Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs refer to details about the conference as it is typically held. Since the conference will be virtual this year, most of these will not apply. However, we've chosen to leave them up as a reference in the event we move to a traditional in-person conference.


The conference will be held at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas. The Hilton’s street address is 1800 State Highway 26, Grapevine, TX 76051. Map. The Hilton offers a special rate per night plus taxes to all conferees of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference.

Registration fee

Our registration fee covers entrance to the conference and all meal functions and on-site activities. Optional items may be purchased along with registration. Registration is non-refundable.

Not included in the registration fee: Writing competition fees, meetings with literary agents, hotel accommodations and additional dinner tickets for guests, which are all available for purchase as optional items.

Driving Directions

If driving north out of the DFW Airport take the Bass Pro Drive exit, cross over the highway and follow around to the light at Hwy. 26. Turn right then left into the Hilton entrance.

If driving from Lewisville, take Highway 26 past Grapevine Mills Mall, the entrance to the Hilton will be on the right.

Please call the Hilton for assistance at 817-481-8444.


There are two major airports in Dallas. Love Field is about 30 minutes away from the conference, but close to downtown Dallas. DFW International Airport is just 10 minutes south of Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine. If you are a hotel guest, the Hilton provides shuttle service to and from DFW International. For more information, read the travel planner and airport guide.

Room Rates

A block of rooms at the Hilton will be reserved at a special room rate. Details on booking rooms can be found on our main conference page by clicking on the 'Register' tab above. Complimentary 24-hour shuttle transportation to/from DFW International Airport is provided.

There are several other hotels within walking distance of the Hilton. Please visit the Grapevine hotel listing for more information.

Austin Ranch

Austin Ranch is an event center directly behind the Hilton where we hold our kick-off, Friday evening Southwest Soiree and keynote address. For conference attendees, it’s just a short walk over. For attendees who need a ride, the hotel staff will ferry you over. For people coming only for the Friday night event you may park at the ranch or the hotel.

Attendance & Event Details

What is the weather like in North Texas in July?
Hot. Very hot. There may occasionally be rain. HOWEVER, inside the hotel and in the meeting rooms, the air-conditioning tends to be COLD. Wear layers or bring a sweater or jacket!

Can I just attend one day?
There are separate tickets available for the Friday night and Saturday night keynote talks. However, the sessions during the day are only open to those who attend the whole weekend.

Can I buy guest tickets?
Yes, for Friday and Saturday night keynote talks only. Remember, if you've paid the full registration fee, these events are already included. Separate keynote tickets are available for those who cannot attend the entire weekend and for attendees who would like to bring guests. Dinner is included in the price of the separate keynote tickets.

Do I have to attend every lecture?
No. Feel free to pick and choose which lectures you would like to attend. Just remember to wear your nametag to show that you are a conferee.

Do you have volunteer opportunities?
There may be a few volunteer opportunities. You can contact Brandee Hartley at

Where can I learn more about the conference schedule and registration fees?
The full conference schedule and list of speakers can be found on our speakers page and our schedule page. Please visit our registration page for complete details on registration. These are continually being updated, so be sure and check back often!

Will there be book signings?
Yes. There will be one large book signing Saturday night after the keynote address with all of the day’s speakers. There will be a book signing Friday night for the Friday night keynote and the Ten Spurs winners. There will also be a book signing on Sunday for that day’s speakers.

Can I buy the speakers’ books?
The Mayborn Conference Book Store will be open all weekend and will feature books written by the Mayborn speakers and other writers. The store will accept cash and credit cards. We encourage all conference attendees to visit the book store!

Dress Code & Dining

Is there a dress code?
The Mayborn Conference is a casual event – especially the workshops and lectures, just be sure and have a sweater or jacket handy as the venue has excellent air-conditioning. You are welcome to dress western for Friday night, but it’s not required. Saturday night is the only event at which you should bring special clothes. You’ll see everything from dressy casual to cocktail.

Will meals be provided?
All meals are covered in the conference registration fee. There will be snacks and lunch for writers participating in the group workshops on Friday. Friday night dinner is at Austin Ranch. On Saturday, a snack bar is open from breakfast through the afternoon. Lunch and dinner will be in the hotel on Saturday. A snack bar is open Sunday morning. All event bars serving alcohol are cash only and there is a hotel bar. If you want to know more about dining options for the Grapevine area, visit the Grapevine tourism website.

Will there be vegetarian alternatives to meals?
Yes; all buffet settings offer vegetarian alternatives. For the Saturday night dinner, you will need to specify that you are a vegetarian. Please remind our staff when checking in at registration if you are wanting a vegetarian meal for Saturday night. All other meals offer food choices.

Are there other restaurant choices in Grapevine?
There are several restaurants around and in Grapevine Mills Mall. There is a dining guide for Grapevine here:


What are the tourist options for seeing the Dallas Fort Worth region?
Dallas, Fort Worth and all the cities in the area have much to show to visitors. Check it out at

Two attractions can be found next door to the hotel at Grapevine Mills during the conference.

Are there shopping options?
The Grapevine Mills Mall is almost next door to the Hilton.