Short story conference to North Little Rock 

The 12th Annual International Conference on the Short Story is coming to North Little Rock June 27-30. If you've got a short story or a paper you'd like to share, you might be able to be part of it all (if you hurry).

The biannual conference, the largest dedicated solely to short fiction, will bring a host of world-renowned authors to NLR, including Bret Anthony Johnston, Katherine Vaz, Robert Olen Butler, Bharati Mukherjee, Velma Pollard, Clark Blaise and more than a dozen other writers from around the globe. The conference will also feature performances, dance, art, films and writing workshops at several venues.

The registration fee for the conference, which includes admission to all readings, panels and receptions (but not the workshops), is $275 per person now, but will jump to $300 on May 1. (Unless you're a student. Valid student ID saves you $100).

A full list of writers is available at the conference webpage. The event is presented by the University of Central Arkansas, the Argenta Arts Foundation and the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau.

If you move lightning fast, you can still make the March 1 deadline to submit paper proposals. There is also a short story contest being held in conjunction with the conference, with cash prizes for win, place and show, and the winner allowed to read his or her story during the event. The deadline to submit a short story (along with a $30 reading fee) is March 31.

If you haven't yet caught "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," you can catch the documentary at Argenta Community Theatre during the Arkansas Literary Festival. After the film, author and West Memphis Three expert Mara Leveritt will discuss the film and her upcoming book "Justice Knot," the follow-up to her book "Devil's Knot" (which is being made into a film).

The screening is free, but you'll need a ticket, so go to paradiselost3.eventbrite.com to make reservations.

The Fayetteville Flyer reported last week that the American band Wilco is scheduled to play at the Arkansas Music Pavilion on May 10. The tickets are $44 and are available at the Walton Arts Center's website. Other upcoming AMP shows for the 2012 season include Cake on April 19, Big Gigantic on April 21 and Five Finger Death Punch on May 8. The venue was previously located on the southwest parking lot of the Northwest Arkansas Mall, but recently relocated to the Washington County Fairgrounds after lease negotiations with the mall's owners stalled.


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