Notes for Writers


When: May 27-29, with a meet-the-authors reception May 26

Where: Pima College West Campus Center for the Arts, Tucson

Cost: $150 (manuscript consultation included)

Registration: Call 520-206-6468 to register for WR 705 (CRN 60837)

Manuscript deadline: May 13

More information: Meg Files, 520-206-6084,

The faculty:
Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LCC, in New York. Her agency represents a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. In 2015, Publishers Weekly nominated her as a PW Star Watch Finalist, and Writer’s Digest magazine named Serendipity Literary Agency as one of the top 25 literary agencies. Formerly, she held senior editorial positions at John Wiley and Sons and McGraw-Hill. She is the author of Writing Great Books for Young Adults 2e and You Should Really Write a Book: How to Write, Sell and Market Your Memoir.

Kevin Canty’s eighth book, a novel called The Underworld, will be published in 2017. He is the author of the novels Everything, Nine Below Zero, Into the Great Wide Open, and Winslow in Love, and of the story collections Where the Money Went, Honeymoon, and A Stranger In This World. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Tin House, GQ, Glimmer Train, Story, the New England Review and elsewhere; and his essays and articles in Vogue, Details, Playboy, The New York Times, and the Oxford American, among many others. His work has been translated into many languages including French, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, German, Polish, and Italian.

Michael Carr is an agent with Veritas Literary Agency in San Francisco, a full-service agency specializing in select literary and contemporary fiction and nonfiction. With a background in writing and editing, he works carefully with clients to produce the cleanest, most professional manuscripts. His work has appeared in markets such as The Atlantic, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Military History Magazine. He is interested in historical fiction, women’s fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and nonfiction.

Thomas Cobb is the author of Crazy Heart, made into an Academy Award winning film. His novel Shavetail won the Western Writers of America Spur Award and the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse H. Jones Award for fiction. With Blood in Their Eyes won the Spur Award and was named a Southwest Book of the Year by the Pima County Library Association. His story collection Acts of Contrition won the George Garrett Award. His new book, Darkness the Color of Snow, was a Western Writers of America Spur Award winner for Best Long Novel.

Kathryn Conrad is Director of the University of Arizona Press. She has held marketing and editorial positions at the University of Missouri Press, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, River Styx literary journal, and Great American Short Stories. In 2013 she received the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission’s Historic Preservation Award for her role in publishing and promoting the high-quality work of scholars and artists working in and writing about Southern Arizona and in initiatives that promote the underwritten histories of indigenous people and underrepresentred populations.

Jean Hegland is the author of the novels Into the Forest, Windfalls, and the newly-released Still Time, as well as a book of creative non-fiction, The Life Within: Celebration of Pregnancy. Into the Forest has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and a film adaptation starring Ellen Page and Even Rachel Wood will be released in the U.S. this July. She has taught creative writing for many years, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Priyanka Kumar is the author of Take Wing and Fly Here, the first book in her New West Trilogy. She is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, New Mexico/New Visions Governor’s Award, and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Fellowship. Her essays and reviews have appeared in publications including The Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She wrote, directed and produced the feature documentary The Song of the Little Road starring Martin Scorsese and Peter Rainer. It was “Pick of the Week” in the Los Angeles Times.

Tom Leveen is the author of seven novels with imprints of Random House and Simon & Schuster, including Party, manicpixiedreamgirl, Random, and Shackled. His novel Zero was a 2013 Best Book by the Young Adult Library Services Association, and his book Sick recently won the Grand Canyon Reader Award and the Westchester Fiction Award. For the past two years, he has been on the faculty of ASU’s Your Novel Year writing certificate program.

Nancy Mairs’ books include Plaintext; Carnal Acts; Voice Lessons: On Becoming a (Woman) Writer; Remembering the Bone House: An Erotics of Place and Space; Ordinary Time: Cycles in Marriage, Faith, and Renewal; Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled; a Western States Book Award-winning volume of poetry, In All the Rooms of the Yellow House; and A Troubled Guest: Life and Death Stories.

Nahid Rachlin is the author of a memoir, Persian Girls; four novels: Jumping Over Fire, Foreigner, Married to a Stranger, and The Heart’s Desire; a collection of short stories, Veils; and a novella, Crowd of Sorrows. Her stories have appeared in more than 50 magazines, including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Redbook, and Shenandoah. She has been interviewed by Terry Gross for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Awards include the Bennet Cerf Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

José Skinner is the author of two short story collections, Flight and Other Stories and The Tombstone Race. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His fiction and translations have appeared in Quarterly West, Colorado Review, Other Voices, Bilingual Review, Puerto del Sol, and other journals, and his nonfiction in anthologies such as Desde las Heridas: Transborder Testimonies and Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence. He has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and the University of Texas-Pan American, and was co-founder of the latter’s MFA program in creative writing.

Carolyne Wright is the author of nine books of poetry, including Mania Kepto: The Book of Eulene; A Change of Maps, nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Seasons of Mangoes & Brainfire, winner of an American Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009, in The Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses, and in magazines including the Iowa Review, North American Review, Southern Review, and TriQuarterly. She has published four books of poetry in translation, including the Chilean poet Jorge Teillier and the West Bengali poet Anuradha Mahapatra. She edited the anthology Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace.

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Monday Readings

The National Writers Union will be hosting a reading and open mic in Tucson on Monday, March 20, starting at 6:00 p.m. 

Our featured reader this month will be L.V. Jagnow, whose fifth and most recent novel is The Illegal Dead. L.V. will read from that border-oriented mystery as well as from another two books that he is working on. One is a satirical novel, The Right ChurchGone Wrong, and the other is a more somber novel, The Man Remembers. L.V. Jagnow, after a career in journalism and public relations, has been president of the Board of Directors of Clnica Amistad, a southside Tucson health clinic for the uninsured, as well as a novelist. He has four Richard Silk detective mysteries in print.

The open mic is for spoken word only, but is open to all forms of spoken word (fiction, essays, poetry, articles, polemics, etc.)

The meeting will be held at the Pima Area Labor Federation Office at 5630 E Pima St. in Tucson, which is a block east of Craycroft Road (Pima is between Grant and Speedway). It is on the south side of the street and ample parking is available both behind the building and on its east side. There is also limited parking directly in front of the building.

Per Pima County Health Department guidelines, masks are recommended but not required, and face masks will be available for use. The size of the room should also be adequate for social distancing.
Hope to see you there!

Friday Morning Breakfasts

NWU Tucson Friday morning breakfasts will be on hiatus until further notice. Check back for dates. They take place at 9:00 a.m. at Laverna's Coffee Shop. The address is 220 S. Plumer, which is one block south of Broadway, on the west side of Plumer.

Steering Committee
Our elected Steering Committee members are Co-Chairs Keith Bagwell and Barbara Wright; Secretary Alice Whittenburg; and Events Coordinator Greg Evans. The Steering Committee usually meets on the first Monday of each month. Contact us at to confirm the date and location of the next meeting.
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