Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wordcraft -- Got Lit? SMU hosts new & coming writers

Southern Methodist University’s creative writing director David Haynes is known for bringing a variety of writers to the university’s annual Litfest. His choices for this year’s festival, Thursday through Saturday, are no exceptions, showcasing writers as diverse as an award-winning mystery writer with poets, literary novelists with writers of nonfiction.

Novelist/short story writer Liam Callanan won mystery writing’s Edgar Award for his first novel, followed since then by All Saints and short story collection Listen. He and McKinney, Texas, poet R. Flowers Rivera (Troubling Accents and Heathen), and poet/novelist/short story writer Jeffrey Renard Allen (Song of the Shark) will open the fest with readings at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in the Stanley Marcus Reading Room of the university’s DeGolyer Library.

Want to know what it takes to build a life as a writer? The festival’s schedule for Friday, March 20, opens with a 3 p.m. panel discussion by all writers of their journeys to the writing life, in McCord Auditorium, on the third floor of SMU’s Dallas Hall. Readings follow at 6:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium by fiction/nonfiction writer Peter Turchi (A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery and Magic) and poet Jericho Brown.

The festival concludes Saturday, March 21, with readings at 2 p.m. by Dallas poet/editor/novelist Joe Milazzo (Crepuscule W/Nellie) and a pair of poets, Alan Shapiro (Night of the Republic) and Elizabeth Gray Jr., whose works include translations of classical and contemporary Persian poetry.

All events are free and open to the public. Speaking from experience, parking is easier to find around the SMU campus for weekend events, but there are several parking garages and street side meters available.

For a complete schedule, author information, campus map, and parking information, see


Also this weekend, the Writers’ Guild of Texas hosts its spring writing workshop Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 West Arapaho Road, in Richardson, Texas. Novelist Brian W. Smith (Nina’s Got a Secret) went from self-publishing to sales to commercial publishing houses. He shares his insights on writing, publishing and selling. Workshop fee is $25 for WGT members, $35 for nonmembers. Workshop registration and WGT memberships are available online at

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