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9.10.17 News Briefs


First-ever all-day Lubbock Book Festival slated for Sat., Oct. 28

S. C. Gwynne to headline with The Perfect Pass; Hank the Cowdog author John R. Erickson keynoter for children


Lubbock enters the book festival arena this fall with the all-day Lubbock Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 28. More than three dozen best-selling authors and regional favorites have been confirmed to read, sign books, and greet fans at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, a cornerstone of the Lubbock Cultural District.


Keynoters include S. C. Gwynne, author of the nonfiction bestsellers Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches (2010) and Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson (2015). Most recently, Gwynne explores how throwing passes revolutionized Texas’ most popular sport in The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football (2016)‎, including a nod to the innovations of Mike Leach, former Texas Tech University head coach.


More than 20 regional and national bestselling authors are scheduled to attend the Lubbock Book Festival, including Jodi Thomas, a member of the National Romance Writers Hall of Fame, and John R. Erickson, creator of the beloved Hank the Cowdog series for young readers.


Fans can also look forward to appearances by writers Terry Jennings, author of the heartfelt memoir/biography Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad (2016); Adán Medrano, cookbook author of Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes (2014) and Angelina LaRue, author of The Whole Enchilada (2015), with a luncheon cooking demonstration; and Patrick Dearen, Western Writers of America Spur Award winner for The Big Drift (2014), as well as newcomer to the book scene Karin McCay, news co-anchor of Lubbock’s KCBD-TV, with her Magic Mommy series of titles for children.


The Lubbock Book Festival will play a key role in the 20th anniversary of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, known locally as LHUCA (pronounced Luka). The center’s studios, galleries, and performance spaces host a busy schedule of film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, and dance performances. With the new book fest, the center will strengthen its connection to the literary arts, Executive Director Jean Caslin said.


Moreover, the new festival is in keeping with a quote from George Washington, appropriately lettered above the door of LHUCA’s Firehouse Theatre: “To encourage literature and art is the duty that every good citizen owes to his country.”


Festival admission is free and open to the public; tickets will be required for some free events as well as Saturday's cookbook luncheon. A full schedule and lineup is in progress at, with further events to be announced as festival time approaches.


(Information from organization's press release)


Spots still available for Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop, Sept. 15–17 in Midland


The Third Annual Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop will be held Sept. 15-17, 2017, at Midland College. Administered by the Permian Basin Bookies, a nonprofit organization of West Texas writers, and the Midland Public Library, the workshop aims to bring nationally recognized members of the writing community to the Permian Basin once a year to provide high level professional development for the local writing and literary community.


This year’s three-day event features an all-day overview of publishing options on Friday, fifteen different break-out sessions on craft and the business of publishing on Saturday, and special seminars on Christian publishing and screenplay writing on Sunday.


Friday, September 15

Writer's Bootcamp with Chuck Sambuchino, 9 am–5 pm, with lunch and snacks provided.


1. An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today. This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing / e-publishing. We will examine the upsides of both routes, the challenges with both, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist.

2. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.


3. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest. In the vein of American Idol or America’s Got Talent, this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please. Do not send your pages in advance. You will bring printed copies with you, and instructions will be sent out approximately one week before the event.)


4. Platform, Social Media, and Blogging. Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online cheaply and easily.


5. Ten Keys to Writing Success. Learn 10 things you can be doing right now that will help get your book(s) published and have more control over your writing destiny. This is a general course that addresses commonsense things any writer can do to give their work the best shot at getting published, such as writing the best thing they can, stealing from themselves, and why writing for love and money is a good idea.


Friday Evening Mixer, 7–9 pm

Mingle with other authors, agents and publishers at the Friday night mixer at the Doubletree in downtown Midland. Regroup and enjoy visiting with your peers, listening to the West Texas Winds, cash bar and snacks.


Sat., Sept. 16

Conference format with over fifteen breakout sessions between 9:00 am and 5:30 pm. All of Saturday's activities will take place at the Marie Hall Academic Building on the Midland College campus.


Literary Agency Pitch Sessions between 9:00am and 5:00pm

Each registration for the Permian Basin Writers' Workshop comes with one pitch to any of the six agents/agencies at the workshop. You will be asked to make your selection when you register. Additional pitch sessions can be purchased for $30 each.

Literary agents in attendance:

Jennifer Canzoneri, Ben Bella Books

Cynthia Ruchti

Mark Falkin, Falkin Literary

Jeanie Loiacono, Loiacono Literary Agency

Sarah Barnard, Prairie Rose Publications

Julie Gwinn, The Seymour Agency


Sunday: Special Christian Publishing Workshops

It's All About Character, 9 am–noon

Writing the Christian Novel with Christy Award winner DiAnn Mills. Christian fiction emerges the reader into any genre that embraces a character who solves a problem or reaches a goal through a Christian worldview. This workshop instructs the writer in the dynamics of showing a Christian character through a power-point led presentation and hands-on workshop.

Cynthia Ruchti, Memoir, Inspirational, and Personal Experience Stories...Oh, MY!, 9:00am - 12:00pm

That may be how Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz would describe this session. But the topics aren't as unrelated--or frightening--as they might seem. Many of the same principles of communication need to be in place to write effective memoirs, personal experience stories, and books that inspire or focus on faith. We'll talk about what works, what doesn't work, how to make sure our motivation is clear and the takeaway unmistakable, deepening the reader's connection to someone else's experience, and infusing life into what can inadvertently come across as a study in chronology. Jam-packed with practical tips, the session will answer many of the questions you've had about memoir, inspirational, and personal experience writing. And it will fuel your passion for writing in those genres.


10 Essentials for the Aspiring Inspiring Writer, 1:15–5 pm

Writers need more than a fast word processing program, spare printer ink cartridges, and high speed internet. In this workshop, author, speaker, American Christian Fiction Writers' professional relations liaison, and literary agent Cynthia Ruchti will share what she considers essentials for the aspiring or veteran inspirational writer, including the role of writer affiliations like ACFW.


James Fite, Evolution of a Screenplay, 1–2:50pm

From the initial idea, to final post production of the film.  The script takes a long journey to become what you see on the screen.  Learn how to prepare, write, then adapt where needed as the story on the pages evolves into a moving piece of art for the world to experience.  From script readings, storyboarding, on set changes and through the editing room process, discover that your screenplay becomes something much more than you might imagine.


For more information or to register, visit


(Information from organization’s website)



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NCCIL Unveils Special Exhibit for 20th Anniversary


ABILENE — The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, located in Abilene, continues its 20th anniversary celebration with a special exhibition, "Twenty Years of Art," featuring art from previous NCCIL artists. The exhibition runs through Oct. 28.


The NCCIL (pronounced "nickel") has had activities and events throughout the year to celebrate the anniversary of the first museum dedicated to children's picture-book art.


The NCCIL has organized more than 60 exhibitions of original artwork from a variety of artists, and has sent exhibits to 112 cities in 39 states. It has hosted about 200,000 elementary school children for its school tour program and donated more than 10,000 books to school libraries and classrooms.


It is the cornerstone of Abilene being named the Storybook Capital of Texas. The first NCCIL exhibit, "Going Home with David Diaz," was hung in 1997 in the first-floor gallery at The Grace Museum, the NCCIL's original location. But the NCCIL left The Grace at the behest of the museum and temporarily relocated to the basement of what was then Security State Bank, 402 Cypress, in December 1997, while it searched for a permanent home. The exhibits during that time were hung in the lobby of the convention center.


In January 1998, David and Sindy Durham donated the Rhodes Building at 102 Cedar St. and the NCCIL opened its doors there in September 2000.


Former Mayor Gary McCaleb is credited for the concept of a museum honoring children's literature artwork, an idea that struck him after he was invited to read William Joyce's "Santa Calls" at a local elementary school. In the book, the cowboy hat-wearing main character is from Abilene. Although before he wrote the book Joyce had never been to Abilene, he chose the town because the name had a ring to it.


In 1999, a sculpture depicting characters from the book was erected next to the T&P Depot. That led to other sculptures being placed around town and eventually the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden which was dedicated in June during the sixth annual Children's Art & Literacy Festival.


Located at 102 Cedar Street, The National Center for Children's Literature

Is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and admission is free

Future upcoming NCCIL anniversary-year events include Fun Times at the NCCIL with artists Marla Frazee, David Shannon and Mark Teague, Oct. 12-14; 20th anniversary Gala, Oct. 14.


(Compiled from organization's media reports)


Min Jin Lee, Walter Isaacson, Attica Locke, and Kevin Young To Be Featured Presenters at TBF First Edition Literary Gala,  November 3 in Austin


AUSTIN — The Texas Book Festival has announced the lineup of presenters at the 2017 First Edition Literary Gala, which includes national bestselling author Min Jin Lee; New York Times bestselling author and current president and CEO of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson; Attica Locke, award-winning author, writer, and producer on the Fox drama Empire; and award-winning poet, critic, and as of this November, poetry editor of the New Yorker Kevin Young. Skip Hollandsworth, award-winning journalist, screenwriter, and executive editor of Texas Monthly magazine, will emcee this year’s gala, to be held on Friday, November 3, at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin.


"We are so excited for this year's First Edition Literary Gala and honored to host these bestselling and award-winning authors," says Karen Brimble, Texas Book Festival board chair. "We are looking forward to this special evening and are grateful to our supporters for helping us keep the Festival Weekend free and for supporting our year-round programming."


A popular and elegant prelude to the TBF Weekend, the First Edition Literary Gala draws literary luminaries, dignitaries, and cultural arts supporters to help keep the TBF Weekend free and support all the programs it offers throughout the year, including Reading Rock Stars Literary Program, Texas Public Library Grants, and Fresh Ink Fiction Contest for students. Janna Paulson, Ana Ruelas, and Heidi Marquez Smith are this year’s gala co-chairs.


Limited First Edition Literary Gala tables and seats are available via the TBF website or by calling (512) 477-4055. Individual tickets cost $500, with various sponsorship levels to purchase tables for 10 or 12 guests available as well.


For more information on the Texas Book Festival, visit and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @texasbookfest.


(From organization's press release)



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