Literary events throughout the month! Meet other student writers, hear award-winning authors discuss their work, and learn more about creative writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
NaNoWriMo Skype Chat with Grant Faulkner
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 3:30 PM, ANDREWS HALL BAILEY LIBRARY
Grant Faulkner is the executive director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a national initiative to write a novel over the course of the month of November. He will be Skyping during a creative writing course to kick off the NaNoWriMo initiatives in the Department of English/Creative Writing Program.
Jericho Brown, poet
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 ,7:00 PM, NEBRASKA UNION COLONIAL ROOM
Jericho Brown’s poems have appeared in the The New Yorker, Best American Poetry, and The New Republic. His first book, Please, won the American Book Award and his second book, The New Testament, was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and the Academy of American Poets. The reading is co-sponsored by the LGBTQA+ Resource Center, Prairie Schooner, the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program.
“In his second collection, Brown treats disease and love and lust between men, with a gentle touch, returning again and again to the stories of the Bible, which confirm or dispute his vision of real life.” -- NPR.org
Jericho Brown, LGBTQ+ History Dinner Keynote
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 6:30 PM, CORNHUSKER HOTEL MAIN BALLROOM
LGBTQ History Month is observed annually in October to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Asexual community and those who support, nurture, and advocate for us. The 14th Annual History Month Dinner will honor the 4th Recipient of the Be-ing the Change Award (Kelly Erisman, posthumously) and feature poet Jericho Brown as keynote speaker, the River City Mixed Chorus, and pianist Vince Learned.
Reyna Grande, Novelist and Memoirist
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 5:00 PM, ANDREWS HALL BAILEY LIBRARY
Reyna Grande’s novels, Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies were published to critical acclaim and have been read widely in schools across the country. In her latest book, The Distance Between Us, Grande writes about her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. An inspirational coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life, The Distance Between Us will be republished by Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division – Aladdin – as a young readers edition in the fall of 2016. The reading is sponsored by the Institute for Ethnic Studies and its Latino and Latinoamerican Studies Program.
David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 3:30 PM, GREAT PLAINS ART MUSEUM
Presented by the Cather Project and the UNL Creative Writing Program, in partnership with the LGBTQA+ Resource Center. Ebershoff is the author of the bestselling novel The Danish Girl, inspired by the life of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history. The novel was adapted into the internationally acclaimed, Oscarwinning film, and it was a winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters. Ebershoff is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The 19th Wife and Pasadena, and The Rose City, a collection of stories.
For twenty years, Ebershoff worked as an editor at Random House, where he edited books that went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, among other recognitions. In 2013, he became the first editor in history to edit the winners of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and history in the same year. He has edited books by David Mitchell, Adam Johnson, Teju Cole, Sara Novic, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Keaton, Jane Jacobs, and Billy Collins, among other award-winning, bestselling authors. He also oversaw the posthumous publications of Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and WG Sebald.
Chantel Acevedo, Novelist
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 3:30 PM, NEBRASKA UNION AUDITORIUM
Presented by the Latina/o and Latin American Studies program of the Institute for Ethnic Studies, along with the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English. Chantel Acevedo’s novels include: Love and Ghost Letters, winner of the Latino International Book Award; Song of the Red Cloak, a historical novel for young adults; A Falling Star, winner of the Doris Bakwin Award and National Bronze Medal IPPY Award; and The Distant Marvels. Her most recent chapbook of poetry, En Otro Oz, was released this year by Finishing Line Press.
The Distant Marvels, set in Cuba, centers on Maria Sirena, who has always been known for telling stories. But now, like a modern-day Scheherazade, she will be asked to tell one last story so that eight women can keep both hope and themselves alive.
John H. Ames Reading Series: Readings by Nebraska Authors
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2:00 PM, BENNETT MARTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY
Ladette Randolph, editor of A Different Plain, hosts a reading by contributors to that anthology of Nebraska fiction writers: Jonis Agee, Anna Monardo, Timothy Schaffert, Karen Shoemaker, and Brent Spencer
Publishing Week - Agents, Editors, and the World of New York Publishing
MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2:30 - 4:30 PM, ANDREWS HALL BAILEY LIBRARY
Workshops/discussion led by NYC literary agents Noah Ballard, Rach Crawford, and Andy Kifer, and HarperCollins editor Matthew Daddona (bios below).
- 2:30 – 3:00 How to write a query letter (with Noah Ballard)
- 3:00 – 3:30 How to write a book pitch (with Rachel Crawford)
- 3:30 – 4:00 How/where to submit short stories and essays to magazines and journals (with Andy Kifer)
- 4:00 – 4:30 How to write a non-fiction proposal (with Matthew Daddona)
"What's Next?" Professionalization panel
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 12:30 - 1:30 PM, ANDREWS HALL ROOM 117
A panel of visiting publishing professionals and University of Nebraska alumni will discuss writing careers and other opportunities for English majors.
"What are editors looking for?" PanelTUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 3:30 - 4:30 PM, NEBRASKA UNION REGENCY A
Panel discussion on pursuing publishing, the role of agents and editors, current trends in publishing, and the market for literary fiction and nonfiction. Come with questions!
Noah Ballard is an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency where he sold foreign rights for the agency in addition to building his own client list. Noah specializes in literary debuts, upmarket thrillers and narrative nonfiction, and he is always on the look-out for honest and provocative new writers.
Rach Crawford is an agent with Wolf Literary Services. Rach is looking for literary and commercial fiction and YA. She’s interested in stories that defy genre conventions and play with reader expectations, and particularly enjoys dystopian, eco-fiction, and apocalyptic narratives, as well as anything with a scientist protagonist. She’s also looking for international fiction, political fiction that explores big ideas through compelling narrative, and stories from traditionally underrepresented voices. She loves stories about women by women. In non-fiction she’s interested in tech, futurism, psychology, and science, and isn’t adverse to prescriptive non-fiction from authors with a strong professional background in their topic of choice.
Andy Kifer joined The Gernert Company in 2012 after two years working for Aram Fox, Inc., where he scouted books for foreign publishers. He grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, lived in North Carolina for five years, and worked briefly as a cross-country coach at a boarding school before starting his career in publishing. He likes literary fiction, smart genre fiction (especially sci-fi), and nonfiction by brilliant writers who can make you fall in love with a subject you never knew you cared about. He lives in Brooklyn and runs in Prospect Park.
Matthew Daddona is an Associate Editor at Dey Street Books where he focuses on narrative nonfiction in the categories of sports, music, humor, pop culture, and memoir. He began his career at Blue Rider/Plume, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Among the titles he edited at Penguin are Last Night in the OR by Bud Shaw, MD and Luke Skywalker Can't Read by Ryan Britt. At Dey Street, his upcoming titles include: Snake: The Legendary Life of Ken Stabler by Mike Freeman, the first biographical account of the legendary Oakland Raiders quarterback; The Close Encounters Man by Mark O'Connell, a narrative biography of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer recruited by the United States Air Force to help disprove UFO sightings (only to believe in them himself); and Head in the Game by Brandon Sneed, an exploration of mental engineering of the world's greatest athletes. He is also editing Sebastian Bach's memoir, 18 and Life on Skid Row, and 18 Holes with Bing, Nathaniel Crosby's memoir of his father, Bing Crosby, both of which will publish in 2016. Matthew is also a poetry submissions reader for Slice Magazine and a senior editor at The Scofield. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 2011 with a B.A. in English.
UNL Slam Poetry
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 7:00 PM, NEBRASKA UNION, THE CRIB
Watch and/or participate! Any student with 3 poems to perform can sign up to slam.
Jonis Agee, Novelist and Professor
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 3:30 PM, GREAT PLAINS ART MUSEUM
Jonis Agee, the Adele Hall Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, will discuss her new novel, The Bones of Paradise, which the New York Journal of Books has called “the finest western novel since Lonesome Dove.” Agee is the author of 12 books, including five collections of short fiction, six novels, and a book of poetry. Three of her books – Bend This Heart, Sweet Eyes, and Strange Angels– were named New York Times Notable Books. She has won a fellowship for writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was presented with the AWP George Garrett Award for Service to Literature, among other honors. With her husband, the writer Brent Spencer, she founded the literary press Brighthorse Books.
The Bones of Paradise is set ten years after the massacre at Wounded Knee. At the center of the novel are two remarkable women. Dulcinea, returned to the Nebraska Sand Hills after bitter years of self-exile, yearns for redemption and the courage to mend her broken family and reclaim the land that is rightfully hers. Rose, scarred by the terrible slaughters that have decimated and dislocated her people, struggles to accept the death of her sister, Star, and refuses to rest until she is avenged.
Booklist gave the novel a starred review, writing: “A haunting tale… Agee brilliantly interweaves two stories of loss, guilt, and vengeance, which play out against the vivid backdrop of the Sand Hills… Beautifully rendered and thought-provoking.”