Ninth Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference to explore writing historical narratives
When: July 19 (Friday)-July 21 (Sunday)
Where: Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, located at 1800 Highway 26 East in Grapevine, Texas.
Cost: Full conference registration fees are $295 for the general public, $250 for students and $275 for educators. An early registration discount of $20 will be offered to those who register through March 31 (Sunday). Beginning July 1 (Monday), the fees will increase to $370 for the general public, $325 for students and $350 for educators. Registration includes all speaker sessions as well as several meals. Registration information is online.The Friday and Saturday keynote events, and a Friday afternoon trip to The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, are open to guests of those who have registered for the conference and members of the general public for separate fees.
Contact: Jo Ann Ballantine in the Mayborn School of Journalism at 940-565-4778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DENTON (UNT), Texas — From adapting the story of a true crime in a small Texas town into a Hollywood screenplay, to bringing World War II battles in Europe to life and tracing the rise of an orphaned puppy to movie stardom, this year’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference will explore the art and craft of unearthing the past through researching and writing historical nonfiction.
The conference will feature more than 20 narrative nonfiction authors and literary journalists who have distinguished themselves in writing historical narratives, biographies, memoirs and nonfiction playwriting.
The conference, hosted annually by the University of North Texas’ Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism, will be held July 19-21 (Friday-Sunday) at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas.
This year’s keynote speakers are Susan Orlean, author of the best-selling The Orchid Thief; Rick Atkinson, a military historian and winner of three Pulitzer Prizes; and Texas Monthly staff writer and screenplay author Skip Hollandsworth.
Other nationally known conference speakers are Caroline Alexander, a contributor for The New Yorker and National Geographic who has written books about the HMS Bounty and Ernest Shackleton’s 1909 Antarctic expedition; former Fort Worth Star-Telegram editor and writer Jeff Guinn, author of books on the O.K. Corral shootout and Bonnie and Clyde; Helen Benedict, author of both a nonfiction book and a novel about women in the military; John Valiant, author of The Tiger and other award-winning narratives that explore human ambition and nature colliding; and Kevin Merida, managing editor of the Washington Post and author of a biography on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The conference will also offer a bus tour of The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas to tie into the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The tour, which is open to guests of the conference participants and the general public for a fee, will leave at 1 p.m. July 19 (Friday) and return by 5 p.m.
Susan Orlean, the keynote speaker on July 19 (Friday), recently published Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, her first original book since The Orchid Thief. Rin Tin Tin tells the story of the male German Shepherd puppy who was rescued from a World War I battlefield in 1918 by an American soldier. The dog gained worldwide fame as the star of 27 Hollywood films in the 1920s and even received votes for the first Academy Award for Best Actor in 1929. Rin Tin Tin’s descendants were featured in films and radio and television programs through the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s
Orlean has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1992 and was previously a contributing editor at both Rolling Stone and Vogue. Her work has been featured in Esquire, Smithsonian, The New York Times Magazine and many other publications.
Rick Atkinson will give his keynote speech on July 20 (Saturday). He is the author of a Liberation trilogy that provides a narrative history of the U.S. military’s role in the liberation of Europe during World War II. Atlkinson received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in history for the first volume, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-43. The second volume, The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, followed in 2007, and the final volume, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Europe, 1944-1945, will be published in May.
In addition to his Pulitzer Prize for history, Atkinson received Pulitzer Prizes for national reporting and for public services when he was a reporter, foreign correspondent and senior editor at the Washington Post.
Skip Hollandsworth is the keynote speaker for July 21 (Sunday). Hollandworth worked with director Richard Linklater to adapt Hollandsworth’s January 1998 Texas Monthly article on the murder of Carthage, Texas, resident Marjorie Nugent into the movie “Bernie.” The movie, released in theaters in April 2012, received critical acclaim, including a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination for Jack Black in the title role.
Hollandsworth has received several awards for his long-form narratives, including a National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize; an O. Henry award from the Texas Institute of Letters; a National Headliners Award, a national John Hancock Award for Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism and a City and Regional Magazine gold award.
Full conference registration fees are $295 for the general public, $250 for students and $275 for educators. An early registration discount of $20 will be offered to those who register through March 31 (Sunday). Beginning July 1 (Monday), the fees will increase to $370 for the general public, $325 for students and $350 for educators. Registration includes all speaker sessions as well as several meals. Registration information is online. The Friday and Saturday keynote events, and the Friday bus trip to The Sixth Floor Museum, are open to guests of those who have registered for the conference and members of the general public for separate fees.