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Speedwriting & Reading Watch Party

First annual Larksong Speedwriting & Reading Watch Party - like a tailgate for literary folk. 

Larksong's 4th Annual Speedwriting & Reading Party

Let’s kick off the Holiday Season with some fast-paced writing and short but powerful reading sessions!

The format is simple. We alternate five-minute readings with 15-minute mini writing workshops that start with a craft talk and end with a writing prompt. Five readings, four workshops, so you’ll not only leave the event inspired but you’ll have some new writing too!

After the presentations there’s time for a Q&A with writers and other participants.

Fill up your fountain pens, sharpen your pencils or charge those computers! This event is flat out fast-paced fun!

New this year! An in-house watch party at Larksong Writers Place! Watch and write together at Larksong, then stay for a pizza party after! It's a Holiday PARTY afterall. Register separately under "On-site Events" for the the watch party.

 

First Friday Book Talk & Reading w Carson Vaughan

“A marvelous, meaningful book, full of deep reporting, fine writing, and big questions about the nature of community, of living with animals, of challenging values. Zoo Nebraska will surprise and engage you and make you think.” 

— Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book  and The Orchid Thief

First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Nancy Welch

Winner of the Black Lawrence Press Prize for Fiction 2023! 

Book Launch: Roxanne Rector

Quintessential: Book 4: Willow

“ I… don’t… want… to… die… down… here.” Willow’s brain felt fuzzy like someone had filled her head with cotton.

Family secrets keep crashing into the Trevino quints teen lives, this time quite literally. Willow discovers a long lost secret science lab of their ancestors when it collapses beneath her feet. Her curiosity about what’s hidden in the secret side room has her disobeying her parents for the first time and returning to the unsafe place only to soon find herself fighting for her life. Will her dreamy guardian angel save her or leave her there to learn the consequences of her actions? Will sweet, calm, obedient Willow see the error of her ways or will she continue down her new path of misbehavior?

 

Warrior Writers Workshop

First Friday Book Talk & Reading w/ Kevin Clouther

"With meticulous craft and profound compassion, Kevin Clouther conjures this vibrant collection of connected stories of friends wrestling the ghosts of their past. Balancing heart and humor, Maximum Speed bears witness to the raw hope of youth and the bittersweet wisdom of age."

-Frances de Pontes Peebles, author of The Air You Breathe

"Moving effortlessly between humor and heartbreak, these stories add up, as in the best linked collections, to a rich and varied world of tenderness and beauty."

-Nathan Oates, author of A Flaw in the Design

"With artistry and heart, Kevin Clouther has written a superbly crafted collection of linked stories."

-Patricia Ann McNair, author of Responsible Adults

Kevin Clouther's second story collection, Maximum Speed, is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press in November 2023. He is the author of We Were Flying to Chicago: Stories (Catapult). He is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha Writer's Workshop, where he directs the MFA in Writing. He lives with his wife and two children in Omaha.

First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Jessica Hendry Nelson

Joy Rides through the Tunnel of Grief  

Essays on love, wonder, and the fierce bonds between women.

“Stunning, hilarious, propulsive book--somehow breathless and thoughtful at once--that I'll remember the rest of my days...."

       —LESLIE JAMISON, author of  THE RECOVERING: INTOXICATION AND ITS AFTERMATH  and the THE EMPATHY EXAMS

“I didn't just read this book--I consumed it. Joy Rides through the Tunne of Grief is raw and fecund, heartbreaking, wise, wickedly funn, and razor sharp--one woman's brave and vulnerable navigationf of the daily pathos and joy that ultimately tells the story of the human condition. At times the sheer craft of [the] writing stopped my breath and made me immediately re-read a passage just so that I could experience it again."

—Emily Saliers, Indigo Girls

Jessica Hendry Nelson is the author of the new memoir Joy Rides Through the Tunnel of Grief, winner of the AWP Sue William Silverman Prize.   Her memoir, If Only You People Could Follow Directions (2014), was selected as a best debut book by the Indies Introduce New Voices program, the Indies Next List by the American Booksellers' Association, named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Review, received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, and reviewed nationally in print and on NPR—including twice in (O) Oprah Magazine.

First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Matt Mason

 

“Matt Mason’s poems have energy. Matt Mason’s poems have drive, and craft, and heart, and excitement, and funny lines like “I want to see two words rhyme / who never thought of each other that way before” —lines which harken back to other things Mason’s poems have, such as tenderness and wildness and celebrations of young and other kinds of love—love of music, family, laughter, and good poems, which, by the way, Matt Mason’s Rock Stars is full of.”

— Charles Harper Webb, author of Sidebend World and Ursula Lake

Matt Mason is the Nebraska State Poet and, through the US State Department, has run poetry programs in Botswana, Romania, Nepal and Belarus. Mason is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Nebraska Arts Council. His work can be found in The New York Times, on NPR’s Morning Edition, in American Life in Poetry and more. Mason’s 4th book, At the Corner of Fantasy and Main: Disneyland, Midlife and Churros, was released by The Old Mill Press in 2022.

First Friday Reading - July 2023

The Long March Home 
A World War II novel of the Pacific
New from NYT Bestselling authors 
Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee 

"Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire.Life in the Philippines seems like paradise–until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: Imperial Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as enemy warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific Theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history."

First Friday Reading - June 2023

Praise for Allison L. Bitz's novel The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom:

“A funny, bold, and heartwarming ode to the thrill of performing, the beauty of friendships, the joy of falling in love, and the satisfaction of self-discovery. The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom is a beautiful reminder to be bold, love big, and take up space.”                                                                                                  — Crystal Maldonado, award-winning author of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and No Filter and Other Lies

“Bold, bright, and with a dash of Midwest charm, The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom has a voice that sings. Bitz’s joyful debut is one to cheer for—Bridget herself wouldn’t have it any other way.” — Joan F. Smith, author of The Half-Orphan’s Handbook and The Other Side of Infinity

“Bridget Bloom is a fat positive heroine we’ve been waiting for! For everyone who has ever struggled to find their voice, every page of this story sings with a message about what it means to find love and learn to love yourself.” - Kelly deVos, author of Eat Your Heart Out

The Fruits of (Our) Writers Group

First Friday Reading - May 2023

Mary Helen Stefaniak’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many publications. Of her new novel, The World of Pondside, a mystery that takes place in a nursing home, Booklist said, “Stefaniak infuses an often forbidding environment with joy and dignity.” Her previous novel, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, was selected by Rita Dove and Henry Louis Gates Jr. to receive the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation for a diversity of cultures. Independent booksellers selected The Cailiffs as an Indie-Next “Great Read.” Her first novel, The Turk and My Mother, received the 2005 John Gardner Fiction Award and has been translated into seven languages. It was named a Favorite Book of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune. Both novels, along with her first book, Self Storage and Other Stories, were honored by the Wisconsin Library Association.

Book Launch Event - Lucy Adkins, Twyla Hansen, David Wyatt

Join poets Lucy Adkins, Twyla Hansen, and David Wyatt in celebrating the publication of their latest books! 

Book Launch Event - Katie Schmid, Katie Marya, and Kate Gaskin

Join authers and UNL graduate students Katie Schmid, Katie Marya, and Kate Gaskin in celebrating the publication of their new books!

Book Launch Event - Jamaica Baldwin, Jessica Poli, Kimberly Reyes

Join authors and UNL graduate students Jamaica Baldwin, Jessica Poli, and Kimberly Reyes in celebrating the publication of their new books. 

First Friday Reading - April 2023

Sherrie Flick is the author of a novel and two short story collections. Her collection Thank Your Lucky Stars (Autumn House Press) is now an audio book. Adina Verson performed her story “Heidi is Dead,” from her debut collection Whiskey, Etc.(Autumn House Press) for NPR’s December 2022 Selected Shorts. New work appears in PloughsharesNew England Review, and Booth. She is a senior editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, served as series editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018 (Braddock Avenue Books), and co-edited the anthology Flash Fiction America (February 2023, W. W. Norton). 

Book Launch Event - Keith Walton

Author and historian Keith Walton will share his new book, The Last Full Measure: From America's Heartland to the Battlefields of Vietnam - Remembering the Fallen from One Nebraska Town.

First Friday Reading - March 2023

 

Terese Svoboda has won the Guggenheim, the Bobst Prize in fiction, the Iowa Poetry Prize, an NEH translation grant, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, a Jerome Foundation video prize, the O. Henry Award for the short story, and a Pushcart Prize for the essay. Her opera WET premiered at L.A.'s Disney Hall.  Roxy and Coco, her 20th book, will be published in 2024.

Dog on Fire is the fourth book she's published in five years in four genres, the others being Theatrix: Poetry Plays (poetry, Anhinga Press) “A tour de force collection that explodes our notion of the fourth wall” – Virginia Konchan; Great American Desert (stories, Mad Creek Books) "Great  American  Desert is a devious and extraordinary new collection of stories from one of our best writers, Terese Svoboda." -- Karen Russell; and Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet (biography, Schaffner Press) “Magisterial” – Washington Post.

Book Launch Event - With Barbara Salvatore

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Larksong is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a tax-deductible donation.