Friday, July 19

Writing Workshops


Southwest Soiree

Keynote Speaker #1: Nikole Hannah-Jones

Saturday, July 20


Session 1: The Hate You Breathe, Smell & Drink
While the world tends to focus on climate change, many communities in this country are battling environmental disaster intertwining race, class and injustice.

  • Moderator: Randy Loftis, lecturer, Mayborn School of Journalism and award-winning environmental journalist

Session 2: Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution
Author Ben Fountain’s book is a gripping story that explores the 2016 presidential election and how what happened is a harsh reflection of America’s troubled history steeped in political divineness.

  • Q&A moderated by Dan Goodgame, editor, Texas Monthly and author Ben Fountain

Session 3: When Should Journalists Become Activists
Sonia Nazario shares an insightful analysis of covering the nation’s immigration crisis and the precarious role journalism plays in telling this story.

  • Speaker: Sonia Nazario

Session 4: When Words Exonerate
Spending much of your life behind bars when you know you’re innocent is one thing, but getting exonerated is transformative.

  • Speaker: Pamela Colloff, senior reporter at ProPublica and staff writer at the NY Times Magazine


Session 5: Art of the Old-Fashioned Magazine Crime Story
Who doesn’t love a good crime story? Well, these two journalists are the best in the business in bringing to life the horrific tales of serial killers and other delinquents.

  • A conversation between Skip Hollandsworth and Jeff Maysh

Session 6: My Friend, The Murderer

  • Speaker: Walter Kirn, author
  • Moderator: TBD

Session 7: FEATURED One-on-One with Margot Lee Shetterly, author, Hidden Figures
She will be interviewed by Lesa Roe, chancellor of the UNT System who, during her tenure at NASA, served as the first female director of NASA Langley Research Center and manager of the International Space Station (ISS) Research Program at the Johnson Space Center.

Receptions / Bar Opens

Guests seated / Opening remarks

Awards presentations

Literary Lights Dinner

Keynote Speaker #2: Taylor Branch
Taylor Branch is an American author and public speaker best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, America in the King Years. The trilogy’s first book, “Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63,” won the Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards in 1989. He has travelled the world sharing his insights about King’s work and the Civil Rights Movement. Branch also has been passionate about how student-athletes, who generate billions for universities and private companies, should be paid.

Book signings

Sunday, July 21

Session 1: BLOOMBERG Speaker Series - TBD
Moderator: Julia Flynn Siler, New York Times best selling author, “The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Against Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown”

Session 2 with Q&A: Scam of Amateurism: What We Talk About When We Talk About Sports

  • Moderator: Patrick Hruby, (LA Times contributor)
  • Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize winning author
  • Ken Bensinger, author, ”Red Card”
  • Albert Samaha, investigative reporter, Buzzfeed

Session 3 with Q&A: When Medicine Kills
Most people put their trust in their doctors – until something happens. That’s when it far too often becomes an issue of life and death.

  • Moderator: TBD
  • Laura Beil, health and scientist journalist, reporter for the “Dr. Death” series and top-downloaded podcast
  • Beth Macy, author, “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America.”

Closing Keynote Speaker: Hampton Sides
History & Heroes: Putting Right with What Went Wrong

Journalist Ben Montgomery gets Hampton Sides to take us on a journey through history chronicled in his many books, including his latest, “On Desperate Ground,” a harrowing tale of heroism of involving the U.S. Marines in 1950 in Korea.

Wrap-up / closing remarks.