There's no shortage of very creative guesses showing up in my email, but so far, you're all off the mark. Keep at it. One more day to win while everyone else is stumped! Then I'll have to increase the hints so we can get a winner.
Here's what you should be aware of so far:
The contest is a puzzle, but the solution, not the puzzle itself, is the theme.
All the bits can be moved around individually (ie they're not stuck in pairs if you found them that way) and are not case sensitive.
We're a writers' conference, so the correct answer is something that would allow people to select costumes that relate to books if they want to dress up on Saturday night.
And yes, as reader/participant Aven pointed out to me on Facebook because I hadn't noticed it before, there are no e's in the puzzle. It's not significant, just surprising.