Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Spring into a new season of Texas literary events

Author signings, readings, conferences and contests. Here’s to giving readers and writers a head start on what looks like a bookishly good season of Texas literary events.

Now – July 8: Submissions for FenCon’s writers workshop have begun. This Dallas-area literary science fiction/fantasy/horror conference hosts an annual multi-day workshop for writers, this year with instructor Cat Rambo (Altered America: Steampunk Stories, and more). Although the conference takes place September 22-24, the writers workshop is limited to 15 participants. Registration closes July 8, or when the 15 places are filled, whichever happens first. See the site for details.

February 23: Highland Park Literary Festival hosts speaker Jamie Ford  (Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Songs of Willow Frost), 7 p.m., Highland Park High School, 4220 Emerson, Dallas. Ford will sign books from 8 – 8:45 p.m. Free and open to the public.

North Texas Teen Book Fest (file photo)
March 4: North Texas Teen Book Festival, Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, Texas. Last year I had the heartbreak of choosing between the Dallas Book Festival and the North Texas Teen Festival, both scheduled for the same day! (Of course, I made both. The secret is cloning. Or time travel. Don’t ask.) This year, participants don’t have to choose! Eighty authors will speak at the teen festival (which, really is for any age group from tweens to adults). Also back by popular demand, cool young booktubers, including heartbreakingly cute guy, Jesse the Reader. Even better – it’s free (except for all the books and swag you’ll want to buy)! See the site for lists of authors and books available.

March 10: Contest! This one is only for medical professionals, but if you’re a doctor (medical student, or nurse, or hospital administrator, etc.) send your poem, short story or essay about your experiences in medicine to the Literature + Medicine writing contest. Winners will be announced at the annual Literature + Medicine conference, April 1, 9 a.m. – noon, this year at the Southern Methodist University campus. 

March 11: Wordfest, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tarrant County Community College Northeast Campus, Student Union Building. Don’t write alone! Learn from panels, classes and presentations from top authors and instructors, meet representatives from over 20 of DFW’s premier writing organizations, including Romance Writers of America, The Writers Path at SMU, Dallas Screenwriting Crew, The Writers Guild of Texas, DFW Writers Workshop, and more. Free, but register to reserve a place.

April 1: Writers Guild of Texas  spring workshop. Authors Melissa DeCarlo and Rosemary Clement-Moore  address the secrets of writing dialogue, 9 a.m. – noon, Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Rd., Richardson, Texas. Cost is $25 for WGT members, $35 for nonmembers. See the site for details and registration.

April 15:  North Texas Book Festival, Denton, Texas. Readers, do you just want a chance to book browse? Authors, do you want a place to connect with readers? Details are still pending (although registration for authors is already available), but the dozens of writers who typically attend have prompted Lone Star Literary Life to call this one of Texas’ 10 most bookish events. You say, darn, you’ll be doing your taxes on April 15? Good news – whenever the U.S. income tax filing date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, you have until the next business day to file! Buy the books, sweat the taxes later!

DFW Conference (file photo)
April 28-30: Houston Writers Guild holds its spring conference on the campus of Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston. Speakers, workshops, and literary agents to pitch to. A three-day pass is $130 for members, $195 for nonmembers, $50 for each agent pitch session. See the site for schedules, single-day prices, and special events. 

April 29: Save the date for the Dallas Book Festival, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Details to follow.

May 6-7: Dallas-Fort Worth Writers Conference, Sheraton Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., Dallas. More than a dozen agents to pitch to, more than 60 classes, workshops and craft panels – and the ever popular, ever dreaded Gong Show! One agent pitch is included in the price, or buy additional pitch sessions. Regular registration (through April 28) is $399, late registration, $429, so don’t delay!


Oh, you wanted more? For the voraciously literate, see “Winter is the new spring for literature,” December 13, 2016, at this site for ongoing events at Authors LIVE! and Arts & Letters Live.

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