YORK — A chance to show your creative side, and to take not one, but two walks down memory lane are on the agenda for the Nebraska Press Women Fall Conference set for Saturday, Oct. 4, at the York Country Club.

Twyla Hansen, Nebraska’s state poet, will be the featured speaker at the conference. Leta Powell Drake, a recent inductee into the Nebraska Women Journaslists Hall of Fame, will talk about her new book, “The Calamities of Kalamity Kate: A History of Nebraska’s Children’s TV Shows.” And after the new Communicator of Achievement is announced during the noon luncheon, the group will travel to the Wessels Living History Farm south of York for a tour.

Hansen will present a workshop that is part of the Nebraska Humanities speakers program. “For the Love of Words: Poetry, Prose and the Creative Writing Process” features a combination of readings and writing exercises to prompt spontaneous writing by the participants. The emphasis is on process, not product. If time permits, participants will read what they have written. A Q&A and discussion will follow.

Hansen has publishes six books of poetry, including “Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet” (with Linda Hasselstrom), which won the 2012 Nebraska Book Award and and was a finalist for both the 2012 High Plains Book Award and WILLA Literary Award.

She has five previous books of poetry, including “Potato Soup,” winner of the 2004 Nebraska Book Award. Her writing has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Prairie Schooner, Midwest Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Platte Valley Review, Organization & Environment, “Encyclopedia of the Great Plains,” “Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West,” and “A Contemporary Reader for Creative Writing,” among many others.

Hansen was raised in northeast Nebraska on land her grandparents farmed in the late 1800 as immigrants from Denmark. She earned two degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln: a bachelor of science in horticulture and a master of agriculture in agroecology. She lives and works in Lincoln, where her wooded acre is maintained as an urban wildlife habitat and was recognized in 1994 by the Mayor’s Landscape Conservation Award.

For more than 20 years, Hansen has presented creative writing workshops and readings throughout the state for schools, libraries and community groups.

Hansen will have her books available for purchase and to have signed. “Dirt Songs” is $17 (all prices include tax); “Potato Soup,” $17; “Prairie Suite: A Celebration, $13; “In Our Very Bones,” $10 (rare and out of print); and “How to Live in the Heartland, $10 (also rare and out of print). She accepts cash, checks and credit cards.

Leta Powell Drake is probably best know throughout Nebraska as Kalamity Kate, host and producer of the long-running children’s TV show, “Cartoon Corral,” and as a host and producer of the “10/11 Morning Show” on KOLN/KGIN-TV. She has recently released a new book which chronicles her career as Kalamity Kate.

Drake, who was inducted into the Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame this past spring, is also a member of the Nebraska Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame. Throughout her career, she hosted and produced more than 10,000 TV shows and served as the program director for KOLN/KGIN and the Nebraska Public Television Network. She continues to work in television, hosting “Live & Learn,” a daily TV show on 5 City TV (Lincoln cable) which focuses on issues facing seniors.

Her interests are spread across the spectrum. With a master’s degree in theater from UNL, she has appeared in more than 100 plays and two movies, and is a winner of the Lincoln Mayor’s Arts Award in Theater. She has served on the Salvation Army Board for more than 35 years and currently serves as chair of the arts and special events committee for the Osher Life-long Learning Institute at UNL. She is a licensed private pilot and has competed in the All Women’s Transcendental Air Race (Powder Puff Derby) four times, twice placing in the top 10. She has flown with the Blue Angels.

She refuses to give up her addictions to theater, golf, bowling, horseshoe pitching and Scrabble, “no matter how expensive challenging, time consuming and inexplicable they may be,” she says. Her “addictions” have earned her several gold medals in horseshoe pitching and golf at the Cornhusker State Games.

Drake’s book “The Calamities of Kalamity Kate,” will be available for purchase. Signed copies will be $21 (including tax); she accepts cash or checks.

The Wessels Living History Farm is located just a mile south of the I-80 interchange at York. It features the home David Wessels shared with his brother and other buildings. The farm was established after Wessels die and left a vision in his will that opened the door to an array of opportunities in just a few simple phrases — “a certain amount of land and capital should be set aside to establish the ‘Wessels Living History Farm.’”

The York Community Foundation, which administers Wessel’s bequest, formed a committee in 1995 including business people and farmers to carry out Wessels’ vision of an the educational project. Five years of research was completed, including studies by consultants with ideas about what truly defined a “living history farm.”

The 145-acre physical site includes a house that Wessels and his brother lived in for a period of time when they moved to town. It’s typical of farm architecture of the early 20th century. The house was donated to the Living History Farm project by York College and moved to the site in 2002. The site also includes a barn donated by Bill Peters of Shelby. The red, timber frame giant reflects barns typical of the 1920s, the era chosen for the Living History Farm to interpret.

The farm also features a corn crib, machine shed, garage, chicken coop and a large windmill typical of the 1920s. These structures were chosen to begin the “living history farm” experience. To the south, there is a modern tractor display building with many of the tractors, stationary engines and combine that Wessels restored. Surrounding the buildings is a modern farm operation that is still producing crops.

A church was moved onto the site in 2013 and is quickly becoming a popular wedding venue.

The farm hosts several special events throughout the year including a classic car show, Halloween activities and Christmas exhibits and programs.

Registration for the conference is $35 for members and $40 for non-members before Sept. 26. After that date, the prices go up to $40 and $45. The student rate is $20 and the rate for those coming for lunch only is also $20. Send your registration fee to: Stephanie Geery-Zink, 7352 S 29th St Lincoln, NE 68516-5734.


York Country Club

The York Country Club is located at 1016 W. Elm St., on the southwest edge of town. To get there from Interstate 80, take Highway 81 north. After you pass the Lincoln Avenue turnoff (which will take you downtown for the board meeting on Friday night), keep your eyes open for Nobes Road SW (just after the bypass curves to the west). Turn right (north )on Nobes Road, drive through the residential area until you get to West Elm Street and turn right. The country club is on your left.


Registration info

Full registration by Friday, Sept. 26: $35 for members (includes admission to Wessels Living History Farm); $40 for non-members. After Sept. 26: $40 for members; $45 for non-members

Students: $20 (does not include admission to the living history farm; if you wish to go on the tour, add $5)

Lunch only: $20


Hotel information

A block of 10 rooms has been reserved at the New Victorian Inn in York for Friday night, Oct. 3.

The inn, 3724 S. Lincoln Ave., is located just northwest of the I-80 interchange at York.

Each non-smoking room has two queen beds, a refrigerator and microwave. A free breakfast bar is open from 5 to 11 a.m. The inn also features an indoor swimming pool and complimentary cookies and coffee in the lobby.

The NPW rate is $64.99 plus tax ($75.34 total); reservations are required by Sept. 20. Call (402) 362-1686 for reservations and be sure to mention Nebraska Press Women. If you plan to stay in York on Saturday night, the rate may be higher.


Board meeting

The Nebraska Press Women Board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at Chances R, 124 W. Fifth St. We will be ordering off the menu.


Conference Schedule

Friday, Oct. 3:

NPW Board Meeting, 6 p.m., Chances R, 124 W. Fifth St.


Saturday, Oct. 4:

Registration and continental breakfast, 8 to 8:30 a.m., York Country Club

Business meeting and election of officers, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.

“For the Love of Words: Poetry, Prose and the Creative Writing Process,” presented by Twyla Hansen, Nebraska State Poet, 10 to 11:15 a.m.

“The Calamities of Kalamity Kate: A History of Nebraska’s Children’s TV Shows,” presented by Leta Powell Drake, 11:30 a.m. to noon.

Communicator of Achievement luncheon, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Tour of Wessels Living History Farm, 2 to 4 p.m.