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12.9.18  News Briefs

Arts & Letters Live 2019 Season Announced by Dallas Museum of Art


DALLAS — The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) has released its schedule for the 2019 season of Arts & Letters Live. The propular literary series will kick off its 28th season January 6 with renowned religion scholar, National Book Award winner, and New York Times bestselling author Elaine Pagels, whose new book is Why Religion?: A Personal Story. The book “weaves together a personal story with the work that she loves, illuminating how religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves,” according to the DMA.


Arts & Letters Live is a literary and performing arts series for all ages that features award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim. The series is recognized for its creative multidisciplinary programming — combining literature with visual arts, music, and film—and for commissioning new work from musicians, dancers, and poets, inspired by works of art in the museum's collection and special exhibitions.


The spring 2019 schedule also includes Dave Eggers (The Monk of Mokha) with Mokhtar Alkhanshali (upon whom Eggers’ true story is based); Brad Meltzer (The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot Against George Washington and the Birth of American Counterintelligence); Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies) with Tessa Hadley (Late in the Day); Selected Shorts: “All in the Family,” an evening of humorous and poignant stories illuminating the intricacies of family dynamics, read by actors Melora Nate Corddry and Kaneza Schaal; Dani Shapiro (Inheritance); Reyna Grande (A Dream Called Home) with Valeria Luiselli (Lost Children Archive); Texas Bound I and II, readings of Texas short stories; Maria Semple (Where’d You Go, Bernadette); Madeline Miller (Circe) with Mary Norris (Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen); Susan Choi (Trust Exercise) with Nell Freudenberger (Lost and Wanted); Rick Bragg (The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table) with Helen Ellis (Southern Lady Code); Tayari Jones (An American Marriage); David Brooks (The Second Mountain); David Sedaris returns for his tenth consecutive year with Arts & Letters Live to share new and unpublished essays; and Melinda Gates (The Moment of Lift). Jared Diamond will conclude the season with Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis.


DMA members get $10 off the public ticket price (excluding the David Sedaris event), free garage parking at the DMA, and discounts in the DMA Cafe and DMA Store. To become a Season Supporter call (214) 922-1280. Book tickets online or call (214) 922-1818.


DMA also offers the DMA Arts & Letters Live newsletter for book clubs.

For more information, visit


(From organization’s press release)


Letters About Literature 2018 open for submissions from young readers


AUSTIN — Has a book brought you to laughter or tears, or changed your life? Write a letter to the author.



Letters About Literature is a reading/writing contest for fourth through twelfth graders under the direction of the Library of Congress. Texas submissions for the 2018–19 contest are due to the new online submission platform by December 14, 2018. A permission form is required for all students under the age of 13 on November 1, 2018.


Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. State winners receive $100 and a trip to the Texas Library Association Conference. National winners receive $2,000 and travel assistance to Washington D.C. for a special awards ceremony.


How to enter

There are three categories for contestants:

Level 1 — Grades 4-6

Level 2 — Grades 7-8

Level 3 — Grades 9-12


Read: Select a fiction or nonfiction book, a poem or play you have read that you feel strongly about. It might be a book that helped you through a difficult time, or it might be a book that simply touched your heart or inspired you.


Reflect: Think before you write. How did this author’s work change you or your view of the world? How and why are you different now than you were before you read this work?


Persuade:  Write a personal letter to the author stating how reading his or her work changed you. Be personal and persuasive! Support your ideas with specific details, including details from the work itself. This is not a fan letter, but rather a reflection on how an author influenced you.


Write: Type your entry in letter format. All submitted letters must be typed.


Submit: Upload your letter to the online submission platform. Be sure to read the submission steps and official rules from the Library of Congress here:


For more information, visit The Texas Center for the Book at


(Information from program’s website)




Submissions open for Writers’ League of Texas 2019 Manuscript Contest


AUSTIN — Have you been working hard on an unpublished manuscript that's finally ready to see the light of day? Are you looking for some constructive feedback on your work-in-progress? Would you like the chance to sit down with a literary agent in person to discuss your project?

If so, you're invited to submit a short synopsis and the opening pages of your unpublished work to the Writers' League of Texas’s (WLT) nineteenth annual manuscript contest. It’s not necessary to live in Texas in order to enter this contest.


Winners of the 2019 manuscript contest will:

  • Win a free registration to the WLT's 2019 Agents & Editors Conference (June 27-30, 2019, in Austin)
  • Meet one-on-one with a literary agent in your category or genre (in person at our annual conference or via phone call) if you're one of our ten winners
  • Be recognized during the opening session of the 2019 Agents & Editors Conference and in the printed program (if you're a winner or a finalist)
  • Receive valuable, specific written feedback on your work.


To Enter:

  • Review the complete list of contest rules and formatting instructions.
  • Fill out the online entry form and submit your payment online via credit card or PayPal.
  • The entry form will prompt you to upload your file. Please upload only one file. It should include both your synopsis and the opening of your manuscript. Acceptable formats are .doc, .docx, and .pdf.
  • Once you upload your documents and submit your payment, you will receive an automated confirmation email. There is nothing further you need to do at this time.


Submission Categories

  • Fiction: General Fiction (including Literary Fiction), Thriller/Action-Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Science-Fiction/Fantasy, and Historical Fiction
  • Nonfiction: General Nonfiction (excluding Memoir) and Memoir
  • Children’s: Middle Grade (chapter books and novels only—no picture books) and Young Adult


Entrance Fees

  • To receive the optional written critique, the entrance fees are $55 for WLT members and $65 for nonmembers.
  • The entrance fees are $25 for WLT members and $35 nonmembers if you opt out of a written critique.


Your WLT membership must be current in order to receive the member discount. As proof of current membership, you will be asked to provide your member number. If you’re not sure where to find your member number, log into and click on “my account." If you can't locate your member number or if you're not sure whether your membership is still current, you may contact the WLT office at (512) 499-8914.


You may submit up to four entries in each category of this contest. Each entry requires separate payment. Submit a separate entry form and payment for each entry.


The deadline to enter is midnight CST on January 31, 2019. WLT expects to notify winners and finalists and have critiques to all entrants by mid-May.

For further questions, please read the FAQs or email


(From organization’s press release)



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