Dr. Susanne George Bloomfield
English professor, 308.865.8867 OR bloomfields@unk.edu

The 13th annual Nebraska Book Festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

“The goal for the festival is to acquaint Nebraskans with the great talent of Nebraska writers they may never have heard of before, as well as reacquaint them with the classic writers, such as Cather, Sandoz, Neihardt, Eiseley, Morris and Aldrich,” said Dr. Susanne Bloomfield, Nebraska Book Festival director and UNK professor of English. “It will also give them a chance to learn ways to improve their writing and how to get it published.”

The Nebraska Book Festival gives participants the opportunity to take part in presentations and discussions on major Nebraska writers, both classic and contemporary, all types of writing, many venues of publishing, and on organizing and revitalizing book clubs.

On Friday, the festival will feature a wine and cheese reception along with a showing of Tully, a movie based on a story by Nebraska writer Tom McNeal. Afterwards, a book and DVD signing will be held for McNeal along with other authors from the featured book, A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers, which is a collection of short stories by writers who have lived in Nebraska.

The conference activities on Saturday will feature 22 different sessions participants may choose from, including romance and fantasy writing, publishing advice, book clubs, Nebraska authors, children’s books, and prose and poetry readings. There will also be 20 tables of book vendors and organizations, along with a rare books expert who will appraise 2-3 books free for anyone interested.

An awards luncheon will honor recipients of the Jane Geske Award, the Mildred Bennett Award and the Nebraska Book Awards. Ron Block, one author featured inA Different Plain, will present the keynote address titled “Concerning Freaks, Book Clubs, and the Unbearable Distances of the Plains.”  Block is a Gothenburg native currently teaching creative writing in New Jersey.

The festival will conclude with a variety of readings from invited readers and any other writers who are interested in reading during the open microphone sessions.

The festival is free and open to the public, however, the luncheon meal is $10. Advance luncheon reservations are preferred.  To make luncheon reservations, call Taffnee Faimon at (308) 865-8887 or email:  faimonta@unk.edu  More information on the festival can be found at http://www.nebraskabookfestival.org

Along with UNK, the festival is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, the Nebraska Humanities Council, the University of Nebraska Press, the Kearney Public Library, the Kearney Hub and the Nebraska Library Commission.