UHV serves as epicenter for international writers conference

The convergence of literary forces at the University of Houston-Victoria will create a weeklong, international writers extravaganza this spring in Mexico.


Thomas Williams spoke at the Jan. 24 installment of the UHV/American Book Review Spring Reading Series and was recently named chair of the Humanities Division in the UHV School of Arts & Sciences.
Two UHV-based literary institutions will co-sponsor The Writer's Edge, a writing conference that will bring together writers and aspiring writers with 10 established authors March 16 to 21 at Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca, Mexico, a highland city noted for its perennial springtime climate.


Along with the two universities, the American Book Review and Fiction Collective 2 are coordinating the event. ABR is an international publication that champions frequently neglected works of fiction, poetry and criticism from small presses. Fiction Collection 2 is an alternative publishing press that recently moved to UHV.


Lance Olsen was the featured guest at the April 3 installment of the UHV/American Book Review Spring Reading Series.
"By bringing together so many organizations under one roof, synergies start to form that make some amazing things possible," said Jeffrey Di Leo, editor/publisher of ABR and dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. "With the addition of our partnership with Universidad Internacional, we are able to offer what is truly an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for writers."


The first half of the week, March 16 to 18, will fall under the banner of the ABR Writer's Conference: Fiction and Poetry Workshops. ABR-affiliated authors and editors Dagoberto Gilb, Macarena Hernandez, Kevin Prufer, Thomas Williams and Eric Miles Williamson will conduct workshops on subjects like literary forms, novels, short stories, poetry, book reviews, creative nonfiction and journalism and also work one-on-one with attendees.


March 19 to 21 will fall under the auspices of The Writer's Edge: Innovative Fiction Workshops, an annual event previously organized by FC2. Under a similar structure, writers will get to attend panel discussions by and work one-on-one with FC2 staff members and authors Alexandra Chasin, Jeffrey Deshell, Stephen Graham Jones, Lance Olsen and Lidia Yuknavitch.


"This will be a chance for the attendees to really interact and connect with these established writers and editors," Di Leo said. "Our event staff will help the attendees truly craft and perfect their literary endeavors."


The conference also will offer the first Hudson-Espinosa Fiction Prize for the best work of short fiction. The award will be given based on short stories attendees will submit with their event registrations.


The prize was established by private donations from UHV President Tim Hudson, his wife, Dee Dee, and Universidad Internacional Rector Javier Espinosa. Each leader donated $2,500 to an endowment that will maintain the prize into the future and committed to fund the $500 award until the endowment becomes fully self-sustaining.


"On his recent visit to UHV, Rector Espinosa and I discovered that we share a concern about the state of contemporary cross-cultural understanding," Hudson said. "We also agreed that reading, especially good fiction, is one of the key ways to learn empathically about how other people live; reading is critical in shaping meaningful perceptions of the world. We wanted to find a way to encourage and provide an incentive for up-and-coming writers to create quality works of short fiction that inform our opinions and world views. The prize hopes to accomplish these high goals."


Espinosa has been a leader in international education in Mexico for more than three decades. Hudson himself is an author and longtime supporter of the literary arts. He noted the conference represents a real hallmark in the history of UHV.


"Through the powerful vision of our employees and the remarkable relationships we've formed across the world, UHV is continually creating wonderful opportunities like this one," Hudson said. "Many older and larger institutions would be proud of such an event."


The cost for the conference is $500 for the entire week or $275 for either half of the week. The deadline to register is Jan. 21. To register or for more information, contact the Writers Edge staff at 361-570-4101 or


Fees do not include travel and accommodations.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342