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Local Literary Events

See 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 One Book – One Lincoln for 2020 ended January 31st. You can nominate year-round for future years’ consideration at our online nomination form.

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 Far Away Brothers (2019) | Killers of the Flower Moon (2018) | A Gentleman in Moscow (2017) | Being Mortal (2016) | Americanah (2015) | 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 [2002-2018] in PDF format. ]


During both the Spring and Fall, the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association 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 2020 schedule!

  • Wednesday, February 5, 2020 — author Linda Pratt presents a talk on her non-fiction volume Great Plains Literature, an exploration of literature reflecting on life on the Great Plains of the United States and Canada. The book includes topics ranging from the cultural destruction of the First People who lived here, through declining rural communities and growing urban a leading Lewis and Clark scholar and is editor of the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Wednesday, March 4, 2020 — Kenneth Dewey, author of Great Plains Weather, explains what makes the climate of the Great Plains unique in his captivating presentation of the historical climatology of extreme weather events. Climate continues to have significant economic and cultural impact in the Great Plains.
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020 — Lincoln City Libraries Director Pat Leach presents her annual talk about the ALA Notable Books of 2019.

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 latest entry in the Ames reading schedule:

Sunday, February 2, 2020, 2:00 p.m.

Dirk Chatelain will discuss his book 24th & Glory: The Intersection of Civil Rights and Omaha’s Greatest Generation of Athletes. His book examines how so many nationally known athletes came from one segregated neighborhood of North Omaha.

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 2020!

Past One Book One Nebraska selections have included Willa Cather’s My Antonia (2005), Omaha mystery novelist Alex Kava’s One False Move (2006), Mari Sandoz’ classic history text Crazy Horse (2007), Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn’s autobiography Restoring the Burnt Child (2008), Bess Streeter Aldrich’s A Lantern in Her Hand (2009), Wright Morris’ The Home Place (2010), Ted Kooser’s Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (2011), Joe Starita’s I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice (2012), Willa Cather’s classic novel, O Pioneers! (2013), Bob Greene’s Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen (2014), Death Zones and Darling Spies by Beverly Deepe Keever (2015), The Meaning of Names by Karen Gettert Shoemaker (2016), and Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt (2017), Nebraska Presence: A Poetry Anthology (2018), and This Blessed Earth by Ted Genoways (2019).

The 2020 selected title is All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor, written by Donald Stratton, with Ken Gire. As the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks approaches, Don, a great-grandfather of five and one of five living survivors of the Arizona, offers a unprecedentedly intimate reflection on the tragedy that drew America into the greatest armed conflict in history. All the Gallant Men is a book for the ages, one of the most remarkable — and remarkably inspiring — memoirs of any kind to appear in recent years. You can find more information about the current and past 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 the events page on their website at: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso.

Crescent Moon Reading Series

Where: Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N. 8th St.)
When: Mondays at 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 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 Events.

Lincoln Open Mic Night at Night Owl Pub

Where: Night Owl Pub (3233 S. 13th St.)
When: Every Wednesday night, 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Every Wednesday night features an Open Mic available for musicians and poets.

Lincoln Scrabble® Club

Where: Braeda Fresh Express Cafe – 4231 S. 33rd St. (33rd & Pioneers)
When: The second and fourth Tuesdays of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 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 402-730-8974 or email at trudy2(at)

Speak, Poet

Where: The Bay (2005 Y St.)
When: Last Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Open Mic poetry night on the last Thursday of every month.

Star City Slam

Where: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St.)
When: Not regularly scheduled – see their events page for updates

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 the Events page on their website at: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso.

Writer’s Night

Where: Gratitude Cafe & Bakery (1551 N. Cotner)
When: Fourth (last) Saturday of each month at 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The only prime time weekend writer’s night in town, with a featured reading, open mic and discussion for poets, novelists, and short story writers. Gratitude Cafe Events 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.

[ Turning the Pages of Romance Conferences: 2004 | 2005 | 2006 ]