Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dive deep into summer reading, writing events

School’s nearly out, but two of the three “R’s” still apply all summer long. That’s reading and ‘riting, of course, and summer 2017 is particularly rich in rrr’s, with classes by internationally bestselling authors, as well as a plethora of free ways for readers and writers to keep their skills sharp. But don’t delay. Some of these events are going, going, nearly gone, including:

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May 23-July 25: Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live programs continue. Ticket costs are typically $40 for the public, with discounts for DMA members and students/educators. Most events are at the museum, 1717 N. Harwood, Dallas. See the site for details and ticket information.

June 1: This is the deadline for author applications for the Local Authors Book Fair at the Audelia Road Branch of the Dallas Public Library. Authors from the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth area may apply here, or contact librarian Elizabeth Kwan at Elizabeth.kwan@dallascityhall for information. The book fair, where authors may sell their works directly to the public, occurs July 29, 2 – 4 p.m. at the library, 10045 Audelia Road, Dallas, Texas.

June 2-4: Literary agent Donald Maass returns to Texas for a three-day workshop on the Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story beneath the Surface, at the Hyatt Place Houston Airport, 300 Ronan Park Place, Houston, Texas. At the time of this writing (Monday night), only 11 seats were still available. Cost: $529. See the site for details and registration.

June 3-August 12: Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge at the Dallas Public Library. Kids up to age 18 can keep their reading skills honed and earn free books, and coupons or passes to recreational events and attractions by reading (or being read to, for the youngest tots) at least 20 minutes a day for 10 days. Every 10 days, pick up a new prize, up to five times over the summer. Adults may also earn an entry in grand prize drawings for each book they read. Register at any library branch.

June 7 – July 26: Here’s a freebie just for readers! The annual Rejebian Summer Review Series at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, every Wednesday in June and July. Entertaining book reviews free at 7 p.m., beginning with Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill, reviewed by Lurline Morrow, a member of the Dallas Professional Book Reviewers Association. Add an optional dinner at 5:30 p.m. for $12, but please RSVP by Tuesday noon before the program, at 214-523-2249 or stanfordr@hpumc.org so they’ll know how much food to cook!

June 9-10: Robert E. Howard Days, Cross Plains, Texas. Celebrate the life of the Texas creator of Conan and other classic fantasy heroes. Except for the celebration banquet (cost $15) all events are free and open to the public, including tours of Howard’s home (and now museum) at the junction of J Street and Texas Highway 36 in Cross Plains. See the site for details.

June 16-17: Internationally bestselling Australian author Kate Forsyth visits Texas for two events, the Cactus & Kangaroos Readerathon (6/16) at Half Price Books in Dallas, (address), 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Cost: $49, which includes a copy of either of two bestone of two Forsyth books, Bitter Greens or The Wild Girl. Only 100 tickets available!

On June 17, Forsyth teaches two writers’ intensives from 9 a.m. – noon, and 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Richardson Woman’s Club, 200 N. Cliffe, Richardson. Cost is $99 for each of the sessions, or $169 for both writing intensives (includes lunch). Or get the Super-fan Package for Friday’s Readerathon, both books, and all day Saturday for $199. Sponsored by the Writers Guild of Texas and W.O.R.D (Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas). See the WORD site for course descriptions and tickets.

June 30-July 2: 2017 Agents & Editors Conference, Writers League of Texas, at the Hyatt Regency Austin, 208 Barton Springs Road, Austin. Workshops, panels, networking events, plus one on one conferences with agents and editors (available for additional charge). Cost: $439 for Writers League members, $499 for nonmembers. See the site for details and list of agents attending.

July 21-23: Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference center, 1800 State Highway 26, Grapevine, Texas, is a forum for writers of narrative nonfiction. Speakers, workshops and panels, as well as a variety of writing contests. Cost: $425. See the site for details and registration.

August 4-6: ArmadilloCon is Austin’s science fiction and fantasy convention – plus a writing workshop. (Note: manuscript deadline for the workshop is June 11.) At the Omni Southpark hotel, 4140 Governors Row, Austin. Cost: $50 for the con (until early registration closes in July), $90 for the workshop, which includes convention membership. See the site for tickets and additional details.


And here’s a sneak preview of two out of this world events this fall: Robert McKee, who wrote the book on Story (literally), brings his 3-day writing seminar to Austin October 6-8, at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, 701 East 11th St., Austin. Seminar tuition: $865, tuition plus Final Draft Software package, $995. See the site for details and registration.

November 2-5: World Fantasy 2017 Convention, Wyndham Riverwalk, 111 East Pecan St., San Antonio. Attending membership $225, increasing to $275 June 1. See the site for details, registration, and list of special guests.

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