The power of the pen will be showcased at the Metropolitan Community College-Longview campus on Friday, Oct. 26. The 10th annual MCC-Longview Literary Festival will take place at the Cultural Arts Center.
The festival is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is gay romance, and the keynote speaker is Kansas City author B.G. “Ben” Thomas, who has written more than 30 gay-themed novels, novellas and short stories including “The Boy Who Came in From the Cold.”
Thomas will also take part in a panel discussion on “Creating Believable LGBTQIA+ Characters.” Other session topics include “Collaborating With Other Writers,” “Technological Tools for Writers” and “It’s All in the Name: Choosing Names for Characters, Places and Other Worlds.”
Festival attendees will hear from other authors as well, including Linda Rodriquez, Carlos Perez, Kristin Helling and J.R. Frontera, among others. They will participate in readings, panel discussions and workshops, as well as book sales and autographs.
The workshops will cover every aspect of writing, including character and plot development along with tips on self-editing. Writers can also learn how to pitch ideas to a publisher or how to self-publish.
The festival is not just for adult writers. There are activities for children, too.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are several ways to take part. Leading up to the conference there will be “add-on” stories posted around the MCC-Longview campus; everyone is invited to add one line to the stories. There will be a vote during the festival to determine the best story.
There will also be writing contests for fiction, poems and essays, although the deadline to submit entries has passed. There will be more competitions the day of the festival.
MCC-Longview English instructor Susan Satterfield is the literary festival’s coordinator. To learn more about the event, visit mcckc.edu/events/lv-literary.