Downtown Abilene to be transformed into a childhood bookish destination in 4th annual CALF, June 11-13

On June 11-13, 2015, downtown Abilene will be transformed into a childhood adventure featuring the work of David Shannon in the fourth annual Children’s Art & Literacy Festival. The event will include a costume contest, a parade during ArtWalk, several performances, and movie showings. Registration is $10 for children and $15 for adults.

This year, the festival celebrates the work of author and illustrator David Shannon (pictured at right; photo from CALF Facebook page).

Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Spokane, WA, Shannon graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and then moved to New York. His awards include the Caldecott Honor for No, David! and the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year for How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball. David is a passionate baseball fan and softball player. He and his wife live in Los Angeles with Fergus, their eighteen-year-old Westie.

Above: Author William Joyce headlined Abilene's 2014 Children's Art and Literacy Festival (photo from CALF Facebook page).

The CALF is sponsored by the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, an affiliate of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce dedicated to promoting the arts in Abilene.

This three-day event is packed full of events all over downtown Abilene, including:

Thursday (6-11)

  • 4PM David Shannon Character Costume Contest (Elks Arts Center, 1174 N. First). All winners receive a prize.
  • 5-8 PM Art Walk theme, Shannon’s Shakin’ It. Music, characters, balloon man, and more. All museum exhibits will be free and open during Art Walk.
  • 5:30 PM Storybook Parade. Participate in the parade by wearing your most creative David Shannon costume and carrying your favorite Shannon book.
  • 6:15 PM Unveiling of new Storybook Sculptures  project pieces inspired by David Shannon (NCCIL and T&P Depot).
  • 6:45 PM Artist Talk by Caldecott winner David Shannon (Paramount Theatre). Shannon will share his creative process with an interactive conversation, followed by a book signing. (Please purchase your books at the NCCIL).

Friday (6-12)

Dramatic Reading and art project. Enjoy nine David Shannon books at six reading locations throughout Friday and Saturday  These books are read aloud while books are projected onto a big screen for visual and aural learners. Each dramatic reading includes a costumed character, an art activity, and a chance to earn a button for your lanyard.

  • 9 AM Dramatic Reading & Art project (NCCIL: How I Became a Pirate).
  • 9:45 AM Balloon Sculptor
  • 10:15 AM Dramatic Reading & Art project (Grace Museum: A Bad Case of Stripes)
  • 10:30 AM Book signing
  • 11:00 AM Movie, A Bug’s Life
  • 12:45 AM Dramatic Reading & Art project (CCA: Jangles)
  • 1:00 PM Magical World of Lonnie Chevrie
  • 2:00 PM Dramatic Reading &Art project (Library: Bugs in My Hair and Alice the Fairy)
  • 3:15 PM Dramatic Reading & Art Project (The Well: No, David & Too Many Toys)
  • 4:00 PM Music with Mister Park
  • 5:30 PM Character Autographs & Photos
  • 7:30 PM Meet Frozen characters
  • 8:30 PM Frozen singalong

Saturday (6-13)

  • 9A M Dramatic Reading & Art project (Frontier Texas: Duck on a Bike and Good Boy Fergus)
  • 11 AM Instrument Petting Zoo at the Philharmonic
  • 2:30 PM Character Autographs and photos
  • 4 PM Movie, WALL-E

For more information, call the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, (325) 677-1161.

Live radio show broadcast from Abilene's Paramount features former “Poetry” editor, Snyder native Christian Wiman, June 4

The Nashville-based radio show "Tokens" will broadcast live at the Paramount Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Thurs., June 4. "Tokens" is part great music, part university lecture, part cultural analysis, and part good conversation, featuring Snyder poet and Yale Divinity School faculty member Christian Wiman and the Abilene Independent School District string group Revolutions. Other guests include Buddy Greene, Odessa Settles, Brother Preacher, the Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys, and host Lee C. Camp. It's all mixed up with enough humor and satire to keep things ever lively. Tickets are $15 a person and available here. This brand new episode entitled "The Language of Grace" is sponsored by the 2015 Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference.

Lone Star Writing Competition open for submission through June 7

The 23rd annual Lone Star Writing Competition, sponsored by Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, is now open to both published and unpublished authors. The fee to enter is $25, and the deadline is June 7, 2015.

The submission consists of the first 5,000 words of a novel. Only electronic entries are eligible. Unpublished writers may enter any category. Published authors may enter any category in which they are not published, or in which they have not been contracted for five years.

This contest is open to RWA and non-RWA members. Categories are Contemporary Series, Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal, Historical-Regency, Inspirational Romance, Romance Novella, Romantic Suspense, Single Title, Young Adult/New Adult.

For more information, contact the contest coordinator at

Categories and Judges

• Contemporary: Junessa Viloria, Random House; Victoria Lowes, The Bent Agency; Terri Schaeffer, Editor, Liquid Publishing

• Fantasy, Furturistic & Paranormal: Chris Keeslar, Boroughs Publishing Group; Holly Lorincz, MacGregor Literary Agency; Tara Gelsomino, Execuitive Editor, Crimson Romance

• Historical/Regency Alycia Tornetta, Associate Editor, Entangled; Allison Byers, the Wild Rose Press; Laura Bradford, the Bradford Literary Agency

• Inspirational Kimberly Shumate, Living Word Literary Agency Raela Schoenherr, Acquisitions Editor, Bethany House Publishers TBA

• Romantic-Novella Brenda Chin, Editorial Director, ImaJinn Books; Char Chaffin, Soul Mate Publishing; TBA

• Romantic Suspense: Cindy Davis, the Wild Rose Press; Jull Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency; Lauren Plude, Associate Editor, Grand Central Publishing

• Single Title: Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group (Peguin Group); Debby Gilbert, Soul Mate Publishing; Jessica Alvarez, BookEnds, LLC

• New Adult/Young Adult: Pam Van Hylckama Vlieg, Foreword Literary Agency; Piya Campana, Assistant Editor, Harlequin; Janet Clementz, Editor, Soul Mate Publishing.

2015 WLT Writers and Editors Conference set for June 26-28 in Austin

The 2015 Writers League of Texas Editors and Agents Conference will be held June 26 through June 28 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. Three days of panels, lectures, readings, workshops, and consultations give aspiring and established authors a chance to learn and grow in the writing profession.

Attendees network with agents, editors, writers, and other industry professionals, improve your craft, and learn about the latest market trends.

Querying writers hear tips on how to find representation directly from agents. All  writers can get story crafting tips from editors and published authors and discover how best to find and build an audience for your project.

Participating vendors will showcase the best services available to writers and authors.

Prices through June 5, 2015, are $489 for nonmembers and $429 for members (or until sold out; the conference filled to capacity last year).

The conference is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.  Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts. For further information, contact or call 512-499-8914;

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