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June 8, 2009

Getting at the heart of things

With the local conference's history going back to 1990 at earliest, the annual gathering of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference from July 24 to July 26 is rumored to be one of the best yet. Skeptics have doubted the success of a nonfiction-centric event, but George Getschow, principal writer-in-residence and organizer for conference, notes in The Star Telegram:

"At a time when the newspaper industry’s in trouble, people ask, 'Aren’t you in trouble?’" Getschow says. "We’re not. We continue to enjoy robust registrations....I think we’ve tapped into a vein that there’s this deep, almost innate need to tell stories. Storytelling is alive and well despite the troubles newspapers are having today."

Indeed, excitement over the conference, as well of the location, has been high. Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands and Swimming in the Volcano, emphasizes the quality of the Mayborn gathering, and says that it is...

"the most compelling, remarkable writers’ conference I’ve attended in more than twenty years of writers’ conferences around the nation. And now, thanks and ever thanks to the Mayborn tribe of storytellers, I have to think of Dallas as a preferred destination, a center of literary gravity, perhaps the very heart of the universe these days for nonfiction writers in America."

At a conference featuring such names as Ira Glass (pictured above), Paul Theroux, Roy Blount Jr., one could expect nothing less.

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