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Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers 2014
Friday, October 24th:
36th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner
6:30 p.m.
The Lorton Performance Center at The University of Tulsa
Join Nimrod in a celebration of this year’s Literary Award Winners and Judges, featuring a keynote address by PEN/Hemingway Award Winner Chris Abani, and readings by Nimrod Literary Award winners Mary-Alice Daniel, Jill Logan, and Shobha Rao.
(Reservations and payment for the Two-Day Pass or Awards Dinner alone must be received by October 16th. Registrants for the Conference alone may register up to Late Registration on the 25th).
Saturday, October 25th:
Conference for Readers and Writers
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Allen Chapman Activity Center, The University of Tulsa
9:30-10:00 a.m.: Late Registration
10:00-10:40 a.m.: PANEL DISCUSSIONS (Concurrent Sessions)*
What I Wish I’d Known: 5 Writers’ Best Advice
Mary-Alice Daniel, W. S. Di Piero, Britton Gildersleeve, Shobha Rao, Roxana Robinson
Editing and Publishing: Q&A
Chris Abani, Geffrey Davis, Cynthia Gustavson, Malinda Lo, Jill Logan, Eilis O'Neal, A. J. Tierney
10:45 a.m.- 12:00 noon: Morning Masterclasses (Concurrent Sessions)*    
Hands-on One-on-One Editing Workshops I    
Meet one on one with a Nimrod editor who will help you revise your work.  Submit 2-3 pages of poetry or 4-5 pages of fiction.  Materials must be received by October 17th.  Each one-on-one editing session is 15 minutes long.
Fiction I: The Voice on the Page and the Voice in the Air Roxana Robinson
Great fiction starts with great voice, but part of creating great voice is knowing the difference between the written and the spoken word. Explore techniques to make the voice in your stories authentic, engaging, distinctive, and, most of all, alive.
Fiction II: Inside and Outside: What’s Said, What’s Not, and How to Frame It Jill Logan, Shobha Rao
A story’s frame can inform and/or enclose the narrative, providing both limits and depth. As with a picture, a story contains positive and negative space to suggest more than can be said outright. Learn to see your story as its own space—within a frame containing positive and negative space, words and silence.
Poetry I: “Why Not Say What Happened?”: A New Case for Confessional Poetry — Geffrey Davis
How does a poet decide what is private and what is public? Confessional poetry has gotten a bad rap, but what poetry doesn’t have something to confess? Begin to unpack the poetics of confession and examine its wider resonances at a time when confession is both widespread and sometimes suspect.
Poetry II: Getting to Great: Methods and Strategies for Editing Poetry — Mary-Alice Daniel
Few poems start their lives as great poems—most require careful editing to achieve star status.  Discover traditional and experimental ways to decide what to cut and what to save, what to play with and what to write straight, what to embellish and what to simplify. 
Paths to Publications: Agents, Small Presses, and Self-Publishing — A. J. Tierney
The paths to publication are more diverse than ever. Find out how to find and obtain a literary agent, work with a small press, or put your work out yourself—and which path is right for you.
12:00-1:30 p.m.: Lunch and Readings by the Judges: chris Abani and W. S. Di Piero
1:35-2:50 p.m.: Afternoon Masterclasses (Concurrent Sessions)*
Fiction III: The Perfect Scene — Chris Abani
Scenes form the bones of a story or novel, but it takes narrative muscle to hold them together. Uncover the value of scene, the entry and exit points, the subtle transitions that hold scenes together, and more.
Poetry III: The Feel of the Words — W. S. Di Piero
Strong feelings by themselves are no guarantee of strong poetry. How do the patterns of language reinforce the power of emotions? How does the form of a poem help tame the unruliness of feeling without blunting its impact?
Poetry IV: A Kick in the Head: Poetic Forms and Performance — Henry Cribbs
Performance poetry draws listeners in with its immediacy and energy, but the best incorporates techniques and forms we recognize. Learn to tell a sonnet from a sestina and how to make the most of traditional forms in a contemporary genre.
Young Adult Fantasy: From Rules to Rituals: Five Foundations of Worldbuilding — Malinda Lo
From Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings, the best fantasy worlds are the ones that feel as real as our own.  Make your worlds come alive by incorporating five critical aspects of worldbuilding: rules, rituals, power, place, and food.
The ABCs of Place: The Where of Memoir —Britton Gildersleeve
Memoir depends on place for texture. Without attention to place, our writing feels rootless and memoir, above all, needs roots. Dig into ways to recreate a place in words and bring experience to life.
Geffrey Davis, Malinda Lo, Roxana Robinson
3:00-4:00 p.m.
Hands-on One-on-One Editing Workshops II*
Meet one on one with a Nimrod editor who will help you revise your work.  Submit 2-3 pages of poetry or 4-5 pages of fiction.  Materials must be received by October 17th.  Each one-on-one editing session is 15 minutes long.
4:00-4:30 p.m.: BOOK SIGNING
*Registrants may attend one morning panel discussion, one morning masterclass and one afternoon masterclass, as well as the entire reading from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Afternoon one-on-one editing participants may move to and from their sessions to the Invitational Readings as time permits.
The full Saturday conference package ($50) includes workshops, panel discussions, readings, lunch, and one-on-one editing sessions. The lunch menu includes vegetarian options.
Full and partial scholarships are available, particularly for students.  For scholarship information, call 918-631-3080 or email Scholarship recipients are asked to send in their registration fee ($10) with their registration form, and all scholarship recipients must pay this registration fee.
Master Teachers
Chris Abani, judge for Nimrod’s 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, has published six novels, including The Secret History of Las Vegas, Song For Night, and GraceLand, as well as seven poetry collections. His critical and personal essays have been featured in books on art and photography, as well as in The New York Times, O Magazine, and Bomb. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among other honors. Through his TED Talks, public speaking, and essays, he is known as an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics, and shared political responsibility. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and an English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria. He has resided in the United States since 2001 and is currently a Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University.
Henry Cribbs, a fiction editor for Nimrod, earned his M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and taught philosophy and creative writing for almost a decade at the University of South Carolina. His poetry has appeared in Lake Effect. He has served as fiction editor for the Black Warrior Review and the Chicago Literary Review, and is on the board of the Oklahoma Literary Arts Alliance. Currently he teaches English at Union High School in Tulsa and serves as a leader of youth poetry program Louder Than a Bomb-Oklahoma.
Mary-Alice Daniel, First-Prize winner of Nimrod’s 2014 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, was born in Nigeria and raised in the U.K. and Nashville, Tennessee. After attending Yale University, she received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in New England Review, Mid-American Review, PANK, New Orleans Review, Anti-, and other journals. Her adopted home is Los Angeles.
Geffrey Davis is the author of the poetry collection Revising the Storm, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr., Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Nimrod, Crazyhorse, The Greensboro Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Mississippi Review, Sycamore Review, and elsewhere, and have been reprinted at The Feminist Wire and Verse Daily. His other awards include the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities.  He serves on the board of directors for Toe Good Poetry. Davis is a professor of creative writing at the University of Arkansas.
W. S. Di Piero, judge for Nimrod’s 2014 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, is the winner of the 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently TOMBO.  His poems have appeared frequently in Poetry, The New Yorker, and Threepenny Review, and he has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and other periodicals. He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. He writes a monthly column on the visual arts for an independent newsweekly, The San Diego Reader.
Britton Gildersleeve, a Nimrod editor, is the award-winning author of The Privilege of Breath, Trading with Devils, and A Murmuration of Bees.  Her creative non-fiction and poetry have appeared in Nimrod, Passager, Calyx, Spoon River, and Atlas Poetica, among other journals. Currently she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Oklahoma Humanities Council. For the previous 12 years, Gildersleeve was the director of the Oklahoma State University Writing Project, where she also taught. Perhaps because she grew up overseas (Southeast Asia and the Middle East), she is a life-long advocate for other voices.
Cynthia Gustavson, a Nimrod poetry editor, is a psychotherapist and poet. Winner of a 2002 New Millennium Writing Award and a 2004 finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award from the Salem College Center for Women Writers, she has taught classes at Louisiana State University, as well as lectured on the use of poetry in healing, at Phillips Theological School in Tulsa and the OU School of Medicine. Author of the In-Versing Your Life poetry therapy workbook series, she also has five poetry collections and is working on a memoir.
Malinda Lo is the author of two young adult fantasy novels, Ash and Huntress, and two young adult science fiction novels, Adaptation and Inheritance. Huntress was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and her work has been a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Lambda Literary Award for Children’s/Young Adult, and was a Kirkus 2009 Best Book for Children and Teens.  With YA author Cindy Pon, she is co-founder of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books.
Jill Logan, Second-Prize winner of Nimrod’s 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has had work published in Meridian, Bellingham Review, Crazyhorse, Quarterly West, Michigan Quarterly Review, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere.  She now lives in California, where she teaches writing and is finishing a short story collection set in her native Oklahoma.
Eilis O’Neal, Nimrod’s Editor-in-Chief, is the author of the young adult fantasy novel The False Princess, which was honored as a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, as well as an ABC New Voices selection and an ABC Best Book for Children selection. Her short fantasy has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and other magazines.
Shobha Rao, First-Prize Winner of Nimrod’s 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, moved to the U.S. from India at the age of seven and now lives in San Francisco.  She has been a resident at Hedgebrook and is the recipient of the 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation Award.  Her work has been published in numerous literary journals, including Tincture Journal, PMS poemmemoirstory, and is forthcoming in Water~Stone Review and Wasafiri.
Roxana Robinson is the author of five novels, including Sparta and Cost, and three short story collections, including A Perfect Stranger and Other Stories.  Her work has been widely anthologized, broadcast on NPR, and appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Vogue, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. Her books have been honored as a National Book Critics Circle Recommended Read, The New York Times Editors’ Choice, and The Washington Post Five Best Fiction Books of the Year. In 2014, Robinson received the Marine Corps' James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction for Sparta. She has served as President of the Authors Guild and has taught at the University of Houston, Wesleyan University, and in the M.F.A. Program at Hunter College, CUNY.
A. J. Tierney obtained an M.F.A. in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and then joined the Fine Print Literary Agency in New York City, where she worked as an agent under the legendary Peter Rubie.  She is the founder of Tierney Literary Services, which provides editorial, coaching, and critique services for writers at all levels. Her work has appeared in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Foliate Oak, Narrative Magazine, and River Lit.
A supplement to the biographical notes will be available at the conference and will introduce additional one-on-one editors.
Full and partial scholarships are available, particularly for students.  For scholarship information, email or call (918) 631-3080.
Professional development credit is available for Tulsa Public Schools teachers.
Please note that some classes will take place in an adjacent building. If you require special assistance to reach classes outside the main building, please contact Nimrod prior to the conference to make arrangements. If you require assistance and are registering late, please speak to a staff member at the time of your registration.
The University of Tulsa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.  For EEO/AA information, contact the Office of Legal Compliance at (918) 631-2423; for disability accommodations, contact Tawny Taylor at (918) 631-2334.
Call: (918) 631-3080
Hotel Information:
The official conference hotel is the Hyatt Regency, located at 100 E. 2nd St. in downtown Tulsa, and they are offering a special conference rate of $89.00 a night. The Hyatt is a five-minute drive from TU’s campus (though it is not suitable for walking to campus).
To receive the conference rate, please make your reservations using this link. Or make your reservations by phone by calling 888-421-1442 and asking for the Nimrod Journal/University of Tulsa conference rate.
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