Celebrating the Small Literary Presses of Texas

Area book lovers and aspiring writers are invited to join editors, publishers and authors representing the state’s finest literary presses at “The State of Publishing: A Texas Small Press Conference and Book Fair.”

The day-long event will be held at Montgomery College, 3200 College Park Drive, Building F, on Saturday, November 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It is free and open to the public.

The program features readings and signings by award-winning authors and panel discussions on topics ranging from manuscript preparation to the challenges facing literary presses today.

Keynote speaker Barbara Brannon, Texas Tech University Press, will present “Publishing as a Creative Act,” offering insight into the complexities of the publishing process from manuscript to finished book. 

“This is a rare opportunity for inexperienced and aspiring writers to get acquainted with editors and successful authors and learn the grassroots steps toward publication,” said Alicia Bankston, associate professor of English at Montgomery College.

Writers with completed manuscripts may bring them to the conference.  While they will not be reviewed or critiqued on site, manuscripts may be submitted directly to the publishers.  All work must be sealed and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Holiday shoppers with readers on their gift list will enjoy the opportunity to purchase books autographed by guest authors.  Each of the participating presses will have books for sale.  Many are signed, first editions suitable for serious collectors.

Participating presses are Texas Review Press, Arte Público Press, Texas Tech University Press, Wings Press and Mutabilis Press.

Authors and editors include:  Robert Bonazzi, poet, biographer, essayist, columnist and publisher;  Barbara Brannon, poet, essayist and marketing director of Texas Tech University Press;  Sarah Cortez, poet, educator, police officer;  Carolyn Tourney Florek, poet and managing editor of Mutabilis Press;  Michael Lieberman, poet, physician and scientist;  Bryce Milligan, poet, novelist, playwright, songwriter and editor of Wings Press;  Paulette Everett Norman, author whose book about the murder of her 12-year-old son, McKay, recently was published by A & M Consortium; Paul Ruffin, writer, poet, columnist and founding editor of Texas Review Press;  Tannie Shannon, educator and biographer;  Randall Watson, poet, educator and current guest editor for Mutabilis Press anthology;  and Gabriela Baeza Ventura, educator, translator and executive editor of Arte Público Press.

Box lunches with beverage will be available for $10 while supplies last;  lunches may be guaranteed by advance reservation at kennetu@aol.com  or (281) 367-1197.

For information, contact Alicia Bankston, (936) 273-7257 or Cliff Hudder, (936) 273-7399.

This event is made possible by a partnership of Montgomery College and its Center for Southeast Texas Studies, Montgomery County Literary Arts Council,  Conroe Commission on the Arts and Culture,  Academy for Lifelong Learning, and SWIRL  magazine of art and literature.