More Photos from August Events

Here are a few more photos from my events this month. Between the release of Kings of Broken Things and the launch of our “roving” bookstore (Dundee Book Company) I took part in an even ten events this month, ranging from traditional readings to launch parties to street fairs, radio spots, a cocktail party, and finally setting up last Sunday at my grandparents church. It’s been exhausting and exhilarating to talk to so many people about the book, and the events start up again this Friday when touring-author Zachary Schomburg and I will read from our debut novels at Solid Jackson Books. See you soon!

PTL Literary Pub Quiz Returns for Autumn Schedule

After taking off a month to recharge and tour behind the release of my debut short story collection Bad Faith, the crew behind Pageturners Literary Pub Quiz will be back this Wednesday, September 7 at 8pm! Ryan, Drew, and I have put together some entertaining and mildly challenging book trivia for your enjoyment, along with some cool prizes for the top two teams. We hope to see you there!

(Click here for more information.)

PTL Pub Quiz Schedule (First Wednesday, 8pm, 5004 Dodge Street, Omaha, Neb.)

Sept 7: Prairie Schooner, grandame of lit journals, with managing editor Ashley Strosnider

Oct 5: 1877 Society Contest Reception and Winners Announcement

Nov 2: Steve Langan of the 7 Doctors Project

Dec 7: Jonis Agee, author of The Bones of Paradise and The River Wife


Wheeler Co-Judges 2nd Annual 1877 Society Writing Contest

5dd03-1426689743568Check out the below guidelines for the 2nd annual 1877 Society Writing Contest. I’m very happy to chair the 2016 awards committee along with fellow judges Liz Kay and Andrew Hilleman.

Last year my story “Violate the Leaves” (recently published in Boulevard and a part of my forthcoming-next-month collection Bad Faith) won the prize for best short story in the inaugural awards.

The contest is open to Omaha-area writers aged 49 and younger. The deadline is July 31. There are cash prizes and no entry fee. I’ll say that again: prizes, no fee. What’s not to love about that?

Prose, Poetry Sought for 2016 Writing Contest

The 1877 Society invites Omaha-area writers in their forties and younger to submit unpublished prose and poetry to the second annual 1877 Society Writing Contest. Personal essays and short stories under 5,000 words may be submitted in the prose category. One single-spaced poem of under three pages may be submitted in the poetry category. Entrants may submit one entry in both categories if they so choose.
Submissions are due using the following form by 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, July 31, 2016.

Winners will be announced during a ceremony at the (downtown) Omaha Lit Fest in October.
The winning poem and prose entry will each receive a $500 cash prize. A third, $250 prize will be awarded to the best work (either poetry or prose). The winning works will also be featured in Omaha Public Library’s digital collection. All winners will be selected by the awards committee.

The 2016 awards committee is:
Theodore Wheeler, author of the short story collection Bad Faith (July 2016) and the forthcoming novel Kings of Broken Things (August 2017).
Liz Kay, author of the novel Monsters: a Love Story (June 2016) and a founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and burntdistrict poetry journal.
Andrew Hilleman, author of the forthcoming novel World, Chase Me Down (January 2017).

For more information, contact Theodore Wheeler ( or call the Omaha Public Library Foundation (402-444-4589).

The 1877 Society

A quick note of thanks here to The 1877 Society for awarding my short story “Violate the Leaves” the prize for Best Short Story in their inaugural writing contest!

Here’s what they had to say about “Violate the Leaves”: “Wheeler’s story digs into the psyche of a military family through the eyes of a child whose mother is deployed. He is left to experience life with his father; it’s one much more grown-up than he’s used to.” That’s pretty much it!

The 1877 Society is a group of library enthusiasts and advocates in their twenties and thirties who support the Omaha Public Library Foundation. Please consider joining, as I recently did, if you’re in Omaha. It’s a fun club with monthly book-related events and certainly benefits a good cause. (This event in particular looks especially.) To join or for more information, send an email to or call (402) 444-4589.

Thanks again to The 1877 Society, the judges, and to my fellow winners, Kristine Mahler and Benjamin Simon!

Pageturner’s Pub Quiz Starts October 7

Another quick announcement this week. I’m pretty stoked to share that, along with MFA buddies Ryan Borchers and Drew Justice, I’m starting a literary-themed pub quiz at Pageturners Lounge in Omaha. This is a pretty traditional trivia night–21 questions, teams competing for prizes–with the twist that we’ll also feature a celebrity guest to introduce to the community via a short interview and a special category wherein the guest will be asking the questions. This should be fun, I think, and hopefully widen the literary community in Omaha a bit. While at Creighton the past couple years, I thought a lot about how to present authors and their work in a different way than what can sometimes seem like the sterile environment of a reading. This format should allow for a little more interactivity and playfulness. In addition to asking their five questions, the authors will play along in the game (with a five point handicap, of course) and will be around to sign copies of their books or chat or talk trash about who knows more than who. We’ll see how it goes.

Our first night is Wednesday, October 7 at 9pm. Pageturners is at 5004 Dodge Street–where the release party for my chapbook was held earlier this year–with Timothy Schaffert as our esteemed guest. If you can’t make it to the first go, we’ll be back the first Wednesday of every month. (See below for the schedule through February.)

Here’s a link to the Facebook event page if you require more information. Otherwise I’ll just see you there!

PTL Pub Quiz Schedule

October 7: Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola & The Coffins of Little Hope
November 4: Jen Lambert & Liz Kay, editors of burntdistrict poetry journal & Spark Wheel Press
December 2: Todd Robinson, author of Note at Heart Rock & noted boulevardier
January 6: Cat Dixon, author of Our End Has Brought the Spring & Too Heavy to Carry
February 3: Wendy Townley and the 1877 Society, young lions of the Omaha Public Library