All Writers Invited:Sam Havens and Patricia Kay Speak in Houston

I'm a passionate advocate for writers getting out of their hermit huts and connecting, and I've never met a group of writers as friendly and welcoming as the women (and men, too!) of West Houston Romance Writers of America. Once a year, we host an all-day Emily Awards workshop, where we bring in great speakers and invite folks from the wider world of writing. No matter which form, genre, or age level you're targeting, we'd be happy to have you come and join us for a great program on February 13, 2010. (Follow the link for more information.)

Both Sam Havens and Pat Kay are well-respected expert speakers on the craft of writing, and the energy of the Emily Awards is always so inspiring.

West Houston Romance Writers of AmericaEmily Awards Meeting
Morning Session:

How Characters Happen

Creating objective-driven characters. How to establish and payoff arcs, contrasts, flaws and back story. How to write dialogue in character.

Sam Havens

Sam Havens is Professor Emeritus at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. Havens founded the Drama Department at the University where he teaches playwriting and screenwriting.

Havens has written over fifteen plays with productions in the USA, Canada and Australia. His plays have been selected for showcase productions in New York City, Westport, Connecticut; Amherst, Massachusetts; and East Hampton, New York. He has received playwriting grants from the Ford Foundation and from the Texas Commission on Arts and Humanities. Three of Havens' plays are published.

Havens taught playwriting and screenwriting for ten years for Rice University's School of Continuing Studies.

In addition to writing and teaching, Havens performs voice-over narration for radio and TV commercials and industrial films. He is also an abstract artist and a consultant in presentation skills.

Sam Havens and wife Gretchen live in Houston.

The Emotional Connection

Great books are about more than good plotting, likable characters, lots of conflict, and skillful writing. For a book to really grab a reader, the author must make an emotional connection with that reader. Otherwise, even though the reader may enjoy the book, it won't be one he'll remember. It won't be one he'll talk about. And it won't be one he'll recommend to others. In this session, we'll learn various techniques for stirring the reader's feelings and engaging him emotionally.

Patricia Kay

Patricia Kay is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 49 novels of contemporary romance and women's fiction. She is also an acclaimed teacher who formerly taught fiction writing at The University of Houston and now teaches exclusively online. Pat has been a member of WHRWA since 1986.

Schedule for February 13th
8:15-9:00: Coffee/sign in
9:00-9:30: Business meeting
9:30-11:30: Speaker: Sam Havens "Characterization"
11:30-12:00: Emily Awards Presentation
12:00-1:30: Lunch and book signing
1:30-3:30: Speaker: Patricia Kay "Emotional Connection"


WHRWA Members: $20
RWA Members: $45
Non-RWA Members: $60

To register, please visit

WHRWA meets the second Saturday of the month at:
Memorial Drive Christian Church
11750 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77024

Visit for directions and a map.


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