History of the Nebraska Writers Guild

What do Willa Cather, Mari Sandoz, and John Neihardt have in common?

They were all members of the Nebraska Writers Guild, one of the oldest writers’ organizations in the country. Founded in 1925, the guild’s charter members included Bess Streeter Aldrich, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Louise Pound and A.E. Sheldon. In its first year, two members of the guild were included in the Saturday Review of Literature’s list of the ten writers most representative of American life.

Our members have always represented a lively cross-section of Nebraska life. Guild activities have traditionally centered on one or two annual conferences, held in larger communities around the state. Novelists and historians, poets and journalists, agents and publishers, editors and columnists ­ all have shared their insights on the art (and business) of writing at these conferences.

NE Writers Guild -guild booth in event center

Mission, Vision, & Values

Our Original Purpose Statement from 1925

The purpose of the guild shall be the promotion of good fellowship among Nebraska writers; to encourage the recognition of professional writing and writers in the production of fine literature; and to foster the development of the talent of those who desire to write and who show definite possibilities of authorship.

Our Current Mission

Nebraska Writers Guild is a nonprofit (501c3) organization dedicated to empowerment and individual growth through involvement with a community of writers and related professionals; promoting authors and the craft of writing through events and publications; and, advancement through professional development.

Our Future Vision

Nebraska Writers Guild will:

  • Advocate for literary causes
  • Nurture creative community
  • Expand organizational outreach
  • Foster personal growth through education
  • Increase exposure for members

Our Core Values

Nebraska Writers Guild holds a set of values that provide the foundation for its leadership in honoring its original purpose & achieving its current mission & future vision.

  • Community, through: Acceptance, Advocacy, Appreciation, Compassion, & Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Learning
  • Motivation
  • Professionalism

More About Us

Founding Charter Members

The Nebraska Writers Guild Founders – 1925

A. E. Sheldon

Bess Streeter Aldrich

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

John G. Neihardt

Louise Pound

Mari Sandoz

Willa Cather

NE Writers Guild -founding members

Board of Directors

Charles A. Lieske

Term through 2025

Charles A. Lieske has worked in economic development and mediation, and during his tenure with Nebraska State Probation, he had the opportunity to author and design manuals, workbooks, and informational books for adult probationers, juvenile probationers, and their families. Additionally, Charles developed promotional materials for multiple agencies and most recently redesigned and facilitated the translation of a workbook for his current employer, Mediation West. Charles received a Bachelor of Arts from Nebraska Wesleyan University and completed Master’s level coursework in Public Administration.

Contact Information: Charles Lieske • PO Box 493 • Scottsbluff NE 69363-0493 • charles@charleslieske.com

Tasha Hackett

Vice President

Tammy Marshall

Term through 2025

Brandy Prettyman

Term through 2024

Victorine E. Lieske

General Board Seat, Panhandle District

New York Times bestselling author Victorine Lieske has the ability to analyze and adapt to the constantly changing trends in today’s publishing environment. Her ability to bring the complicated world of writing and publishing alive in terms that everyone can understand and execute has made her a popular panel member and keynote speaker. In 2018 she and fellow authors in the sweet romance genre launched The Writing Gals YouTube series.

Victorine’s commercial success began with her first self-published novel. In March 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6-week run on The New York Times bestselling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine’s first romantic comedy novel, Accidentally Married, hit the USA Today Bestselling books list in January 2015.

She is active in many writing forums, including serving as a literary judge. Because of her service to fellow authors, she was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the CIR Strong Award, named for late Clean Indie Reads forum member Jessica Strong.

Victorine and her husband have raised their four children in Nebraska. In addition to having authored over one dozen books, Victorine also serves as a graphic designer for the publishing industry.

Contact Information: Victorine E. Lieske • PO Box 493 • Scottsbluff NE 69363-0493 • vicki.lieske@gmail.com

Mari Beck

Capitol District
Term through 2024

Jim Backens

Metro District
Term through 2024

Jennifer Hanisch

Sandhills District
Term Through 2024

Jennifer Hanisch is a Nebraskan author who has lived in this state for 39 years. She lives on a 33-acre plot in Rockville, a small community village. A late bloomer, she went back to school at age 52 and completed 3 degrees. Jennifer likes traveling, and gardening. She has also given some time to mature film making.

Faith A. Colburn

Tri-Valley District
Term through 2024

Faith A. Colburn is a gardener as well as a writer. She has grown things in pots, in full shade, on rocks, over chain link fences, and among the debris of old buildings. She has worked as a public information officer for a game and fish agency, a company that provides care for people with developmental disabilities, and a research and extension center— sandwiching in gigs as an over-the-road truck driver and a waitress. Wearing her information officer hat, she gave programs, and appeared on radio and television, wrote numerous articles for local newspapers and for NEBRASKAland magazine. A sixth-generation Nebraskan, she grew up with a retired big-band canary and a combat veteran. Ms. Colburn earned a Master of Arts in creative writing from the University of Nebraska in Kearney, an MA in journalism, and a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Her memoir received the UNK award for Outstanding Thesis in the College of Fine Arts and Humanities in 2012 and she received the Outstanding Work of Fiction Award in 2009.

Contact Information: Faith A. Colburn • 803 West 8th Street, North Platte, Nebraska 69101 • faithanncolburn@gmail.com


The Nebraska Writers Guild is a Registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Location of the NWG Member Works Archives

Published/ Performed Works of NWG Members are housed at:

Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors
Lincoln City Libraries
136 South 14th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508-1899
(402) 441-8516

Contact: Meredith McGowan, Curator, heritage@lincolnlibraries.org

Information on the Heritage Room

From one shelf of published books by Nebraska authors in 1949, the Heritage Room on the third floor of the Bennett Martin Public Library has grown to a collection of over 13,000 books, as well as files, photographs, audio and video cassettes, DVDs, compact discs, original manuscripts, periodicals, artwork and other memorabilia reflecting Nebraska’s rich literary tradition.

The mission of the Heritage Room is to preserve and promote works by and about Nebraska Authors, past and present. The preservation, maintenance, and monitoring of the collection and services are supported by the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association.

The Nebraska Writers Guild is a dues-paying member of the NLHA.

The Heritage Room defines a Nebraska Author as a writer who:

  1. was born in Nebraska,
  2. lived ten or more years in Nebraska,
  3. made major artistic contributions to the state of Nebraska.

More information on current displays and activities can be seen on their website: https://lincolnlibraries.org/

About the Collection

The works in the Heritage Room do not check-out, but can be accessed on-site during the hours of operation:

  • Tuesday – Friday 12-3pm
  • Sunday 2-5pm

Also available in the Heritage Room is the Nebraska Author Information Link (NAIL), a computerized database with over 3400 entries of biographical and bibliographical information, and information files on over 2,000 Nebraska authors.

The Lincoln City Libraries catalog can be accessed on-line at:
Click on “Full Catalog” to search the collection.

Donate Books or Papers to the Heritage Room

Donations to the collection are limited to:

  • Standard published books (where author has not financed any part)
  • Standard published stage plays or screenplays or produced or award winning scripts
  • Recorded interviews or videotapes of author readings

Items that will not be collected are self-published works, electronic or audio versions, textbooks or newsprint items.

Please note: Due to limited space, the final decision for inclusion in the collection will be at the discretion of the Heritage Room staff. Sometimes only representative work of a prolific writer will be considered.

Members of the NWG are asked to take the following steps to submit works for consideration:

  1. MANDATORY: Print and complete the official “Certificate of Gift” form which can be downloaded at www.lincolnlibraries.org/
    • Scroll down, on the right side (desktop) or bottom (mobile) of the page and click on “Certificate of Gift” and print the pdf.
  2. Send this form and the work to be considered to the current NWG Historian or the presiding NWG President, who will deliver member works to the Heritage Room in August or September of odd years (just before election of new officers).
  3. Note: The copy of the work becomes the property of the Heritage Room for preservation, use or disposal as the staff sees fit. The author or author’s estate retains copyright per U. S. Copyright law and copying or reproduction of portions of any material will be strictly monitored by the staff according to the “Fair Use” practices.

More extensive author data may also be found in the NWG Archives at the Nebraska State Historical Society.