Category Archives: General

Literary Events Upcoming in April

This is no joke, April is here! If you’re looking for something to do this April, here are some upcoming literary events* that may pique your interest!

  • April 2nd, 2024 Poetry Reading with Ae Hee Lee, Siwar Masannat, and Kelly Weber
    Francie & Finch Bookshop, 130 S 13th St.
    Lincoln, NE, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
    Francie & Finch Bookshop hosts three poets for a Tuesday night reading.
  • April 2nd, 2024 All Writes Reserved – Omaha Preliminary Bouts
    Metropolitan Community College, S. Omaha Campus, 2909 Edward Babe Gomez Ave.
    Omaha, NE, 5:30 & 7:30 pm
    All Writes Reserved is an annual youth spoken word festival and competition featuring schools from all over Nebraska and the Great Plains.
  • April 2nd, 2024 Katie Schmid Poetry Reading and Discussion
    Zoom, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
    Katie is a UNL graduate who loves to use wild imagination and linguistic play to channel suffering into creative power. Listen as she discusses her writing process.
  • April 5th, 2024 First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Timothy Schaffert
    Zoom, 12:00 pm
    Join Nebraskan author Timothy Schaffert in the book talk and reading of “The Titanic Survivors’ Book Club”.
  • April 5, 2024 Observe National Nebraska Day: Book Signing with Gail Shaffer Blankenau
    National Willa Cather Center, 425 N Webster St.
    Red Cloud, NE, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
    Observe National Nebraska Day by learning more about the complex history of the state’s south central region. Author & historian Gail Shaffer Blankenau will talk about and have signings of her new book, “Journey to Freedom: Uncovering the Grayson Sisters’ Escape from Nebraska Territory.”
  • April 5, 2024 First Friday Book Launch: “The Nebraska Sandhills”
    Francie & Finch Bookshop, 130 S 13th St.
    Lincoln, NE, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
    Meet the editors and hear stories about the history, people, geography, geology, ecology, and conservation of the Nebraska Sandhills.
  • April 6, 2024 Write On! Writer’s Workshop with Heidi Hermanson
    AV Sorensen Community Center, 4808 Cass St.
    Omaha, NE, 12:00 – 2:00 pm
    Generate new writing, meet other writers, improve your skills, and learn new techniques! Taught by Heidi Hermanson, published author and recipient of the 2021 Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship.
  • April 6, 2024 Book Release Celebration: Timothy Schaffert with “The Titanic Survivors Book Club”
    Francie & Finch Bookshop, 130 S. 13th St.
    Lincoln, NE, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
    Author Timothy Schaffert discusses seeking out the books that were on board the Titanic, and other bookish obsessions, with Pat Leach, former director of Lincoln City Libraries and host of the radio show and podcast “All About Books.”
  • April 7, 2024 A Visit with Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason
    Schoolhouse Art Gallery & Nature Center, 427 Main St.
    Brownville, NE, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
    Matt will read poems with the theme of “In the Woods: Poems about Trees and Nature”.
  • April 8, 2024 Meet the Author: Tosca Lee
    Keene Memorial Library, 1030 N Broad St.
    Fremont, NE, 7:00 pm
    Tosca Lee will talk about books, writing, and the stories behind the stories. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
  • April 9, 2024 Charlie Peck Book Launch Reading: “World’s Largest Ball of Paint”
    Bookworm Bookstore, 2501 S 90th St.
    Omaha, NE, 6:00 pm
    Nebraska poet Charlie Peck will read from and sign his debut poetry collection, “World’s Largest Ball of Paint”. Nebraska State Poet, Matt Mason, will join Peck to read and sign his work.
  • April 9, 2024 On Writing with Amy Haddad
    Benson Theatre, 6054 Maple St.
    Omaha, NE, 6:00 pm
    Join us in the lobby, alongside our partner The Book Nook, and participate in an engaging live reading from Nebraska poet Amy Haddad. Peruse the curated offerings from the Book Nook, have a drink, and stay for the Q and A.
  • April 13, 2024 Writing Workshop & Reading with Matt Mason
    Espressions: Coffee & Community, 1117 M St.
    Aurora, NE,
    1:00 – 2:00 PM, Writing Workshop; 2:30 – 3:30 PM, Poetry Reading
    Matt will lead a writing workshop for those who register in advance, and then afterwards will do a free reading from five of his books at the front of the coffee shop.
  • April 16th & 18th, 2024 All Writes Reserved – Semifinals
    Benson Theatre, 6054 Maple St.
    Omaha, NE, 5:30 & 7:30 pm
    All Writes Reserved is an annual youth spoken word festival and competition featuring schools from all over Nebraska and the Great Plains.
  • April 16, 2024 Imaginary Gardens Reading Series with Bonnie Johnson Bartee and Neil Harrison
    Mister Toad’s, 1002 Howard St.
    Omaha, NE, 7:00 pm
    Join Nebraska authors for literature and conversation. Hosted by Michael Skau.
  • April 18, 2024 Writers’ Workshop with Matt Mason
    Kearney Public Library, 2020 1st Ave, Platte Room
    Kearney, NE, 12:00 – 2:00 pm
    Celebrate National Poetry Month with this writing workshop led by Nebraska State Poet, Matt Mason. Matt will inspire you to experience, love, and write poetry.
  • April 18, 2024 Poetry Reading by Nebraska State Poet, Matt Mason
    Kearney Public Library, 2020 1st Ave, Platte Room
    Kearney, NE, 7:00 pm
    Enjoy an evening of poetry with Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason. He will read favorites from his books and more.
  • April 30th All Writes Reserved – Finals
    Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St.
    Omaha, NE, 7:00 pm
    All Writes Reserved is an annual youth spoken word festival and competition featuring schools from all over Nebraska and the Great Plains.

Check out the NCB Calendar to stay up to date on upcoming literary events 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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Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition    

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 26, 2024

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

Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition    

Nebraska students competed for the twenty-fifth year in the annual Letters About Literature competition. They wrote to tell an author about how books can make a difference in a young person’s life. Young Nebraska writers who wrote winning letters in the Letters About Literature competition will attend a proclamation signing ceremony on April 11th with Gov. Jim Pillen. Letters About Literature is a state-wide reading and writing promotion program. The competition encourages young people to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) who had an impact on their lives.

This annual contest is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln City Libraries, Humanities Nebraska, Connie Osborne, Francie & Finch Bookshop of Lincoln, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

Young Nebraska writers to be honored are:

Level I (Grades 4-6):
Winner is Brooklyn Green of Lincoln’s Irving Middle School, who wrote to S.E. Hinton about their book, The Outsiders.
Runner-up is Justin Kang-Shizuka of Lincoln’s Prescott Elementary, who wrote to George Takei about their book, They Called Us Enemy.

Level II (Grades 7-8):
Winner is Henry Skretta of Lincoln’s Irving Middle School who wrote to Neal Shusterman about their book, Scythe.
Runner-up is Liam Brown Kramer of Lincoln’s Irving Middle School who wrote to Robert Louis Stevenson about their book, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Level III (Grades 9-12):
Winner is Chloe Kasischke of Wahoo Public High School, who wrote to Allison Britz about their book, Obsessed: A Memoir of My Life with OCD.
Runner-up is Aidan Blakely of Omaha North High School, who wrote to Amy Tan about their book The Joy Luck Club.

The students wrote personal letters to authors explaining how his or her work changed their view of themselves or the world. They selected authors from any genre, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. Winners were chosen from three competition levels: upper elementary, middle school, and high school.

The Nebraska winners will be honored at a reception at Lincoln City Library’s Bennett Martin branch and receive cash prizes and gift certificates. Their winning letters will then be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. For more information about the competition see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL.html

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 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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Upcoming Events in March

Spring is right around the corner! If you’re looking for something to do this March, here are some upcoming literary events* that may pique your interest!

  • March 2nd, 2024 Book Launch with Allen J. Beermann – “Allen J. Beermann: Nebraska’s Ambassador to the World”
    Francie & Finch Bookshop, 130 S 13th St.
    Lincoln, NE, 10:00 – 11:30 am
    Former Nebraska Secretary of State Allen J. Beermann tells of adventures from Brushy Bend to Beijing in his new book “Allen J. Beermann: Nebraska’s Ambassador to the World.”
  • March 2nd, 2024 Write on Writers’ Workshop with Heidi Hermanson
    AV Sorensen Community Center, 4808 Cass St.
    Omaha, NE, 12:00 – 2:00 pm
    Taught by Heidi Hermanson, Nebraska author and recipient of the 2021 Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Improve your skills, meet other writers, and learn new techniques!
  • March 5, 2024 Barbara Schmitz Poetry Reading & Discussion
    Zoom, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
    Barbara has touched many lives through her long and lustrous literary career in Nebraska. Now, she shares her poetry and her wisdom.
  • March 9, 2024 Hook, Line, & Sinker: Using Spoken Word Techniques to Capture & Hold an Audience with Caleb Rainey
    Zoom, 10:00 – 11:30 am
    What writing techniques does a performance poet use to hook their audience? A workshop to discuss the bait you need to hook your audience, and your reader, in the first line.
  • March 9, 2024 Poetry Out Loud State Finals
    Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R St.
    Lincoln, NE, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
    Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide poetry recitation contest where high school students memorize poems they choose from a list of classic and modern poems and bring them to life by how they deliver them. Seven schools have chosen a representative and the winner will represent Nebraska at the National Finals
  • March 9, 2024 Book Launch with Alison Pearce Stevens – “Animal Climate Heros”
    Francie & Finch Bookshop, 130 S 13th St.
    Lincoln, NE, 4:30 – 5:30 pm
    Nebraska Book Award winner Alison Pearce Stevens will be signing books, talking about her new book, and sharing her love of natural science with guests.
  • March 16, 2024 National Slam Poetry Competition Qualifying Event
    Larksong, 1600 N Cotner Blvd.
    Lincoln, NE, 3:00 pm
    The Nebraska Poetry Society is hosting the Qualifying Slam for residents for the chance to compete at the BlackBerry Peach National Slam Poetry Competition!
  • March 16, 2024 Visting Author – Chris Harding Thornton – “Little Underworld”
    Francie & Finch Bookshop, 130 S 13th St.
    Lincoln, NE, 4:30 – 5:30 pm
    Written by seventh-generation Nebraskan Chris Harding Thornton, “Little Underworld” is a darkly funny historical fiction that takes place in Omaha, Nebraska. She will be discussing her new book with Nebraskan author Timothy Schaffert.
  • March 17, 2024 Poetry Workshop with Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason
    Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, 9325 Alda Rd. S
    Wood River, NE, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
    Matt will share his new poem commissioned by Crane Trust, as well as other bird-themed poems. He will also guide a writing exercise for participants to write their own poems.

Check out the NCB Calendar to stay up to date on upcoming literary events 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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January 2024 Literary Events

Happy New Year! 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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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.

This memoir of native Nebraskan, Debora Harding, is all about a traumatic childhood event, the aftereffects of which would change her family forever. Harding expertly weaves the past with the present in a riveting story of survival and family dynamics. Harding’s debut book has been compared to bestsellers like “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls and “Educated” by Tara Westover.


“With remarkable narrative skill, Harding untangles the lingering effects of family dysfunction and criminal trauma. This is a page-turner with a deep heart and soul, full of forgiveness but demanding of accountability.” – BookPage, “Best Books of 2020: Memoirs

Debora Harding was born and raised in the midwest. 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. 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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