Announcing the Brazos/AFA Collaboration Contest

Article by ben

Brazos Bookstore and American Festival for the Arts (AFA), Houston’s largest non-profit music education provider for kids, are teaming up to develop a new musical/literary work celebrating AFA’s twentieth anniversary serving kids throughout Southeast Texas.

Writers from all backgrounds and working in any genre are invited to submit a short work of no more than 500 words on the theme "Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.” The winning selection will be used as the basis and/or inspiration for a musical composition by award-winning composer Hugh Lobel that will be premiered at the AFA Collaborations Concert (two performances in May and July). Dr. Lobel is an AFA alumnus who is being commissioned for this special work to mark AFA’s twentieth anniversary.

There is no submission fee.

The winning author will be invited to read his/her work at the performances, and will also receive $500.

The Judge

Ben Fountain, acclaimed author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, finalist for the National Book Award). We wanted a judge whose writing reflects the spirit of Texas, but who isn’t closely associated with Houston (as to remove the possibility of the judge recognizing a particular submission or the style of a submitter). Ben Fountain, a Dallas resident who represents Texas literature at its best, seemed like a no brainer.


The Guidelines

* You must live in Houston to submit.
* One submission is allowed per person.
* All submissions must be previously unpublished.
* There are zero genre/form restrictions. Send us flash fiction, poetry, nonfiction, lyric essays, lists—whatever, so long as the submissions are made from words.
* No submission can be longer than 500 words. Submissions that exceed this word length will be disqualified.




How to Submit

Email your submission in the body of an email to You may include a cover letter, but it’s not necessary.

The Deadline

The deadline for submissions is December 15, 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced on January 1, 2015, on the websites of Brazos Bookstore and AFA.

Good luck!

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