Valley By-Liners

Newspaper advertisement for Autographing Session

Newspaper clipping from The Monitor (McAllen, TX), Saturday, November 24, 1984, featuring the covers of the four books compiled by members of the Valley By-Liners, including Gift of the Rio (1975), Roots by the River (1978), Rio Grande Round-Up (1980), and One Hundred Women of the Rio Grande Valley  (1984).

A forum founded by & for women writers

Valley By-Liners is a Texas-based non-profit organization registered as a 501(c)(3) public charity. It was originally founded by journalists Minnie Gilbert and Lucy Wallace to function as a forum for women writers. Between 1975 and 1980, the group compiled and published three collected works chronicling the early history of the Rio Grande Valley.

Nine women from the Valley By-Liners contributed profiles for One Hundred Women of the Rio Grande Valley published by The Rio Writers in 1984 for Eakin Press (Austin, TX):

“A salute to women who stand out as a shining example among others in her profession, business or creative talent. They range from the early 20s to past 90 years. Several of them were born in the Valley and have never lived anywhere else. Others have lived all over the world before choosing the area for their permanent home.”

The Valley By-Liners is still active today and welcomes the fellowship of both genders.

Minnie Gilbert

Newspaper photograph of Minnie Gilbert (1900-1999).

Photograph of Lucy Wallace

Photograph of Lucy Wallace (1901-1987).

Minnie Gilbert

Born in Kansas in 1909, Gilbert made her home in the LRGV. A graduate of San Benito High School and UT-Austin (class of 1921), Gilbert was awarded a Texas Press Woman’s Association Scholarship in 1923. She returned to the Valley and launched her journalism career. She worked for three major newspapers between 1924 and 1971, including The Monitor, Valley Morning Star, and The Brownsville Herald.

In 1943, Minnie and Lucy Wallace established a women’s writers group called the Valley By-Liners. She served as the group's first president and contributed to its first three publications. Minnie also published A History of First Presbyterian Church, San Benito, Texas 1910–1980, and a novel, Sunrise Song.

Lucy Wallace

While Lucy Wallace was neither born nor raised in the Valley, she called it home from 1936 to 1987. Lucy moved to Mission, TX in 1936 where she worked for several regional newspapers and served as editor of the Mission Times.

She and fellow journalist, Minnie Gilbert, founded the Valley By-Liners in the early 1940s. In 1965, she published Real de Catorce, Mexico: The Incredible City, and won both state and national recognition—Texas Women's Press Association and the National Women's Press Association (1979).

Women Writers & Poets
Valley By-Liners