“Nimrod” conference offers opportunities for student writers

This international literary journal will host panel discussions and meetings with published authors and agents this October.

With the spookiest month of the year creeping up, a convention covering a university student’s worst nightmare arrives, stalking the dark corners of TU with memories of late nights, mental breakdowns and rather unimpressive outcomes. This fear? Writing.

“Nimrod,” an international literary journal founded on our very own campus, celebrates the return of skeleton memes by conducting their yearly writing conference. Taking place Oct. 18-19, the conference consists of a series of panels and discussions with 16 different writers covering every possible field, as well as the chance to speak with a real-as-steel media agent.

The first night will focus on the reception of two published authors. Attendees can meet and chat with the special guests, Kim Addonizio and Margot Livesey, at the Tulsa Historical Society from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The visitors are two extremely decorated writers from different specializations, offering a diverse take on the commonalities associated with their preferred field.

Kim Addonizio specializes in confessional style poetry, preferring to toss aside societal conventions and speak from her mind, utilizing country analogies and her slicing sense of humor to talk about love, heartbreak and herself. With seven published poetry collections, her style is reminiscent of Sylvia Plath with less despair, shown exquisitely in the titular poem of her fifth poetry collection, “Lucifer at the Starlight.”

Her counterpart for the night is Margot Livesey, an accomplished mystery writer that specializes in taut pacing and keeping the reader at the edge of their seat. With a penchant for including supernatural and psychological maladies in her novels, Livesey creates ethereal works that push and pull on conventional relationships, asking questions about the nature of boundaries and trust in fraternal and romantic pairings. Her novel “The Missing World” illustrates these concepts well, following the journey of an amnesiatic whose boyfriend takes advantage of those missing memories to rewrite their past. This two hour event is completely free and open to the public.

The second day will take place at TU in Keplinger Hall and the Allan Chapman Student Union. Starting at 10:00 a.m., day two includes panel discussions covering topics like writing strategy in relation to highly upsetting events, dialogue construction, character development in literature, use of archetypes and a discussion with a publishing agent. Lunch will be served at noon, then participants will return to the masterclasses at 1:35 p.m.

The second half of the day will focus on revising poetry, tactics behind an opening paragraph, elements of mystery, use of social media in modern nonfiction, collaborative writing, and for those who register early, the opportunity to meet with an agent one-on-one to discuss your novel and another opportunity to meet alone with an editor. If that sentence seemed long, it is because this is a very large amount of information and opportunities packed into a single day.

For University of Tulsa students, the cost is $10. The pre-registration period to attend has already begun, and the slots for special one-on-one editing and novel-query letter analysis are doled out on a first-come, first-served basis. For anyone that sits on the fence, two days of listening to published authors speaking about their craft should cost far more than $10. Not too many deals like this happen. Registration forms can be mailed or taken to the “Nimrod” office on the third floor of Zink Hall.

Post Author: Adam Walsh