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UNT Insider | May 2012 issue | Mayborn Conference features Pulitzer Prize-winning speakers

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Mayborn Conference features Pulitzer Prize-winning speakers

From a UNT News Service press release

Conference registration information can be found online. For more information, call 940-565-4564 or contact Jo Ann Ballantine, conference manager, at 940-565-4778 or

The pre-eminent Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, now in its eighth year, will explore the myriad ways in which journalists and authors crisscross the murky terrain between fiction, nonfiction and other genres.

The conference is hosted by the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and will be held July 20-22 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas.

The Mayborn's keynote speakers are:

  • Luis Alberto Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist who has published extensively in all genres, including poetry
  • Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and editor of 26 works of fiction, history, biography and memoir
  • Isabel Wilkerson, the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize. For her epic narrative, The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson played the role of a Broadway casting director -- interviewing 1,200 people across America to find three perfect protagonists to tell the untold story of black America’s great Diaspora.

Read the biographies for Urrea, Rhodes and Wilkerson.

The 2012 conference also will host a special panel comprised of Little, Brown and Company's top nonfiction editor and four prominent literary agents who will unveil the mystery of writing, editing and publishing for the literary market.

Other nationally known writers speaking at the conference include:

  • Debby Applegate, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Most Famous Man in America, a biography of Henry Ward Beecher
  • Tom Junod, writer-at-large for Esquire, author of some of the country's most controversial and enduring journalism, such as his classic eulogy for the dead of 9/11, "The Falling Man"
  • Jeanne Marie Laskas, a nonfiction author whose narratives in GQ, Esquire and other magazines capture the voice of migrant workers, football players and other subjects on the page more adroitly than a ventriloquist
  • Alisa Valdes, a former staff writer for the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times, who has become a bestselling fiction writer

In total, the 2012 conference will feature more than 30 of the nation’s pre-eminent journalists, authors and visual storytellers.

  • What: The 8th annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference presented by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at UNT. For a full list of conference speakers and sessions, visit the Mayborn Conference website.
  • When: July 20-22
  • Where: Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, 1800 Highway 26 East in Grapevine, Texas
  • Cost: Conference seating is limited. Conference registration includes all speaker sessions as well as several meals. Full conference registration fees are:
    • $295 for general public
    • $225 for students
    • $270 for educators

Leslie Wimmer with UNT News Service can be reached at

Read other stories in this issue:

May 2012

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