W O R D F E S T

FRIDAY, OCT. 2nd – SUNDAY, OCT. 4th, 2020
Waco Convention Center

Submissions accepted June 1 – July 15, 2020.

2020 Anthology theme: FIRE
All events are held at the Waco Convention Center, Level 1, Texas Room 116-117 unless otherwise noted.

WordFest  is a “festival within a festival” offering an exciting variety of events for written and 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.


 Submissions Guidelines for 2020 WordFest Anthology 

Submissions will be accepted beginning June 1. There is no fee for submission. For consideration in the 2020 Waco Cultural Arts Fest WordFest Anthology, poets may submit one poem using the theme of fire. 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. In order to be considered, poems may NOT be previously published. Please send your poem in the body of one email to wacowordfest@yahoo.com with your contact information including: mailing address (country if outside of US), phone number at the bottom and your name as the subject of the email. If the submitting poet is under the age of 18, please include school and age beside the name. A special youth section may be included in the anthology. Do not send more than one email. You will receive a confirmation when your poem has been received. Deadline for submissions is July 15, 2020 by midnight. Selected poets for the 2020 Waco Cultural Arts Fest WordFest Anthology will be notified by July 31 of their acceptance.

All final poets published will receive a complimentary copy of the 2020 WordFest Anthology. If you are published and are unable to pick up your complimentary copy, you many arrange to have someone else come pick it up for you at the festival. Please send requests by email. Otherwise, poets that do not arrange to have their copy picked up will receive an electronic copy to the email provided upon submission. After the 2020 festival, you may check back here to find linked copies for purchase on Amazon.

WordFest Events

Armstrong Browning Library
The beautiful Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University campus.

Open Mic at Armstrong Browning Library
Saturday, October 3 at 10:15 a.m.
710 Speight Ave, Waco, TX 76706

Armstrong Browning Library and Museum houses the largest collection of poetry written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her husband Robert Browning. WordFest will have an open mic in the Treasure Room of the Armstrong Browning Library on Saturday, October 3 from 10:15 – 11:00 am. We will have chairs, podium and a mic set up in the Treasure Room for our open mic at before the guided tour at 11:00 a.m. Sign-ups for two-minute readings will start at 10:00 a.m. when Armstrong Browning opens.


Author’s Book Exchange
Saturday, October 3 at 5:30 p.m.

Prior to the Distinguished Writers’ reception, poets may bring copies of any of their other published books to exchange with other authors or to place on a display table. Be sure to bring business cards and any flyers for events you are sponsoring.


Distinguished Writers’ Reception
Saturday, October 3 at 6:00 p.m.

The final poets published in the 2020 WordFest Anthology will be invited to a Distinguished Writers’ Reception at 6:00 p.m., Saturday, October 3 where poets will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology and are invited to read their poem.


WordFest Reading
Saturday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Poets are invited to attend a public reading of the 2020 WordFest Anthology read by each published poet. The reading is from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, 2020 and is open to the public. 2020 Anthology selected poets that are unable to attend the reading can request that their complimentary anthology be picked up by someone attending the festival.


Questions? Please email WordFest Chair, Sandi Horton, or visit our Facebook page for more information.

Previous WordFest Events and Anthologies

With your support we are able to continue selling past anthologies online.
When purchasing, please consider using smile.amazon.com to benefit Waco Cultural Arts Fest and keep the festival free.

The 2019 WordFest Anthology is available for purchase online or during the 2020 festival for $10.

2019 WordFest Anthology

The 2019 Waco WordFest Anthology featured 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.

2019 Wordfest featured poet, Loretta Diane Walker.

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 and Sharon Young.


The 2018 WordFest Anthology is available for purchase online.

2018 WordFest Anthology
  •               
    2018 WordFest featured poet and musician Nathan Brown, musician and poet and former Oklahoma Poet Laureate 2013 – 2014.


The 2017 WordFest Anthology is available for purchase online.