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This Saturday in Austin, The Texas Observer is holding its second annual Writers’ Festival, which is free and open to the public. The event goes from 11:30 – 6:00 at the very funky and cool Pine Street Station (5th & Waller, just a block from good old WriteByNight). Six panels inside, and outside will be free beer and wine, tamales, book sales and sponsor tables (including good old WriteByNight).

Our headliner is local author Sarah Bird, who will be reading from her forthcoming novel The Gap Year (Knopf, July 2011–that’s right, a sneak preview).

Yours truly organized a fiction panel consisting of Doug Dorst (The Surf Guru), Oscar Casares (Amigoland) and Ruth Pennebaker (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough), and moderated by Cyndi Hughes, Executive Director of the Austin-based Writers’ League of Texas.

So, come see us on Saturday. That’s an order, (local) WriteByNighters! It’ll be lots of fun, and you’ll get the chance to rub elbows with some of Austin’s top writing talents.

For more details, visit the festival webpage.

And while we’re on Observer matters, you can read some excellent new short fiction from local writer Philipp Meyer on our website. Meyer is the author of the highly-acclaimed American Rust, and was recently named one of The New Yorker‘s “20 Under 40.” It’s a strong piece, sort of an internal monologue from a character who has just experienced a painful loss.

So, happy reading, and we’ll see you on Saturday, gang!

(Note that due to the Observer event, we’ve had to cancel Saturday’s Write Here. We’ll make it up to you. We promise.)

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