UMKC’s New Letters writers conference is June 27-29

06/20/2014 7:00 AM

06/19/2014 3:36 PM

New Letters, the University of Missouri-Kansas City journal of art and writing, this weekend sponsors its writing conference.

As usual, it aims high, with the same title — “Writing for Love, Money & Immortality” — that it has been given for years.

“It’s meant to be both funny and serious,” Robert Stewart, New Letters editor, said.

“We sort of believe in all of those things, and we talk about making money as much as we talk about art. Marketing your work is part of the deal.”

The conference again is at Diastole, the UMKC Scholars’ Center at 2501 Holmes St.

Many Kansas City area writers will be attending, among them poet and mystery author Linda Rodriguez, playwright Frank Higgins, screenwriter Mitch Brian, poets Trish Reeves and Stanley E. Banks, and fiction authors Catherine Browder and Philip Stephens.

The dialogue begins late Friday afternoon with remarks by Thomas Fox Averill, writer-in-residence at Washburn University in Topeka and the 2011 winner of the Best Western Novel/Western Heritage Award for his novel “Rode.”

The conference runs through late Sunday afternoon.

“Everybody participates in everything,” Stewart said. “Poets, screenwriters and playwrights participate in the lectures, so you get a great breadth of conversation about literature.

“It’s very intense, it keeps moving and people often leave there on a kind of high.”

For information on fees, call 816-235-2736.

Sci-fi winners

Organizers of the Campbell Conference recently announced winners of two major awards at the annual gathering organized by the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.

During ceremonies at the Kansas Union on June 13, Sarah Pinsker accepted the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction. She received the honor for “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” from the July 2013 issue of Strange Horizons.

Judges named Marcel Theroux the winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel for “Strange Bodies.”

The conference has been in Lawrence since 1978.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to

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