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 and prose via author readings, open mics, panel discussions, and performances;
    • to practice the craft of poetry, prose, stories, songs, journaling, and more via 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.

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

For more information or to send questions, comments, or suggestions please contact the WordFest Chair at: wacowordfest@yahoo.com

thom in austinthom 4thom 6


Thom Woodruff, born in Brisbane, Australia, has college degrees from University of Queensland and University of Melbourne. He is listed in the International Who’s Who of Poetry. Thom has performed all over the world and is sometimes called, Thom World Poet.  He is a founding member of the Austin International Poetry Festival and is a well known leader of poetry in Austin, Texas for several decades.  He is a performer/workshop leader at festivals throughout the world and is sometimes called Festival Thom.  His poems are published in over 200 books and he continues to write poetry daily. Thom is a dynamic and popular featured poet who is well recognized and sought after by audiences.


Friday, Sept. 30

7-9 pm
Open mic for all ages
Host: Jen Evans

Saturday, Oct. 1

11 am-12 pm
Workshop: Writing for Children
Presenter: Mary Evans

12-1 pm
Workshop: A Matter of Trust: Editing for Brevity, Impact, Ambiguity
Presenter: Susan  Summers

1-2 pm
Workshop: Ten Commandments for Writing Humor in Texas
Presenter: Michelle Hartman

2-3 pm
Workshop: English Language Haiku
Presenter: Jan Benson

3-4 pm
FEATURED POET – Festival Thom

4-5 pm
Workshop: Getting Published:  What Editors Want
Presenter: Cassy Burleson

6-7 pm
Distinguished Writers’ Reception (invitation only)

Entertainment by Stonhenj Singers

7-9 pm
Anthology Reading – open to the public
Host: Festival Thom

Sunday, Oct. 2

12-1 pm
Workshop: Here and Now–Reflecting in the Present Tense
Presenter: Anne McCrady

1-2 pm
Writers Panel:  Festival Thom, Susan Summers, Michelle Hartman, Anne McCrady, Jan Benson
Host: Sandi Horton

2-3 pm
Workshop: Imagineering Metaphors
Presenter: Festival Thom

3-4 pm
Open mic for all ages
Host: Festival Thom

CONGRATULATIONS to the following poets who were selected for the WordFest 2016 Anthology

Kaye Voigt Abikhaled
Evelyn Corry Appelbee
Michael Baldwin
Linda Banks
Jan Benson
Christopher Billings
Ann Blankinship
Christine H. Boldt
Nathan Brown
Cassy Burleson
Claire Vogel Camargo
Ken Chau
Sandra Boike Cobb
Jeannine Cooper
David E. Cowen
Carol Crosthwait
Charles Darnell
Jennifer Evans
Maryee Evans
Nancy Fierstien
Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke
Ellen Foos
Jo Forestier
Van G. Garrett
Dwight A. Gray
Brian Grosz
Joyce Gullickson
Michael Gullickson
Michelle Hartman
Bodhi Heilskapa
Sandi Horton
Lisa Hubley-King
Victoria Hunter
Cindy Huyser
Rosemarie Horvath Iwasa
Christina M. Jackson
Victor Johnson (Birdman)
Laurie Kolp
Catherine L’Herisson
Sue Littleton
Anne McCrady
Joyce Gorum McGee
Sylvia S. Medel
Carmen Merritt
Leslie Michaels
Eric S. Miller
Jackie Mills
Michael Owens
Christa Pandey
Alice Parker
Benjamin Pehr
Kevin R. Pennington
Bernadette Perez
B. Rae Perryman
DaRell Pittman
Lillian Sue Roberts
Udelle Evan Robinson
Rachel Stern
Susan Summers
Nick Sweet
Sharon Taylor
Carol Paar Thompson
Marlene Tucker
Norman Ward
Jennifer Warren
Sarah Webb
David G. Williams III
Thom Woodruff (Festival Thom)
David L. Young


Call for submissions in 2016

WORDFEST, part of the Waco Cultural Arts Fest, will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016 inside the Waco Convention Center on the first floor. Workshops, feature poets, open mics and an anthology reading will be among the activities during the week-end of festivals.   http://www.wacoartsfest.org/

Submitted poems for the 2016 anthology should include a title and be 24 lines or less in Times New Roman 12 point font. Poems can NOT be previously published. Each poet may submit two poems on any family friendly topic using any style.

Send your entries in the body of an email to wacowordfest@yahoo.com
Contact information should include 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 beside the name.  A special youth section will be included in the anthology.
There is no fee for entering. Deadline is July 4, 2016. Poets selected will be notified by July 15. They will be invited to a Distinguished Writers’ Reception at  6 pm Sat. Oct. 1  where they will  receive a complimentary copy of the anthology and will be invited to read their poem from the anthology at a public reading at the Waco Convention Center on Sat. Oct. 1, 2016 at 7 pm. Poets unable to attend the reading will have their anthologies mailed to them later in Oct. 2016.
Please forward this to any poets you know who may be interested in submitting.