Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference

About the Conference

Storytelling is the heart of The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. This nationally acclaimed annual event is where journalists, writers, readers, students, and educators meet to discuss their accomplishments, aspirations and angst.

Held each summer in Grapevine, Texas (just north of DFW International Airport), the conference features:

  • Top tier writers from Texas, the U.S. and around the globe
  • $15,000 in cash awards
  • Cash awards in the categories of personal essays and reported narratives
  • A cash award and a book contract with UNT Press for the best book manuscript
  • Ten best submissions published in "Ten Spurs" literary journal
  • Opportunities to meet with publishers and literary agents
  • Inspiration for practicing the craft of writing at the highest possible level

For More Information

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What People
are Saying

“What distinguishes the Mayborn isn’t merely the quality of the talent it attracts, but the refreshing lack of pretension. George Getschow, Mitch Land and the University of North Texas have created an environment in which beginning writers and superstar authors are on equal footing, all brought together by a love of words and writing and literary journalism. The atmosphere is optimistic. Anything seems possible.” — Ken Raymond, 2010 Attendee

“It’s easy to slip into a comfortable complacence as a writer. Attending the Mayborn Conference reawakened my creativity and got me thinking about the stories that underpin what we do as journalists.” — Melissa Repko, 2010 Attendee

“This was my fourth conference, and it was again outstanding from stem to stern. I left refreshed and invigorated. It is always a pleasure to hang out with people who are passionate about writing.” — Gary Borders, 2010 Attendee

“The conference was a perfect balance between workshopping, listening to dynamic speakers and networking with agents, editors and writers.” — Pamela Stone, 2010 Attendee

“Ira Glass is brilliant. He did not give us a speech. He delivered a performance.” — Scott Parks, 2009 Attendee

“The Mayborn Literary Non-Fiction Writers Conference is a singularly stimulating, informative, and welcoming event. In the brief space of my visit, I attended sessions, participated in lively—at times quite dramatic—exchanges, and became acquainted with some remarkable people. Not least, I have come away with a considerable reading list of books written by conference participants, who must be among the most talented writers in the 'creative non- fiction' world. I felt that my own presentation was taken very seriously, greeted with intelligence and enthusiasm, and provoked excellent questions. Though I have not seen the session on C-Span, I've been astounded by the number of people who have written to me saying that they'd seen it and found it a positive experience.” — Joyce Carol Oates, 2007 Keynote Speaker

“It’s no accident that the Mayborn Conference has very quickly risen to preeminence among the nation’s literary conferences. Stacked with talent, smartly choreographed, and well-attended by enthusiastic conferees whose passion for non-fiction is palpable, the Mayborn offers a distinctive format no other conference can match.” — Hampton Sides, 2006 Keynote Speaker