Monday, August 26, 2013

Wordcraft -- Fall literary events in (mostly) North Texas

It’s still the dog days in Texas, so why am I posting about literary events of the fall? Because they start this weekend! Chances to meet and listen to your favorite authors in person, attend discussions with other crazed reading and writing fans, check out a new writing contest -- for students only at this point. Sometimes there’s even great food.

August 29-September 2 -- WorldCon, Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, 200 E. Market Street, San Antonio. This is the big one -- the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention. It’s the one where they hand out the Hugo Awards (which will be broadcast live September 1). Miss it, and you’ll have to fly to London to catch the 2014 convention. Walkup tickets still available, although online registration has closed.  For more information, directions, and program schedule, see

August 30-31 -- In Dallas, check out the 10th annual Tulisoma South Dallas Book Fair, with activities at the African-American Museum in Fair Park, 3536 Grand Avenue, among other venues. The Heart and Soul cultural tour of South Dallas historical sites is currently filled, but check out the museum’s exhibits, lots of authors, and entertainment. Many activities free or moderately priced. See

September 10 -- Richardson Reads One Book features The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. The Richardson Reads program was designed to bring residents of this Dallas suburb together. Previously, tickets were free but limited to Richardson residents. I’m hoping the program’s new venue at First United Methodist Church of Richardson, 503 North Central Expressway, with seating beginning at 6:45 p.m., will be roomy enough to seat nonresidents as well, but I’ll have not yet confirmed that with the Richardson Library. The Book Thief has been very popular with young adult readers locally, with Zusak making an appearance earlier this year at the Highland Park literary festival. And there’s a movie, scheduled for release in December. See

September 10 -- Also this date, public events from the Friends of SMU Libraries, beginning with lecture and book signing by historian James Reston, Jr., whose new book, The Accidental Victim, proposes a new theory about the assassination of President Kennedy. Reception at 6 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom on the SMU campus, followed by lecture and book signing. Free. For additional Friends events, see

October 4-6 -- FenCon, the annual science fiction/fantasy convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road, in the Dallas suburb of Addison. Family-friendly events, including those especially for kids; panels by many local authors. New this year, a young authors’ short story contest, with deadline extended to September 20. For information, see

October 15 -- Dallas Authors Live fall series begins at Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park, 1515 Harwood, at 7 p.m. with Dallas author Kathleen Kent. Kent hit the best seller lists with historical fiction about the Salem witch trials. Her latest book is The Outcasts, set in nineteenth century Texas. Admission to her discussion is free through October 10, $10 at the door. For more information, see

October 19 -- The fourth annual Literature + Medicine conference adds a poetry lecture, 5-7:30 p.m., in the Fogelson Forum at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, 8200 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas. Keynote speaker is National Poetry Series award winner Dr. Rafael Campo. See also --

October 24 -- Literature + Medicine Conference, 5-7:30 p.m. in the same location, with keynote speaker John M. Barry, author of books on the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and the 1918 influenza epidemic. Cost is $15 for the poetry lecture, $25 for the Barry conference, with special rates for health care professionals. I attended last year and thoroughly enjoyed the format. Plus, the pre-lecture buffet is great! See

October 26-27 -- Texas Book Festival, various venues around the State Capitol in Austin. Preliminary schedule and list of authors should start coming online in September. See

November 8-10 -- Readers & ’ritas conference, Hilton Garden Inn -- Allen, 705 Central Expressway. Meet dozens of romance authors, including some locals, hear their discussions on your favorite topics, bring books to trade and donate (proceeds benefit Plano Family Literacy). Good food and bags of swag! See

And by the way, today, August 26, is the third anniversary of this blog. Ten friends read my first post -- how they found it I’ll never know, since even Google couldn’t locate the URL. Hundreds of posts and nearly twenty thousand views since, more than a thousand of you drop by each month. Hope you’re having as good a time as I am.

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