges had a variety of topics to read, from the Boxer Revolution to migration in the future to a New Earth.  Zombies made more than one appearance.  After reading them, I was encouraged to fire up the laptop and get busy writing. 

First and third place went to Ashley Petry from Sam Houston High School.  Her stories gave us a glimpse into the supernatural world.   Second place went to Homeschool student Hannah Pettefer who shared a delightful story of what can happen when siblings are left to their own devices and imagination. 

New and Exciting This Year!

            This year the group decided on something new for the contest.  A donation of $100 worth of books was given to the first place winner’s school library.  The donation went to Sam Houston High School.  This was especially exciting for the librarians as they recently moved into their new library.  BWG was able to supply books on writing and grammar requested by Connie Degenhardt, one of the librarians. 

            Winners were notified by August 10th.  An announcement regarding this will be made at the conference in November, but we were so excited that we couldn’t wait to share the news.  On Tuesday, Aug.  27th, I, along with Chris Baldauf and Patricia Fox, met with Ashley, Connie, and Vickie Barto, SHHS librarian, to present them with the books.  Marilyn Monroe from Southwest Daily News was present to cover the event.    Who knew we could attract such a star? A fun time was had by all. 

            So many people helped make this year’s contest a success.   Thank you to our parents, librarians, teachers, principals, and businesses that advertised the contest and encouraged our kids to write.  A BIG thanks to the students who participated. Without them, there wouldn’t be a contest. 

            Keep writing, and see you next year!

More here.


Young Writers Contest Winner!

Left to right: Librarian, 1st place winner - Ashley Petry, BWG member Beth Savoie, and librarian.
Today I was proud to be the President of the Bayou Writer’s Group. I met Pat Fox, our publicist, armed with her camera, Beth Savoie, this year’s Young Writers Contest coordinator, and we descended on Sam Houston High school to award Ashley Petry, a junior, 1st place in the 2013 BWG’s Young Writers Contest. 
An exciting contest with winners scores only fractions of a point different, the sixteen entries were terrific examples of student writers from the Southwest Louisiana area. Open to public, private and home schooled students, the contest definitely lived up to our creed to Encourage, Educate and Inspire. In Ashley’s honor, BWG also awarded $100.00 in books to her school library. 
With smiles all around Beth gave Ashley her 1st place award certificate, but the young junior, also received the award for 3rd place as well. SHH librarians proudly hold the library’s new books. 

- Chris Baldauf, BWG President

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gator Bites Due

Gator Bites is due august 31, 2013. Selections of fiction and poetry will be printed on a single sheet of paper, tri-folded, and placed in packets at our conference and around Lake Charles for free. We offer this service in order to promote our members, their writing(s), and Bayou Writers’ Group.

For more rules, details, or submission information, please visit: http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/p/project-selections-of-fiction-and.html

Friday, August 2, 2013

August 3 Speaker

Bayou Writers Group announces Lydia Kebodeaux Hebert will be guest speaker for this month's meeting on Saturday, August 3, 2013, 10:00 am to 12 noon at the Carnegie Memorial Library, Conference Room, 411 Pujo Street, Lake Charles,  Louisiana.
Meetings are free and open to the public.
Mrs. Hebert's topic is "Point of View".  
A graduate from Sulphur High School, she obtained a Master's Degree in Education from McNeese State University. Her experience in the classroom exceeds fifteen years.
Mrs. Hebert is the daughter of Joyce Kebodeaux of Sulphur, Louisiana and currently resides in Iota, Louisiana with her husband, Jason and son, Jared.  Her daughter, Amber Hebert Brunet, lives in Sulphur with her family.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Minutes of the BWG July Meeting

Bayou Writers Group
Carnegie Library,   Lake Charles LA  70601
Regular meeting – July 6, 2013
10:00 am –Noon
President Chris Baldauf called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. and welcomed visitors.
She reported on the board of directors meeting held earlier. She said "The Board" approved replacement officers in accordance with the bylaw provision for filling unexpired terms. They are Chris Baldauf, president; Michele Abshire, vice president; Cliff Seiber, secretary; and Pat Fox and Joyce Kebodeaux, publicists.
Sherry Perkins has been appointed annual conference coordinator.
The president said the group received five tickets in the Arts and Humanities Council’s raffle in exchange for the group’s $250 dues payment. The BWG board of directors agreed to distribute the tickets in a door prize drawing at the current membership meeting. The drawing was held and winners of the tickets were Chris Baldauf, ticket No. 527; Rebecca Stelly, 526; Pat Fox ,528; Sylvia Ney, 524, and Mike McHugh, 525 .
A drawing was held for donated books.
The president introduced the guest speaker, Dr. William Sutton, retired history professor and coauthor of “Herman Frasch the Sulphur King,” a biography of the man responsible for developing the sulphur mines at Sulphur, La.
The meeting was adjourned shortly after noon with the announcement that everyone was invited to dutch-treat lunch at Ryan’s.
Submitted by Cliff Seiber, secretary. Please notify the secretary with any corrections or additions to the minutes.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

More Conference News

Editor Stella Riley - Born a stone’s throw from the Acropolis, transplanted to the Texas Gulf Coast, Stella is descended from refugees and rednecks.

She’s looking for compelling characters, tension, new situations, and a story that resonates.

“Give me a character I can feel, then drop them in some hot water. Now get them out. I love tension. Any kind of tension—inner and outer.”

She welcomes authors with a fresh voice or a new approach. All heat levels, all story lines are acceptable. Contact Stella at Stella@SoulMatePublishing.com 

You can also find her: http://www.allthingsstella.com/

2013 Conference Update

We have two screenwriters that have agreed to speak at our conference this year!

Born at Cut Off, Louisiana, Glen Pitre worked his way through Harvard by fishing shrimp each summer.  Best known as writer/director of Louisiana-set, internationally-lauded historical dramas, several of which featured Oscar-winning actors in their casts, Pitre has also crafted award-winning documentaries, museum exhibitry, novels and non-fiction books, multi-screen video installations, IMAX movies, syndicated radio programming, and more. Accolades include a Sundance Director’s Lab fellowship; AFI, NEA, and NEH grants; an honorary doctorate; and a knighthood from France.  In a 2006 book, film critic Roger Ebert acclaimed Pitre “a legendary American regional director.”

Lake Charles, LA, native Michelle Benoit is an award-winning New Orleans-based filmmaker and author whose work has been translated into more than two dozen languages.  Screenwriter, novelist, playwright, museum designer, and non-fiction author, Benoit has produced films both for Hollywood and for PBS’s national primetime core schedule.  An alumnus of the American University of Paris, she has also taught graduate film directing and screenwriting at the University of New Orleans and LSU.

As screenwriters, working together or separately on features, shorts, TV movies, and series TV for Hollywood studios, commercial broadcast networks, PBS, cable, indie productions, and foreign producers, Pitre and Benoit have been hired for myriad diverse writing assignments including drama, comedy, thriller, action-adventure, romance, horror, westerns, sit-coms, woman-in-jeopardy movies-of-the-week, documentaries, sports films, environmental films, 4D museum films, and IMAX.  

For more conference information, please click the link at the top of the page.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 6 Speaker

William R. Sutton, co-Author of Herman Frasch: The Sulphur King, will be speaking with BWG on Saturday, July 6.

Sutton was born in San Antonio, Texas, attended public schools, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin.  Following military service he enrolled at Louisiana State University where he received a Ph.D. in History.  He has taught at the University of the Orange Free State in South Arica, the Alamo Colleges, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is currently retired and lives in Prague, Czech Republic and San Antonio.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Writers Workshop

Join the TCGW for their first workshop, a series of sessions with professors from Lamar University, each with experience in a different area of writing or publishing. The workshop will conclude with a Q & A time with the panel of  speakers and will provide opportunities for networking and socializing.

Saturday, July 13, 2013
8:00 a.m.— 2:00 p.m. (lunch included)
Lamar University, Maes Building, Room 101
$20 for TGCW members, $30 others
There will be an additional $10 charge if the fee is not paid by July 8.
A registration form is below.

Our distinguished panel of speakers includes:
    Dr. James Sanderson—an author published in multiple genres, Writing Director of the English Department of Lamar University, member of the Texas Institute of Letters https://sites.google.com/site/jim2sanderson/home
    Gretchen Johnson—her fiction has appeared in Amarillo Bay and she has a collection of stories recently published by Lamar University Press. You can see it: www.lamaruniversitypress.org
    Dr. Jerry Craven—member of the writing faculty at Lamar University, Press Director for the Lamar University Press and for Ink Brush Press, Editor-in-Chief for Amarillo Bay, and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters (www.jerrycraven.com)

2013 TGCW Workshop Registration Form 
Mail payment with the following information:

PHONE ________________________________________________
EMAIL ________________________________________________
_________ $20 for TGCW Members (Must be received by July 8)
_________ $30 for Non-Members (Must be received by July 8)
_________ Additional $10 at the door on July 13
You can mail this with your payment to:   
Texas Gulf Coast Writers
P.O. Box 252 
Bridge City, TX 77611 

Friday, June 21, 2013

BWG Minutes - Saturday, June 1, 2013

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 10:05 by President Randy Dupre, 
Attendance 29 members, 2 visitors. Door prizes called.

Treasury Report:  Sherry Perkins 
- Checking balance - $1,423.16. Savings balance - $5,166.70. Scholarship fund – $375.36  Total: $6,965.22
- Two of three grants thought the Arts and Humanities Council have been applied for, awaiting confirmation
- Scholarships to Conference – Invitation to apply if needed 

1. Gator Bites- Invitation to members to submitted for 2013. Examples for 2012 passed and distributed. These will be placed into bags for the conference and distributed in offices and libraries around town.
2. Members Only Contest – Invitation to submit. Due date: Aug 3, 2013. Winners announced at Nov. 9th Bridges to Publication Conference.  Categories - fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, 9 independent Judges   
3. Call for coordinator of MOC – Cliff Seiber and Beverly Martin to coordinate. 
4. Call for Election of vacant Secretary and Publicist positions.  Barbara Duhon elected secretary unopposed without dissent. Pat Fox elected as publicist with Joyce Kebodeaux to assist as needed.

Member News: 
1. Barbara Duhon has published a book – Unchanged Feelings 
2. Linda Leonard – guest spot on Pam Thibideaux’s WildRoseBlog.blogspot.com
3. Willard Abshire – working on 2nd book of his trilogy
4. Sherry Perkins – printed 2nd novelette 
5. Michelle Abshire – most read column on Wordsmith Journal
6. Cliff Seiber and Sherry Perkins had read essays for local youth scholarship contest

McNeese Leisure Learning Class writing class – June and July

Member Readings: Linda Todd, Marcia Dutton, Chris Baldauf, Willis Abshire, Paige Hamilton, Rick Bailey, Amanda Bailey, Barbara Duhon, Cindy Stelly, Cliff Seiber (comic relief), Bev Martin, Joyce Kebodeaux, Lowell Bergeron, Dick Going (visitor), Beth Savoie

Dismissed/adjourned by Randy at noon with invite to lunch at Ryan’s.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Updated Information

Information on the:

Members Only Contest
On the Wall Contest
Gator Bites Publication
2013 Conference Speakers
2013 Conference Registration

can all be found above. Please click on the appropriate link. Any questions or concerns can be voiced in the comment section below or emailed to our president. We will do our best to answer them asap.

Monday, June 3, 2013

McNeese Leisure Learning for Writers

McNeese University is offering a leisure learning classes for writers. For more information or to register: here.

From the Writer's Toolbox: Creating Dialogue
Do you like to write fiction but struggle to create realistic dialogue? Dialogue is absolutely vital for both plot and character development in fiction. In this course, we will explore the art of writing dialogue. Participants in this course will read and discuss published writings about dialogue, learn about craft techniques, do writing exercises, and then write their own stories or short memoirs that incorporate dialogue. Students will also have the opportunity to workshop their writing with the group.

Instructor: Rachel Rinehart
Location: Frasch 106
Date: Tuesdays - June 11, 18, 25, July 2
Time: 6:30 - 8 pm
Cost: $59/$69 after June 4

Thursday, May 30, 2013

June 1 Meeting

Our June 1, 2013 meeting will be for member readings so please bring something to share or critique. Following group business, members will have a few minutes each to read from a manuscript and receive feedback from the others. There is no scheduled speaker. This time is for members to enjoy and share with each other.

We look forward to hearing your work!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Author Interview: Rebecca Stelly

by Sylvia Ney

Rebecca Stelly is the author of To the World Above (Picture book), RUST (blog novel), Burlap Cat (blog serial), Oscura (blog serial), Red House (blog serial), Bohemians at Large (blog humor articles), and Enthralled.

              Was there anything in particular that inspired you to write Enthralled? If so, tell us about it. While visiting New Orleans, I noticed many of the shops along Bourbon street had second floors that seemed to be used for storage.  I wondered what could be hiding up there, behind those darkened windows, left over from a time when things like slavery and prostitution were legal in the city.  The zombie slave is a staple of local folklore. I feel it neatly embodies the exploited soul. I like to find new ways to present old ideas, or in the case of enthralled, old ways to present new ones. We have taken the vampire ( originally a monster ) and re-imagined it as a hero. Then we took the zombie ( originally a helpless slave ) and re-imagined it as a monster more horrible then any of the rest. This intrigues me. I’d like to give it back to the zombie.

In the past and present century, zombies have been a topic writers have chosen with varying degrees of success. Instead of the pop culture concept such as in Night of the Living Dead. The Zombie in Enthralled is based on the Haitian definition of a zombie as being a corpse who has been reanimated and controlled by magical means. Were the particulars about Sam’s idiosyncrasies based on research findings or your imagination as the author? Both. I’ve done some research. I’ve read some accounts over the years. The role of salt in my story is based on beliefs as well as accounts of how zombie slaves were supposedly controlled. Sam’s obsession with following orders to the point of self injury is just how I chose to interpret the idea of a creature that literally lives to serve. Grave mites however, are my own little pets.

What is your preferred genre of writing? I prefer to work with fantasy, horror, mystery and suspense. As well as with combinations of the three. When dabbling in non-fiction I prefer subjects that are unusual, and people who challenge the concept of normal. In short I am far more interested in what a thing could be, then what it simply is.

What do you think makes a good story? I like a good mystery from an author who isn’t afraid to cast a few spells. Combining mystery and fantasy means anything can happen. Then there is the ending, ideally, it should be even better then the beginning with a twist or two that leaves me wanting more!

What does audio production bring to your story? I think it brings portability and convenience to people who would not other wise have the time. Audio production opens an exciting new door for me. A door I thought was closed to all but musicians. I look forward to having people not just read, but also listen to my stories on their hand held devices.

Do you have other published works or plans to write any novels in the future? I have a blog - http://rastelly.com/  I post a lot of my material there, from humorous articles about renegade art (Bohemians at Large) to short stories and serials. I am also pretty good with colored pencils, I often use my original artwork to illustrate my articles.

What are you currently working on? I am currently in the process of publishing a picture book. “To the World Above” is a deep sea adventure about a fish creature who learns to explore the surface world in a vehicle called an Ultra Marine.

Author Biography: When I was a student struggling through school, my favorite subjects were social studies and history. These lessons resembled stories and involved less actual work then reading, math and writing - which I loathed. Yet it was my writing projects that seemed to impress the teacher when nothing else would. I loved letting my mind wander off on all sorts of adventures, but I really hated having to write them down.  It wasn’t until the last question on that final test - the test that would net me a diploma - that I realized how much my attitude towards writing had changed. I was told to “Write an essay about something you once hated but now love” That something was writing. I was given thirty minutes to finish and scored higher then most of the others taking the test. I wrote several practice novels after graduating, all dealing with magic, and often starring creatures that mainstream media dismissed as “sidekicks” I eventually started a blog, and there found an audience willing to tell me which of my ideas they thought were the best. This improved my work immensely, but I’m most grateful for those friends and family whose efforts make this job easier.

Friday, May 17, 2013

BWG May 19 Meeting

All BWG members are welcome to join us at Books-A-Million on Ryan St. We will meet on Sunday, May 19 @ 1pm to discuss conference plans.

Following the conference committee meeting, all members are welcome to stay and discuss other BWG plans or their current work in progress.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BWG at Children's Fun Day

Photos courtesy of Cindy Stelly

Rebecca Stelly representing BWG at the Children's Fun Day at the Convention and Visitor's Bureau on Saturday, May 4.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Willis Abshire Book Signing

Willis Abshire during a book signing for The Curse, the Diary, and the Cross. To learn more about him, you can read his interview here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Zoo by Tara Elizabeth

A chronicle of my time living in a zoo . . . I'm not really sure where to start, and you may have trouble believing me even as I tell you my story. My family did. They laughed the first time I told them, so now I just say it was all a crazy dream. You see, I died in a totally preventable car accident . . . or so I thought. When I opened my eyes, I was shocked to discover that I had been resurrected into the year 2282 and, just as unbelievably, was locked up in a zoo! A HUMAN ZOO! Oh wait, I mean the People's Past Anthropological Center.

The Global Government created the Centers because all of the different cultures of the world had, over centuries of time, slowly absorbed into one uniform culture. Everything and everybody felt the same, and the world didn’t like it. So, to help the people of 2282 find cultures they thought worthy to live their lives by, they used time travel to zap the people of the past into the future. They created enclosures to house their live human exhibits. And that's what happened to me. I became a research project, a source of entertainment. I was a prisoner who was over two hundred years away from my family and friends.

Most of my time in the enclosure was spent trying to escape. I also made friends, lost friends, fell in love, was betrayed, was held captive within captivity, and lots of other fun stuff. There were some shocking moments and some devastating moments . . . It’s a lot to recount, but I’ll try my best to tell you all about my time travel . . . PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE.

I'm Emma, by the way.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Taylor Anne's (Debbie Sonnier) new book Heat Flash came out last week and can be found on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Flash-ebook/dp/B00CGOGZYS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1367416916&sr=1-1&keywords=heat+flash+taylor+anne

HEAT FLASH blurb by Taylor Anne (aka Debbie Taylor Sonnier)
When FBI agent Mason Black left Kendall Reed without warning, it devastated her, but she managed to bounce back. Now on the run from a maniacal stalker, she must learn to trust the man who betrayed her in the past.

Dealing with his own insecurities and secrets, Mason will do anything to protect Kendall from the dangerous lunatic terrorizing her. But the bigger threat may be the one Kendall poses to his heart. Scared of Kendall's reaction if she learns the truth about him, Mason puts his own problems and emotions on hold to find her stalker.

But when Kendall's life is threatened, he has no choice but to risk body and soul--and even his heart--to save her.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May 4th Speaker

Monica Hebert will be speaking at the May 4th meeting. She has 20 plus years of dynamic marketing, promotion, public relations, events and inter-personal management skills.

She has designed and written brochures, newsletters, executive summaries, proposals, news releases, advertising and website copy.

Monica worked as a Health Insurance Information Specialist and Director of Development for Western Fairfax Christian Ministries where she was responsible for all marketing strategies, communications, events, promotions and business development including fundraising, planned giving, capital campaigns, creating policies and procedures.

Co-owner Bob Dawson Music Services she created and implemented marketing strategies to the private sector and the event-conference marketplace where she secured clients such as the Duchess of York, Al Gore, Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton, and American Express and contracted with numerous large mid-town (NYC) hotels and conventions centers such as The Marriott Marquis, The New York Yacht, Club, The Yale Club, The Harvard Club, The New York Hilton Convention and Conference Center.

Founder and President: Hedaco Music Company, New York, NY   1996 – 2008 where she negotiated and executed contracts on behalf of clients. She secured product distribution, designed point of purchase retail sales campaigns, negotiate media buys and story placement, supporting tours and national CD release, produced musical recordings, produced video treatments, and conceived, wrote and produced press kits. She provided career development strategies for various arts related professionals and media coaching, and organized and produced artists on tour in performing arts centers, and designed the website.

Executive Director Virginia Arts Presenters:    Roanoke, VA   1992 – 1993 Duties: Provided general management to participating members for their respective venues. Organized annual three-day conferences. Negotiated “block booking” touring fees for members representing 50 venues across the state of Virginia.

Owner and Publisher of PRESENTING! ideas for audience development Quarterly Newsletter New York, NY   1990 – 1993 Duties: Provided vision and leadership. Hired free-lance journalists, designers and photographers. Conducted interviews, wrote and designed layout.  Managed direct mail distribution to 3,000 subscribers via private direct mail list.

General Manager:The Plaza of Roanoke - Salem Shopping Center   Roanoke, VA   1986 – 1990 Duties: Supervised all maintenance and staff including an eleven million dollar renovation project. Secured commercial and retail tenants.  Handled retail sales promotions, tenant relations, public relations, commercial lease marketing programs, as well as commercial lease negotiation and execution.

Communications and Public Relations Coordinator: Florida Christian Center, Jacksonville, FL  Full Care Retirement Center   1986 – 1987 Duties: Edited quarterly news publications. Produced direct mail appeals, fund letters and performing arts road trips for the Florida Christian Center Development staff.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Children's Fun Day

The Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting their annual Children's Fun Day in celebration of National Tourism Week.
Cindy and Rebecca Stelly of Bayou Writers Group will host a table at the event on Saturday, May 4, from 10 am to 1 pm. There will be color, activity, and fact sheets as well as a story time. You will have the opportunity to view Rebecca's new book as well.
The fair will showcase other fun things for kids to see and do in Southwest Louisiana. Come join us and the Gumbeaux Gator for this fun filled day.
Everyone is welcome at the Bureaus' Welcome Center - 1205 North Shore Dr. If you wish to reserve your own table or have other questions about the event, please call 436-9588 or email Melissa Bertrand, Tourist Information Manager at mbertrand@visitlakecharles.org

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jambalaya Novel Excerpt Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the Jambalaya Novel Excerpt Contest this past weekend!

Linda Todd tied for third place and Sylvia Ney received Honorable Mention.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 6 Meeting

Gene Steech, Investigator with Homeland Security, will be discussing "Formation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its mission."  

He is a 1975 graduate of Rosepine High School and holds a B.A. Degree in Criminal Justice from McNeese State University 1980.

Steech has served as a Detective with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office from 1980-87, a Criminal Investigator with the U.S. Customs Service, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations from 1987 to the present date.

He has been married for 33 years, has two children, and two grandchildren. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013 Young Writers’ Contest

Do you have a way with words? Does your teacher comment on your writing? Do you love to write? If your answer is YES to those questions, we want to read your work! Submit now!

Bayou Writers’ Group of Lake Charles is proud to sponsor its 2013 Young Writers’ Contest

There is no cost to submit! The top three winners will receive cash, prizes, and recognition at our annual Writers’ Conference in Lake Charles on November 9th, 2013.

WRITE ON!  Cash and prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place finishers, and there’s more!

The 1st-place winning student’s school library will receive $100 in books.

2013 Young Writers’ Contest SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

* There is no theme. You may submit fiction or nonfiction, no poetry accepted at this time.
* Submissions must be received (postmarked) by May 31st, 2013. Late entries will not be read.
* You may submit up to two entries. All entries will be returned to the author.
* Word count cannot exceed 2,000 words.
* BWG reserves the right to cancel the contest if fewer than six entries are received.
* Open to all high-school students*: private, public, home-schooled who reside in the following parishes: ♦ Allen ♦ Calcasieu ♦ Jeff Davis ♦ Beauregard ♦ Cameron
*May 2013 graduates ARE eligible. 8th-graders must be promoted to 9th-grade at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. No junior-high entries will be judged.
* Submissions must be DS (double spaced) with a 12-pt font and be typed in Times New Roman. No hand-written entries accepted. Use one-inch margins on all pages beginning on page 1.
* Please include a separate cover sheet with the following information for each entry:

- by author’s name
-parents’ contact # and/or email
* Only previously unpublished material is accepted. However, the writer may have other material(s) published.
* Number all pages (excluding cover sheet, including page one). Writer’s name shall appear no where on the submission except for the cover sheet.
* Make three copies of your entry, and staple each one separately in the upper left-hand corner for independent judging. Attach a cover sheet to the front of all copies with a paperclip for easy removal. The judges must not know whom they are reading. Give your story a title!
* Mail your entry(ies), remember, three copies (one for each judge) of each story with one title page for each to:
Bayou Writers’ Group
Attn: Young Writers’ Contest
P.O. Box 1402
Lake Charles, La 70602
* Winners will be notified by phone/email/letter by August 10th, 2013.
* Judges may write comments on your entry.
Student grade disclaimer: Winners’ grades may be verified from supporting documents/or other verifications, such as: official report card from parent, or parent(s) verbal agreement. If proper assurances cannot be received, other winner(s) will be chosen.
IMPORTANT: Points will be deducted by judges for each guideline infraction. Please follow ALL guidelines to ensure you receive maximum points for format! Good luck to each of you!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BWG Minutes of March 2, 2013 Meeting

Bayou Writers Group
Minutes of regular meeting – March 2, 2013
Carnegie Library, Lake Charles LA

31 members and 1 visitor attending

Meeting called to order by President Randy Dupre at 10:10 a.m.

Treasurer’s Report – Sherry Perkins
Checking balance 3/1/13 $1819.54
Savings balance 3/1/13 $2690.55
Scholarship balance 3/1/13 $ 375.32

Old Business
2013 Conference: Randy reminded us again that help will be needed for the conference.
February Word Count: Randy exceeded his 5,000 word goal in February, racking up a total of 5,980 words.
Logo contest: Won by Sylvia Ney and husband.

New Business:
Young Writers Contest Stories accepted March 4th through May 30th, 2013. First prize: $25, 2nd prize, $15, 3rd prize $10. The school having the first prize winner student will receive $100 in books or school supplies for their library.
Members Only Contest Open to paid members. Contest runs June 1 through Aug. More later.
Speakers: Pam Thibideaux spoke in detail about tax reporting and deductions for writers. Angie
Dilmore spoke about “Learning to Become a Writer.”
Member news: Rebecca Stelley’s book is published and available. Michelle Abshire has a column in Voice of SELA. Congratulations to 2012 Reminiscent Writing Contest‏ Winners - Bayou Writer's Group members Debra Bailey won 3rd Place and Angie Kay Dilmore won 1st Place.

Meeting adjourned 12:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Georgia M. Downer

Friday, March 8, 2013


Private, Public, and Home-Schooled

Presented by The Foundation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, a live performance event, The Daffodil Tea, will be held April 10, 2013 in Lake Charles to showcase the talent of Calcasieu Parish high-school seniors. Recipients will be chosen from six disciplines and each will receive a $500 scholarship to the school of his/her choice, (university, community, technical college).

If you have a way with words, please email three pieces of your best work (which may include but is not limited to poetry, fiction, nonfiction, general-interest articles, etc…) with a cover page including your name, school, and contact information to the Creative Writing Panel below:
Sherry Perkins at sperkins@beau.k12.la.us or Tommie Townsley at t2townsley@yahoo.com

To ensure your submission is received and not deleted as junk mail, please put in the subject line: Daffodil Tea Scholarship. No written feedback will be given and submissions will not be returned. There is no word count and previously published pieces are accepted. Authors retain all rights to his/her work.

Pieces must be received by Fri, March 8, 2013. Submissions accepted only via email and
must be typed. For more information please email the contacts above.

Only one winner will be chosen from all participants and will be notified on March 11, 2013. All scholarship winners will perform his/her piece at The Daffodil Tea.

Good luck to all.
We look forward to reading your work.
We hope you will participate in this inaugural event.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New BWG Logo

On Saturday, March 2, 2013 BWG members voted on a logo to represent the group. There were eight entries including the updated logo used for the last ten years.

And the winning entry, designed by Bill Ney, is:

Here is what it may look like on the group letterhead, business cards, etc. in both color and black & White.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

March 2 Meeting Update

Pamela S Thibodeaux will be talking about "Tax Deductions for Writers". 

Published or pre-published writing is a business and your expenses may be tax deductible. Claiming them is as simple as filling out a Schedule C!

Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, award winning author, Pamela S Thibodeaux’s writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Her website: http://pamelathibodeaux.com You can also read an interview with her here.

Angie Dilmore will then be speaking on "Twelve Things I've Learned in Twelve Years of Writing -- Tips on Writing Non-Fiction." To learn more read the previous post.

Monday, February 25, 2013

March 2 Meeting

BWG member Angie Kay Dilmore will be speaking on "Twelve Things I've Learned in Twelve Years of Writing -- Tips on Writing Non-Fiction."

Angie Kay Dilmore is a freelance writer and editor from Lake Charles, Louisiana. She’s a regular contributor to Boys’ Life magazine and the local magazines, Jambalaya News and Lagniappe. She writes book reviews for the popular literary website LitStack.com and Church Libraries newsletter. Her work has also appeared in children’s magazines such as Highlights For Children, Pockets, and Clubhouse. Angie loves to travel and explore the Bayou State. Read about her experiences on her blog, Adventures of a Yankee in Cajun Country, at angiekaydilmore.blogspot.com.

You can also read an interview of her: http://bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2012/03/author-interview-angie-kay-dilmore.html 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Report on February 2 Meeting

Bayou Writers Group
Minutes of regular meeting – February 2, 2013
Carnegie Library, Lake Charles LA
Meeting called to order by President Randy Dupre at 10:00 a.m.

Treasurer gave report.

-Call for members to sign up for the conference committee

-All BWG logo entries are due by Feb. 22 and we will vote on them at the March meeting

-Mentioned winners of 2012 Reminiscent Writing Contest Society and announced 2013 contest topic.

- Briefly mentioned the upcoming Youth Writing Contest

-Randy set a 5,000 word goal for this month and invited everyone to join him in meeting a set goal each month - accountability partners

- Chris Baldauf asked about BWG and its members donating old computers to members who don't have and can't afford one.

- Julia passed around a sign up sheet to list your areas of experience so other members can contact you for more info.

- Pam Thibidoeaux mentioned a new newspaper starting in Lake Charles - Tentatively called "Voice of Southwest Louisiana" - and they are looking for writers. Also, TWSJ is hosting a book giveaway contest and seeking submissions - see website for more info.

- Merrilyn Williams has a flash fiction piece being published on Feb. 14 in the online site "Infective Ink".

- Rodney Hennigan is speaking with area youth about motivation and writing - he will mention the BWG Youth Contest to them.

- Mike McHugh is a finalist in an online Humor Writing Contest with Jambalaya News

-Sylvia Ney spoke on "The Power of the Interview and Research" 20 -30 minutes

- Dr. Williams spoke on "Finding Your Peculiar Voice"

- Meeting adjourned 11:57 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sylvia Ney
Secretary pro tem

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Reminiscent Writing Contest‏ Winners

Congratulations to the Reminiscent Writing Contest‏ Winners!

Bayou Writer's Group members Debra Bailey won 3rd Place and Angie Kay Dilmore won 1st Place. You can pick up your certificates at the library when you come to the March BWG meeting.

All contributors can pick up their books from the library now.

For more information about this contest:

Calcasieu Parish Public Library
SW LA Genealogical & Historical Library
411 Pujo Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601-4254

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Online Writing Classes

The Loft Literary Center is one of the nation’s leading literary nonprofits. Located in Minneapolis, MN, we are dedicated to promoting literary pursuits both locally and nationally. One of the primary ways we do so is through our online and on-site creative writing classes.
There are many classes on the list that we thought might be of interest to you and your members—click here to view our extensive listing of online classes. We would be grateful if you would consider spreading the word about these classes to your members. If you would like to request more information, or if there’s anything else we can do to help you out, please feel free to let us know.
Thank you very much for your help!
Best wishes,
Kristen Frank
Marketing Intern | The Loft Literary Center
1011 Washington Avenue South | Suite 200, Open Book
Visit the Loft's blog: http://www.loft.org/writersblock

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Memoir Writing Class

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library of Lake Charles, La. will be holding a FREE six-week memoir writing class each Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. beginning March 5.

The class will be held at Central Library and seating is limited to 12 participants and registration is required on a first-come, first-served basis.

Each class will focus on a different aspect of memoir writing such as format, narrative, and the fluidity of memory. Participants will learn to use the tools of fiction (scene, character, dialogue) to tell a true story about their lives. Participants who finish the six-week course can expect to complete several short memoir pieces and perhaps develop the foundation of a book-length memoir. Participants will be required to share their work with the class each week. Dr. Gabriel Morley, a writer and librarian, will lead the class.

For more information or to register, contact Morley at 721-7167 or gmorley@calcasieu.lib.la.us.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

February 2 Meeting Update

The meeting will begin with group business and updates followed by member news.

Sylvia Ney will be talking about "The Power of Research and the Interview". 

Sylvia holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Lamar University of Beaumont. She has more than 15 years experience as a teacher and has published newspaper and magazine articles, short stories, poetry and photography. She is serving as President of Texas Gulf Coast Writers. You can learn more about her: http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Dr. Philip Williams will then be speaking on "Finding Your Peculiar Voice." For more information see the previous post.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

February 2 Meeting

Dr. Philip Williams, President of McNeese State University,  will be speaking on "Finding Your Peculiar Voice."

Dr. Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of North Carolina, graduating with honors in history. He earned his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law in New York City. During the course of his legal profession, he practiced corporate law and served as administrative vice president and counsel for Sea World, Inc. During the 1980’s he and his wife Sandra were active writers, publishing a series of children’s mysteries, adult mysteries, and non-fiction works.

In 1994, Dr. Williams returned to Chapel Hill to earn his M.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees in Health Policy and Administration. He served for one year as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, then accepted a faculty position at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, where he taught health law and management courses in the College of Business and was appointed to serve as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. He joined the staff of Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2003 as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, and in 2006 he became President of the University of Montevallo in Alabama.

In the spring of 2010 he was selected to serve as the 6th President of McNeese State University. Since his arrival at McNeese, he has presided over the development of a new strategic plan, which features the promotion of innovative teaching and learning, regional partnerships, service-learning opportunities, applied research, cultural engagement, and athletic excellence. He has frequently stated his desire for McNeese to play an active role in the civic and economic renaissance likely to transform Southwest Louisiana over the next five years.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

McNeese Leisure Learning for Writers

McNeese University is offering two leisure learning classes for writers. For more information or to register: here.

1) Where I'm From: A Workshop Approach to Writing from Life 
Instructor: Connie McDonald 
Location: Frasch 107
Date: Tuesdays - Feb 19, 26, Mar 5, 12
Time: 6-7:30 pm
Cost: $49/$59 after Feb 5

2) Writing about Place
Instructor: Rachel Rinehart
Location: Frasch 107
Date: Thursdays - Feb 21, 28, Mar 7, 14
Time: 6:30-8 pm
Cost: $49/$59 after Feb 7

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 5 Speaker

BWG member Mike McHugh will be speaking on "Humor Writing for the Non-Humorist". 

McHugh is author of The Dang Yankee, a humorous column about a life in Louisiana and the world at large, from the perspective of a slowly graying northerner who never quite grew up. Started in 2009, it is a popular feature in The Jambalaya News, a local publication covering Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Current and past articles are available on the paper’s website.

Mike is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, part of that Never Never Land between North and South, a man without a subculture. He eats gumbo and listens to Wille Nelson while he roots for the Ravens and hankers for crab cakes. He’d be totally schitzo if it weren’t for the few commonalities between Maryland and Louisiana, one being that both states have sent former governors to jail.

He is a member of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Group, The National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and the Bayou Writers’ Group.

Mike and his wife, Susan, have two adult children. They now share their house with four cats, some tropical fish, and, at any give time, an untold number of uninvited pests. But then, that’s life on the big bayou.

To read his BWG interview, please see here.