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Local Literary Events

underconstruction250See listings of regularly-scheduled literary events both at the libraries (One Book – One Lincoln, John H. Ames Reading Series, Lunch at the Library) and in the surrounding Lincoln, NE community — including readings, signings, the One Book One Nebraska selection for this year and various other special presentations!

See also: Lincoln City Libraries-sponsored Book Groups | Non-LCL Book Groups

>>> Submit your own community Literary Event information! <<<

Current Lincoln City Libraries Literary Events

one book one lincoln c450Nominations for the 2015 One Book – One Lincoln are now closed, and the list of titles has been turned over to the selection committee, who will narrow it down to both a short list (9-12 titles), a finalists list (3) and the ultimate winning title. Watch for the the top 3 finalists and the winning title to be announced on Memorial Day.

You can sign up to be notified by e-mail about all new developments regarding One Book – One Lincoln. You can become a fan of One Book – One Lincoln on Facebook by “liking” the One Book – One Lincoln Facebook group. We also encourage you to stop by the One Book – One Lincoln Blog, where you can leave comments about the book selections and the entire One Book process in response to posted discussion topics.

[ One Book – One Lincoln archives: The Light Between Oceans [2014] | The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry [2013] | Destiny of the Republic [2012] | Cutting for Stone [2011] | I Am a Man [2010] | People of the Book [2009] | The Thirteenth Tale [2008] | The Worst Hard Time [2007] | The Devil in the White City [2006] | The Kite Runner [2005] | Peace Like a River [2004] | Bel Canto [2003] | Plainsong [2002] ] [ Master list of all One Book — One Lincoln finalists and selected titles [2002-2013] in PDF format. ]


During both the Spring and Fall, the Nebraska Literary Heritage Assocation sponsors a free monthly “brown bag” lecture series, featuring readings and talks by Nebraska authors. The programs are held in the 4th floor auditorium of the Bennett Martin Public Library downtown, at 14th and “N” Sts. Unless otherwise specified, programs begin at 12:10 p.m. and end before 1:00 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch…coffee is provided by The Mill in Lincoln.

Here is the Winter/Spring 2016-2017 schedule!

  • Wednesday, February 1, 2017 — Timothy Anderson — Professor/Editor/Designer — Timothy G. Anderson has taught journalism at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and prior to that worked as an editor and designer for a number of newspapers, including the New York Times and Newsday.  He will be discussing his new book, Lonesome Dreamer:  The Life of John G. Neihardt.
  • Wednesday, March 1, 2017 — Christine Starr Davis — Poet — will discuss her highly acclaimed chapbook, Sin, Bone, Feather, published by Tusculum Review in 2016. Her poems have been widely printed and anthologized in publications such as The Tusculum Review, Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 — Pat Leach — Director of the Lincoln City Libraries — ALA Notable Books of 2016 — A book lovers romp through some of the best books published in the past year!

Visit the Lincoln City Libraries’ Lunch at the Library page for more information.

amesDuring both the Spring and Fall, the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors sponsors a free Sunday afternoon lecture series, featuring readings by Nebraska authors. The programs are held in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors, on the 3rd floor of the Bennett Martin Public Library downtown, at 14th and “N” Sts. Ames readings are held on Sunday afternoons, starting at 2:00 p.m.

Here is the next entry in the Ames reading schedule:

Sunday, October 23, 2016 – Ladette Randolph

Ladette RandolphLadette Randolph, editor of A Different Plain, will be featured for the Fall John H. Ames Reading Series with contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers whose stories are included in the book. This program will bring these disparate writers – Jonis Agee, Anna Monardo, Timothy Schaffert, Karen Shoemaker and Brent Spencer – into the state’s tent to share what it means to be writers from Nebraska and to give a short reading of their work.

Ladette Randolph is Editor-in-Chief of Ploughshares at Emerson College. She is the author of four books: two novels: Haven’s Wake and A Sandhills Ballad, the short story collection This is Not the Tropics, and the memoir Leaving the Pink House. In addition to A Different Plain, she is editor of a collection of contemporary Nebraska non-fiction writers, The Big Empty. She has published stories and essays in numerous literary journals. She is the recipient of four Nebraska Book Awards, a Rona Jaffe grant, a Pushcart Prize, a Virginia Faulkner award, and has been reprinted in Best New American Voices. She is co-owner of the manuscript consulting firm Randolph Lundine. A long-time Nebraskan, Ladette spent her childhood in the same part of west-central Nebraska where her family lived for five generations. She now lives in Boston with her husband, Noel Eicher.


adifferentplainAbout the Readers

Excerpts from Anna Monardo’s novel Falling In Love with Natassia first appeared in Prairie Schooner and were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Her first novel, The Courtyard of Dreams, set largely in southern Italy, was translated into German, Norwegian and Danish, and was nominated for a PEN/Hemingway Award and recommended for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories, essays and poems have been anthologized, featured on National Public Radio, and published in The Sun, More,, Huffington Post, Poets & Writers, Indiana Review and other magazines and journals. A three-time recipient of Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships in fiction and creative nonfiction, she teaches in the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Writer’s Workshop.

Timothy Schaffert is the author of five novels, most recently The Swan Gondola, which was an Oprah 2.0 Book Club “book of the week.” His work has been recognized by the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers series, has been a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and has received special mention from Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Prize Stories anthology. His first novel, The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters, is currently in development as a feature film. He is a professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Karen Gettert Shoemaker is the author of the novel The Meaning of Names and the collection Night Sounds and Other Stories. Her novel was selected for the communitywide reading programs One Book One Nebraska, 2016, and Omaha Public Library’s “Omaha Reads” 2014. Her short story collection received a Nebraska Center for the Book Award in 2003. She is a faculty mentor at UNO’s MFA in Writing Program.

Brent Spencer is the author of The Lost Son, a novel, Are We Not Men?, a collection of short fiction, and Rattlesnake Daddy, a memoir that won a Nebraska Book Award. His short stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Midland Review, Epoch, and elsewhere. He directs the creative writing program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.


Visit the Lincoln City Libraries’ John H. Ames Reading Series page for more information.

Current Non-Lincoln City Libraries Literary Events

obon200One Book One Nebraska

Following the ongoing success of the first several years of One Book One Nebraska, the Nebraska Library Commission, the Nebraska Center for the Book, the Nebraska Library Association, the Nebraska Regional Library Systems and other organizations are sponsoring yet another year of One Book One Nebraska in 2016! Past One Book One Nebraska selections have included Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Omaha mystery novelist Alex Kava’s One False Move, Mari Sandoz’ classic history text Crazy Horse, Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn’s autobiography Restoring the Burnt Child, Bess Streeter Aldrich’s A Lantern in Her Hand, Wright Morris’ The Home Place, Ted Kooser’s Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, Joe Starita’s I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, Willa Cather’s classic novel, O Pioneers!, Bob Greene’s Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen, Death Zones and Darling Spies by Beverly Deepe Keever and The Meaning of Names by Karen Gettert Shoemaker.

The 2017 selected title is Black Elk Speaks, the classic 1932 book by John G. Neihardt, which shares the story of Black Elk, an Oglala Lakota medicine man. You can find more information about the 2005-2017 events at the official One Book One Nebraska Web site.

Other Lincoln-area ongoing Literary Events

Acoustic Open Mic for Musicians and Poets

Where: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St.)
When: Every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

For information about events at Meadowlark Coffee, check out their Facebook page at: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso.

The Clean Part Reading Series

Where: Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (12th and “R” St.)
When: Occasional Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.

This series showcases innovative poets from across the country. For more information, and a schedule of upcoming dates, check out: The Sheldon Memorial Art Galley schedule of upcoming events.

Crescent Moon Reading Series

Where: Crescent Moon Coffee (816 “P” St.)
When: Mondays at 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Mondays at 7:00 pm is the Crescent Moon Readings Series followed by an open mic. We feature a writer for the first hour of the evening and then offer the microphone to anyone who has written poetry, stories, or songs and wished to have the opportunity to share them. The Crescent Moon Reading and Music Room is indoors across the courtyard from Crescent Moon Coffee.. For more information, check out their website at: Crescent Moon Readings.

Indigo Bridge – Open Mic Night

Where: Indigo Bridge Bookstore (701 P St. Suite 102.)
When: Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Open Mic Night is co-hosted by Indigo Bridge staff and Open Mic Night core contributors. Each week brings a little something different, be it music, poetry, singing, prose or performance. One week a month features a special guest contributor from these fields. Bring your poetry, guitar or your interest in seeing some awesome locals share their craft. For information about events at Indigo Bridge, check out their website at: Indigo Bridge Bookstore.

Lincoln Scrabble® Club

Where: Eiseley Branch Library (15th and Superior St.)
When: The third Wednesday of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; also the second Tuesday of every month at the Hy-Vee Store, 51st & “O”, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Lincoln Scrabble® Club is a group of casual to competitive Scrabble® players from the Lincoln, Nebraska area. All ages and all skills levels are welcome. We play by the game rules of the National Scrabble® Association. For more information, you can call Judy at 483-6233 or email at trudy2(at)

Star City Slam

Where: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St.)
When: Second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Offering featured performers and a cash prize for first place, it’s a poetry slam where the winner can never use the same winning poems again to get that top prize, in this winner takes all rhetoric throw down. For information about events at Meadowlark Coffee, check out their Facebook page at: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso.

Tuesdays with Writers at The Mill — College View

Where: The Mill — College View (4736 Prescott St)
When: First Tuesday of each month

Readings by featured authors, plus communal book/writing discussions. Check out the Tuesdays With Writers blog for more information (not updated recently).

Upcoming Schedule:


Past Literary Events – Historical Archives

mayhem2010After many years, through 2010, the annual Mayhem in the Midlands Mystery Conference over the Memorial Day weekend, apparently ended in 2011. Organizers (primarily the Omaha Public Library) sent out a press release in early March, 2011, announcing that the 2011 convention has been cancelled, after 11 straight successes. The press release ended on a positive note, asking mystery fans to check back on Mayhem in 2012, although no convention materialized!Although the weblink for the convention is not currently active, you can “like” the Mayhem in the Midlands Crime Fiction Conference on Facebook to stay up-to-date on additional developments. The latest news since 2012 was that the organizers were looking at ways to re-established the convention in the future.

romancelogo2005aFans of Romance Fiction joined with a dozen romance authors at each of Lincoln’s three Turning the Pages of Romance conferences, in 2004, 2005 and 2006. These events, co-sponsored by the Lincoln City Libraries and the Omaha Public Library, proved to be a popular way to meet and interact with professional romance authors from the midwest each Spring.

[ Past Romance Conferences: 2004 | 2005 | 2006 ]