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Monday, May 11, 2009


Gay Talese said of our conference, "I came to know an extraordinary gathering of writers, journalists, educators, students and readers devoted to the art and craft of literary nonfiction, a subject that has been my passion and my mission for a half century. I'm convinced that anyone who attends the Mayborn Conference will leave with a new level of insights, storytelling skills, and understanding of the aesthetic qualities and requirements of literary nonfiction. The Mayborn Conference is the gathering place in the country for serious nonfiction writers who want to deeply explore the craft and learn how its practiced at the highest levels. And that is why I'm encouraging every journalist and nonfiction writer I know to attend this summer's Mayborn Conference, and to submit their articles, essays and book-length manuscripts to the Conference Workshops."

UNT’s Mayborn Conference accepting entries for literary competition

Prizes include a book deal and $15,000 in cash.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Since 2005, the University of North Texas’ Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference has awarded four book contracts to emerging authors. This summer could be your chance to get published.

The conference, which will feature NPR host Ira Glass and be held July 24–26 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, is accepting manuscripts, essays and articles for its literary competition. Additionally, the conference has teaming up with the Writer’s Garret, a prominent non-profit writing organization in Dallas, to help writers prepare their entries for the competition.

The conference and competition are sponsored by the Mayborn Graduate School of Journalism, which will become part of the university’s newly announced Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism when it opens on Sept. 1. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted formal creation of the Mayborn School earlier this month upon recommendation from the UNT System Board of Regents.

Selected entries will get the opportunity to work one-on-one with industry professionals in conference workshops, which will be held July 24 (Friday) before the official start of the conference. These entries also will compete for $15,000 in cash prizes and the chance to be published.

“This conference presents an enormous opportunity for unknown writers to get recognized and published,” said George Getschow, the conference’s writer-in-residence. “There are established writers who have tried unsuccessfully for years to be published. This is a rare opportunity.”

Two copies of each entry should be mailed to the Mayborn Graduate School of Journalism at 1155 Union Circle, #311460, Denton, TX 76203, attention George Getschow. Entries also must be submitted electronically to The deadline for submissions is June 1 (Monday).

Essays and articles should be no longer than 20 pages. A non-refundable entry fee applies. Twenty manuscripts and 50 essays will be selected for workshop participation. Contest winners will be selected from this group of 70 finalists. The winner of the manuscript competition will receive $3,000 and the option to enter a book publishing contract with the UNT Press. The top three entries in the categories of personal essays and mini-memoirs and reporting and research-based narratives that focus on people will receive $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. The best articles and narratives and personal essays will be included in the 2010 edition of Ten Spurs, the conference’s literary journal. For more entry information visit

To register for the conference, visit Conference fees are $295 for the general public. Student fees are $225. Educator fees are $270. Conference seating is limited. For more information, call 940-565-4564. The conference is open to the public with no requirement to submit competitive essays or a book manuscript proposal.

For more information about the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference Competition, contact Jo Ann Ballantine, conference manager, at 940-565-4778.