San Antonio Conservation Society

The San Antonio Conservation Society Congratulates All The Winners Of The 2015 Publication Awards

Buildings Of Texas: Central, South And Gulf Coast
Edited by Gerald Moorhead, FAIA
Published by The University of Virginia Press, 2013

Chili Queens, Hay Wagons And Fandangos; The Spanish Plazas In Frontier San Antonio
By Lewis F. Fisher
Published by Maverick Publishing Company, 2014

Death Of A Texas Ranger, A True Story Of Murder & Vengeance On The Texas Frontier
By Cynthia Leal Massey
Published by TwoDot, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, 2014

Fair Park Deco
By Jim Parsons and David Bush
Published by TCU Press, 2012

The Harness Maker’s Dream: Nathan Kallison And The Rise Of South Texas
By Nick Kotz
Published by TCU Press, 2013

John H. Kampmann, Master Builder: San Antonio’s German Influence In The 19th Century
By Maggie Valentine
Published by Beaufort Books, Inc., 2014

Laredito: The Forgotten Neighborhood West Of San Pedro Creek
By Rueben M. Perez
Published by the author, 2013

Painters In Prehistory: Archaeology & Art Of The Lower Pecos Canyon Lands
By Harry J. Shafer
Published by Trinity University Press, 2013

The Texas Legation Papers, 1836 -1845
Edited by Ken Stevens
Published by TCU Press, 2012

Texas State Parks And The CCC: The Legacy Of The Civilian Conservation Corps
By Cynthia Brandimarte and Angela Reed
Published by Texas A&M University Press, 2013.

Children’s Book Category

Chili Texano? Ay Dios!/Texas Chili? Oh My!
By Patricia Vermillion
Published by TCU Press


The Texas Book Festival in Austin was bursting with fabulous authors, such as Keith Graves, fellow Mississippi author living in Texas. Brian Floca, Caldecott award winner for 2014 Locomotive, visiting his former studio mate and friend John Rocco, Caldecott Honor for Blackout . I was in the A&M tent signing Texas Chili? Oh My! and playing with armadillo puppets created by Erin Riche. So much fun!

Cornbread Cook-Off Challenge


Think you have the best cornbread recipe around?
Submit it to our Cornbread Cook-off Challenge for a chance to be featured in Patricia Vermillion’s newest children’s book, Hound Dawg, a Southern retelling of “The Little Red Hen”!

Mail a copy of your recipe (along with your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address) to:
Rebecca Allen
TCU Press
TCU Box 298300
Fort Worth, TX 76129

The top ten recipes will be chosen to participate in a cook-off at the new Hampton West Bistro in Fort Worth in January 2015. The winning recipe will be featured in Hound Dawg!

What are you waiting for? Submit today!

Have questions? Email Rebecca at

Fort Worth Literary Festival August, 2014


Signing books with Cynthia Wildridge and Jan Peck at the Fort Worth Literary Festival. Cynthia and Jan spoke on a panel for picture books.


Mississippi Writers Conference

Improving your Submission Success Rate was one focus of the conference. One resource suggested at the conference was the website WRITERS RECOMMEND. Author Rebecca Makkai”s suggestions for WRITERS BLOCK…

…Take a walk WITHOUT your notebook…Vitamin B… extra hours of Sleep…Exercise or Yoga.

Another recommendation was New Pages, “information and guides to independent bookstores, independent publishers, literary magazines, alternative periodicals, independent record labels, alternative newsweeklies and more.” Valuable information!

Shereen, owner of SOUTHERN BOUND BOOKS located in Biloxi, supported this conference.Thank you!

Texas Chili? Oh My! Book Trailer…

Texas Chili? Oh MY! Book Trailer

Ed Flaspo created the Book Trailer for Texas Chili? Claude White edited the timing of the trailer. My voice, which begins rather slowly,  is included in the background. TCU Press has just attached this trailer to the Press website. Look for it under TEXAS CHILI? OH MY!

I am updating my school presentation using Keynote, which allows for some MOVING and SHAKING going on. Rather than using PowerPoint, Keynote provides SIZZLE. Last year at Lamplighter, Sophie Blackall used Keynote in her presentation and sold me on the idea. To be continued………..

Things I adore…

I love BOOKS, my day job as a librarian, my night job or anytime job as a writer.  I grew up in Mississippi and now live in Texas with my husband, three children and 6 grandchildren. WOW! Did I say six? I love sitting on a front porch swing, one like Elvis has in Tupelo , Mississippi. It’s called PORCH SITTING. I grew up on my grandmother’s porch swing. It brings to mind fond memories of the south, lemonade, sweet tea, friends, family, and a cool Mississippi breeze skipping off the gulf. Pure Heaven!

Cheryl Pilgrim

I would like to introduce Cheryl Pilgrim, writer and illustrator. Cheryl is the illustrator for my new book…

Hound Dawg

Texas’ version of The Little Red Hen

“I ‘m an artist/writer from The Woodlands, TX where I live with my husband and a small collection of cats and dogs. I have a Bachelors and Masters in Elementary Education with an art certification. My children are grown and I recently left my job as an art teacher to focus on my art and writing full time. This is a dream job, and even though I spend long hours working at my craft, it never feels like work.

I work in a variety of media including pencil, oil paints, collage, and mixed media. I exhibit and sale my paintings through local venues in the Houston area.   I also write and illustrate children’s stories one of which was recently nominated for the Jean Nixon Lowery Award at the Houston SCBWI Conference. I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to focus on my creative side, so I am thankful and blessed I have the opportunity to do this every day.” Cheryl’s webpage is



Hello out there to all librarians, writers and illustrators. I am so blessed to be a librarian, teacher, writer, reader, “Mimi” to six grandchildren, “Mom” to three grown children, and “Honey” to a supportive husband. My lifelong learning motto: “You are never to OLD to write and publish your first book.” Remember Laura Ingalls Wilder? She published Little House in the Big Woods at the young age of 64.

What am I working on?

I recently submitted “Hound Dawg! A Texas Tail” to TCU Press and they said “WE LIKE IT!” I am completing the final details and working with the creative illustrator, Cheryl Pilgrim, on the story settings. Liz Garton Scanlon is assisting with the final layout process. Liz has been an inspiration finishing the writing process, as well as Cynthea Liu, who inspired me with twists and turns in retelling The Little Red Hen . On another note, I am editing an exchange of letters written by my grandson and author/illustrator Robert Quackenbush. Dear Mr. Henshaw” comes to mind.

How does my work differ from other genres?

“Texas Chili? Oh My!” was inspired by Robert San Souci, children’s author of numerous folktales such as Cinderella Skelton” and one of my favorites, “The Talking Eggs. I flavor my retellings with Texas Pepper. HA! There are several authors who use Texas Pepper to flavor their stories. Helen Ketteman is one that comes to mind. She is a terrific author who actually lived in Dallas for a time.

Why do I write what I do?

I am fortunate to be a children’s librarian and meet many interesting and talented authors and illustrators. I began writing in college. A professor at LSU suggested I publish one of my writings but he never shared the process. That was a lesson for me to share with my students about the publishing process. Later I wrote stories and magazine articles about my elementary school friends. When I met Robert San Souci, my love of folktales and Robert’s writing gave me the inspiration to retell a story of my own. I was encouraged by my First Grade students to weave Texas flavor or pepper throughout the tale.

How does my writing process work?

I begin with an idea, research every detail, study photographs, visit locations, sketch scenes using colored pencil or crayon, keep a notebook and take it where ever I go, using post-it-notes, stickers, and most importantly, creating several BOOK OF WORDS in order to find that “Just Right Word” for my writing, complements of THE CREATIVITY WORKSHOP in Florence, Italy. When I think my story is complete, I use a colored pencil and begin the editing process. I rewrite and edit again, and again and again. My SCBWI group plays a major role in my editing process. I prefer using my computer to writing my words using pencil and paper. The reason being, my handwriting is dreadful. I cannot read my own penmanship. Praises for the keyboard.