Neal Barrett Jr. and Bill Crawford both win the Busiest Texas Writer of 2000 Award.

Write a book, make lots of money so that you can write another book: That would be nice. "The whole point in this game, actually, is to write one book every couple of years and get paid a great deal of money for it, and not see how goddamn many you can do," Neal Barrett Jr. says. But anyone who kept count of his output last year knows that he and fellow Austin writer Bill Crawford didn't exactly do that. Somehow, both of them published a dizzying five books each. For the record: Barrett saw the publication of his short story collection Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories; The Day the Decorators Came (chapbook); The Prophecy Machine; Dungeons & Dragons (novelization of the movie); and Dungeons & Dragons (novelization, young adult version). And Bill Crawford: Republicans Do the Dumbest Things; Democrats Do the Dumbest Things; Texas Death Row: Executions in the Modern Era; Adam Sandler: America's Comedian; and The Waiting Game: The Ultimate Guide to Waiting Tables... Book Woman is "freaking out with excitement" and "very honored to present" performance artist Karen Finley reading from her new book A Different Kind of Intimacy: The Collected Writings of Karen Finley, a Memoir (Thunder's Mouth Press, 384 pp., $17.95 paper) on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 7pm... Dennis Must's Banjo Grease (Creative Arts Book Company, 182 pp., $13.95 paper), his new collection of short stories about the down-and-out -- "malingerers, thieves, convicts, bill jumpers, whores," they're described in one story, all of whom seem to be "downright snake-mean" -- is nonetheless narrated by people who tell stories that are thoughtful and credible. Must will be at the Barnes & Noble in Round Rock (I-35 & 1325) on Monday, Jan. 15, at 7pm.

Creative Nonfiction Conference

The weekend of March 3-4, the Austin Writers' League will present a conference titled "Exploring the Creative in Nonfiction." Lee Gutkind (Many Sleepless Nights, An Unspoken Art), the "grandfather of creative nonfiction" who founded the Creative Nonfiction journal and is the editor of the Creative Nonfiction Reader series, will be the keynote speaker. The conference is designed to assist writers looking for advice about structure and form as well as the basics of getting published. On Saturday, Gutkind will conduct a workshop titled "The Architecture of the Creative Nonfiction Essay: Style and Substance," though there are other aspects of the conference that are devoted to the business side of writing. Robert Draper, Don Graham, Skip Hollandsworth, Arturo Longoria, and Joe Nick Patoski, among others, are scheduled to participate. Cost is $135 for AWL members, $200 for non-members. Call 499-8914 for more info or see

Dobie-Paisano Fellowship

Applications for the 2001-2002 Dobie-Paisano Writing Fellowships are being accepted until January 26. The fellowship offers creative writers the opportunity to live and work at Paisano, J. Frank Dobie's 254-acre ranch 14 miles west of Austin. Applicants should either be a native of Texas, have lived in Texas at some time for at least two years, or have published writing that has a Texas subject. Criteria include quality of work, character of the proposed project, and suitability of the applicant for life at Paisano. The first fellowship begins September 1 and the second March 1, 2002. For more info, write: Dobie-Paisano Project, J. Frank Dobie House, 702 E. Dean Keeton St., Austin, TX 78705; call 471-8542; or e-mail To download an application, see

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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


Karen Finley, Neal Barrett Jr., Bill Crawford, Dennis Must, Lee Gutkind

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