Writefest, our first ever festival for new and emerging writers, took place during the final week of February, and we're still reeling from the excitement and success of it. We had a great turnout, wonderful reviews from both writers and participating editors. We had a fantastic feature on the Huffington Post's Books Blog, which described Writefest as "open, diverse, tolerant, warm, and inclusive, lending itself to spontaneous connections and friendships, with open dialogue between the editors and publishers who were present and writers at differing junctures of development." We had an article on the Review Review, a prominent national resource for information about literary journals and related content, which points out that "[t]he inclusivity and accessibility of the conference for writers with a diversity of interests and at varying stages in their writing careers made the event a rare and valuable addition to the regional and national literary landscape." Writers in attendance blogged about us, we had a segment on Houston Public Media, and we got a finger-gun wink from the McSweeney's table at AWP, the largest writers' conference in the country (yup, we count that as a major accomplishment).
We're beyond thrilled to have inspired reactions such as these. We're so glad writers are making the decision to start submitting their work. We love that even experienced writers enjoyed the event and got some new insights out of it. We will be forever thanking our amazing supporters, volunteers, and sponsors, as well as the Houston writing community at large: we wouldn't be able to pull off any of this without you. Thank you!
We'll be announcing the Writefest 2017 dates very soon, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter!
There's no better way to end this post than with the closing paragraph of the Huffington Post article:
"For the future, there is every hope that Writefest will emerge as the single most important literary event of the year for Houston and indeed for the region. There is a certain democratic energy in the writing that is being created by many independent writers in this part of the country, and it only needs a showcase—and also a mutual learning platform—for this writing to mean more both to itself and to those who are not yet aware of it. This is just yet another important step in Houston becoming a center of literary creativity, merging with its equally burgeoning arts scene, just as San Francisco was in the 1950s or Los Angeles in the 1970s. All in all, this was a match made in heaven—or Houston!"
Writefest 2017, here we come!