Guest Speaker Series

On the first Thursday of each month, SAWG holds a general meeting at 7:00 p.m. A typical agenda includes welcoming new members and visitors, sharing good and bad news, notification of upcoming events, Guild business, and a program - most often a professional writer speaking on topics of interest to the group.

Visitors are welcome. Our Board of Directors meeting is at 6:00, and members may sit in on that meeting as well.

November 2, 2017

Jan Jarboe Russell

Jan Jarboe Russell is the author of the New York Times bestseller,
The Train to Crystal City. The book exposes the little-known
story of a family internment camp in World War II located in
Crystal City, Texas that housed Japanese, German and Italian
immigrants and their American-born children. Over the course of
the war, the camp in Crystal City became the center of President
Roosevelt’s prisoner exchange program. In 2016, The Train To
Crystal City won the Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of
Nonfiction, given by the Texas Institute of Letters. Her book has
also been shortlisted for numerous prizes including the Dayton
Peace Prize.

Russell was born in Beaumont, Texas. She graduated from the
University of Texas at Austin in 1972 and became a political
reporter for The San Antonio Light. In 1976, she joined the Hearst
Bureau in Washington, D.C. She later went to work as a columnist
for the San Antonio Express-News.

In 1984 she was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, one of twelve
American journalists to study at Harvard that academic year. Upon
her return home to Texas, she shifted her career to long-form
journalism and joined Texas Monthly magazine as a senior editor.
In 1989, her story, “Adoption: The Woes of Wednesday Child”
She is currently a contributing editor to Texas Monthly. She
continues to contribute as a writer to Texas Monthly.
In 1999, Scribner’s published her well-received biography of Lady
Bird Johnson, named by The Washington Post one of the best
books of the year. Jan lives in San Antonio with her husband, Dr. Lewis F. Russell, Jr.

Previous Speakers at SAWG Meetings:

Naomi Shihab Nye

San Antonio's own world-famous poet presented an entertaining and insightful mix of her own poetry and some of her favorites. She touched on the craft and told some of her own journey. It was a fine program.

Matt Forbeck 

(via Skype) - Writing Process.

Matt Forbeck is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and game designer with over thirty novels and countless games published to date. His recent work includes the Star Wars: Rogue One junior novel, Dungeonology, Halo: New Blood, the Magic: The Gathering comics, The Marvel Encyclopedia, and the Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game based on his novels. He lives in Beloit, WI, with his wife and five children, including a set of quadruplets. For more about him and his work, visit

Nan Cuba

"How to Write Opening Lines That Hook the Reader." 

Nan Cuba is the author of Body and Bread, winner of the PEN Southwest Award in Fiction and the Texas Institute of Letters Steven Turner Award; it was listed as one of “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now” in O, Oprah’s Magazine and was a “Summer Books” choice from Huffington Post. Other work has appeared in Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Columbia, and Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row. As an investigative journalist, she reported on the causes of extraordinary violence in LIFE, Third Coast, and D Magazine. She has received a Dobie Paisano Fellowship and an artist residency at Fundación Valparaiso in Spain. She is the founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary center (, and teaches in the MA/MFA Program in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice at Our Lady of the Lake University, where she is writer-in-residence. Her website is

Arianne "Tex" Thompson

"Seven Deadly First Page Sins

Tex is a home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in literature, she channeled her passion for exciting, innovative, and inclusive fiction into the Children of the Drought – an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris. Now a professional speaker and writing instructor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex is blazing a trail through writers conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, relentlessly enthusiastic one-woman stampede. Find her online at



Eva Pohler is the Amazon bestselling author of The Gatekeeper's Saga, The Purgatorium Series, The Vampires of Athens Series, and The Mystery Book Collection. After teaching writing and literature at a university for over twenty years, she now writes full time in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband and three teenagers.



Historical research and turning a family's quest for answers into a book which has earned rave reviews. Dennis is the Pacific War Historian for the National Landing Craft Infantry Association and is a researcher affiliated with the National Museum of the Pacific War. Dennis has also worked for the last 18 years in San Antonio area Emergency Rooms as a medic. He and his wife Valerie, who is a Registered Nurse, reside in San Antonio, Texas where they are raising three wonderful children, a dog, two rabbits and three fish.