Website announcing 2022 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference Oct. 28-29

A Storyboard standard was tracking and reporting on as many of the top annual journal conferences we could, from association events — like the Society of Environmental Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Association of Health Care Journalists and more — to the big-draw narrative nonfiction gatherings: Power of Narrative at Boston University, Power of Storytelling in Romania, International True Story Award in Switzerland and The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in Texas.

The COVID pandemic kicked those gatherings into chaos, as it did Storyboard attempts to follow them. COVID still walks with us, of course, dressed now as the highly contagious BA.5 variant. Researchers race to keep up with it. Health officials warn about it. Political leaders fumble to address it. The rest of us are left to manage our risk and get on with our lives — personal and professional.

So we take it as an encouraging sign that The Mayborn announced its return. And, like a lot of organizations, they seem to be finding their way in a new hybrid world. The announcement banner claims “All in-person.” But a closer read shows a virtual option available at a reduced price.

The conference is also changing dates and location. Rather than July, the 2022 gathering will be Oct. 28-29. Given Texas in the summer, that seems more than wise. And it’s moving to downtown Dallas, to the offices of the Dallas Morning News.

The speaker line-up is still coming together, so return to the website for updates. But noteworthy: A Friday night reception will include a private tour of the Lee Harvey Oswald Exhibit at the University of North Texas College of Law — sure to be a hit with journalism geeks forged in the era of Kennedy, Nixon, Watergate and assassination conspiracies. The conference theme also has a back-to-the future feel as it returns to a strong focus on core craft. It’s billed as “Diary of a Storyteller: Crafting Words that Matter.” According to the conference website:

Over the past few years, our worlds have been turned topsy-turvy. One fact has remained consistent: Quality storytelling is alive and well, capturing the voices, the scenes and characters in captivating, descriptive and powerful ways.

This year’s goes back to the basics, showing how to focus on writing craft fuels greater creativity, the passionate exploration of people and places and drives the pervasive journey of all writers to tell great stories.

Further Reading