2021 Nebraska Book Award Submissions Sought

Celebrate Nebraska’s rich literary tradition with the Nebraska Book Awards. The Nebraska Book Awards program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB), recognizes and honors books that are written by Nebraska authors, published by Nebraska publishers, set in Nebraska, or concerning Nebraska. The Awards competition opens every year on March 1st and entries are due by June 30th. Books published in 2020, as indicated by the copyright date, are eligible for nomination. They must be published, have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and be bound. Books may be entered in one or more of the following categories: Nonfiction, Fiction, Children/Young Adult, Cover/Design/Illustration, and Poetry. Winners of the 2021 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored at the annual Celebration of Nebraska Books in the fall. The authors, designers and illustrators, and publishers are invited to give a short reading and speak about their winning books. Please visit the NCB website at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards/nebookawards.htm for more information and to submit your nomination. Submissions can be made on the NCB website or by mail.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books, free and open to the public, will also honor recipients of the 2021 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. Nominations for these awards are accepted year-round at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/nominationforms.html.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Humanities Nebraska, and History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. 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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Literary Events in March

March is right around the corner! Check out the NCB calendar to see what literary events are happening near you.

Some of these events or workshops may require registration or charge a fee. The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change. Due to the current pandemic, some may be cancelled, postponed or shift or an online format. In addition, some venues may require face masks and to follow social distancing practices.

If you have an event that you would like to be featured, feel free to contact us!

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February Literary Events

Check out the NCB calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across the state this month!

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

Due to the current pandemic, some events may be cancelled, postponed or shifted to an online format. In addition, some venues may require face masks and to follow social distancing practices.

Please contact us if you have an event that you would like to be shared!

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NCompass Live: 2021 One Book One Nebraska: ‘Prairie Forge’

NOTE! This is a Special Edition of NCompass Live being held at a special time! Next week’s NCompass Live will be held from 1:00pm – 2:00pm Central Time on Wednesday, February 3.

In this seventeenth year of One Book One Nebraska, Nebraska libraries and other literary and cultural organizations continue to plan activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans to read and discuss the same book.

Join us at 1:00 pm CT on Wednesday, February 3 to hear all about this state reading promotion activity, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and the Nebraska Library Commission.

We are very pleased to announce that the featured guest on this special episode of NCompass Live will be James Kimble, author of the 2021 selection Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II (Bison Books, 2014).

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s year-long, statewide celebration featuring Prairie Forge, by James Kimble.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss Prairie Forge.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the 2021 Celebration of Nebraska Books, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2021 Nebraska Book Awards.

Sessions are recorded for anyone who may want to see them again or who cannot attend them at the schedule time. Registration is required to view the archived recordings. Registration for this webinar ends on February 1, 2021. You can sign up for this webinar here.

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Nebraska state poet’s poem gets national attention after Capitol riots

By Libby Seline | Lincoln Journal Star

A poem by Nebraska state poet Matt Mason about political violence found a broad national audience after being published by the New York Times on Sunday — even though it was written three years ago.

At the time he wrote it, Mason said the political climate made him feel uncomfortable because of its aggressive nature. But he filed the poem away until a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol last week and the poem became more relevant. 

“The Start” is about how seemingly small speeches or actions that are fueled by hatred will lead to aggressive behavior, such as riots. Mason repeats the phrase “it probably started” throughout his poem to convey that message.

“It’s seemed like we were going more and more with the (hateful) language and never hitting the point of saying, ‘This is too far,’” he said. “And if that point never gets hit, the violence is inevitable.”

Mason sent the poem to a contact at the New York Times and now it’s been seen thousands of times on the newspaper’s website, according to Mason.

“If I sell 10,000 copies of a book, I’ve done really well,” he said. “They told me mid-afternoon that the link to my poem had been clicked on something, like, 20,000 times. It’s like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’”

He hopes his poem will change people’s minds about the current political climate, referencing people who have excused the actions of those who stormed the Capitol. 

“I think we need people to not just recognize how far things have gone, but change their minds about what they thought about it previously,” he said. 

Mason has been the state poet for two years. In his role, he advocates for local poets and has tried to host a poetry event in each Nebraska county. He also works at the Nebraska Writers Collective and has published three books. 

January 12, 2021 | journalstar.com

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Friday Reads: “Prairie Forge” by James Kimble

Posted on January 8, 2021 by Rod Wagner

James Kimble’s Prairie Forge is the 2021 One Book One Nebraska selection. Prairie Forge is the story of a remarkable undertaking, launched in Nebraska, that inspired replication throughout the United States. With the United States entering World War II and the urgent need for resources, iron production was needed in ever-greater quantities for production of ships, planes, vehicles, weapons, and many other military necessities. Scrap metal was a critical need. That was the impetus for the Nebraska scrap metal drive of 1942.

Henry Doorly, Omaha World Herald publisher, inspired by a challenge from his wife, Margaret Hitchcock Doorly, initiated a scrap metal collection project in Omaha. With motivation and dedication, Doorly developed a plan to encourage Omaha residents to donate scrap metal for the war effort. Committing the resources of the Omaha World Herald and his staff, Doorly initiated and championed the effort that expanded across Nebraska.

While not initially expected, Doorly’s plan grew from its beginning in Omaha to spread statewide. Competition among counties, businesses, communities and schools resulted in 67,000 tons of scrap metal gathered within a three week period. It wasn’t easy; there were numerous challenges and obstacles to overcome. Success resulted from motivation, inspiration, persistence, commitment to the cause, and the competitive spirit that led Nebraskans to meet the challenging goals set for the project.

The Nebraska plan and its achievements became a model for a national scrap metal drive. Ultimately, the national effort resulted in volunteer “scrappers” collecting 5 million tons of scrap. Professor Kimble contends that “the Nebraska Plan was successful because it brought the war home to civilians, enabling them to participate directly in the battle as something akin to combatants. Students, retirees, housewives, blue-collar laborers, and even children felt themselves becoming integral parts of the war.” Leadership came from many people and organizations across Nebraska, and notable were the contributions of news outlets that provided information for community organizers and other volunteers.

The scrap metal drive may be an overlooked footnote in World War II history books, but it was a significant contribution to equipping the war effort and the eventual outcome.

One book reviewer remarked that Prairie Forge should be in every Nebraska public library. Nebraskans are encouraged to read this remarkable book.

James J. Kimble, Ph.D., is Professor of Communication, College of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall University. An expert in the communication field, he is the co-producer of Scrappers: How the Heartland Won World War II, a feature documentary on the 1942 scrap drives. James Kimble’s hometown is Norfolk, Nebraska.

Kimble, James J. Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II. Bison Books. 2014.


This review was posted on the Nebraska Library Commission blog January 9, 2021, see the original post here: http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/nlcblog/2021/01/08/friday-reads-prairie-forge-by-james-kimble/

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Upcoming events in January

2021 is right around the corner. With a new year comes many new opportunities and new literary events!

Check out the NCB Calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across the state of Nebraska during the month of January.

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

Unfortunately, we are still enduring the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events may be cancelled, postponed or shift or an online format. In addition, some venues may require face masks and to follow social distancing practices.

Feel free to contact us if you have an event that you would like to be shared on the NCB Calendar.

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Literary Events in December

Tomorrow is the first day of a new month and that means new literary events! Check out the NCB calendar to see all the literary events happening across the state of Nebraska!

Some of these events or workshops may require registration or charge a fee. The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change. Due to the current pandemic, some may be cancelled, postponed or shift or an online format. In addition, some venues may require face masks and to follow social distancing practices.

Contact us if you have an event that you would like to share on the NCB calendar!

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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 3, 2020

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 November 1- December 31, 2020. Nebraska Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select a winner and alternate 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 2021. 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 alternates 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. There will be an informational NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, November 4th at 10:00 am CT discussing this year’s contest. Get inspired by listening to past Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about their letters on NET Radio’s All About Books (netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). 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 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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November Literary Events

Happy first day of November! Check out the NCB calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across the state.

We are still enduring the pandemic so some events may have been postponed, cancelled, or shifted to a different format. In-person events may have specific COVID precautions and guidelines that you need to follow.

The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change. Some workshops or events may require you to register in advance or pay a fee.

Contact us about a literary event you want to be shared on the NCB calendar!

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