By fostering the art of creative writing, the mission of Inprint is to inspire readers and writers in Houston.
Inprint envisions Houston, Texas, as a city where the literary arts are a defining resource. Inprint serves as a vital wellspring of literary life, both locally and nationally. Thanks in large part to Inprint’s activities and support, Houston is a vibrant community of creative writers and readers, rich with workshops, readings, forums, and other kinds of literary activity. Writers from all backgrounds and parts of the world delight in coming to Houston to read, teach, and study creative writing; and thousands of Houstonians, recognizing the value and impact of the written word, join in Inprint programs to write, read, and support the literary arts. The community is enriched by some of the nation’s top emerging writers, who study at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program and teach at Inprint and in community centers, schools, universities, and other places throughout the Houston area.
As Houston’s premier literary arts nonprofit organization, Inprint annually serves more than 15,000 readers and writers of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Inprint programs include:
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series—features the world’s leading writers on stage in Houston at little or no cost to the public. Since 1980, the series has featured more than 370 writers, including winners of nine Nobel Prizes, 62 Pulitzer Prizes, 56 National Book Awards, 50 National Book Critics Circle Awards, 15 Man Booker Prizes, as well as 19 U. S. Poets Laureate. The authors read from their work, followed by on-stage interviews and book signings at which audience members can meet the writers. General admission is $5, with free rush tickets for students and senior citizens. Visiting writers also give craft talks at the UH CWP, and outreach readings at Texas Southern University, Houston Community College, UH-Downtown, and other underserved venues.
Inprint Cool Brains! Series presents top middle-grade authors free of charge on Sunday afternoons at the centrally located HISD Meyerland Performing & Visual Arts Middle School. Since 2004, the series has featured such writers as Katherine Applegate, Kwame Alexander, Susan Cooper, Christopher Paul Curtis, Juan Felipe Herrera, Lois Lowry, R. J. Palacio, Gary Paulsen, and Jon Scieszka. Author presentations are followed by book signings at which young people can meet the writers.
Ink Well: A Podcast, a new collaboration between Inprint and Tintero Projects, moderated by Jasminne and Lupe Mendez, presents Latinx and other writers, including (in season one) former and current Houston Poets Laureate Robin Davidson and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Tony Diaz, Rigoberto González, Sheila Maldonado, Daniel Peña, Samanta Schweblin, and Analicia Sotelo.
Escritores en la casa is a new Inprint reading series at Inprint House in Spanish. The series is conducted in collaboration with local community groups, is free and open to the public, and features a writer reading from his/her work, followed by Q&A and a book signing. Readers featured include Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny, Selva Almada, Rodrigo Hasbún, and San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla.
First Friday Reading Series, takes place at Inprint House on the first Friday of every month and features local poets, followed by an open mic. Curated by Robert Clark and organized by community poets, the First Friday series is the oldest poetry series in Houston.
Inprint Poetry Buskers bring the joy of poetry to festivals and public events throughout the greater Houston area. The poetry buskers—armed with trusty typewriters—write poems on topics chosen by the recipient, on the spot and free of charge, inspiring the public with spontaneous poetic whimsy, creativity, and skill. Buskers are primarily UH CWP students and alumni but also come from the local literary community. Inprint also now has a troupe of bilingual and Spanish-language buskers.
Inprint Book Club, led by a knowledgeable local writer, offers lively discussions on works by authors featured in the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, as well as other writers of interest to the community. The book club is held at Inprint House on the second Sunday of the month.
Inprint Writers Workshops, considered Houston’s “Best Place for Aspiring Writers” (Houston Press), provide classes in fiction, poetry, and personal essay. The workshops help Houstonians from every background to hone their skills and prepare work for publication. Inprint Writers Workshops, in three 8-10 week sessions per year at Inprint House, are led by Houston’s top writers, including UH CWP graduate students and alumni and published writers from the Houston community. Inprint also offers intensive weekend workshops throughout the year, focusing on a specific topic, to help meet the demand for these popular workshops.
Inprint Teachers-as-Writers Workshops fill a gap in teacher training, providing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction workshops that sharpen the writing and teaching skills of K-12 teachers from Houston-area schools. These tuition-free workshops, held at Inprint House and similar in design to the Inprint Writers Workshops, serve approximately 45 teachers per year, enhancing the instruction of thousands of Houston-area students.
Inprint Senior Memoir Workshops, led by skilled local writers, revive memories, preserve family and community histories, and give seniors a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Workshops are currently running on a weekly basis at the Finnigan Park Community Center in Harris County Precinct One and Houston Jewish Community Center, as well as for adults with dementia at Amazing Place. A bilingual six-week workshop in the fall and spring is being conducted at BakerRipley. Each workshop ends with a public reading/celebration and the publication of an anthology.
Inprint Life Writing Workshops, running 10 weeks and similar in style to other Inprint Writing Workshops, provide Houston Methodist and Ben Taub Hospital employees with an opportunity to explore creative writing and process complex experience within the hospital setting. These Texas Medical Center workshops, led by top Houston writers, are open to employees from all parts of the hospital, from physicians and nurses to clerks and the lobby pianist.
Inprint Incarcerated Workshops, led by experienced local writers, are conducted at the Harris County Jail in several six-week sessions per year for men and women, giving them a new creative outlet and a sense of accomplishment and well-being. To date, the writers have worked with incarcerated veterans and inmates in the drug rehabilitation program, all of whom are soon to be released. Each workshop concludes with a reading in the jail and the publication of an anthology.
Inprint Writing Workouts are “one-off” programs that provide a singular opportunity for individuals in various settings throughout the community to be introduced to and engage in creative writing. Workouts have been conducted in flooded communities (in connection with the Houston Flood Museum) and at senior centers and are planned for museum exhibitions and other settings in the coming year.
Inprint Writing Workshops for Veterans, are free for veterans, their families, Gold Star families, and active military. Held at Combined Arms, a veterans’ service center near downtown, and led by a fiction writer/veteran, these workshops empower participants to shape and share their experiences and are based on the belief that writing can be a transformative experience.
Inprint Writing Café transforms the cozy workshop room at Inprint House into the most literary coffee house in town, offering local writers a free weekly space once a week to focus on their own craft in the company of other writers.
Support for emerging writers enhances local and national literary life. Inprint has awarded annual fellowships and prizes and provided creative writing employment to more than 500 UH CWP graduate students—more than $4 million dollars since 1983—and an undergraduate prize at Rice University. Inprint also has established an endowment at UH to support the Creative Writing Program. UH CWP students and alumni have published more than 200 books, and faculty writers have received, among other honors, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.
Inprint Archive of Readings is located online on the Inprint website and includes selected video recordings of past Inprint Margarett Root Brown Readings and Cool Brains! events, viewable on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers anytime, from anywhere.
Collaborations with many organizations—in the form of readings, literary discussions, festivals, workshops, cross-promotions, and more—bring the literary arts to broader and more diverse audiences.
Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Inprint House is currently closed to the public. For assistance, please contact staff members via email or call 713-521-2026.
1520 West Main
Houston, Texas 77006
Inprint House is located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, in the same neighborhood as The Menil Collection and St. Thomas University. Click here to see map.
Board of Directors 2021/2022
Kevin Lewis, Chair
Marcia West, President
Mary S Dawson, Vice President
Andy Lusk, Secretary/Treasurer
Katharine B. Barthelme
Carolyn Russell Brock
Pablo Hernández Schmidt-Tophoff
Madeleine Callery Hussey
Michelle Lopez Varma
Advisory Board 2021/2022
Catherine Blanchard Gillespie
Victoria H. Lightman
David Enrique Ruiz
Sarah Beth Seifert
National Advisory Council
Naomi Shihab Nye
Today, Inprint is at the center of Houston’s vibrant literary community, presenting and championing diverse programming for readers and writers throughout the area. For more than three decades, it has enriched the city’s intellectual capital and made the literary world accessible to all Houstonians.
Inprint was founded in 1983 by a group of community leaders who sought to address a need in Houston for greater support and appreciation of the literary arts. The founders—Glenn Cambor, Karl Kilian, and Gay Block—soon recruited others to the cause. They envisioned Houston as a city of letters, a place where writers come to study, work, and make a life for themselves, thereby enhancing the city and making the power of the written word vital to its citizens.
The founders knew that supporting the nascent and already distinguished University of Houston Creative Writing Program (UH CWP) was crucial to realizing this vision, and the support of the UH CWP became a raison d’être for Inprint, resulting in a powerful synergy connecting a community nonprofit literary arts organization, a university-based creative writing program, and a major American city. Since its inception, Inprint has provided fellowships, prizes, employment, and other support to UH CWP students of more than $4 million, enabling the university to recruit some of the country’s most talented emerging writers to live and work in Houston.
This history of support has been defined by several major events. In 1991, Inprint was given a $1 million anonymous gift to establish and maintain an endowment fund for UH CWP student fellowships in honor of founding Inprint President C. Glenn Cambor. In that same year, further fundraising provided the underwriting for an Inprint office and professional staff. Until that time, Inprint had been run entirely by volunteers.
The first named juried prizes to be established by Inprint for CWP students were the Donald Barthelme Fellowships, commemorating the great fiction writer and native Houstonian who served on the UH CWP faculty from 1980 until his death in 1989. In 1999, Inprint embarked on a major fundraising effort, the Inprint Literary Capital Campaign, which raised more than $3 million from foundations, corporations, and individuals to establish at the UH CWP the $1.5 million Cullen Foundation Chair in Creative Writing (held jointly by fiction writers Antonya Nelson and Robert Boswell) and nine named endowed graduate student fellowships. The campaign also provided funding for three Inprint community programs for five years.
A few years later, Inprint established additional juried prizes for mid-career graduate students at the UH CWP, including the Lucille Joy Prize in Poetry, the Diana P. Hobby Prize, the Paul Verlaine Prize in Poetry, the Joan and Stanford Alexander Fiction Prize in honor of Andrea White, and the Robert J. Sussman Fiction Prize, in honor of the late Inprint Board member Bob Sussman. In 2013, three additional prizes—the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prizes—were established to honor the memory of long-time Inprint Board member Marion Barthelme. These prizes are awarded each year to two UH CWP graduate students and to one graduating senior from Rice University. In 2016, the Edgar M. Larsen Fellowship was established to pay tribute to long-time Inprint Board member and, for 18 years, Inprint’s pro-bono investment manager, Ed Larsen. Thanks to Inprint’s support, the UH CWP continues to be one of the nation’s most renowned creative writing programs, with a growing international reputation; and the students and alumni, in addition to enriching our literary tradition, provide a wellspring of talent from which Inprint and many other Houston-area schools, colleges, and organizations draw writing instructors, teachers, and writers.
As Inprint has blossomed, it has nurtured a vibrant literary life in Houston among diverse social, racial, economic, and age groups by launching and developing several essential community literary performance and educational programs. Inprint’s flagship performance program is the prestigious Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, founded by the UH CWP in 1980. Now entering its 38th season, the Series is a nationally renowned literary showcase that has presented the world’s leading writers in Houston—370 since 1980, including winners of nine Nobel Prizes, 62 Pulitzer Prizes, 56 National Book Awards, 50 National Book Critics Circle Awards, and 15 Man Booker Prizes, as well as 19 U. S. Poets Laureate—at the city’s top downtown performance venues and at almost no cost to the public.
Another reading series, Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People, which presents the nation’s top middle-grade writers in Houston free of charge, was officially added to Inprint programs in 2007. Working closely with school districts and libraries throughout the greater Houston area, Cool Brains! provides a way for young readers (and their families, teachers, and librarians) to meet their favorite authors and build a lifelong love of reading and writing. To date, Cool Brains! has presented more than 30 of the most acclaimed and beloved children’s writers, focusing on readers ages 8-12.
Throughout the 1990s, other Inprint literary performance programs enriched Houston’s cultural life. Inprint’s Literary Conversations, from 1993 to 2000, presented major writers and other artists speaking on poetry, fiction, playwriting, the personal essay, biography and memoir, science writing, and music and literature, in collaboration with many other Houston arts organizations. From 1995 to 2003, Inprint collaborated with Brazos Bookstore and other arts and cultural groups on a number of marathon readings featuring dozens of community members reading aloud and celebrating such great works as Dante’s Inferno, Joyce’s Ulysses, Beowulf, Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the poetry of Walt Whitman, and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.
In fall 2006, Inprint launched a Studio Series, featuring emerging writers from across the country in public readings and community outreach events. Each of these writers also held conferences with graduate students at the UH Creative Writing Program, providing valuable mentoring at a time when the faculty was short-handed. Eight writers took part in the Studio Series over two years. The program was discontinued due to the success of faculty hiring at UH.
Inprint’s literary educational programs play a key role in developing a community of writers in Houston, today offering more than 40 writing workshops per year that serve the general public, senior citizens, K-12 teachers, health-care workers, and others with intensive writing instruction. Inprint’s Writers Workshops, named Houston’s “best place for aspiring writers” by the Houston Press, have since 1991 provided local writers with 8-10 week workshops that help them to hone their skills and prepare work for publication, in workshops led by published writers, including many alumni of and students in the UH CWP. Limited to 12, the Inprint Writers Workshops provide an invaluable and in-depth workshop experience. One- and two-day intensive workshops have also been offered to increase our reach. In conjunction with the workshops, Inprint also offered The Business of Writing, from 1996 to 2002, a one-day conference presenting several of the nation’s leading editors, agents, and writers, designed to provide aspiring writers with an understanding of how to get their work published.
From 1995 through 2014, Inprint’s after-school Youth Writing Program was offered at Project Row Houses, SHAPE Community Center, and Finnigan Park Community Center, providing an invaluable after-school activity free of charge for at-risk community schoolchildren. Since 1996, Inprint Senior Memoir Workshops have provided senior citizens from across Houston with an activity that revives memories, preserves family and community histories, and gives seniors a vital sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Offered over the years at senior centers in different parts of the city, from the north side and Fifth Ward to the East End, these nine-month workshops, led by community writers and UH CWP alumni and students, culminate each year with the publication of an anthology of the participants’ work and a community celebration. In 2014, a new senior workshop was begun at Amazing Place, a day center for adults with mild to moderate dementia.
Inprint’s Teachers-as-Writers Workshops were founded in 1997 to fill a gap in teacher training, providing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction workshops that sharpen the skills of K-12 teachers. These tuition-free 8-10 week workshops, which serve 75 teachers per year from throughout the Houston area, are predicated on the idea that better writers make better writing teachers. Teachers learn new techniques for the classroom, and the workshops also are personally enriching, which aids in retention and helps teachers to keep their creative juices flowing.
After exploring possible collaborations with the medical community in Houston, Inprint established Life Writing Workshops at Houston Methodist in spring 2007. These workshops, led by UH Creative Writing Program graduate students and alumni, serve employees at Houston Methodist at all levels, from doctors to orderlies to the lobby pianist. This program is a model of exceptional, meaningful, and innovative workforce development. The interdisciplinary approach embraced in the workshops, combining healthcare and creative writing, provides uncommon opportunities for professional and personal enrichment. This year, Inprint is offering Life Writing Workshops at Ben Taub Hospital through the Harris Health System as well.
In 2008, Inprint established the Inprint Poetry Buskers Program, which sends poets with typewriters to various festivals and events throughout the greater Houston area. The poetry buskers write poems-on-demand free of charge on topics chosen by the recipient, taking poetry literally out to the streets and inspiring the public with spontaneous poetic whimsy, creativity, and skill. Buskers are primarily students and alumni of the UH CWP, and a bilingual busker team is currently under development.
In 2018, Inprint launched Ink Well, a podcast that focuses primarily on Latinx writers, in collaboration with Tintero Projects. Other collaborative efforts with Tintero, including bilingual workshops and readings have been offered.
In 2019, Inprint started a Spanish reading series, Escritores en la casa, which takes place at Inprint House. The series is free and open to the public, and features a writer reading from his/her work, followed by Q&A and a book signing. Inprint also added a troupe of bilingual and Spanish-language buskers to the Inprint Poetry Buskers Program and keeps expanding its outreach into the Spanish-speaking community through readings, events, and collaborations with local groups and organizations such as Cronopios, University of Houston Creative Writing in Spanish PhD Program, and others.
Inprint’s programs, events, and educational activities have achieved recognition in Houston and beyond. According to the late Pulitzer Prize winning novelist John Updike, “The good folks of Houston should be grateful to have such an institution operating in their midst.” Edward Hirsch, president of the Guggenheim Foundation, speaks to Inprint’s value and uniqueness: “Inprint gives a kind of center to literary life in Houston, with its tentacles going out in different directions. . . . I don’t think there is anything like Inprint in the country, and I’ve been to a lot of cities. Believe me, I’d like to find it.” Inprint was twice ranked #1 in the Texas Commission on the Arts competition for literary grants, and received a TCA Star Award for excellence in marketing. For more than a decade, Inprint has received national endorsement in the form of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, Inprint Writers Workshops, and Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People have been voted “Best of Houston” by the Houston Press on several occasions; H-Texas magazine chose Inprint Writers Workshops as the city’s “best adult education program”; and the Houston Chronicle singled out Cool Brains! for bringing the “superstars of children’s and young-adult literature to town, making it a truly cool addition to the literary scene.” Houston, thanks to Inprint’s efforts, is becoming nationally recognized as a literary center.
Inprint currently has no employment opportunities.
Inprint is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an equal opportunity employer that values workplace diversity.