UNT to explore the narrative form at Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, July 23-25

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What: The sixth annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference presented by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. For a full list of conference speakers and sessions, visit Mayborn Conference website.

When: July 23 – 25 (Friday – Sunday)

  • Friday will feature memoirist Mary Karr (Karr will speak at Austin Ranch.)
  • Saturday will feature Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden.
  • Sunday will feature Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smith.

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

Cost: Conference seating is limited. A $20 discount is available to participants who register between March 9 and 30. Conference registration includes all speaker sessions as well as several meals. Full conference registration fees are:

  • $295 for the general public
  • $225 for students
  • $270 for educators

Individual tickets are available to guests of conference attendees and the general public for the Friday and Saturday night events:

  • Friday night's Southwest Soiree is $60 (includes dinner)
  • Saturday's night Literary Lights Dinner is $100 (includes a banquet-style dinner)

Registration: To register, visit Mayborn Conference website. For more information, call 940-565-4564.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – This summer's Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference hosted by the University of North Texas will illustrate how deeply rooted narrative is in all forms of storytelling, and how it profoundly touches readers.

"I like to think our 2010 conference will kick off The Year of the Narrative," says George Getschow, the conference's writer-in-residence. "Our speakers will showcase the power of narrative in prose writing, screenwriting, songwriting, broadcasting, blogging, memoir, and all its many permutations. They'll show us that narrative is both transformative and everlasting as a literary art form."

The keynote speakers are three of country's top narrative practitioners: Mary Karr, author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs; Mark Bowden, writer of Black Hawk Down; and Gary Smith, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, whom Slate calls "the best magazine writer in America."

The conference will be held at Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, which is located at 1800 Highway 26 East in Grapevine, Texas, from July 23 to July 25 (Friday through Sunday). Registration fees range from $225 to $295.

Conference seating is limited. Individual tickets are available for Karr's talk on Friday night and Bowden's talk on Saturday night. Scholarships opportunities will be announced later this spring. For more information on fees and registration, visit Mayborn Conference website .

Karr is a talented poet and memoirist credited with sparking a renaissance in memoir, says Getschow. Karr won a number of awards for her first memoir, The Liar's Club, which became a New York Times best seller. Karr's most recent memoir is Lit, which answers the question of how she escaped her toxic upbringing to tell her own tale. Karr will open the conference with her keynote address on July 23 (Friday.)

Bowden will deliver the keynote address on Saturday night. The best-selling author, screenwriter and journalist is best known for his book Black Hawk Down, which won the Overseas Press Club's 1997 Hal Boyle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. It was also the basis for the film of the same name. Bowden also writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Vanity Fair and The Atlantic.

Smith's narratives have graced the pages of Sports Illustrated for the past two decades. He has won four National Magazine Awards, the highest honor a magazine writer can earn. Two books have been published featuring Smith's collected works Beyond the Game and Going Deep. Smith will close the conference by conducting a conversation with all conferees on Sunday.

Te conference also will feature Amanda Bennett, executive editor of projects and investigations for Bloomberg News. She will be the first speaker in the conference's annual Bloomberg lecture series. Bennett has worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Oregonian and The Wall Street Journal.

Bill Marvel, a former narrative writer at The Dallas Morning News, has attended every conference – as a presenter, workshop leader, jurist and conferee. This year, he will stand behind the podium to talk about his experiences ghosting a memoir about Valton Burgin's combat experiences in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Marvel credits the Mayborn Conference for the six-figure book contract he and Burgin obtained for Islands of the Damned, which will be out in bookstores this month.

Marvel isn't the only one who feels that the Mayborn has launched or reenergized his literary career. The conference has awarded five book contracts through its writing competition, and countless other participants have landed book deals, been published in newspapers and magazines around the country and, in other ways, seen their literary careers take off after attending the Mayborn.

For a full listing of 2010 speakers, visit Mayborn Conference website. For more information, contact Jo Ann Ballantine, conference manager, at 940-565-4778 or joann.ballantine@unt.edu.

2010 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference Suggested Reading List

The 2010 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, hosted by the University of North Texas, will be held July 23-25 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine. The conference is an opportunity for the public to interact with critically acclaimed authors and storytellers.

George Getschow, conference writer-in-residence, recommends the following books written by the Mayborn's 2010 conference speakers:

  • Mary Karr's Lit, the long-awaited sequel to her critically-acclaimed and New York Times best selling memoirs The Liars' Club and Cherry.
  • Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Guests of the Ayatollah, an account of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, which Newsweek listed last year as one of The 50 Books for Our Times.
  • Gary Smith's anthologies, Beyond the Game and Going Deep. Slate Magazine calls Smith not only the best sportswriter in America, but also the best magazine writer in America.
  • David Grann's The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. The international best-seller has been nominated by library associations as one of "The Best Science Books" of 2009.
  • Hampton Sides' Blood and Thunder, an historical narrative about the controversial frontier hero Kit Carson and his role in the conquest of the West. The book was voted one of Time Magazine's "Ten Best Books" of 2006. Sides' Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission won the 2002 PEN USA award for nonfiction and was the inspiration for the Miramax film, The Great Raid.
  • Bryan Burrough's most recent book, The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, is an unforgettable tale about four swaggering Texas oil tycoons who became Texas version of royalty, living lives that surpassed even the fantastic myths that surrounded them. Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34, is a true-life gangster thriller that trumps most novels for riveting action and drama. The book recently became a major motion picture starring Johnny Depp.
  • Paula Butturini's memoir, Keeping The Feast, looks at how food saved her life.

Other books by our conference authors that will be in bookstores soon:

  • S.C. "Sam" Gwynne's Empire of the Summer Moon, a history of the Comanche Indians, will be published by Scribner in May.
  • Hampton Sides' Hellhound On His Trail, a detailed, fast-paced narrative about the assassination of Martin Luther King and the international manhunt for fugitive James Earl Ray will be released in late March.
  • David Grann's anthology of his award-winning magazine work, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, will be released in early March.
  • Valton Burgin's memoir, Islands of the Damned, about his combat experiences in the Pacific Theater of World War II, was co-authored by Bill Marvel. Burgin was interviewed by filmmaker Stephen Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks for an upcoming TV miniseries expected for release in early March, about the same time as Islands of the Damned.
  • Kalena Cook's Birthing a Better Way. A winner of the 2009 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Book Writing Contest explores the myths and realities surrounding natural childbirth and shares the inspiring stories of women who consider it "a better way."

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