Co-creator with Write Out Loud

In 2010 I joined with Walter Ritter and Veronica Murphy to create what is now the largest FREE literary festival in San Diego.  2019 will be its 10th year.

It's a one-day event that celebrates Mark Twain and his 19th century contemporaries with more than two dozen readings, performances, music, games and special events.  For every event a festival-goer participates in they receive a ticket.  The can exchange every 5 tickets they collect for any book in the Twainfest Book Emporium. 

Here's a list of carnival-like games and performances based on literary themes that I created for Twainfest. 

  • THE QUOTATION MACHINE: Deposit any question into the machine and Mark Twain will answer with sage advice.
  • TELEGRAPH CRUNCH.  Learn how to text in the time of Twain.
  • CHORTLE THIS! Honoring Lewis Carol, festival-goers create new words where only definitions exist.
  • NEVER-ENDING STORY: Prompted by an opening paragraph in "Adventure," "Mystery," and "Gothic Horror" genres, festival-goers add their own creative juices to keep the story going.
  • WHEEL OF FICTION: Festivals-goers vie to fill in missing words from 19th century novels and poems.
  • ELECTION of 1872:  Vote in the Presidential election between Ulysses S. Grant and New York World publisher Horace Greeley.  All you have to do is pass literacy test.
  • CALAVERAS JUMPING FROG: From a special catapult, you can send beanbag frogs flying into buckets.  A tribute to the frontier article that made Twain famous.
  • TWAINFEST GAZETTE: Reporters are recruited to sniff out the news for a second edition. 
  • GREAT MOON HOAX of 1835: a lecture on the series of satirical articles that saved the New York Sun from failure when the public accepted them as true. Twainfest-goers then had a chance to compete with their own hoax news stories.
  • DR. TODD MEDICINE SHOW: With his "Elixir of the Muse" you can purchase a bottle of the essence of your favorite author.  Guaranteed to unblock creative constipation.
  • FRANKENSTEIN'S LABORATORY: Though Viktor Frankenstein never revealed the secret,  festival-goers are invited to try to recreate the experiment that infused life in the moribund.
  • MADAME CAPRELL'S SEANCE: The bedridden medium connects you with the spirit of the famous departed.
  • CELESTINE DE LA NOIR: using specially designed 19th century imagery, Celestine reveals your past, present and future.


The Quotation Machine


Never-Ending Story


Wheel of Fiction


Election of 1872


Calaveras Jumping Frog


Twainfest Gazette


Dr. Todd Medicine Show


Frankenstein's Laboratory


Madame Caprell's Seance


Celestine de la Noir


Rocket to the Moon


Planned for 2019 Twainfest's 10th anniversary.  Honoring science fiction of the 19th century and before. It's an adventure you don't want to miss.


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