WORDFEST- Save the date for 2020: Fri. Oct. 2-Sun. Oct. 4, 2020 Waco Convention Center!!!

2020 Anthology theme is FIRE!!! Submissions accepted June 1-July 15, 2020. Watch for details!

WORDFEST SCHEDULE 2019 has ended-largest group of poets ever at WordFest!!! Watch for 2020 events and schedule on this page!!!!

(Events are in Waco Convention Center, Level 1 in the Texas Room 116-117 unless otherwise noted)

Friday, Oct. 4, 2019

7-9 p.m. Open Mic Poetry Host: Kay Bell

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019

10:15 a.m. Open Mic Poetry inside the Treasure Room of the Armstrong Browning Library on the Baylor University Campus

11 a.m. Guided tour of the Armstrong Browning Library

1:30-2:30 p.m. Writers’ Panel Discussion on Poetry: Loretta Diane Walker, Steve Sanders, and Betty Roberts Host: Sandi Horton

2:30-4 p.m. Feature Poet Reading & Workshop

Loretta Diane Walker

Loretta Diane Walker – Feature Poet 2019

(Breaks will be given )

Distinguished Writers’ Reception (by invitation)

5:30-6 pm Authors’ Book Exchange

6-7 p.m. Light bites and drinks

7-9 p.m. Anthology Reading (open to the public)

Host: Loretta Diane Walker

Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019

11-12 p.m. Poetry Performance

by spoken word artist

Michael Guinn

1-4 p.m. Open Mic (open to the public)

featuring Native American flute musicians, drummers, and poets

Host: Waco Native Flute Circle

New on the schedule this year: WordFest will have an open mic in the Treasure Room of the Armstrong Browning Library on Saturday, October 5 from 10:15-11 am. (sign-ups for two minute readings will start at 10 am when the Library/Museum opens)

Treasure Room at Armstrong Browning Library on the Baylor University Campus We will have chairs, podium, and mic set up in the Treasure Room for our open mic at 10:15 am on Saturday, October 5 before the guided tour at 11 am.

Here is a link with more info and photos of the Armstrong Browning Library and Museum that houses the largest collection of poetry written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her husband Robert Browning.


Also new this year is an authors’ book exchange. Thirty minutes prior to the Distinguished Writers’ reception poets may bring copies of their published books to exchange with other authors or to place on a display table. Be sure to bring business cards and fliers for events you are sponsoring.

WORDFEST ANTHOLOGY 2019 will be available for purchase during the festival ( October 4-6) for $10!!!

The 2019 Waco WordFest Anthology features 100 poets from Texas, California, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kansas, New Jersey, Washington, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Rhode Island, plus international poets from Nigeria, India, Canada, Australia, and England.

Selected poets for the 2019 WordFest Anthology:

Julio C├ęsar Aguilar, Elvis Alves, Khadija Anderson, Beth Turner Ayers, Joseph Olamide Babalola, Robin Barratt, Chris Billings, Birdman 313, Joe Blanda, Paul Bluestein, Christine H. Boldt, Guna Borua, Nathan Brown, Hugh P. Burke , Cheryl L. Caesar, Ph.D., Vanessa Caraveo, Claire Vogel Camargo, Jane Chance, Carolyn Chatham, Karen Cline-Tardiff, Diana L. Conces, David Cowen, Linda M. Crate, Doug Croft, Charles Darnell, Margo Davis, Christopher Danysh, Robin Dellabough, Manuel L. English, M. V. Fabiyas, Patricia Ferguson, Nancy Fierstien, Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke, Cynthia Gallaher, Sue Mayfield Geiger, Barbara T. Goerdel , Gene Goldfarb, Linda Goin, Vince Gotera, Jack Granath, D.A. Gray, Gwendolyn Gray, John Grey, Lynn Roberts Grice, Larry D. Griffin, Manaiya Guinn, Michael Guinn, Joyce Gullickson, Lois Heger, Sandi Horton, Ann Howells, Lisa Hubley-King, Cade Huie, Rosemarie Horvath Iwasa, Mark Jodon, Lynn Small Knapp, Laurie Kolp, Lesley Lambton, J.S. MacLean, Don Mathis, Aimee McAllester, Cynthia McCain, Janet McCann, LaVern Spencer McCarthy, Anne McCrady, Leslie Michaels, Zee Mink-Fuller, Sonnet Mondal, Antonia S Murguia, Mick Murray, Susan Musch, Christa Pandey, Alice Parker, Juan Perez, Leni Leanne Phillips, Gerald Plant, Linda Miller Prichard, Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchi, Betty Roberts, LaVonne Roberts, Domingo Rodriguez, Ruth Sabath Rosenthan, Jeanie Sanders, Stephen Sanders, Stephen Schwei, Brian T Sluga, Bradley R. Strahan, Sandi Stromberg, Jeffrey Taylor, Spirit Thom, Carol Thompson, Mark Tulin, Karen Vail, Loretta Diane Walker, Sarah Webb, Janice Whittington, Abbie Williams, Mantz Yorke, & Sharon Young

  • The public reading of the anthology by the individual poets in attendance who wrote each poem will be 7-9 pm October 5, 2019 in the Texas Room of the Waco Convention Center. This event is open to the public!
  • The quality of the submissions for the 2019 WordFest Anthology is outstanding!!! We have a record number of poets from at least six different countries and from coast to coast in the USA. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent before July 30 as they are ready.
  • Submissions Guidelines for 2019 WordFest Anthology
  • Send your ‘water poem’ between June 1 – July 15, 2019   Poets may submit one poem using ‘the theme of ‘water’ in a poem for consideration in the 2019 Waco Cultural Arts Fest WordFest Anthology. The poem should include a title and be 24 lines or less in Times New Roman 12 point font with no line longer than 50 characters. Poems can NOT be previously published.
  • Send your poem between June 1 and July 15, 2019  in the body of one email to wacowordfest@yahoo.com  Put your name on the subject line of the email.
  • Contact information must be included at the bottom of your poem. This includes name, mailing address/city/state/country, email address, and phone number at the bottom of the entry. If the submitter is under 18 years old, please note age and school beside the name. A special youth section may be included in the anthology. Please follow submissions guidelines in order to be considered.  Do not send more than one email. You will receive a confirmation when your poem has been received. There is no fee for entering. Deadline is July 15, 2019.
  • Poets selected will be notified by July 30. They will be invited to a Distinguished Writers’ Reception at 6 pm Sat. Oct. 5 where poets published in the anthology will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology and will be invited to read their poem from the anthology at a public reading following the reception at the Waco Convention Center on Sat. Oct. 5, 2019 at 7 pm.
  • Poets unable to attend the reading can request their anthologies to be picked up by someone at the festival. Please send requests by email. Otherwise poets will receive an electronic copy by email.  Copies will be available for purchase on amazon.com for $10 worldwide.
  • WordFest 2019 – Save the dates Fri. Oct 4 – Sun. Oct. 6 Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Avenue
  • ALL WordFest Events will be in Texas South Rooms 116-117

Featured poet for the 2019 WordFest is   
 Loretta Diane Walker!!!

WordFest  is a ‘festival within a festival’  offering an exciting variety of events for written & spoken-word artists of all ages, styles, languages, genres, and levels.  Our vision is to produce a rich selection of programs affording festival attendees to participate in three ways:

      • to hear poetry during author readings, open mics, panel discussions, and performances;
      • to practice the craft of poetry through writing workshops;
      • to speak/share works aloud bringing words from the page to the stage via open mics, featured readings, and round-table sharing during workshops.
      • to submit poems for an opportunity to be published in the Waco Cultural Arts Fest WordFest Anthology (details below)

      All WordFest events are FREE and open to the public of all ages.

    • WordFest is honored to be an affiliate of the Austin International Poetry Festival 


      WordFest 2019 – Save the dates

      Fri. Oct 4 – Sun. Oct. 6

      Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Avenue

      ALL WordFest Events will be in

      Texas South Rooms 116-117


      Featured poet for the 2019 WordFest is     

    • Loretta Diane Walker!!!

  •  Please like our  FB page https://www.facebook.com/wacoartsfest.org

  • Previous WordFest Events and Anthologies
    • Friday, March 22, 2019   


      • House Concert  – Waco was a huge success!!! 

        $20 at the door

        helping to support the 2019 WORDFEST

        Nathan Brown, musician and poet, the 2018 WordFest   Feature Poet , & the former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14)!!!


        Copies of the 2018 WordFest Anthology available on amazon.com

          Check out our Facebook page for up to date information. https://www.facebook.com/wacoartsfest.org/

        Like our Facebook page to find out new things.

        For Additional Information email  wacowordfest@yahoo.com

        Copies of the 2017 anthology  $10.  They may be ordered on Amazon.com/books