Werewolf short story by UHV writer published in Las Vegas anthology

An online Halloween writing contest set in motion the first published work of fiction by Lauren Emerson, a University of Houston-Victoria communications specialist.

Lauren Emerson

Emerson’s short story, “My Favorite Pet,” recently was published in the “Eclectically Vegas, Baby” anthology by Inklings Publishing in Houston. The anthology consists of eight short stories with connections to Las Vegas. It is the No. 3 book in Goodreads list of books about Las Vegas.

Eight years ago, Emerson joined, a website for amateur writers who give each other feedback on their work. The site has various writing contests, and Emerson decided to enter a story about a man who gets bitten by his dog and becomes a werewolf. The story won second place in the Halloween contest.

Emerson said her enjoyment of stories dates back to her childhood.

“My dad would sit me down in a rocking chair and read me fairy tales,” she said. “That stuck with me. I love stories – real or fiction. Now I’m enjoying coming up with my own stories to share with people.”

When performing research for a UHV press release, Emerson came across submission information on the Inklings Publishing website and decided to submit the werewolf story. Part of Inkling’s mission statement is to help people get started writing and get their first work published.

The books are centered on a central theme. The first two themes were carnal and criminal. The fourth one in the series will be “Eclectically Cosmic,” things dealing with fate. Emerson has submitted a story for the new anthology.

“Eclectically Vegas, Baby” is available from Inklings Publishing and on Amazon. It also is available as a Kindle e-book.

A Facebook party was held to promote the release of the book’s cover with Emerson hosting for a half hour. She set up a virtual game of roulette and a guessing game where participants could post pictures of people connected to Las Vegas based on clues. She also attended a book release party in Houston.

Emerson earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University. She previously worked for the Victoria Advocate as a copy editor and community conversation editor. At UHV, Emerson writes news releases and marketing copy, edits content and works with the media.

“I think the two forms of writing share a natural connection because in both formats, I’m often sharing a person’s story,” Emerson said. “At work, it’s a profile of a visiting speaker or someone important at the university. When I’m writing fiction, I’m sharing the story of a character. Even though the character is imaginary, it’s important for the person to be believable and relatable.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro