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2018 Nimrod Write Night and

Conference for Readers and Writers

PLEASE NOTE: TU is experiencing difficulties with its phone system and our main number (918-631-3080) is one of the phone lines affected. Technicians are working on the problem, but if you need to reach us by phone and that number is still down, please call our editor's direct line at 918-631-2809.

October 19th-20th, The University of Tulsa

Friday, October 19th

Nimrod Write Night: Author Reception and Chat with

Rilla Askew and Patricia Smith

Tulsa Garden Center

2435 S. Peoria Ave.

Author Reception (Light Bites and Cash Bar): 6:30-7:00 p.m.

Author Chat and Book Signing: 7:00-8:30 p.m.

The entire evening is FREE and open to the public.

Mingle with all our Conference guest authors at our Author Reception and join us for a special Author Chat with fiction and nonfiction writer Rilla Askew, winner of the American Book Award and Oklahoma Book Award, and poet Patricia Smith, Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Presented in conjunction with Booksmart Tulsa and

co-sponsored by The University of Tulsa’s Creative Writing Program

Saturday, October 20th

Conference for Readers and Writers

The University of Tulsa, Allen Chapman Student Union, 440 S. Gary Ave.

9:30-10:00 a.m.: Late Registration

10:00 a.m.: PANEL DISCUSSIONS (Concurrent Sessions)

Finding Time, Finding Balance: Your Writing Life

Rilla Askew, Henry Cribbs, Emma DePanise, Megan Merchant, Ellen Rhudy

How Do I Know When I’m Done?: Strategies for Revision

Erin Bow, Sarah MacLean, Francine Ringold, Sharon Solwitz, Patricia Smith

Editing and Publishing: Q&A

Kaveh Bassiri, Jill Bialosky, Carl Engle-Laird, Eilis O’Neal, Julia Thomas

10:45 a.m.: Morning Workshops (Concurrent Sessions)

One-on-One Editing Sessions 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.Pre-registration is required and m aterials must be received by October 13th. Each session is 15 minutes long.

Remapping: Poetry Workshop — Patricia Smith

What in the world am I gonna write about? How am I gonna smash this writer’s block? Am I a writer at all? How did I get here? And where was I before this? Using a map of the long-ago to spark memory and rouse the imagination, we’ll seek to answer these questions once and for all. Be prepared to remember, to confess, and to write!

Telling it Slant: Memoir — Jill Bialosky

Emily Dickinson wrote, “Tell all the truth/but tell it slant.” How can a fictive voice be called upon in a memoir piece? How does a piece of writing, whether personal essay or memoir, transform itself from personal experience into artfulness? We’ll provide narrative strategies for digging deeper in memoir by investigating Dickinson’s dictum.

Breaking the Boundaries: Magical Realism — Ellen Rhudy and Sharon Solwitz

Magical Realism expands the bounds of what is real, known, knowable, and accepted for both the writer and the reader. Incorporating the strange or magical into an essentially realistic work, Magical Realism allows playfulness on the part of the writer while also offering the opportunity to comment on society, politics, and the complications of human fear and desire. We’ll investigate this literary genre and learn how it can enhance our fiction.

Using Weakness to Build Strong Character — Sarah MacLean

The characters we love best are the ones who are the most real—in that they have layers of strengths and weaknesses. We’ll focus on the importance of layering characters to create fascinating, nuanced people who drive the story and win over readers, and we’ll fine tune our heroes, antiheroes, and villains—ensuring that every character in your work sings.

Your Agent, Your Editor, and You: Understanding Publishing’s Gatekeepers — Carl Engle-Laird

Ready to be published? We’ll explain the role agents and editors play in selecting and perfecting published fiction and walk you through the steps a manuscript takes from conception to publication, as well as provide tips for how to research agents, assess short fiction marketplaces, and navigate submissions guidelines.

12:00 p.m.: Lunch and 40th Annual Nimrod Literary Awards Ceremony

1:35 p.m.: Afternoon Workshops (Concurrent Sessions)

Making History, Taking Place: Historical Fiction — Rilla Askew

Some of our best contemporary writers tackle the world’s most enduring stories through historical fiction. As we share tips on resources for research, we’ll focus on how to locate historical events within a specific place, how to develop authentic characters, and how to imbed historical detail in the fiction without overwhelming the narrative.

Expand Your Language: Poetry Workshop — Kaveh Bassiri

We carry with us a vocabulary that shapes the way we see the world. But sometimes we limit our writing to what we consider “poetic language.” We’ll explore how we can bring the words we already know into our poems and how we can expand the world of our poetry with the variety of specialized languages that surround us.

Poetry: Using Emotion Effectively, Bravely, and Responsibly — Emma DePanise and Megan Merchant

Anaïs Nin said, “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” How do we create authentic poems with a range of emotions while avoiding sentimentality? We’ll discuss sentimentality, discover how sometimes “not saying” can hit harder than “saying,” and practice conveying emotion through our own writing in unique, exciting, and purposeful ways.

Choose Your Own Disaster: Worldbuilding for Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Beyond — Erin Bow

Writers of speculative fiction face all the usual challenges—constructing paragraphs, creating characters, crafting stories—but must also build the worlds in which their stories unfold. When it’s done badly it looks like set-dressing for the sixth-grade play: sweetly laughable and paper-thin. When it’s done well the worlds are so real that readers stay lost in them for years. We’ll talk about ways to achieve such a world.

Creating Compelling Characters: Mystery and More — Julia Thomas

The sleuth, the sidekick, the villain. They form the backbone of many mystery novels, and when they are well-drawn—and complement each other—we remember them at length. With an emphasis on the mystery genre, we’ll explore how to create versions of these compelling characters and also discuss how supporting characters enhance your story and add to its credibility.

Novel-Pitch Critique Sessions — Carl Engle-Laird

Meet one-on-one with editor Carl Engle-Laird for a critique of a one-page pitch of your novel. Pre-registration is required and m aterials must be received by October 13th. Each session is 5 minutes long. Novels may be in any genre. Sessions are limited—enroll early to ensure a spot.


Invitational Readings

Kaveh Bassiri, Jill Bialosky, Erin Bow, Sarah MacLean, Julia Thomas

One-on-One Editing Sessions 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.Pre-registration is required and m aterials must be received by October 13th. Each session is 15 minutes long.

4:00 p.m.: BOOK SIGNING

Workshop Leaders

Rilla Askew , judge for Nimrod’s 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, is the winner of the American Book Award for her novelFire in Beulah and the Oklahoma Book Award for The Mercy Seat. She is the author of three other books of fiction and the nonfiction collection Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place. She teaches at the University of Oklahoma. (Fiction)

Kaveh Bassiri is an Iranian-American writer and translator. He is the winner of Bellingham Review’s 49th Parallel Award, and his work has appeared in Nimrod, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Mississippi Review, as well as in the anthology Best New Poets 2011. He also writes for the Michigan Quarterly Review. (Poetry)

Jill Bialosky is the New York Times-bestselling author of the memoirsHistory of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life and Poetry Will Save Your Life. Also the author of four poetry collections and three novels, she is the current Executive Editor at W. W. Norton & Company. (Memoir)

Erin Bow is the author of two young adult fantasy novels, Plain Kate andSorrow’s Knot, and the YA science fiction duology The Scorpion Rules and The Swan Riders. She is the winner of the CBC Canadian Literary Award and TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award winner, sometimes called “Canada’s Newbery.” (YA Fantasy and Science Fiction)

Henry Cribbs has served on Nimrod’s editorial board for over 10 years and is acting Executive Director of the Oklahoma Literary Arts Alliance. His poetry has appeared in Lake Effect and Maxwell’s Crossing. (Poetry, Publishing)

Emma DePanise is the 2018 First Prize winner of Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Nimrod,Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, Mochila Review, Runestone, and other journals. (Poetry)

Carl Engle-Laird is an Associate Editor at Publishing. Publishing is an imprint of Tor Books and publishes science fiction and fantasy novellas and novels by emerging and established writers in print and e-book formats. (Publishing)

Sarah MacLean is the New York Times-bestselling author of eleven romance novels, mostly recently Wicked and the Wallflower. She is a two-time winner of the Romance Writers of American’s RITA Award for best historical romance, and she also reviews romance novels for the The Washington Post. (Romance)

Megan Merchant is the 2018 Second Prize winner of Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She is the author of three poetry collections,Gravel Ghosts, The Dark’s Humming, andGrief Flowers, four chapbooks, and a children’s book,These Words I Shaped for You. She is an editor at The Comstock Review. (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)

Ellen Rhudy is the 2018 Second Prize winner of Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Her work has appeared in Nimrod and is forthcoming in cream city review and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. When not writing, she works as an instructional designer. (Fiction)

Francine Ringold , Nimrod’s Senior Advisory Editor, completed two terms as Oklahoma’s Poet Laureate. Her books of poems, The Trouble with Voices: Poetry and Still Dancing, won the Oklahoma Book Award in 1996 and 2005. Her newest book is entitled From Birth to Birth: My Memoir—and a Guide for Yours. (Poetry, Memoir)

Patricia Smith , judge for Nimrod’s 2018 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, is the author of eight books of poetry, includingIncendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award, the 2017 L.A. Times Book Prize, the 2018 NAACP Image Award, and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize; and Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist. (Poetry)

Sharon Solwitz is the 2018 First Prize winner of Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. She is the author of the short story collectionBlood and Milk and the novels Bloody Mary and Once in Lourdes. She teaches fiction writing at Purdue University. (Fiction)

Julia Thomas is the author of the mystery novels The English Boys, a Library Journal Debut of the Month for 2016, and Penhale Wood. She is an educator in Tulsa. (Mystery)

A supplement to the biographical notes will be available at the conference and will introduce the one-on-one editors.

Saturday Conference registration includes workshops, panel discussions, readings, lunch (including vegetarian options), pitch sessions, and one-on-one editing sessions.

Pre-registration is required for participation in one-on-one editing sessions and novel-pitch critique sessions and must be received along with your work by Oct. 13th . One-on-one sessions are limited, so register early to ensure a spot. All panel discussions and group classes are open on a first-come, first-served basis. 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. and the book signing afterward. Afternoon one-on-one editing participants may move from their sessions to the Invitational Readings as time permits.

Scholarships to attend are available, particularly for students. 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, or, for those registering at Late Registration, please speak to a staff member at the time of your arrival.

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.


Registration Prices:

Standard Registration:

Early Bird Registration: (open through Sept. 30th): $50

Regular Registration: (open Oct. 1st – Oct. 16th): $60

Scholarship Applicants Registration: (open through Oct. 16th): $10

Late Registration Prices: $70 (standard) and $15 (scholarship) at the door on October 20th

Register online for Saturday’s Conference for Readers and Writers


Print a registration form here and mail to the address below. Mailed registrations must be received by the registration dates listed.

Nimrod International Journal

The University of Tulsa

800 S. Tucker Dr.

Tulsa, OK 74104

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