A green light to greatness.®


July 20 - 22, 2018

(Schedule subject to change)

Friday, July 20

8 a.m. – 4 p.m. - Writing Workshops

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Receptions

6:30 – 9:30 p.m. – Southwest Soiree

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Powerful
Keynote Speaker: Diana B. Henriques -
Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism; author Wizard of Lies (about Bernie Madoff); new book A First-Class Catastrophe
Diana B. Henriques, an award-winning financial journalist, is the author of The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, a New York Times bestseller, and four other books on business history. Her fifth book, A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History, was published to critical acclaim in September 2017. As a staff writer for The New York Times from 1989 to 2012 and as a contributing writer since then, she has largely specialized in investigative reporting on white-collar crime, market regulation and corporate governance.

Saturday, July 21

7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Registration

8:30 – 9:25 a.m. – Session 1
What You Need to Know About Publishing Your First Book
Moderator: Bradford Pearson

  • Jim Hornfischer, Hornfischer Literary Management
  • David Patterson, Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency
  • BJ Robbins, BJ Robbins Literary Agency
  • Brantley Hargrove, author, “The Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras”

9:30 – 10:25 Session 2
VR and Data Dumps: The Future of News
Moderator: Thomas Huang

  • Adam Playford, investigations editor, Tampa Times
  • Josh Susong, senior news director, The Arizona Republic
  • Hannah Wise, engagement editor, Dallas Morning News
  • Marcia Allert, director of photography, Dallas Morning News


10:30 – 11:25 am – Session 3
Telling Painful Truths About Yourself
Moderator: Evan Wright

  • Jerry Stahl

11:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. Session 4
Beyond the Wall: The Truth about the Border
Moderator: Dianne Solis

  • Alfredo Corchado, author, “Midnight in Mexico”
  • Melissa del Bosque, Texas Observer, author of “Bloodlines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, the FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty”
  • Valeria Fernandez, independent journalist and contributor the Associated Press, Radio Bilingue, CNN Spanish and Al Jazeera English

12:30 – 1:25 p.m.

1:30 – 2:25 p.m. Session 5
The Lines Between Celebration and Investigation
Moderator: Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly

  • Stephen Rodrick, contributing editor at Rolling Stone and also a writer-at-large at Esquire..
  • Vanessa Grigoriadis, contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and contributing editor at Vanity Fair

2:30 – 3:25 p.m. Session 6
New Ways of Old Storytelling: The Future of Magazines
Moderator: Max Linsky, co-founder, Longform and Pineapple Street Media

  • Andrea Valdez, editor, Wired Magazine
  • Christina Tapper, managing editor, Bleacher Report
  • Kate Rodemann, deputy editor, Highline/HuffPost
  • Denise Kersten Wills, The Atlantic


3:40 – 4:35 p.m. – Session 7
Bloomberg Speaker Series: True Tales About Real Spies
Moderator: Chris Vognar
A conversation with Monte Reel on Spies, the Amazon and Gorillas: Monte Reel, Bloomberg’s Chicago-based projects and Investigative reporter, who is author of several books, including his most recent, “A Brotherhood of Spies” and two other books, “Between Man and Beast” and “The Last of the Tribe.” His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and other magazines. He currently writes for Bloomberg Businessweek as part of its Projects & Investigations staff, and previously was a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post.

4:40 – 5:40 p.m. – Session 8
Featured One-on-One with Jemele Hill, ESPN: Sports, Race and Culture in America
Moderator: Kevin Merida
Jemele Hill is a contributor to ESPN’s The Undefeated, a platform that fuses sports, race, and culture. She was previously co-host of ESPN’s flagship SportsCenter. Prior to that, Hill wrote a column for ESPN.com’s Page 2 and hosted ESPN’s His and Hers, a statistics-based sports discussion program. Born in Detroit, MI, Hill went on to attend Michigan State University. She began her career as a sports writer with the Detroit Free Press, primarily covering Michigan State football and basketball. While there, she also covered the 2004 Summer Olympics and NBA Playoffs.

6 p.m.
Receptions / Bar Opens

7 p.m.
Guests seated / Opening remarks

7:45 p.m.
Awards presentations

8 p.m.
Literary Lights Dinner – Keynote Speaker: Lindy West
Moderator: John McCaa, WFAA
Hailed by Lena Dunham as an “essential (and hilarious) voice for women,” Lindy West is ferociously witty and outspoken, tackling topics as varied as pop culture, social justice and body image. Her empowering work, including her literary debut "SHRILL," has garnered a coast-to-coast audience. West has rocked readers and listeners in work published everywhere from The Guardian to GQ to This American Life. She is a catalyst for a national conversation in a world where not all stories are created equal and not everybody is treated with equal respect.

9 – 10 p.m.
Book signings

Sunday, July 22

9 – 9:50 a.m. – Session 1 with Q&A
Confronting Liars and Demagogues
Moderator: Gus Garcia-Roberts

  • Evan Wright, author of “Hella Nation” and “Generational Kill” and contributor to Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair
  • Jeff Guinn, author, “Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde” and “Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson”.

9:55 – 10:45 a.m. - Session 2 with Q&A
Tools of a Breaking Narrative/Where to Find the Info You Need
Moderator:Ben Montgomery, enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the narrative journalism website Gangrey.com.

  • Avi Selk, general assignment reporter, Washington Post
  • Manny Fernandez, Houston bureau chief, New York Times
  • Naomi Martin, reporter, Dallas Morning News


11:00 – 11:55 a.m.
Closing Keynote with Christopher Goffard: Telling the Truth About Evil Men
Moderator: Max Linsky, co-founder, Longform and Pineapple Street Media
Christopher Goffard is an author and a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. He is the writer and host of the podcast “Dirty John,” which has been downloaded more than 10 million times and spent a month atop the Apple podcast charts. Goffard shared in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s Bell coverage and has twice been a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing, in 2007 and 2014. His novel “Snitch Jacket” was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel. His book “You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya,” based on his Times series, was published in 2011. His work appears regularly in the Best American Newspaper Narratives series.

Noon – Wrap-up / closing remarks.