Monday, January 6, 2014

Wordcraft -- A new year of literary fests across Texas

Want to hear favorite authors--or find new favorites? Polish your writing craft, find a literary agent, connect with other writers and readers? If any of those apply, start marking your calendars for upcoming literary events in North Texas (plus Austin and Houston). I apologize for the scanty information about some of the events, but others are coming up so fast, I want to get information out now. This post will include events through June. Additional posts will provide more specifics, follow-ups, and literary events later in the year.

January 16 - June 11: Authors LIVE! Season of visiting authors opens with Jane Pauley and includes Sue Monk Kidd, Nancy Horan, Kelly Corrigan, Ross King, Steve Berry and Craig Johnson. At Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. Sponsored by the church, Highland Park Library and Friends of the SMU Library. Authors read and sign (books available for purchase). Free, but there is a $30 charge and reservation required for pre-event reception, which includes cost of signed book. See

January 17 - June 24: Arts & Letters Live is the Dallas Museum of Art’s annual lecture series. This year’s program includes visits by Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Barry, S.E. Hinton and Diana Gabaldon, among others. Ticket prices vary; many are free but reservations recommended to insure seating. Appearances at DMA, 1717 N. Harwood unless otherwise noted. See

January 25: Dallas Area Romance Authors hosts an all-day workshop by Hallie Ephron on romantic suspense, at Holiday Inn Select, 1655 N. Central Expressway, Richardson, Texas. Registration is $75 for nonmembers, required by January 20, no walk-up registration. See

February 21-23: ConDFW XIII, a literary science fiction-fantasy convention with writing/publishing and science programming, at the Crowne Plaza Dallas hotel, 14315 Midway Road, Addison. Author guest of honor is Kevin J. Anderson, with more than fifty books on national and international bestseller lists. Three-day adult registration is $40 through January 31; $45 at the door. Single-day registration and special rates for children and students. See

February 27-28: Highland Park Literary Festival with Mark Salzman. Festival workshops limited to students of Highland Park High School, but the keynote address Salzman (author of Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Soloist) is free and open to the public. At the school, 4220 Emerson, Dallas. See

March, date to be determined -- SMU Literary Festival. For upcoming information, see

April 1-30: Dallas Big Reads pick for 2014 is S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Multiple events still to be announced, but including Hinton’s appearance April 24 at DMA’s Arts & Letters series. See

April 12: Houston Writers Guide Annual Conference, location to be determined. Speakers, agents, craft workshops, plus manuscript contest. Optional additional workshops April 11 and 13. Registration for main conference is $125 for nonmembers, additional charge for agent pitch sessions and manuscript contest. See

May 3-4: DFW Writer’s Conference. Pitch to literary agents, classes, and lots of fellow authors. Keynote speaker is thriller writer Jonathan Maberry with special guest (and pre-conference workshop instructor) Donald Maass. At Hurst Conference Center, 1601 Campus Dr., Hurst, Texas. Registration is $345 through April 1, $390 later. The price includes one pitch session with an agent. Additional charges for extra pitch sessions and May 2 pre-conference workshops. Or buy a workshop without conference registration. See

June 27-29: Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference, Hyatt Regency Austin, 208 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. The WLT conference is huge, with lots of agents, lots of panels and classes, plus contests for published Texas authors and unpublished manuscripts. Registration for nonmembers through January 15, $369, $429 through April 15; higher afterward and for walk-up registrants. Additional fees and deadlines apply for book and manuscript contests. For details, see

(Next Monday -- things I’ve learned from writing workshops)

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