Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordcraft -- Writing conferences in heart of Texas

Don’t we sometimes get tired of having our friends and family inch away when our contribution to the latest movie discussion includes terms such as “thematic midpoint ”? Or when we mention the interesting POV (point of view) in a popular novel? And wouldn’t we like to know, you know, how writers we see published actually get that way? That’s what writing conferences are for -- chances to hang out with other writers, even published ones, sometimes hobnob with agents, editors and, (gasp!) publishers.

There are a number of sources for conferences and other writerly events, such as Poets & Writers magazine, Writer’s Digest magazine, including the blog FeedBlitz, available through and the online New Pages, So in this post I’ll only mention conferences I have attended fairly recently, or those attended by people I know.

This list, in chronological order for 2012, is for Texas conferences.

February 17-19. ConDFW XI, Dallas. A literary science fiction/fantasy convention featuring writing and publishing-oriented programming. This year it also has a short story contest. At $35 for a three-day membership ($40 at the door), it’s an inexpensive way to dip your toes in the convention world. See for information. Story contest closes January 22.

May 19-20. DFW Writers Conference, Hurst. Here’s where you’ll start to see agents and editors in attendance. Admission through March 19 -- $295, which includes parking, meals and an agent appointment. See for details.

June 22-24. The Writers’ League of Texas 2012 Agents Conference, Austin. Lots of agents and editors. Cost -- $399, or $299 for the new YA A to Z ticket, with additional charges for private consultations with agents and editors. See

July 20-22. The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. Details TBA, but affiliated with the Mayborn School of Journalism at University of North Texas in Denton. Nonfiction only, but lots of agents, publishers and cash awards. Check for updates.

July 27-29. ArmadilloCon34, Austin. A science fiction/fantasy convention with a writing workshop. I last attended in 2009 and found that the small-group critiques helped me make my first story sell. Details TBA. Best source of information I’ve found so far is

September 21-23. FenCon IX, Addison. Science fiction/fantasy convention with writing workshop and short story contest. Although not yet stated on the site,, an email from the workshop director indicates Canadian sci-fi writer (and Hugo award nominee) Karl Schroeder will be the writing instructor. Cost for convention -- $25 plus additional charge for workshop and/or contest entry fee.

That’s it for now, but I’ll post more state and local conference information as it becomes available. And I appreciate any information you can share.

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