2012 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference to explore the relationship between nonfiction and fiction

Monday, April 9, 2012

What: The eighth annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference

When: July 20 (Friday) – July 22 (Sunday)

Where: Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center (1800 Highway 26 East in Grapevine, Texas)

Cost: Full conference registration fees are $295 for the general public, $225 for students and $270 for educators. Conference seating is limited. A $20 discount is available to participants who register by April 11. Conference registration includes all speaker sessions as well as several meals. Registration information can be found online. Individual tickets are available to guests of conference attendees and the general public for Friday, Saturday and Sunday keynote events.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The preeminent Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, now in its eighth year, will be the first literary conclave ever to explore the myriad ways in which journalists and authors crisscross the murky terrain between fiction, nonfiction and other genres.

The Mayborn’s keynote speakers are Luis Alberto Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist who has published extensively in all genres, including poetry; Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and editor of 26 works of fiction, history, biography and memoir; and Isabel Wilkerson, the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize. For her epic narrative, The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson played the role of a Broadway casting director – interviewing 1,200 people across America to find three perfect protagonists to tell the untold story of black America’s great Diaspora.

The 2012 conference will also host a special panel comprised of Little, Brown and Company’s top nonfiction editor and four prominent literary agents who will unveil the mystery of writing, editing and publishing for the literary market.

The conference is hosted by the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism, and will be held July 20 – 22 (Friday through Sunday) at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas.

Other nationally known writers speaking at the conference include Debby Applegate, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Most Famous Man in America, a biography of Henry Ward Beecher; Tom Junod, writer-at-large for Esquire, author of some of the country's most controversial and enduring journalism, such as his classic eulogy for the dead of 9/11, "The Falling Man”; Jeanne Marie Laskas, a nonfiction author whose narratives in GQ, Esquire and other magazines capture the voice of migrant workers, football players and other subjects on the page more adroitly than a ventriloquist; and Alisa Valdes, a former staff writer for the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times, who has become a bestselling fiction writer.

In total, the 2012 conference will feature more than 30 of the nation’s preeminent journalists, authors and visual storytellers.

Friday night keynote speaker Luis Alberto Urrea is a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, he uses his dual-culture life to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. He has won numerous awards for poetry, fiction and essays. His 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, The Devil’s Highway, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize.

Saturday night keynote speaker Richard Rhodes won the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction, a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award for The Making of the Atomic Bomb – a narrative that shocked even scientists by making one of the world’s most complex and mysterious quests accessible to the proverbial lay reader. Rhodes newest book, Hedy’s Folly, is a biography of the arrestingly beautiful Hollywood actress, Hedy Lamarr, and her invention of a frequency-hopping radio technology that helped point the way toward remote controls, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cordless phones and the global positioning system (GPS).

Sunday keynote speaker Isabel Wilkerson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The New York Timesbestseller The Warmth of Other Suns, which brings to life one of the greatest underreported stories of the 20th century, a decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South in search of a better life.

Conference registration is open, and seating is limited. Full conference registration fees are $295 for the general public, $225 for students and $270 for educators. A $20 discount is available to participants who register by April 11. Conference registration includes all speaker sessions as well as several meals. Registration information can be found online. Individual tickets are available to guests of conference attendees and the general public for Friday, Saturday and Sunday keynote events.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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