On November 4-6, 2010, the Department of English hosted NonfictioNow 2010, the third Bedell Nonfiction Conference. About 450 writers and readers met in the Iowa Memorial Union to explore the past, present, and future of nonfiction in its myriad forms.
The Iowa Digital Library has extended the reach of those discussions to online users everywhere through the Virtual Writing University Archive. The archive has catalogued recordings of the 2010 convening, which are available for streaming as .mp3 files.
Nonfiction fans can indulge in the talks by the 2010 keynote speakers, which include Alison Bechdel, the autobiographical cartoonist behind Dykes to Watch Out For; Rebecca Solnit, author of 13 books about art, landscape, community, ecology, politics, hope, and memory; and John Edgar Wideman, author or more than 18 books and two-time winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award.
The conference also welcomed back alumni from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop like David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: a Manifesto. Other renowned and burgeoning writers joined him in dissecting their craft and sharing their learning. Topics covered several sub-genres of nonfiction like memoir, journalism and travel writing, as well as creative nonfiction from Australia and Ireland. The archive also includes recordings from the readings given throughout the conference.
The collection was developed through the assistance of The University of Iowa’s School of Library and Information Science.