DENTON (UNT), Texas — Author Alison Owings, who is known for her stereotype-challenging oral-history based books, will receive unique guidance in writing her fourth piece, “The Book of Del: A Life Before, During and After Homelessness.”
Owings is the winner of the Biography Fellowship awarded during the University of North Texas’ 2018 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, held July 20 – 22. Given in conjunction with the Mayborn conference, Biographers International and by biographer James McGrath Morris, a founder and president of the organization, the fellowship provides a biographer researching or writing a manuscript with a two-to three-week residency in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The residency includes one-on-one mentoring from Morris. Additionally, Owings receives complimentary attendance at next year’s Biographers International Conference, free registration for this year’s Mayborn conference and a $500 travel stipend.
The fellowship gives writers like Ownings a concentrated period of uninterrupted time to find inspiration and work on their book in solitude. During her residency, Ownings will work on her latest project, “The Book of Del.” The book explores the experiences and thoughts of one formerly homeless individual. Veering from the mildly humorous to the excruciating, from the painful to the enlightening, the story recounts the life of a former crack cocaine addict now recognized for a jobs program he has started for disadvantaged young people.
Held each July, the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference brings together storytellers who are dedicated to the art of narrative nonfiction. The winners were announced July 21 (Saturday) at the conference’s Literary Lights Dinner. The longtime event is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, which is housed in the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism.
Ownings latest work “Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans” intimately explores what Native people say about contemporary life. Additionally, she has authored “Hey, Waitress! The USA from the Other Side of the Tray;” “Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich,” which was named a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year;” and “The Wander Woman’s Phrasebook: How to Meet or Avoid People in Three Romance Languages.”
Media: Download photos online. Photo credit: Hatch Visuals/UNT Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference.