Writers in the Field returns with chapter two Oct. 13–14

MANSFIELD — Writers in the Field returns October 13–14, 2018, with more experts, demonstrations, and activities on the thirteen-acre Amber Inn Academy of Arts in Mansfield, Texas, a.k.a. the Richmond family farm. Writers in the Field “started with a simple idea,” according to the website: “What if there were a fun, affordable way for modern writers to see, smell, hold, and experience some of their more exotic and obscure subjects, all while picking the brains of world-class experts?”

At chapter two of Writers in the Field, those experts include Jo Smith (Live Forge and Bladesmithing), Brittney Volker (Herbalism), Nathan Cofield (Lockpicking), Dave Huss (Law Enforcement and Ballistics), John Stout (Archery), Shane Richmond (Swords and Stage Combat), and John Hemmert (Shipwrecks and Maritime Salvage). Instruction  includes weapons and self-defense, period clothing, military life, medicine and herbalism, horse handling, crime scene investigation, and more.

Writers in the Field is the brainchild of Shane and Leslie Richmond, the couple behind Steampunk November; William “Bud” Humble, science fiction and fantasy writer, who is the site manager; and Tex Thompson, an instructor for the Writers Path at SMU, author of the internationally published Children of the Drought series, and founder of Writers Organizations ’Round Dallas (WORD).

Primitive camping is available on-site for $25 for a weekend, payable at registration. Other lodging options include the Comfort Inn Alvarado ($79 per night; call 817-783-2900 and let them know you are with Writers in the Field), and Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, and Courtesy Inn and Suites, all in Mansfield.

Tickets are $40 for Saturday, October 13, and $35 for Sunday, October 14. To register and for more information, visit the Writers in the Field website at www.writersinthefield.com/

(Information from organization’s press release)

Women’s Storybook Project of Texas awarded Texas Center for the Book 2018 Literacy Award

Readers 2 Leaders and Literacy First both awarded honorable mentions

AUSTIN — The Women’s Storybook Project of Texas has been selected as the 2018 Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award winner. The nonprofit organization will receive $1,000 to use in its future work. Texas Center for the Book also gave honorable mentions to two additional literacy nonprofits, Readers 2 Leaders and Literacy First. Each honorable mention winner will receive a $500 prize.

The Women’s Storybook Project of Texas connects incarcerated mothers with their children through the power of reading. The organization’s volunteers visit women’s prisons in Texas once a month to record eligible mothers reading books aloud to their children, as well as short, personalized messages. The volunteers then mail a copy of the book with the recording to the children.

“We were delighted to receive such worthy applications from across the state in the third year of the Texas award. The purpose of this award is to highlight a winning organization while promoting a greater appreciation and awareness of literacy efforts statewide,” said Texas Center for the Book Coordinator Rebekah Manley. “The judges recognized how the Women’s Storybook Project of Texas utilizes books as a powerful connector and encourages reading across generations.”

Prison officials attribute an improvement in behavior at participating prisons because the incarcerated mothers must earn participation in the program by ninety days of good behavior. The children of the incarcerated mothers are able to connect with their mothers through their voice and the shared experience of reading the same book. The Storybook Project recorded 1,512 mothers and mailed 3,125 packages to children in 2017.

Readers 2 Leaders and Literacy First are both programs serving children who are behind in their literacy skills. They employ best practices and performance measures to bring children up to grade level as quickly as possible.

The awards will be given at the Third Annual Texas Authors Celebration, kicking off the Texas Book Festival, on Oct. 25 at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Prize money for the 2018 contest was made possible by the generosity of David M. Rubenstein and the Library of Congress. The Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award is an annual contest that selects a nonprofit organization that has made significant contributions toward increasing literacy in Texas.

For more information on Texas Center for the Book initiatives, a project of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, visit www.tsl.texas.gov/centerforthebook or contact Rebekah Manley, Texas Center for the Book coordinator, at rmanley@tsl.texas.gov or (512) 936-2505.

(Information from organization’s press release)

West Texas Book Festival honors Dromgoole with A. C. Greene Award, brings a full slate of programming to Abilene Oct. 18–20

ABILENE — The long-running West Texas Book Festival returns to Abilene in 2018 with a robust lineup of activities October 18–20. One perennial festival highlight, the Books & Boots Luncheon, will honor journalist, author, bookseller, and publisher Glenn Dromgoole with the festival’s prestigious A. C. Greene Award.

The full festival lineup is as follows.

Texas Cookbook Gala

Thursday, October 18, Abilene Country Club Dinner begins, 6 p.m.

The gala features incredible vintners and featured cookbook author Sarah Penrod. Penrod is an award-winning 7th-generation Texan, professional chef, and TV personality who charmed audiences as the vivacious and warm-hearted Texpert on The Next Food Network Star! Penrod’s cookbook, Urban Cowgirl, celebrates modern Southern culture with decadent Texas recipes.

Hosted at the Abilene Country Club, guests come dressed in their finest to enjoy an evening of friends and fine cuisine from the featured cookbook/s as well as enjoy a selection of wonderful wines from Texas vintners.

All include acknowledgment in the Texas Cookbook Gala program. As seating is limited seating, those interested should call to ensure availability. Table sponsorships are available.

Author Lunch featuring Bill Wright

Friday, October 19 Abilene Woman’s Club

Doors open, 11:30 a.m. | Lunch, 12 p.m. | Book signing, 1:15 p.m.

Using photographs from his latest book, The Whole Damn Cheese: Maggie Smith, Border Legend as a backdrop, Bill Wright will share anecdotes about Maggie Smith — the woman whose life in the Big Bend country has become the stuff of legend.

For more than twenty years, from 1943 until her death in 1965, Maggie Smith served folks on both  sides of the border as doctor, lawyer, midwife, herbalist, banker, self-appointed justice of the peace, and coroner. As she put it, she was “the whole damn cheese” in Hot Springs, Texas. She was also an accomplished smuggler with a touch of romance as well as larceny in her heart. Maggie’s family history is virtually a history of the Texas frontier, and her story outlines the beginnings and early development of Big Bend National Park.

Books will be available for purchase following the luncheon with 10% of the proceeds benefiting the Abilene Woman’s Club.

Tickets are $18 per person or $144 for a table of 8. To inquire about table sponsorship and ticket availability, call Judith Phaneuf at 325-665-2424. Deadline to RSVP is Thursday, October 18 at noon.

Authors in Schools

Friday, October 19 Various Campuses

Authors of children’s books will be visiting elementary schools throughout the day.

Cate Berry is author of Penguin and Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime! It was pinned a Junior Library Guild selection. Her second book, Chicken Break, releases in Fall 2019.

Carmen Oliver is author of Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies, her debut picture book, and The Favio Chavez Story. Carmen lives in Round Rock, Texas, with her family.

Tammi Sauer is author of Mary Had a Little Glam. To date, Sauer has sold 28 picture books to major publishing houses. Sauer lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her family, one dog, two geckos, and a tank full of random fish.

Celebrating the Texas Book Lists

Saturday, October 20 Abilene Woman’s Club Presentation, 9:15 a.m.

This one-hour workshop will explore the celebrated Texas Book Lists such as the Texas Bluebonnet Award, Lone Star Reading List, Lariat, Maverick, and many others. Hear from library experts on how to incorporate selections from these Texas Book Lists in your own reading and programs. *CPE opportunity for educators who register in advance. For more information, call Kristy Compton at 325-677-1444, ext. 5915.

Writing & Publishing Children’s Books

Saturday, October 20 Abilene Woman’s Club

Presentation, 10:30 a.m. | Book signing, 11:30 a.m.

This one-hour workshop will guide you through the path to publication with tips and helpful information from our experienced panelists. Each of their behind-the-scenes industry access offers participants a unique opportunity to ask questions that may more effectively get their books noticed. *CPE opportunity for educators who register in advance. For more information, call Kristy Compton at 325-677-1444, ext. 5915.

Authors Cate Berry, Carmen Oliver and Callie Metler-Smith will be signing books available for purchase following the workshop. Book by Tammi Sauer will be available for purchase following the workshop.

Boots & Books Luncheon

Saturday, October 20, Abilene Woman’s Club

Doors open, 11:30 a.m. | Lunch, 12 p.m. | Book signing, 1:15 p.m.

The A.C. Greene Award is presented annually to a distinguished Texas author for a lifetime achievement. The A.C. Greene Award is named for author, columnist, and Abilene native, A.C. Greene.

This year, the West Texas Book Festival is proud to honor Glenn Dromgoole as the 2018 A.C. Greene Award recipient. As a tribute to his literary memoirs, Glenn has written a new book called Book Guy: One Author’s Adventures in Publishing. “You’ve probably heard me say that every book tells at least two stories — the story inside the covers of the book, and the story outside the covers,” says Dromgoole. “In Book Guy, I focus on the stories outside the covers of my thirty (now thirty-one) books and some others that I’ve helped publish.”

Dromgoole will be presented with a piece of original framed art, donated by the artist, H. C. Zachry.

Tickets: $30 per person or $240 for a table of 8. To inquire about table sponsorship and ticket availability, call 325-660-4623. Deadline to RSVP is Thursday, October 18 at noon.

*CPE opportunity for educators who register in advance. For more information, call Kristy Compton at 325-677-1444, ext. 5915.

Local Author Showcase & Reception

Saturday, October 20

Abilene Public Library South in the Mall of Abilene Showcase, 2 p.m. | Reception and book signing, 3:30 p.m.

The community is invited to join the annual West Texas Book Festival fun featuring a celebration of authors and writing in the Lone Star State with a local author showcase and reception. At this great event local authors who have had a book published within the last 12 months will be available at the library, highlighting the local writing talent in our community and their works. Everyone is welcome to come out and attend this reception, and hear brief remarks from each of the authors present. Reception will be held at the South Branch of the Library, in the Mall of Abilene.

To inquire about availability to present at showcase, call Sandy Lowe at 325-665-6193 or email sandyloweink@gmail.com.

A to Z: A Children’s Book Reading

Saturday, October 20

Abilene Public Library South in the Mall of Abilene 2–3 p.m.

Sponsored by Abilene Christian University and ACU Press

Join us for a special tribute to Abilene! Mayor Anthony Williams will begin the book reading with sharing some of his favorite letters from Abilene A to Z by Glenn Dromgoole and Jay Moore. Following the mayor, other celebrity guest readers include theatre students from the local school campuses.

The first 50 families will receive a FREE copy of the Abilene A to Z book. Limit one copy per household. In addition, participants may take home children’s books from the Friends’ Annual Book Sale selections. Limited quantities available. Each household will receive a commemorative bag to store their books.

(Information from festival press release)

Boerne Book & Arts Fest Brings Authors, Art, Crafts, Music & More to Boerne Main Plaza

Kinky Friedman to share stories and perform from new album

Another chapter of the Boerne Book & Arts Fest will open October 6 on Boerne’s Main Plaza with a celebration featuring live artist demos, author discussion panels, children’s activities and an appearance by Texas’s beloved singer, songwriter, humorist, and politician Kinky Friedman. Admission is free.

The one-day literary and arts celebration offers a little something for every age group, including seven engaging discussion panels of authors who will cover topics ranging from the Houston Astros’ World Series-winning season to one of Texas’ best Honky Tonks, The Broken Spoke. Kinky Friedman will appear at 3 p.m., performing songs from his new album, Circus of Life, and sharing readings from Heroes of a Texas Childhood in the Main Plaza gazebo. Panels will take place throughout the day at Main Plaza and upstairs at the Dienger Trading Company.

In addition to panel discussions and book signings, the festival will feature several Texas publishers’ books by showcased authors available for purchase, and a special “Family Campfire” area where appearances by Clifford the Big Red Dog will delight readers of all ages and provide fun photo opportunities alongside storytelling and hands-on crafts led by professional artists.

“We’re excited to have such a unique venue to showcase amazing Texas talent and also Boerne’s vibrant arts community,” said Kelly Skovbjerg, director of the Patrick Heath Public Library. “Our festival truly has something for everyone, from the avid reader to the sports enthusiast, to those interested in Hill Country history and conservation.”

Featured panelists include Diana Lopez, author of the novelization of Disney’s motion picture; James White, owner of the Broken Spoke; Emma Virjan, author of the Pig in a Wig series; legal thriller and mystery author Jay Brandon, and many more.

For more information please contact Caren Creech at creech@boernelibrary.org or (830) 249-3053, or visit the festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BoerneBookFestival/

(Information from organization’s press release and website)

Nominations open for Texas State Artists

AUSTIN — “There is a government code that says that the legislature will name a Texas poet laureate, a state musician, and then state visual artists—one in two-dimensional art and one in three-dimensional art,” says Anina Moore with the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Moore says artists don’t receive money for this honor but there are other benefits. “We do see some recipients able to market themselves more widely or become invited to festivals and other events based on the fact that they’ve been named as state poet laureate or visual artist, things like that.”

(Editorial aside: While being named a “Texas State Artist” is certainly an honor, plumbers are paid for their work; accountants are paid for their work; crop dusters are paid for their work. Artists of all sorts are expected to work for free, for exposure, for “things like that.”)

Nominees must:

  • be native Texans or five-year residents of the state
  • have received recognition for a high level of excellence and success in their discipline
  • have received critical reviews in state, regional or national publications.

The Texas State Artists nomination process is open through October 15, 2018. Texans can nominate multiple artists for Texas State Artist, and artists can nominate themselves. Moore says that during the last nomination period, the commission received 300 unique nominations.

For more information and a nomination form, visit https://txoriginal.com/

(Information compiled from media reports)

4th Annual Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop set for Oct. 13-14

Now in its fourth year, the Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop annual event will feature writing coaches, agents, and publishers from around the country, October 13-14, 2018.

The two-day workshop event will be held in Midland, at the Marie Hall Academic Building at Midland College.

The workshop will feature ten speakers, including Margie Lawson, Christie Craig, Manning Wolfe, David Farland, Reavis Z. Wortham, Kristen Marten, Stephen Graham Jones, Donna M. Johnson, B. Alan Bourgeois and Arlene Gale.

Twenty-one workshop topics will be covered, including deep editing techniques, character building, writing a thriller, how to launch your writing career quickly and marketing, renegade style.

The Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is organized by the Permian Basin Bookies in collaboration Midland College.

For more information, visit www.permianbasinwritersworkshop.org

(Information from organization’s press release)