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Celebrating Mayborn Conference’s 10 Years With An Online Book Auction

by Adelina Sun 17 Jul 2014 12:22 PM

UNT’s Mayborn Conference celebrates narrative non-fiction, has done for 10 years. So why not mark the occasion by auctioning signed first editions by the likes of Larry McMurtry, Mary Karr and Paul Theroux?


fivesomeUNT’s Mayborn Conference turns ten this year. To commemorate the decade, the conference is holding a special online book auction via Heritage Auctions for signed, first edition copies of UNT graduate Larry McMurtry‘s books and literature published by the conference’s past keynote speakers.

Hosted each year by the University of North Texas’ Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, the Mayborn Conference was created by George Getschow and Mitch Land to ecreate a community of storytellers devoted to narrative nonfiction. Each year, panel discussions, lectures, awards and dinners are organized for the event that encompass a wide range of subjects.

While Larry McMurtry has not been a keynote speaker, he has taken part in the conference through a three-week Creative Nonfiction class put on by the graduate institute in his hometown of Archer City. Signed first edition copies of his novels are being auctioned off via Heritage Auctions and include Lonesome Dove, winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for fiction; The Last Picture Show; Terms of Endearment; and his most recent The Last Kind Words Saloon. Bidding online for his books ends Friday at 10 p.m., but will resume at a live auction on Saturday, as part of the 3-day occasion.

A second part to the auction runs through Saturday on the same page. The selection features signed writing from previous keynote speakers and includes the Liberation trilogy by Rick Atkinson, detailing the narrative history of the U.S. military’s role in the liberation of Europe during World War II; four books by Richard Rhodes that explore an in-depth history of the nuclear age; work by Mark Bowden, including Black Hawk Down; and publications by humor writer Mary Roach.

In the spirit of celebration, auction proceeds will contribute to student and rising writer scholarships to attend future conferences.

This year’s event takes place in a few days from July 18-20 and features the theme Narratives on the Cutting Edge: Writing and Science, Technology, Medicine, and Innovation. Keynote speakers include science writer and National Geographic Contributing Writer David Quammen; author, playwright, and The New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright, and journalist Sheri Fink.