UNK-For the ninth year, aspiring writers will congregate at the University of Nebraska at Kearney for the Fort Kearny Summer Writers’ Conference.

The conference, set for July 10-14, will offer workshops in poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The daily schedule will include workshops, from 9-11:30 p.m.; lectures and panels, from 1-2 p.m.; individual conferences and writing times, from 2:30-4 p.m.; and readings, from 7-9 p.m.

Featured writers will be Dan O’Brien, Charles Fort and Dr. Barbara Emrys.

O’Brien is a South Dakota writer, rancher and falconer who has published eight books of fiction and nonfiction. He has been awarded the Western Writers Best First Novel Award for Spirit of the Hills and the Short Fiction Award by the University of Iowa School of Letters for Eminent Domain. His most recent novel, The Contract Surgeon, is an historical novel dealing with the life of Crazy Horse. Currently, he is completing a work of nonfiction called The Buffalo Blues. O’Brien holds an M.F.A. from Bowling Green University.

Conference director Dr. Steven Schneider said, “O’Brien’s appearance at the conference will give students and participants the opportunity to work closely with a nationally known writer.”

Charles Fort is the Reynolds Chair in Poetry and a professor of English at UNK. A MacDowell fellow, he has received major literary awards from the Poetry Society of America and Writer’s Voice, as well as the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize. His poems have been included in 16 anthologies, most recently The Best of Prose Poem International. Among Fort’s books are The Town Clock Burning, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press under the Classic Contemporary Series, and Darvil, published by St. Andrews Press. He has also published two Reynolds Chair books, We Did Not Fear the Father and As the Lilac Burned the Laurel Grew.

Dr. A.B. (Barbara) Emrys, an associate professor of English at UNK, has published more than 30 creative prose and fiction pieces, from the Chicago Tribune to The Prairie Schooner, Portland and Paragraph. She received the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award for memoir, was a resident at the Norcroft Writing Retreat for Women, and will spend this June at the Vermont Studio Center working on a travel memoir. She also has edited both small press and commercial journals, publishes as a scholar in popular culture, and is past president of the Great Plains chapter of the Popular Culture Association.

Conference participants in previous years found the experience to be valuable. “What a wonderful conference,” said Mary Maas of Stanton. “I have been to several weekend conferences, and they don’t even compare to the full week of enthusiasm, sharing and learning we all enjoyed to the max!”

“Thanks to the fine teaching and leadership that you provided, all of us who participated have, in my view, grown,” added Joe Berry of York. “As a result, the future of the Fort Kearny workshop seems bright.”

The application deadline is June 26. The conference fee and completed conference form are due at the UNK Division of Continuing Education by that date. Students may enroll in the conference for undergraduate or graduate credit for the conference fee plus tuition. Tuition and fees for students seeking two undergraduate credits is $175; three undergraduate credit hours, $262.50; and two graduate credits, $208.50. In addition, there is a conference fee of $55. The conference may be taken on a credit or non-credit basis. The cost for those who are taking the workshop on a non-credit basis is $219, which includes the $55 registration fee.

On-campus housing is available in the Centennial Towers Residence Hall. Rates are $20 per night for a single, or $12.50 per night for a double.

For more information on the conference, contact Dr. Schneider at 308-865-8297. This session is part of the Summer Synergy 2000 offerings at UNK. Summer Synergy includes short-term classes and workshops, as well as selected special events and enrichment activities. For more information on Summer Synergy, visit the web site at www.unk.edu/summersynergy/.