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2003 Nebraska Book Festival

October 24-25, 12th Annual
Creighton University, Omaha
“Books Alive!”

Article from The NCB News, Vol. 13, No. 2, Summer 2003

Creighton University, in Omaha, is the site for the 2003 Nebraska Book Festival. Scheduled for October 24-25, this year’s festival will celebrate Nebraska’s literary heritage and the life of books.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB) in cooperation with the Nebraska Library Commission, and with funding from the Nebraska Humanities Council and support from Borders Books, the festival will feature presentations, events, and displays for adults, children, and young people.

The theme for this year’s festival is Books Alive!, drawing attention to the living history of books from yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Presentations will include panels on Nebraska’s classic authors, discussions on how to get published, and sessions on everything from how to make your own books to displays of author manuscripts, to the future of the book in a digital age. Throughout the festival, contemporary writers from Nebraska and beyond will give readings from their work and conduct writing workshops and discussions.

The focus of Friday’s program is on middle and high school students, with readings by published writers, workshops on writing and bookmaking, and opportunities for student writers to read their own work before a live audience. Lunch will be provided at a reasonable cost. Pre-registration is required. On Friday evening, New York Times best-selling author and Creighton alum Ron Hansen will read from his work. Hansen is the author of such award-winning novels as Mariette in Ecstasy, Atticus, and Isn’t It Romantic?

Saturday’s program will include readings, panels, presentations, and hands-on displays. During the awards luncheon, recipients of the Mildred Bennett Award and the Nebraska Book Awards will be honored. This year’s keynote event will be a Saturday night showing of the award-winning documentary film Stone Reader, followed by a buffet dinner and a moderated onstage discussion with the film’s director, Mark Moskowitz. The film chronicles a book lover’s search for the author of a critically acclaimed novel who disappeared. The director solves this fascinating literary mystery and shares his passion for books and insights into the book publishing industry. Featured prominently in the film are literary critic Leslie Fiedler, director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Frank Conroy, and literary agent Carl Brandt.

On both days, Mexican poet Ambar Past will read from her work and conduct a workshop in book-making. Past, who was born in North Carolina and has lived in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico since 1974, writes in Spanish and Tzotzil. She coordinates a paper-making and publishing cooperative of Mayan women, Taller Leñateros, and edits La Jícara, regarded by many as the best poetry magazine in Mexico. Her latest publishing project is Conjuros y Ebriedades, the songs of Mayan women.

Displays will include a high-tech computer kiosk on the future of the book and an interactive DVD station exhibiting the work of Creighton authors. Throughout Saturday, Nebraska publishers, author groups, and literary organizations will display and sell merchandise at a book fair. Vendor registration deadline is October 10. To register, complete and send the Web form at

An added feature of this year’s festival will be a number of book events taking place throughout Omaha, including readings by Richard Duggin, Art Homer, Anna Monardo, James Reed, and others; displays in area libraries; and related events. In addition, the festival organizers will expand on last year’s very successful “A Gathering of Groups,” providing meeting space for the state’s book and writing groups, along with discussions on how to start and sustain such groups.


Friday, October 24

Student Day





Group A: Middle School

Group B: High School

Group C: High School



Saturday, October 25










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