Friday, May 4, 2018

A fast and furious literary season for Texas

It’s May, the merry month when, in Texas, temperatures turn from pleasant to blistering, and the weather hazards shift from hailstorms and tornadoes to hurricanes. At least there are plenty of literary goings-on to distract us from any outside contretemps.

May 4-6: The force is still with writers looking for weekend passes to Writefest, the collaborative effort of Writespace and the Houston Writers’ Guild. Sad to say, registration for pitch sessions with agents/editors and for writing workshops is closed. But tickets are still available for the weekend festival (today through Sunday) and one passes for today and Saturday. Three-day pass tickets are $375, available only at the door, which include lunch with keynote speaker Justin Cronin (The Passages trilogy), socials, Sunday write-in, and more. 
Friday-only passes are $135, only available at the door, with access to panels, presentations, and offsite events.
image: pixabay
Saturday-only passes are $125 today, or $185 at the door, with a literary journal fair in addition to panels, presentations and offsite events.
Most events at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street, Houston. Check site for details and offsite event locations.
May 5: I don’t usually list regular writing group meetings (for that, see WORD (link)) but must mention that Suzanne Frank, director of SMU’s CAPE Creative Writing program is the speaker for Saturday’s meeting of Dallas Mystery Writers. Frank’s presentation is 10-noon at the Addison Olive Garden restaurant, 4240 Beltline Road in Addison. The meeting will be followed by lunch. Cost is $5 for those staying for lunch, $10 for attendees at the speaker-only presentation. 
May 12: Just for fun -- O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships, 409 E. 5th Street, Austin (O. Henry Museum).
June 6 – August 1: Rejebian returns! This weekly summer book group showcases the lighter side of Texas books and authors, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Wesley Hall of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Presentations are free or make reservations for an optional dinner at 5:30 p.m. for $13. You can pay at the door for the meal, but please make reservations by calling 214-523-2240 so they’ll know how much food to cook! 
June 8-9: Robert E. Howard Days commemorate the life (and tragic death) of the creator of Conan the Cimmerian and other iconic fantasy adventures, in Howard’s hometown of Cross Plains, Texas. Events include tours of the REH Museum, Cross Plains and its environs (fictionalized as many of the settings for Howard stories), original Howard manuscripts at the Cross Plains library, and banquet with this year’s guest of honor, “Indiana Bill” Cavalier, a mainstay of Howard fandom. All events except the banquet are free. See the site for details and banquet registration.
June 9-10: The DFW Writers Conference is a multi-genre writers’ conference with agents, workshops and panels and inspiration galore, including keynote speaker Scott Westerfield. At Hurst Conference Center, 1600 Campus Drive, in Hurst. Each registration includes a pitch session with an agent, and additional pitch sessions are available for $40. Registration for both days is $399, Saturday-only $269, Sunday-only $229 (which includes the conferences infamous Gong Show lunch). Know a young writer? Teens 15-17 can get in both days for $149 (with adult ticket holder). And yes, teens also qualify for the agent pitch sessions. 
June 29-July 1: Writers’ League of Texas 2018 Agents and Editors Conference , Hyatt Regency Austin, 208 Barton Springs Road, Austin. It’s HUGE! At this time, there are at least 20 confirmed agents and four publishing editors (some accepting unagented submissions). At this time, the registration fee ($449 for Writers’ League members, $509 for nonmembers) does not include pitclhes to agents or editors, but pitches may be scheduled for an additional fee as time and space permit. 
Plus, again, lots and lots of presentations and panels with at least 100 publishing professionals. 
July 20-22: The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference is the place in Texas for narrative nonfiction writers, with workshops, panels, keynote speakers and yes – agents! At the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, 1800 State Highway 26, in Grapevine. Registration $425. See the site for details.
August 3-5: ArmadilloCon is Texas’ summer heat-busting science fiction/fantasy convention with a writing workshop. Sure, you can attend the myriad panels and presentations with all your favorite speculative fiction authors and artists for only $45 (current price), but why not spring for the writing workshop too? Submit your original, unpublished science fiction, fantasy or horror short story and get info on writing craft plus critique sessions for $90, which includes full convention membership as well. But hurry – writing workshop submissions are due June 15! At the Omni Southpark Hotel, 4140 Governor’s Row, in Austin.  

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