May 2018: Participated in a few panels at Writefest, an annual Houston-based writing conference sponsored by Writespace and the Houston Writers’ Guild. My interview with Chibundu Onuzo about her new book Welcome to Lagos was published in the Houston Chronicle.
March 2018: When I Spoke in Tongues has a cover! It’s a gorgeous photograph by the photographer Roger May. Check it out (and pre-order) at Beacon Press, Brazos Bookstore, Amazon, Indiebound, or Barnes and Noble.
February 2018: I have a publication date for When I Spoke in Tongues–November 13 of this year!
December 2017: Nominated a bunch of great writers for a Pushcart Prize: Debbie Weingarten, Jodi Savage, Carmen Maria Machado, Claire Dederer, Hayan Charara, Mary O’Connell, Kerry Arsenault, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Lia Woodall, and Erika Krouse.
October 2017: Taught a workshop for Inprint on writing memoir.
February 2017: Kimberly Meyer, Chris Arnold, Joni Tevis and I teamed up for a nonfiction panel, “Breaking the Fourth Wall: Tips and Tools for Immersion Writing” at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference in Washington, DC.
October 2016: Taught a workshop on balancing scene and summary in memoir for Inprint.
July 2016: Steven Church selected my essay “Language in the Latter Days” as the winner of the 2016 Beacon Street Prize from Redivider. Here’s a snippet from Steven: “’Language in the Latter Days’ combines end-times philosophy with biographical sketches of Wittgenstein’s life and thinking with the author’s family history into a smart and deeply resonant examination of the way we talk and think about the apocalypse as well as the role of faith in helping us understand larger questions of metaphysics and language. Wilbanks combines a relentlessly curious mind with deep attention to form and technique; and she demonstrates how the public and the personal intersect, overlap, and bounce off each other to create deeper meaning on the page.”
May 2016: I am thrilled to share that my memoir, On the Far Side of the Fire, will be coming out from Beacon Press in the summer of 2018. My agent, Matt McGowan, found a great home for the book and I am so grateful to him. Amy Caldwell is my editor at Beacon and she seems like the perfect person to help me tell this story.
April 2016: Taught another memoir/creative nonfiction workshop at Writespace. In July and August I’ll be teaching a four-week intensive creative nonfiction workshop there.
April 2015: Joined my mentor Kimberly Meyer for a reading hosted by The Center for Creative Work at the University of Houston Honors College. Later in the month I spent a wonderful week in the Blue Ridge mountains courtesy of the Wildacres residency program.
March 2015: Excited to learn that Writers@Work selected my essay “Language in the Latter Days” as the second prize winner in their 2015 Fellowship Competition. Published a short piece on the Sojourners blog about one of my heroes–Rev. Gordon Cosby.
January 2015: Leslie Jamison selected my essay “Ghost Language” as the winner of the 2014 Wabash Nonfiction Award from Sycamore Review.
December 2014: Essay Daily asked about my favorite essays this year – here’s my response.
August 2014: “On the Far Side of the Fire” was selected as a finalist for the PEN Center USA 2014 Literary Award in Journalism. (Congrats to fellow Houstonian Craig Malisow for winning the award with a piece from Houston Press.) My essay also received Notable Mentions in this year’s Best American Essays and Best American Nonrequired Reading.
July 2014: Received a 2014 Emerging Artist Grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.
May 2014: Spent a terrific Saturday afternoon teaching a spiritual memoir class at Ecclesia Houston. A big thank you to Nancy Smith for helping to organize the class and Poets & Writers for funding it. I also read with Alex Lemon and Matthew Salesses as part of the Poison Pen reading series.
March 2014: Guest blog post up at Essay Daily. Just found out that “On the Far Side of the Fire” was selected as a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters’ annual short nonfiction award.
February 2014: Interview up at Killing the Buddha. Thanks to Brook Wilensky-Lanford for asking such thoughtful questions.
January 2014: Ninth Letter issue 10.2 is released, featuring “On the Far Side of the Fire,” some wonderful flash fiction from my friend Adam Peterson, lots of other great poetry and prose, and a pair of 3D glasses. Longreads selected “On the Far Side of the Fire” as a Member Pick – click here for the full text.
December 2013: Stretched my haiku-writing muscles at the second annual Haiku D’Etat, sponsored by Gulf Coast and the Poison Pen reading series. Our team didn’t win, but Austin Tremblay and I had some zingers. Spent two wonderful weeks at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA.
October 2013: Received a Notable Mention in Best American Essays for “Father of Disorder.” The 2013 Pushcart anthology was released, and the Ruminate press release featuring “Father of Disorder” is online here.
July 2013: Posted an interview with nonfiction writer Craig Reinbold on Ruminate’s blog.
June 2013: “On the Far Side of the Fire” was selected by Lia Purpura as the winner of the 2013 Ninth Letter creative nonfiction contest.
May 2013: Found out my essay “Father of Disorder” received a Pushcart Prize! The anthology will come out in November.
March 2013: Reading at the AWP Conference with Ruminate and WordFarm Press.
July 2012: Keira Havens of Ruminate magazine did a short interview with me about “Father of Disorder.” Check it out here.
Spring 2012: “The Live Nativity” is published in The Tusculum Review.
March 2012: Won the 2012 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize, sponsored by Ruminate magazine. My essay “Father of Disorder” appeared in Issue 24: Heirlooms (Summer 2012). Really grateful to Leslie Leyland Fields for selecting it for the VanderMey Prize.
Summer 2011: Taught a nonfiction workshop with Inprint Houston.
May 2011: Graduated from the University of Houston’s MFA program.
Fall 2010: Blog post on nonfiction published on the Gulf Coast blog.