Literary Events in December

December is on its way! Check out the NCB Calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across Nebraska this coming month.

The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change.

Some events, workshops, or conferences may charge a fee or require prior registration.

Contact us if you have an event that you would like to be featured on the NCB Calendar!

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November 2023 Literary Events

November is right around the corner!

Find out what literary events are happening near you and across the state by checking out the NCB Calendar!

The date, time, and location of these events are subject to change. In addition, some events may charge a fee or require prior registration.

Contact us if you have an event that you would like to be featured on the NCB Calendar!

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Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir Chosen as 2024 One Book One Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 16, 2023


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir Chosen as 2024 One Book One Nebraska

People across Nebraska are encouraged to read the work of a Nebraskan — and then talk about it with their friends and neighbors. Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020) by Debora Harding is the 2024 One Book One Nebraska selection.

For readers of Educated and The Glass Castle, a harrowing, redemptive and profoundly inspiring memoir of childhood trauma and its long reach into adulthood. One Omaha winter day in November 1978, when Debora Harding was just fourteen, she was abducted at knife point from a church parking lot. She was thrown into a van, assaulted, held for ransom, and then left to die as an ice storm descended over the city. Debora survived. She identified her attacker to the police and then returned to her teenage life in a dysfunctional home where she was expected to simply move on. Denial became the family coping strategy offered by her fun-loving, conflicted father and her cruelly resentful mother. It wasn’t until decades later – when beset by the symptoms of PTSD- that Debora undertook a radical project: she met her childhood attacker face-to-face in prison and began to reconsider and reimagine his complex story. This was a quest for the truth that would threaten the lie at the heart of her family and with it the sacred bond that once saved her. Dexterously shifting between the past and present, Debora Harding untangles the incident of her kidnapping and escape from unexpected angles, offering a vivid, intimate portrait of one family’s disintegration in the 1970s Midwest. Written with dark humor and the pacing of a thriller, Dancing with the Octopus is a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking narrative of reckoning, recovery, and the inexhaustible strength it takes to survive.

Debora Harding spent her childhood in the midwest prairie states of Nebraska and Iowa. At the age of nineteen she dropped out of university to work for Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign, before relocating to Washington DC to run an environmental non-profit. Fed up with politics, she cycled across America where she met her English husband, author Thomas Harding. She then joined him in the UK and worked at an award-winning video production company that focused on the counter-culture protest movement in Europe. Later, she co-founded the UK’s first local television station in Oxford and gave birth to two children, Kadian and Sam. Wanting the children to enjoy the great outdoors, the family moved back to the USA, and Debora trained as a restorative justice mediator and ran an independent bicycle business. She is now a full-time writer and activist, and splits her time between the UK and the US.

Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be available after January 1, 2024 at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

2024 will mark the twentieth year of the One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. The Nebraska Center for the Book invites recommendations for One Book One Nebraska book selection year-round at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/obon-nomination.asp.

One Book One Nebraska is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. The Nebraska Center for the Book brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at and supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.    

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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 29, 2023

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Nebraska Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a state reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre-fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic-explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. Submissions must be completed online October 1- December 31, 2023. Nebraska Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Lincoln City Libraries, Francie & Finch Bookshop, Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select a winner and an honorable mention per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2024. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners and honorable mentions will receive state prizes.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download the contest guidelines, free teaching materials, information on the online entry system, and past winning letters on the Nebraska Center for the Book website. An informational NCompass Live webinar will air on October 11th, discussing this year’s contest, the submission process, and judging criteria. For more information contact Nebraska Center for the Book.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases .

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October Literary Events

October is on its way! Check out the NCB Calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across Nebraska this coming month.

The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change.

Some events, workshops, or conferences may charge a fee or require prior registration.

Contact us if you have an event that you would like to be featured on the NCB Calendar!

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Shortlist for 2024 One Book One Nebraska Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 21, 2023

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Shortlist for 2024 One Book One Nebraska Announced

What book will all Nebraskans be encouraged to read in 2024? We will all find out on October 14th at the Celebration of Nebraska Books. A collection of essays by a Nebraska authors, a memoir, a novel set in the Sand Hills, and a Midwest thriller—all stories with ties to Nebraska and the Great Plains—are the finalists for the 2024 One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program. The finalists are:

  • The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers edited by Ladette Randolph and Nina Shevchuk-Murray, Bison Books, 2007.
  • Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir by Debora Harding, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
  • The Echo Maker by Richard Powers, Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Picador, 2006.
  • The Line Between by Tosca Lee, Howard Books, 2019.

The One Book One Nebraska reading program is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss the same book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. A Nebraska Center for the Book committee selected the three finalists from a list of nineteen titles nominated by Nebraskans. In the coming weeks, Nebraska Center for the Book board members will vote on the 2024 selection.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books, on October 14th, will also honor winners of the 2023 Jane Geske and Mildred Bennett awards. The Mildred Bennett Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual heritage that enriches our lives and molds our world. The Jane Geske Award recognizes an organization known for exceptional contributions to literacy, books, reading, libraries, and literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska.

Nebraskans are invited to take part in the Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 14th, at the Nebraska City Campus Union’s Regency Suite in downtown Lincoln, where the choice for the 2024 One Book One Nebraska will be announced. This year’s One Book One Nebraska selection will be featured in a key note presentation by Professor Rick Cypert on Mignon Eberhart and her novel The Mystery of Hunting’s End (Bison Books, 1998.) See http://onebook.nebraska.gov or https://www.facebook.com/OneBookOneNebraska for more information about ongoing 2023 One Book One Nebraska activities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books will include readings by the winners of the 2023 Nebraska Book Awards,with book signings by the authors after the event. A list of Nebraska Book Award winners is posted at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards.html. The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission. Humanities Nebraska provides support for the One Book One Nebraska keynote presentation.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.    

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Celebrate Nebraska’s 2023 Book Award Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 15, 2023

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2023 Book Award Winners

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2023 Book Award winners with author readings and an awards presentation ceremony at the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books. Held at the UNL City Campus Union on October 14th, winners of the 2023 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors, designers and illustrators of books with a Nebraska connection published in 2022. And the winners are:

Children’s Design: Eat Your Woolly Mammoths! By James Solheim. Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Children’s Nonfiction: Eat Your Woolly Mammoths! By James Solheim. Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Young Adult: Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell. Publisher: Wednesday Books, St. Martin’s Publishing Group.

Design: Feeding the Fire by Twyla Hansen. Publisher: Wayne State College Press.

Illustration: The Rowdy Randy Wild West Show by Casey Day Rislov, illustrated by Zachary Pullen. Publisher: Mountain Stars Press.

Fiction: Private Way by Ladette Randolph. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press.

Nonfiction Autobiography: Monkey on the Other Side of the Window: The True Story of the Northeast Nebraska Zoo in Royal, Nebraska by Dick Haskin. Publisher: Morris Publishing.

Nonfiction Biography: The Women Who Built Omaha: A Bold and Remarkable History by Eileen Wirth. Publisher: Bison Books.

Nonfiction Fellowship: From Your Friend, Carey Dean: Letters from Nebraska’s Death Row by Lisa Knopp. Publisher: Cascade Books.

Nonfiction History: Standing Bear’s Quest for Freedom: The First Civil Rights Victory for Native Americans by Lawrence A. Dwyer. Publisher: Bison Books.

Nonfiction Nebraska as Place: Nourishing Waters, Comforting Sky: Thirty-Five Years at a Sandhills Oasis by Stephen R. Jones. Publisher: Bison Books.

Nonfiction Solidarity: Dirt Persuasion: Civic Environmental Populism and the Heartland’s Pipeline Fight by Derek Moscato. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press.

Poetry: A Crazy Little Thing by Lucy Adkins. Publisher: Wayne State College Press.

Poetry Honor: Cord Blood by Bonnie Johnson-Bartee. Publisher: Sandhills Press.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books, on October 14th, will also honor winners of the 2023 Jane Geske and Mildred Bennett awards. The Mildred Bennett Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual heritage that enriches our lives and molds our world. The Jane Geske Award is presented to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska.

The 2023 One Book One Nebraska selection, The Mystery of Hunting’s End by Mignon Eberhart (Bison Books, 1998) will be featured in a keynote presentation. The introduction of the 2024 One Book One Nebraska book choice will conclude the festivities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for One Book One Nebraska. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.    

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Literary Events in September

A new month is right around the corner! If you’re looking for something to do in the coming month, check out the NCB Calendar! See what literary events are happening near you.

The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change.

Some of this month’s events, workshops, or conferences may require registration or charge a fee.

Feel free to contact us if you have an event that you would like to be featured.

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Events in August 2023

August is on its way! Check out the NCB Calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across Nebraska this coming month.

The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change.

Some events, workshops, or conferences may charge a fee or require prior registration.

Contact us if you have an event that you would like to be featured on the NCB Calendar!

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July Literary Events

A new month is right around the corner! If you’re looking for something to do in July, check out the NCB Calendar! See what literary events are happening near you.

The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change. Some events, workshops, or conferences may charge a fee or require prior registration.

Contact us if you have an event that you would like to be featured on the NCB Calendar!

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