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Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers 2016
October 14-15th, 2016
The University of Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 14th
Nimrod Write Night: Author Chat and 38th Nimrod Literary Awards Ceremony
Presented in conjunction with Booksmart Tulsa
7:00 p.m.
The Lorton Performance Center
550 S. Gary Pl.
The University of Tulsa
Nimrod Write Night features a special Author Chat with National Book Award Winner Robin Coste Lewis, author of Voyage of the Sable Venus, and National Book Award finalist Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House. It also features the 38th Annual Nimrod Literary Awards Ceremony, with readings by Chad B. Anderson, Bryce Emley, Markham Johnson, and Ruth Knafo Setton.
The Author Chat, Awards Ceremony, and Book Signing afterward are free and open to the public.
An Author Reception featuring all the Conference guest authors will precede the Author Chat and Awards Ceremony.
Author Reception Tickets: $50. This includes the Author Reception, a copy of either The Turner House OR Voyage of the Sable Venus, and reserved seating for the Author Chat and Awards Ceremony.
Two-Day Pass for Nimrod Write Night and the Saturday Conference for Readers and Writers: $100
Reservations and payment for the Author Reception alone and the for Two-Day Pass must be received by October 7th. No reservations are needed for the Author Chat and Awards Ceremony. One-Day Pass registrants may register up to Late Registration at 9:30 a.m. on the 15th.
Purchase Tickets to the Author Reception
Tickets for the Author Reception may be purchased online here. (A small administrative fee is charged for online ticket sales.)
Tickets may also be purchased by printing the Conference Registration Form and mailing it with payment to Nimrod, The University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK 74104.
Reservations and payment for the Two-Day Pass or Author Reception must be received by October 7th. No registration is needed to attend only the Author Chat and Awards Ceremony. Registrants for the One-Day Conference Pass may register up to Late Registration at 9:30 a.m. on the 15th.
Saturday, October 15th, 2016
Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers
Allen Chapman Student Union
440 S. Gary
The University of Tulsa
9:30-10:00 a.m.: Late Registration
10:00-10:40 a.m.: PANEL DISCUSSIONS (Concurrent Sessions)*
Rules of Writing: When to Follow Them and When to Break Them
Bryce Emley, Angela Flournoy, Britton Gildersleeve, Toni Jensen, Robin Coste Lewis, Ruth Knafo Setton, Sherry Thomas
Editing and Publishing: Q&A
Chad B. Anderson, Chloe Honum, Markham Johnson, Beth Kephart, Eilis O’Neal, Will Thomas, Brenna Yovanoff
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 or nonfiction.  Materials must be received by October 8th.  Each one-on-one editing session is 15 minutes long.
Dialogue and Code-Switching in Fiction — Angela Flournoy
Dialogue has a lot of work to do—it should provide context and characterization, drive the narrative forward, and, above all, entertain. We’ll look at several approaches to writing dialogue, and compare how each meets the needs of its narrative, as well as how authors approach code-switching—or the ways that people use language differently depending on whom they’re talking to.
Beginnings and Endings: How We Open and Conclude Our Poems — Bryce Emley and Markham Johnson
Poems are brief—so our beginnings and endings have to stand out. We’ll delve into ways to grab the reader’s attention and refuse to let it go, and we’ll look at Eastern and Western ways of ending poems that leave us with a sense of what writer Jack Myers referred to as “the complementary qualities of surprise and inevitability.”
Memoir: Home Is Where the Story Is — Beth Kephart
Every memoir begins or ends with a conception of home: what it is and why it matters. We’ll reflect on home—explore its many meanings, find inspiration from memoirists who take us home, and write toward our own ideas of home and the true stories that begin there.
Chemistry in Romance: Creating the Sizzle — Sherry Thomas
Chemistry is one of the most important ingredients in a can’t-put-it-down romance. Explore the combustible combination of sexual attraction and intellectual common ground, spiced by emotional connection and emotional conflict, and learn how to create and deepen chemistry, moving from big-picture tools to paragraph-level details.
Publishing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Your Work Out There — Eilis O’Neal
Today’s publishing landscape can be confusing, and submitting your work can be a scary prospect. We’ll discuss the basics of publishing, define terms like “cover letter” and “synopsis,” and learn how to submit work to literary agents and literary journals.
12:00-1:30 p.m.: Lunch and Readings by Angela Flournoy AND Robin Coste Lewis
1:35-2:50 p.m.: Afternoon Masterclasses (Concurrent Sessions)*
Literary and Commercial Fiction: Working the Genre Divide — Toni Jensen
Writers of literary fiction often are told their work isn’t commercial enough, while writers of commercial fiction often are criticized for their lack of literary finesse.  But it doesn’t have to be an either/or game. We’ll develop strategies for working genre-style plots while still employing the fine imagery and inventive language of literary fiction.
The Power of Place: How to Make Your Setting Sing  — Chad B. Anderson and Ruth Knafo Setton
Whether you’re peeking through the keyhole of your imagination at an enchanted kingdom, peering through binoculars at a foreign street, or describing your own backyard, world-building is a critical element in writing. Explore ways to enhance a sense of place, using it to develop characters and plot, heighten suspense and intensify conflict, and create a world rich in sensory details.
Poetry & Photography — Robin Coste Lewis
While poetry and photography are different art forms, they actually have a lot in common. We’ll explore the relationship between memory and visual art using photographs—and learn how one can enhance the other.  (Please choose one photograph to bring with you on the day of the workshop.)
Poetry: Depth and Beauty in Everyday Moments — Chloe Honum
Some of the best poems center on seemingly small moments—the overheard sound of typing in another room, the arrival of the mail carrier, or boarding the subway. We’ll discover how poets use imagery, simile, and tone to dive into such moments and reveal their depth and beauty, and learn how the ordinary moments that resonate with us individually can become universal songs.
Mystery: The Fine Art of the Fight Scene — Will Thomas
Spectacular fight scenes can make your mystery or thriller shine, but writing specific movements and keeping the action clear can be harder than it looks.  We’ll work through the ins and outs of a dynamic fight scene to make your scenes kick butt!
Finding the Door to the Fantastic: Young Adult Fantasy and Horror — Brenna Yovanoff
Strangeness abounds in fantasy and horror novels, but the weirder you’re going to be, the more important it is to give your readers an easy way into your story. Learn how to incorporate familiar settings and everyday details as the door into your magical or terrifying world.
Invitational Readings
Chloe Honum, Toni Jensen, Beth Kephart, Sherry Thomas, Will Thomas, Brenna Yovanoff
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 or nonfiction.  Materials must be received by October 8th.  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.
Workshop Leaders
Chad B. Anderson, First Prize winner of Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, has published fiction in Salamander Review and Black Warrior Review. He has served as fiction editor for Indiana Review. (Fiction)
Bryce Emley, Second Prize winner of Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, is poetry editor of Raleigh Review. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Boston Review, Best American Experimental Writing 2015, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals.  (Poetry)
Angela Flournoy, judge for Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, is the author of The Turner House, a finalist for the National Book Award and The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. A “5 Under 35” honoree by the National Book Foundation, she has taught at the University of Iowa and The Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. (Fiction)
Britton Gildersleeve’s creative nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Nimrod, Spoon River Poetry Review, This Land, and many other journals. She has published three chapbooks and was the director of the Oklahoma State University Writing Project for twelve years. (Moderator, Poetry)
Chloe Honum is the author of The Tulip-Flame, which was a 2015 PEN Center USA Literary Awards finalist. Her poetry has appeared in Best New Poets 2008, The Paris Review, and Poetry, among other anthologies and journals. She teaches creative writing at Baylor University. (Poetry)
Toni Jensen is the author of the short story collection From The Hilltop. Her short fiction has appeared in Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, Best of the West: Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, and other journals and anthologies. She teaches in the University of Arkansas M.F.A. program in Creative Writing. (Fiction)
Markham Johnson, First Prize winner of Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, is the author of two books of poetry, including Collecting the Light. His poems have also appeared in many magazines, including Nimrod and This Land. (Poetry)
Beth Kephart is the author of twenty-one books of fiction and nonfiction, including Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir. She is a National Book Award finalist and has written for The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Salon, among others. (Memoir)
Robin Coste Lewis, judge for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, won the 2015 National Book Awards for Poetry for her collection Voyage of the Sable Venus. Her work has appeared in multiple literary journals, including The Massachusetts Review and Lambda Literary Review, and she teaches creative writing at The University of Southern California. (Poetry)
Eilis O’Neal, Nimrod’s Editor-in-Chief, is the author of the young adult fantasy novel The False Princess, which was a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, as well as an ABC New Voices and ABC Best Book for Children selection. (Publishing, YA Fantasy)
Ruth Knafo Setton, Second Prize winner of Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize, is the author of the novel The Road to Fez, and her short fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Saturday Evening Post.  She teaches creative writing at Lehigh University. (Fiction)
Sherry Thomas is the author of eighteen romance and young adult fantasy novels, including Not Quite a Husband, His at Night, and The Burning Sky. A four-time nominee, she has twice won the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award for Best Historical Romance. (Romance)
Will Thomas is the author of seven mystery novels, including The Hellfire Conspiracy and Anatomy of Evil. A Barry Award nominee, his novel Some Danger Involved won the Oklahoma Book Award. (Mystery)
Brenna Yovanoff is the New York Times-bestselling author of five young adult fantasy novels, including The Replacement and Places No One Knows. A member of the Merry Sisters of Fate, she has also written two speculative fiction short story collections with Maggie Stiefvater and Tessa Gratton. (YA Fantasy)
A supplement to the biographical notes will be available at the conference and will introduce additional one-on-one editors.
Saturday Conference passes include workshops, panel discussions, readings, one-on-one editing sessions, and lunch, which includes vegetarian options.
Full and partial scholarships are available, particularly for students. Scholarship recipients are asked to send in their registration fee ($10) with their registration form, and all scholarship recipients must pay this registration fee. For scholarship information, call 918-631-3080 or email
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
Register for the Conference
Conference Registrations may be purchased online here. (A small administrative fee is charged for registrations purchased online.)
You may also register by printing the Registration Form and mailing it to Nimrod, The University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK 74104.
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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