HP LitFest will return in person after the COVID-19 pandemic took events online last year. The 26th-annual literary festival will kick off with a free keynote address by New York Times bestseller and multiple-award-winning author Amor Towles.
The author of The Lincoln Highway, Rules of Civility, and A Gentleman in Moscow will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Highland Park High School auditorium. Organizers say masks are “strongly encouraged” indoors at the event amid the ongoing pandemic.
FlickFest will also return in person this year as part of LitFest with a screening of the 1971 blockbuster The Last Picture Show at the Angelika Theater in Mockingbird Station. FlickFest will also feature a discussion led by Dallas authors George Getschow and Michael J. Mooney in celebration of the life of author Larry McMurtry, the Pulitzer-prize-winning author and Texan whose novel inspired the film. The Highland Park High School jazz band will also be on hand to perform before FlickFest begins.
FlickFest will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the theater at 5321 Mockingbird Lane. Tickets are $35 per person.
The celebration of literature continues with workshops, writing contests, and a student-led open mic night.
Workshop presenters this year include photographer, writer, journalist, and educator Kael Alford, ESPN NFL Nation reporter Ben Baby, writer, showrunner, and Fire Bones creator Greg Brownderville, award-winning editorial cartoonist and SMU alumnus Bubba Flint, Minml Poems author Mag Gabbert, award-winning author of Ghostlight, The Dark Between and The Revenant Sonia Gensler, co-founder of the Archer City Writers Workshop and the nationally acclaimed Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference George Getschow, Dallas-based songwriter, composer, performing artist Michael Gomez, author of the New York Times bestseller Secret Daughter Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Highland Park High School alumnus and musician Benji Harris, longtime journalist and author Michael Merschel, award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller Ben Montgomery, another NYT bestselling author Michael Mooney, BuzzFeed News inequality editor and author Albert Samaha, Verify Road Trip host, co-producer and co-creator David Schechter, young adult author Ashley Schumacher, Getty Images staff photographer Chip Somodevilla, screenwriter Kurt Voelker, former CIA counterterrorism pro, FBI special agent, and author of The Unexpected Spy Tracy Walder, award-winning cartoonist and illustrator Karl Wimer, and award winning poet, writer, and teacher from Dallas Joaquín Zihuatanejo.