What do I love most about the new year’s round of literary festivals in Texas? A chance to see favorite authors? Hear them read their own works? Write like them? Or find your own voice? It’s all possible at this winter through spring schedule of 2015’s literary best bets.
January 28 - June 15: Dallas Museum of Arts Arts & Letters Live This week: cartoonist Roz Chast discusses her National Book Award-finalist memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? And then there’s foodie god and goddess Marcus Samelsson and Ina Garten, Dennis Lehane, Billy Collins, Gail Sheehy, and more. Ticket prices from free to $35. At the DMA, 1717 N. Harwood, Dallas, unless otherwise indicated. See www.dallasmuseumofart.org/.
February 10 - June 3: Authors LIVE! Continues with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Richard Rhodes, James McPherson and (lest this seem too heavy) humorist Dave Barry (and more). At Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. Author readings are free, or for $30, meet the authors at pre-event receptions and score a book to boot. Additional books are available for purchase and signing. For complete schedule and/or reception reservations, search “Authors LIVE!” at www.hpumc.org/events/.
February 13-15: ConDFW XIV, a science fiction and fantasy convention with programming about writing/publishing, science programming and, of course, more, including a sc-fi spelling bee. At Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre, 5410 LBJ Freeway (southeast corner of 635 and the Dallas Tollway). Hang out with dozens of Texas writers. Pre-event ticket prices (through January 31) $40 for all three days for adults, $20 for children (ages 6-12); $45 at the door for adults, $20 for children. One-day passes for both adults and children also available. See www.condfw.org for tickets and additional information.
February 26: Highland Park Literary Festival hosts Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, 7 p.m. at Highland Park High School, 4220 Emerson, Dallas. Walls’ talk is free, books for sale starting at 6:30 p.m. and after her address. See www.hplitfest.com/.
March 21: Writers Workshop sponsored by The Writers’ Guild of Texas, at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho, Richardson. Author Brian W. Smith shares his insights on writing, publishing, and selling novels. $25 for WGT members, $35 for nonmembers. See http://writersguildoftexas.org/.
April 1-30: Dallas Reads One Book, and this year it’s Charles Portis’ True Grit. For There’s a full month of activities centering around this Western classic. See http://bigdreads.org for a complete schedule (and some great recipes for grits).
April 11: North Texas Book Festival, 9 a.m. -4 p.m., Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E. Hickory St., Denton. Dozens of Texas authors eager to connect with readers. Free (except for all the books you’ll want to buy and get signed). See www.ntbf.org/.
June 26 - 28: Writers League of Texas agents and editors conference, Hyatt Regency
Austin, 208 Barton Springs Road, Austin. Panels and discussions on writing craft and publishing, agent consultations, and access to top industry professionals. Registration is $349 for members/$389 for nonmembers through April 5. See
www.writersleague.org/ for additional ticket information and list of agents.
(Is something missing? Did I leave out the DFW Writers Conference? No, it’s moved to a new time and place, coming to Dallas in July. I’ll have more information later about summer-fall literary events. In the meantime, see http://dfwcon.org/.)