Leslie Pietrzyk, winner of UNK writing contest, reading March 11 at Frank Museum

Leslie Pietrzyk
Leslie Pietrzyk

KEARNEY – Novelist Leslie Pietrzyk will share her work 7 p.m. March 11 as part of the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Reynolds Visiting Writers Series.

Pietrzyk will read her zippy and poignant short story “A Quiz,” as well as a novel currently in progress, during her appearance at the G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture on the UNK campus.

A resident of Alexandria, Virginia, Pietrzyk won the inaugural Sandhills Road Trip Writer’s Residency sponsored by the English departments at UNK and Chadron State College. The contest attracted 23 applicants from the U.S. and Canada.

“Among the strong submissions, Pietrzyk’s work caught our attention because of its energy,” said Brad Modlin, the Reynolds poetry chair in UNK’s Department of English. “In her award-winning fiction, she zips among sarcasm, humor and grief in ways that keep you guessing.”

Brad Modlin
Brad Modlin

Pietrzyk is the author of “Silver Girl,” released in 2018, and “This Angel on My Chest,” a collection of unconventionally linked short stories that won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was named one of the 16 best story collections of the year by Kirkus Reviews. Her other novels are “Pears on a Willow Tree” and “A Year and a Day.”

Pietrzyk, who was raised in Iowa, has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her story “Stay There” was awarded a Pushcart Prize for 2020.

As part of the Sandhills Road Trip Writer’s Residency, Pietrzyk will also visit Chadron State College and spend a week experiencing the beauty of the Sandhills area, including the annual crane migration.

“Nebraska has a lot to offer, and many writers from afar applied to take part in this opportunity,” Modlin said.

UNK’s Reynolds chair professorship and Visiting Writers Series are supported by an endowment from Paul and Clarice Reynolds.