St. Mark's Literary Festival

About the Lit Fest

This student-planned and student-led festival happens in late January. A variety of writers, including novelists, journalists, songwriters, screenwriters and poets, spend two days at St. Mark’s, speaking to classes and engaging in a panel discussion. The visiting writers also judge a writing contest and provide feedback to the winning students.

Past Guests (since 2013)

Michael Chabon
~ Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and screenwriter (Brent P. Johnson ’89 Guest Writer)
Sara Hickman
~ Singer-songwriter
Jason Hinojosa ’99
~ Author and novelist, English Department Chair  at Sacramento Country Day School
Elisabeth Kincaid, Ph.D.
~ Theologian and essayist

Rebecca Makkai ~
Pulitzer Prize-finalist novelist (Brent P. Johnson ’89 Guest Writer)
Josephine Decker
~ Screenwriter and filmmaker
Martín Espada
~ National Book Award-winning poet
Ben Mercer ’03
~ Senior Editor, Criterion Collection

Rhoda Janzen
~ New York Times bestselling memoirist (Brent P. Johnson ’89 Guest Writer)
Josh Harkinson ’95
~ Investigative journalist
Sam Kean
~ New York Times bestselling non-fiction author
Christopher Boucher
~ Novelist and professor of literature
Sherrie Zantea ~ CEO, Dallas Poetry Slam Organization

Masi Asare ~ Composer, Playwright, and Performance scholar
Lauren Groff ~ Novelist, 2021 Brent P. Johnson ’89 Writer
Bob Hass ~ Poet and Literary Critic
Rhett Miller ’89 ~ Singer/songwriter and Poet
Calvin Watkins ~ Sports Reporter, The Dallas Morning News

Sandra Cisneros
~ Novelist and poet (The House on Mango Street)
Frederick Turner
~ Poet
Dawn Davies ~ Memoirist 
Sharan Shetty ’09 ~
Associate Editor, The New Yorker

Karl Marlantes ~
Author (Matterhorn)
Kimberly Willis Holt ~
Author (When Zachary Beaver Came to Town)
Amanda Petrusich ~
Journalist and Author
Joaquin Zihuatanejo ~
Montgomery Sutton ’05 ~
Playwright and Stage Actor

Stacy Clark ~ Children’s author
Billy Crockett ~ Singer-songwriter
Evan Daugherty ’00 ~ Film screenwriter (Divergent, Snow White and the Hunstman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Tony Earley ~ Fiction writer, essayist, and Vanderbilt University professor
Dana Goodyear ~ Poet, University of Southern California professor, and staff writer for The New Yorker
Mike Wilson ~ Editor of The Dallas Morning News

Taylor Mali ~ Four-time National Poetry Slam champion
Tobias Wolff Bestselling author of This Boy’s Life and Old School
Jake McAuley ’08 ~ France-based reporter for The Washington Post and founder of the St. Mark’s Literary Festival
Eliza Griswold ~ Poet and award-winning investigative journalist
Dianna Hutts Aston ~ Award-winning children’s author and illustrator


Ana Castillo ~ Chicana Novelist, Poet, and Playwright
Kurt Eichenwald ’79 ~ Bestselling Investigative Journalist
Lisa Loeb ~ Grammy-nominated Singer-Songwriter 
Hampton Sides ~ Bestselling Narrative Nonfiction Author
Graeme Wood ’97 Journalist and The Atlantic Contributing Editor

Blake Bailey ~ Biographer
Ed Mabrey ~ Poet
Ann Napolitano ~ Novelist
Annu Subramanian ~ Human-rights Advocate and Novelist 
Robert Zorn ’75 ~ Non-Fiction Author

Ron Koertge ~ Young Adult Novelist and Poet
Jill Sobule ~ Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter
Jim Holt ~ Mathematician and Nonfiction Contributor to The New Yorker
Lev Grossman ~ Author of The Magicians and TIME Magazine writer
Evan Daugherty ’00 ~ Film screenwriter (Divergent, Snow White and the Hunstman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Billy Collins ~ Former U.S. Poet Laureate
Curtis Sittenfeld ~ Novelist
Marion Winik ~ Author and NPR commentaror
Sid Balman ’76 ~ Journalist and Author

Literary Festival Writer's Forum (2024)

St. Mark’s School of Texas

10600 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75230

About Us

St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.

St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.