Writers and other book people from across the country are coming to Omaha Friday and Saturday for the (downtown) Omaha Lit Fest.
The festival theme — “Under the Skin: Literary Obsessions & Cult Followings” — hints that there may be some interesting presentations during the event, which will be held at the W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St.
Nebraska participants who are scheduled to attend include Timothy Schaffert, Sean Doolittle, Leo Adam Biga, Mary K. Stillwell, Brion Poloncic and Thom Sibbitt. They will be joined by out-of-towners Owen King and Kelly Braffet of New York; Monica Drake, Oregon; Alissa Nutting, Ohio; Carolyn Turgeon, Pennsylvania and Alaska; Elwin Cotman of Oakland, Calif.; and Annasue Wilson of San Diego.
Friday night features a kick-off party, “A Carnival of Souls,” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It will include an exhibit by members of the Nebraska Chapter of AIGA designers association, who have created their own versions of classic movie posters from the golden age of low-budget horror films.
Saturday's schedule includes:
» 12:30 p.m., “Love/Hate,” a discussion of the villain as hero in contemporary fiction. Wilson will moderate the panel discussion.
» 1:30 p.m., “Obsessed,” a discussion of research and biography, and the sometimes unhealthy pursuits of writers' subjects.
» 2:30 p.m., “Experiments,” a talk about taking risks and writing outside the mainstream.
» 3:30 p.m., “Cinematic,” looks at how movies can influence or inspire writers. Biga moderates.
» 4:30 p.m., “Trigger Warnings,” panel discusses writing about sex.
» 5:30 p.m., authors will sign their books.
All of the events are free and open to the public.
Historian Winchester writes about this nation's pioneers
Former reporter and noted historian and writer Simon Winchester became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011. It's an accomplishment that makes the British-born author proud.
So it's no surprise that his most recent book celebrates his adopted country. “The Men Who United the States” (HarperCollins, $29.99) follows the intrepid footsteps of this country's pioneers — the explorers and early settlers, the business and transportation entrepreneurs, the scientists and inventors. It's an engaging look at many of the people, both well-known and obscure, who helped forge this immense country into a nation.
If you would like to meet Winchester and hear him talk about how and why he wrote this entertaining history, he will be at the Bookworm in Countryside Village, 87th and Pacific Streets, at 1 p.m. Saturday for a signing event.
ON THE CALENDAR
Book discussion: Momaha Book Club, “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, 1 p.m. today, the Bookworm, 87th and Pacific Streets.
Book signing: The Rev. James Schwertley, author of “Journey of an Unlikely Priest: A Memoir,” 1 p.m. today, the Bookworm.
Workshop: Family History Writers Group, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. today, W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St.
Lectures: Dr. Amy Seidl, author of “Early Spring” and “Finding Higher Ground,” 7 p.m. today, Unitarian Church, 6300 A St., Lincoln, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Communications Building Room 02, Doane College, Crete, Neb.
Book discussion: Eclectic Book Review Club, Andrew Jewell, co-editor of “The Selected Letters of Willa Cather,” Tuesday noon lunch, 12:30 p.m. book review, Field Club of Omaha, 3615 Woolworth Ave. (Optional lunch is $13; make reservation by Monday by calling Rita at 402-553-3147.)
Book discussion: International Intrigue Book Group, “Field of Blood” by Denise Mina, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Bookworm.
Book signing: Lisa McMann, author of “The Unwanteds” and the “Wake Trilogy,” 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Benson Library, 6015 Binney St.
Workshops: Mentoring for high school writers, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday; Nebraska Writers Workshop for poetry, script writing and fiction, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Baright Library in Ralston.
Book signing: Kate Klise, author of “The Show Must Go On” and the “43 Old Cemetery Road” series, and Jim Aylesworth, author of “Cock-a-Doodle-Doo, Creak, Pop-Pop, Moo,” 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Bookworm.
Book Sale: Friends of the Omaha Public Library, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Swanson Library, 9101 West Dodge Road.
Workshop: WriteLife Writers' Workshop, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Pizza Shoppe Collective, 6056 Maple St..
Book discussion: World War II at Night Group, “Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II” by Michael Bess, 6 p.m. Thursday, the Bookworm.
Author presentation: Mike Mullin, author of “Ashfall” and “Ashen Winter,” 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Saddlebrook Library, 14850 Laurel Ave.
Book discussion: As the Worm Turns Book Group, “Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society” by Amy Hill Hearth, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Bookworm.
Author presentation: Kathy Nash, author of “Big Box, Little Box,” 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, Washington Library, 2868 Ames Ave.
GET LIT: Brigit St. Brigit Theater actors give readings from several genres, 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Bookworm.
Workshop: Nebraska Novelists critique group, 7 p.m. Friday, Crossroads Barnes & Noble, 72nd and Dodge Streets.
Seminar: “How to Publish Your Book” with Lisa Pelto and Sandra Wendel, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sarpy Center, 9110 Giles Road. ($29, half-price for 62 and older, register by calling 402-457-5231.)
Story time: Brigit St. Brigit's Scott Kurz reads from children's books, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the Bookworm.
Book signing: Bruce Arant, author of “Simpson's Sheep Won't Go to Sleep,” 11 a.m. Saturday, the Bookworm.
Book discussion: Jane Austen Tea Society, “Portrait of a Lady” by Henry James, 1 p.m. Saturday, Our Specialtea, 1630 Washington St., Blair, Neb. (RSVP by Thursday.)
Calendar events are open to the public, and free unless otherwise noted.