Varsha Bajaj and Lindsey Lane emote on behalf of all of us.

This past weekend I took a couple of extra days off, and how did I relax? By leaving the house — for three of those four days — more than an hour earlier than I would on a typical work day.

What got me up and out so early? The same thing that got me to push aside most of my own writing work during the month of June: the Awesome Austin Writers Workshop, hosted by — and springing up from the immense well of generosity of — Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith.

AAWW was a raucous, joyful, meaningful, and productive affair unlike anything I’ve experienced since the writing class I took with John Trimble at UT many years ago. For two-and-a-half days, nearly 30 of us dissected, debated, and constructively criticized up to 10 pages submitted by each attendee.

Many of the participants have already written (of course!) about the workshop, and I’ll link to their accounts below. For me, the workshop’s most vivid impression was the way we unselfconsciously referred to each other’s work.

The samples we discussed weren’t “pages.”

They weren’t even “manuscripts.”

In our minds, they were all “books.” And I can’t wait for you to get to read them, too.


Read more about AAWW from:

Allison Dellenbaugh
April Lurie
Carmen Oliver
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Greg Leitich Smith
Jennifer Ziegler
Jo Whittemore
Lindsey Lane
Liz Garton Scanlon
Mark Mitchell
P.J. Hoover
Shana Burg