December 2019 Year End Recap

Fort Stockton area writers group, Critique Café, has had it’s best year ever. Celebrating eight years in existence, I’ve watched these writers grow. Some have come and gone, but it has been a joy watching these folks learn to give and receive constructive criticism, improve their skills, and put out an amazing body of work.

The group produced two anthologies of our work this year, and published a newsletter each month. We held an art contest for our Children’s Edition cover, and gave support and prizes to young artists.

I’ve observed many come out of their comfort zone, lead groups, give speeches, and take the risk of baring their souls through their work. We’ve cheered each other on, supported, encouraged, and poked great fun at each other.

National Novel Writers Month has challenged and made better writers out of some brave people; 50,000 words in 30 days!

We’re so grateful to the H. Edward Petsch Foundation and the Fort Stockton Public Library for its sponsorship and support. We have some great community supporters as well.

It’s been a wonderful atmosphere to grow as a writer, and we ‘ve had the added benefit of meaningful friendships as well.

If you’ve ever thought of writing anything at all, and would like some feedback and support, we’d love to have you join us on 1st and 3rd Mondays at the library @6:00 p.m. ~ Jody Day ~


March Newsletter: Critique Cafe Launches New Book

Critique Cafe Launches New Book

Fort Stockton area writer’s group Critique Café has released another edition of The Best of Critique Café.

This 7th Volume of effort is available on Amazon.com, and at the Fort Stockton Public Library.

texas coverTexas is the theme of this newest offering, and features fiction, non-fiction, poetry, recipes, and Texas folklore and facts.

“We wanted to have this edition’s release coincide with Texas History Day at the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum,” says the group’s President, Jody Day. “We were concerned at first that we might not be able to come up with enough material for a whole book, but when we got going, the words flowed.”

Members of the group will be at the Museum event on March 9th showing off the new book.

Critique Cafe includes published, self-published and unpublished writers, inspirational fiction writers, non-fiction writers, mystery writers, opinion writers, fan-fiction writers, bloggers, and poets. 

Meetings are the first and third Monday (unless otherwise planned) of each month in the Roberta Puckett Gallery of the Fort Stockton Public Library from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

If you have always wanted to try your hand at writing, or already put your pen to paper, come and join this positive, supporting group.

Critique Café is sponsored by the H. Edward Petsch Art





September Newsletter: Who is Harry Petsch?

Who is Harry Petsch? By Jody Day


H. Edward Petsch was born April 24, 1931 in Fort Stock- ton to Fannie Warnock and Harry Edward Petsch. His first piano teacher, Mrs. Frances Ligon, instilled in Edward a love of music and was instru-mental in Edward’s admittanceto the prestigious St. Louis Institute of Music after his graduation from Fort Stockton High School. There he studied with great Russian pianist Leo Sirota. Through the Institute, Mr. Petsch also studied with French pianist, conductor, and composer, Nadia Boulanger.

In 1957, Mr. Petsch was invited to teach at the British School in Caracas, Venezuela, where he also performed many concerts.

He returned to the United States several years later to join the piano faculty at the St. Louis Institute for Music and to prepare for his debut concert program.

Mr. Petsch moved to Houston several years later to take over the piano studio of a friend. He soon opened his own studio in Houston for adult piano students. Mr. Petsch enriched the lives of all of his students by his encouragement not only to master the keyboard, but to pursue personal goals and over-come life’s setbacks. Thanks to the H. Edward Petsch Arts and Music Memorial, the Fort Stockton Public Library is able to sponsor a concert series each year, free music lessons for over 60 students every year, support the local writers group, and many other music and artistic efforts.

Thanks, Harry!


Welcome to Critique Cafe Chatter

Welcome to Critique Café Chatter, launched by the Fort Stockton Area Writers Group. Critique Café began in the Spring of 2011, under the auspices of the H. Edward Petsch Arts Endowment and the Fort Stockton Public Library. 

The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays in the Roberta Puckett Gallery at the library at 6:00 p.m. Members bring a sample of their writing to be read aloud, and the group takes turns offering positive affirmation and useful, productive critique.

The members for the group include published, self-published and unpublished writers,     inspirational fiction writers, non-fiction writers, mystery writers, opinion writers, fan-fiction writers, bloggers and poets.

We’re here to help and not hurt each other. We wrote into the rules that racially offensive, sexually explicit, or any writing that degrades any ethnic, religious, or political  group can’t be read aloud at group, because we think that writing of that nature creates an atmosphere that is not helpful .

Critique Café produces The Best of Critique Café, an anthology of our best written pieces of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The book is published twice a year and is available on Amazon.

Once a year the group sponsors a writing contest to encourage new writers.

We hope you enjoy our tips and quips, stories and poems, as well as news from the writing world. Printed copies of our newsletter can be found at the Fort Stockton Public Library, B’s Family Dining, and The Garage Coffee, Music and More.