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Emerging authors converge at UH for annual Boldface conference

Aspiring writers to learn from published authors and share work with Houston audiences

Round Table Discussion

Each summer, the University of Houston becomes a haven for aspiring writers from across the nation. The annual Boldface conference helps emerging authors strengthen their literary voices through extensive workshops and public readings.

Presented by UH’s Glass Mountain Undergraduate Literary Journal, Boldface is in its seventh year of encouraging writers to sharpen their skills. This year’s event ran May 18 – 22 on campus with public readings with scheduled in neighborhood venues not far from campus. Boldface participants showcased their work during “open mic” readings on May 19 at Kaboom Books (3116 Houston Ave.) and May 20 at Brasil (2604 Dunlavy).

Boldface is specifically aimed at undergraduate writers and those who have not participated in graduate-level creative writing programs.

“Boldface allows everyone to be part of a literary community, sharing and reading creative works,” said Kay Cosgrove, graduate adviser for Glass Mountain and one of the event’s coordinators. “Everyone is taken seriously and provided invaluable feedback from professional writers.”

Boldface workshops are led by conference faculty, which includes published authors from UH’s acclaimed Creative Writing Program (CWP). Some of the Boldface faculty members for this year’s conference are Conor Bracken, Erika Jo Brown, Chris Hutchinson, Dana Kroos, Talia Mailman, Jeni McFarland, Georgia Pearle, Nancy K. Pearson, Matthew Salesses, Austin Tremblay and Daniel Wallace.

Visiting writers shared their insights during craft talks and readings. Visiting writers (and CWP alums) included Blas Falconer, Gail D. Storey and Coert Voorhees.

In addition to developing the talents of writers, Boldface also serves to bolster the skills of the Glass Mountain’s undergraduate editorial team. Organizing a literary conference such as this, said Cosgrove, prepares students for professional endeavors in arts management and the professional literary world.

Cosgrove added that the continued success of the conference can be attributed to the enthusiasm and energy of Glass Mountain’s staff. While the Boldface faculty and visiting writers groom writers on the rise, the event itself continues to grow as a result of the inspired efforts of the Glass Mountain team.

“They’re the face of the conference,” she said. “It’s a very productive event, but these students make Boldface fun. Attendees are pleased to leave with critical feedback on their work, but they also depart knowing that they had a great time and are now part of a community of writers.”

Glass Mountain publishes fiction, poetry and nonfiction by emerging artists from across the country. Named for Donald Barthelme’s short story “Glass Mountain,” the journal was founded in 2006 and is published twice a year. It spring issue was published in April and can be ordered online.

- By Mike Emery