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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 25: Good Thunder Reading Series

Three alumni to discuss and read from their published work.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 10-19-2012

Mankato, Minn. – Short story writer Nick Healy and fiction writers Nicole Helget and Nate LeBoutillier will continue the 31st year of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series on Thursday, Oct. 25, with discussions and readings of their published work.

Healy, Helget and LeBoutillier, all Minnesota State Mankato creative writing program alumni, will meet with community writers in the morning and will be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. At 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium, they will lead a discussion on the craft of writing. They will read from their published work at 7:30 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

All events are free and open to the public.

Healy is a short-story writer whose work has appeared in “North American Review,” “Water~Stone Review,” and “Great River Review.” Healy’s story “And Other Delights” won the Speakeasy Prize from the Loft Literary Center and “Speakeasy” magazine in 2005. Several years later “Uncle Ed’s Packard” was selected for the Tamarack Award from “Minnesota Monthly.” Healy’s first book, “It Takes You Over,” was a winner of New Rivers Press’ Many Voices Project award, an annual contest that since 1981 has recognized the work of emerging voices in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

Helget, born in New Ulm, Minn., the oldest of six girls on a farm outside of Sleepy Eye, won the Speakeasy Prize for Prose with her essay “Stain You Red,” and soon later her memoir, “The Summer of Ordinary Ways”. She won the Tamarack Award from “Minnesota Monthly” for her short story “The Turtle Catcher” that she later turned into a full-length novel. Helget published “Horse Camp,” a novel for young readers, with her husband, Nate LeBoutillier in 2012 and was awarded the Distinguised Alumni Award from MSU. Her historical novel “Stillwater” is slated for publication in 2013.

LeBoutillier, born in Minneapolis and the first of six children, was raised in various small towns in southern Minnesota. Following college, he spent time working on the staff at the Worthington Daily Globe and traveling and studying in Paris. He has published a variety of short fiction and essays in literary journals, and he has many nonfiction book publications for young readers to his credit, including such titles as “A Day in the Life of a Garbage Collector,” “Wind,” “Eiffel Tower,” “The Best of Everything Baseball Book,” and “Minnesota Timberwolves.”

The Good Thunder Reading Series invites emerging and established writers to Mankato. It began in 1982 and has committed itself since to programs that balance emerging and established talent drawn from Minnesota, the Upper Midwest and the rest of the nation.

This year’s series is funded by the Department of English, the College of Arts & Humanities, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment, and individual donors. It is made possible by a Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, appropriated by the Legislature. Library Services and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore offer additional assistance.

Those who want more information may call Richard Robbins, Department of English, the director of the Good Thunder Reading Series at (507) 389-1354, or go to

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, a system of 31 public colleges and universities with 54 campuses in 47 communities throughout the state of Minnesota.

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