Readings, conferences, contests – let the new year of Texas literary events begin! I’m listing a sample, in order of urgency. Don’t let frightful weather keep you from venturing out.
Now – March 18: Dallas Mavs winter reading challenge for kids 0-18. Family members can help kids too young to read by reading to them. Register here or at any Dallas library branch for fun and prizes.
January 18: Authors LIVE! continues with its first author appearance of 2018. Melanie Benjamin will discuss and sign The Girls in the Picture at 7 p.m. at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. Free, or choose a reservation-only reception at 6 p.m. for $30, which includes a copy of the book. Contact 214-523-2240 for reservations/more information, or visit the site for additional Authors LIVE! programs.
January 23: Interabang Books, 10720 Preston Road, Suite 1009B (in the shopping center at the corner of Preston and Royal), Dallas, hosts a panel of local authors from 7 – 9 p.m. on “Building Your Writing Community: How to Find Writing Groups & Support Other Writers.” Free, courtesy of the Texas Writers’ League. See the League’s site for a complete list of programs.
January 27-28: Need more bookishness? The Dallas Central Library, 1515 Young St., hosts its gargantuan semi-annual book sale. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. January 27, 1-4 p.m. January 28. Or join the Friends of the Dallas Public Library for a January 26 first dibs preview.
January 31: This is the deadline for the Texas Writers’ League’s 2018 Manuscript Contest. Show them the (approximately) first 10 pages of your unpublished manuscript, get written critiques and a chance to win both free admission to the League’s 2018 Agents and Editors Conference this summer and a session with a literary agent in your genre. See the League’s site for details and contest fees.
February 8-10: Lone Star Ink hosts its premiere literary conference at the Dallas Central Library,1515 Young St., Dallas. Cost is $125 for two full days of workshops plus Friday keynote address. And remember – if you’ve already signed up for Lone Star’s first pages contest, entries are due January 20! See the site for details and a list of instructors and editors.
February 16-18: North Texas science fiction/fantasy conference ConDFW welcomes author guest of honor Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampire series), at Radisson Fossil Creek hotel, 2540 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth. Three-day tickets for adults $35, kids (ages 6-12) $15, with discounts for educators and military members. See the site for details.
February 22: The Highland Park Literary Festival hosts Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master’s Son) at Highland Park High School, 4220 Emerson, Dallas. Johnson gives the festival’s keynote address at 7 p.m., with book signing to follow from 8-8:45 p.m. Free and open to the public.
February 28: Deadline for the new book award contest of the Writers’ League of Texas, for books published in 2017. See the site for details and contest fees.
March 12: DL Hammons announces the return of WRiTE Club, the readers’-favorite, knock-‘em-dead contest writing contest. He’d also appreciate a little help from his friends – judges to sort through the slushpile of 500-word contest entries. See the WRiTE Club site for details.
Whew – that’s all for now, folks! Stay warm, and I'll see you later at this site for spring events.