It's Official

Texas Writers Month, which is May, is a bit like Black History Month; there's never really been one particular office people can call to plan events or to gather information about the occasion. But now an organization that has been in the works for some time, the Texas Writers Project, is official. It's the nonprofit body that underwrites statewide educational programs and funds production and distribution of that ever-important Texas Writers Month poster (Larry McMurtry makes it as the posterfigure this year after appearances in previous years by Horton Foote, John Graves, O. Henry, and Katherine Anne Porter). Cary Roberts, a local screenwriter who is the president of the Texas Writers Project, says that the project was formed "to govern the annual Texas Writers Month celebration; to promote readings and appreciation of Texas writers; and to do any and all things necessary and proper to raise cultural awareness of literary arts." Fundraising is the first of several necessary and proper actions for the project to take since for the past five years the poster and any incidental costs that Texas Writers Month incurred were borne by the now-defunct public relations firm MEM/Hubble. A sigh of relief can be breathed now that Barnes & Noble, through the efforts of Dave Hamrick, the regional community relations manager for Barnes & Noble's southwest region and the vice-president of Texas Writers Month, has contributed $6,500 to the project. (The suspicion that I would melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if I were to write any words that credit a chain bookstore is unfounded.) Other board members of the project include secretary Patti Fuller McCandless, general counsel for Unicare, and treasurer Lisa Lawrence, of Springbok Technologies... Surprise, surprise, everyone: The New York Times reported on February 8 that is expanding its "limited experiment" begun last summer to charge publishers to have books featured as "New and Notable" or "Destined for Greatness" on the Web site. Mary Morouse, vice president for purchasing at Amazon, was able to tell the Times that "we don't take real estate on our home page and sell it" because the site "reserves the right to reject books that do not meet their standards of quality." "And they stress that they still feature a majority of titles without charge, frequently turning down submissions from publishers," the article states. Well, that's reassuring.


Liz Carpenter is helping Pflugerville celebrate the opening of its new Community Library at 10th & Pecan Streets on Saturday, February 13 at 7:30pm. Hosted by the Friends of the Pflugerville Community Library, the event is a fundraiser; call 251-5037 for more information... Jo Ann Beard's The Boys of My Youth is just out in paperback; she'll read from the collection of essays at Book People on Wednesday, February 17, 7pm. When the book came out in hardback, Chronicle reviewer Meredith Phillips called The Boys of My Youth "stunning and graceful," saying that "The title is tricky. It sounds like a book of personal essays about the defining relationships in a woman's life, and it is. The catch is that Beard's main focus is on her relationships with women -- her mother, her aunt, a cousin, and her best friend since childhood."... Barnes & Noble Arboretum hosts a reception honoring Louis Sachar on Thursday, February 18 at 7pm. First lady Laura Bush will introduce the Newberry and National Book Award-winning author, who will read from the book that has garnered those awards, Holes.

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More Postscripts
The last time we heard about Karla Faye Tucker, she was being executed; now, almost four years later, there's a new novel about her. Or about someone very like her. And Beverly Lowry's classic Crossed Over, a memoir about getting to know Karla Faye Tucker, gets a reissue.

Clay Smith, Jan. 18, 2002

Not one day back from vacation and the growing list of noble souls who need to be congratulated is making Books Editor Clay Smith uneasy.

Clay Smith, Jan. 11, 2002


Readings, Signings, Claiborne Smith

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