Upcoming Appearances

April 28, 2017
Houston Writer's Guild
Presentation

April 5, 2017
Bayou City Book Festival,
Lone Star College-North Harris
2700 W. Thorne Drive, Houston, TX 77073
7:00 p.m.
Participating in Libros En Espanol 

January 8th, 2017
Reading and Book Signing with Wendy Barker,
The Twig in San Antonio
3:00 p.m.

December 17, 2016
Kroger Store
I-10 at Echo Lane
Houston, TX 77024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

December 16, 2016
Kroger Store
Voss at San Felipe
Houston, TX 77057
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

December 10, 2016
Kroger Store
West Gray at Woodhead
Houston, TX 77057
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

December 9, 2016
Kroger Store
North Shepherd at 11th
Houston, TX 77008
4:00 - 6:00 pm

December 8, 2016
Annual Emily Dickenson Birthday Party
Lone Star College-Montgomery.  
Poetry Reading open to the public at the Black Walnut Café
5:30 pm

December 6, 2016
Teacher workshops for TCA
Houston, Texas.

December 4, 2016
St. Nicholas Day Celebration
Holy Rosary Parish
3617 Milam
Houston, TX 77002
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

December 3, 2016
Texas Humanities Holiday Book Fair
1410 Rio Grande, Austin, TX
featuring VANISHING POINTS.

November 19, 2017
Launch of Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of
Texas Roadside Memorials
(Texas Review Press, 2016) 
River Oaks Book Store
3270 Westheimer
Houston, Texas 77098
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

October 14, 2016
University of Houston Newman Center
4805 Calhoun Rd., Houston
Speaking on the influence of my Catholic faith on my writing.

September 22, 2016, 7:30 pm
Rice University Newman Center
1703 Bolsover, Houston
Speaking on the influence of my Catholic faith on my writing.

September 17, 2016
Mansfield ISD, Mansfield Book Festival
1110 Debbie Lane, Mansfield, TX 76063
Writing workshops for teens.

September 12, 2016
Brenham Citizens Police Academy
Brenham Police Department
Brenham, Texas
Presentation, book signing. 

September 9, 2016
Landon Festival of the Arts
Granbury, TX
Panel and Reading, Vanishing Points

August 10, 2016
LaPorte Police Department
Leadership Workshop for LEOs and Supervisors
Registration required  
Commissioned personnel only.

July 9th, 2016
East Texas Writers Guild Annual Writers' Conference,
First Presbyterian Church of Tyler
230 Rusk St, Tyler, TX  
"You Said WHAT??!! How to Avoid the Most Common Errors in Writing Dialogue"
Registration required.

June 8 - 11, 2016
Sarah Cortez will lead a three-day workshop titled, If the Form Fits… at the 21st Annual West Chester University Poetry Conference (WCUPC), June 8 – 11, 2016 in West Chester, PA.

WCUPC is the nation's largest annual poetry conference. It is unique because it offers workshops in traditional poetic craft, and provides a national forum to discuss major trends in contemporary poetry. As critic Carlin Romano noted, it is "the nation's most intellectually rigorous conference for poets." (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Sarah’s workshop will examine the riches of poetic forms while focusing attention to become further attuned to the nuances of subtext, mood and tone that are intrinsic to each form. Expect to sharpen your understanding of when and why to use the forms we’ll examine in depth: the pantoum, the sonnet, the villanelle, and the sestina.

For additional information, including registration, please visit https://www.wcupa.edu/…/sch_cas/poetry/poetryConference.aspx

Saturday, July 9, 2016
East Texas Writers Guild Annual Writers' Conference
Sarah Cortez will be teaching a session titled, You Said What?--How to Avoid the Most Common Errors in Writing Dialogue.
http://etwritersguild.org/workshop/2016-writers-conference/
First Presbyterian Church of Tyler
230 Rusk St., Tyler, TX
Registration required.

Public Speaking

I am part of the Texas Commission on the Arts Texas Touring Roster.  Support may be available to assist with my booking fees through the Arts Respond Performance Support grant program.

This quarterly program provides support to Texas schools, libraries, and nonprofit organizations for hiring an artist from the TCA Touring Roster to give a performance, residency, or workshop. These applications are funded based on a sliding scale ranging from 30% to 50% of contracted fees.

Support is based on TCA’s available funds. For more information, go to the TCA page on my website and contact TCA at 512/463/5535.


To see a brief video demonstration of Sarah Cortez speaking, please click here.

It is a delight to interact with people of all ages, beliefs, and aspirations. My childhood was one of belief in everyone's ability to achieve what he/she wished. It's my privilege to pass along that attitude by sharing my personal journey.  I'm pleased to offer some comments regarding my speaking and its impact.  Following these comments are some suggested topics, although I can craft a speech to directly address your needs. 

Please use the Contact Me form to obtain further details and fee schedule.

Comments from various engagements:

It was a wonderful event—and it’s so clear to me how much my students appreciated it—how much they got out of your ideas about memoir and how it works for the writer and her readers. A gift for us, Sarah.
— Dr. Jane Creighton, Associate Professor of English, University of Houston – Downtown, following a presentation by Sarah Cortez on Sept 26, 2013
It was a thrill to have the Hispanic Heritage First Responders Panel featuring Sarah Cortez, Chris Hernandez and Poli Acosta: quite possibly one of the best Writers in Performance events ever. I’m serious.
— Professor Clifford Hudder, Lone Star College, Montgomery regarding the Hispanic Heritage Panel September 19, 2013
Thank you for your reading at the University of Houston-Downtown this Thursday. Being exposed to your deeply moving work was a great opportunity for our students, as was the opportunity to interact with you.I am deep into Cold Blue Steel as I write this—as I’m sure our students are in the books that they took away with them.It was a wonderfully engaging presentation, and a memorable event.
— Dr. Dr. Sucheta Choudhuri, Assistant Professor English, University of Houston - Downtown

Suggested speaking topics

The Spiritual Memoir: Crucible of Self

Featured Book: Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston (Texas Review Press, 2012)

Covers a brief history of the spiritual memoir’s genesis and antecedents in Western culture.  In addition, the following topics will be addressed:

  • The necessary components of the genre,
  • The creation of persona,
  • The challenges of voice in this genre,
  • The publishing industry’s reception of such manuscripts.

The author will share the ups and downs of her own spiritual journey to find a home for a manuscript written many years previously, and the importance of vision in such a journey.

Suitable for

  • Writing seminars
  • Literary festivals
  • High school and university writing classes
  • Retreats
  • Religious Studies classes

The speech is about 40 minutes in length follow by 15 minutes of Q&A.  A book signing follows.

Life Lessons

Traces my development as an artist and three of the powerful lessons I learned:

  • If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,
  • No one can take away what you learn,

Suitable for

  • Commencements
  • Achievement ceremonies
  • Writing groups
  • Law enforcement groups
  • Military groups
  • Literacy groups

The speech is about 30 minutes in length followed by 15 minutes of selected poetry reading focused on my work as a police officer and the work of firemen/firewomen.  A book signing can follow, if appropriate.

Your Life, Your Story:  Evoking Memory to Create Narrative and History

Featured Book: Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives (Arte Publico Press, 2007)

Who is to say which one of us will become a part of recorded history in our professional or creative lives?  Western history abounds with examples of men and women whose history has been preserved and published, and those for whom it hasn’t.  Each of us has an indelible presence in the personal, quieter histories of our families, neighborhoods, and friends.  Yet, for an individual’s sense of empowerment and self-identity, the most important history is self-history, that unique, imagined, internal narrative that we all unconsciously create and/or fulfill.  Explore the potentials of consciously choosing the narratives of one’s own self-meaning.

Suitable for

  • Writing seminars
  • Literary festivals
  • High school and university writing classes

The speech is about 30 minutes in length follow by 15 minutes of selected reading from the featured book.  A book signing can follow, if appropriate.

Pulling Away Salome’s Veils:  Attaining Creative Focus

Why don’t we write, or paint or sculpt? Why do we shy away from releasing the artist within us?  This speech identifies and suggests how to remove the barriers to artistic development and creative freedom. 

Suitable for

  • Writing seminars
  • Literary festivals
  • High school and university writing classes

The speech is about 45 minutes in length follow by 15 minutes of selected reading.  A book signing can follow, if appropriate.

My Life in Reading:  The Development of a Poet

What books shaped my character?  How did I morph from a child-lover of reading into a writer, a teacher, a poet, a cop?  This speech traces the arc of written influences that has produced my many careers. 

Suitable for

  • Writing seminars
  • Literary festivals
  • High school and university writing classes
  • Collegiate groups

The speech is about 40 minutes in length follow by 15 minutes of selected reading.  A book signing can follow, if appropriate.

Spiritual Legacy: What We Leave Behind in Writing

Featured Book: Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston (Texas Review Press, 2012)

Life lessons and wisdom are illuminating gifts from the lives we all lead.  This presentation focuses on helping each individual write his/her own spiritual legacy through a series of joyful exercises.

Suitable for

  • Writing seminars
  • Literary festivals
  • University writing classes
  • Retreats
  • Religious Studies classes

 The presentation is three hours in length.  A book signing can follow, if appropriate.