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Emily Nemens

October 12, 2023 | 6:00 pm

This event is co-sponsored by The Schaefer Center Presents series and Appalachian Journal
2023 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing, Novelist and Editor
Emily Nemens is a writer, illustrator, editor, and educator. Her debut novel, The Cactus League, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in February 2020 and released in paperback by Picador in 2021. Named a Best Book of 2020 by National Public Radio and Lit Hub, it was also listed as a Los Angeles Times Bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and a finalist for the 2020 CASEY Baseball Book Award.
From 2018 to 2021, Emily served as the editor of The Paris Review, the nation’s preeminent literary quarterly. During her tenure, the magazine won the 2020 American Society of Magazine Editors’ Award for Fiction, published two anthologies, and produced the second season of its acclaimed podcast. Previously, she coedited The Southern Review, a storied literary journal published at Louisiana State University. Stories published during her tenures at The Southern Review and The Paris Review were selected for the Pushcart Prize anthology, Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize anthology, and PEN America Best Debut Fiction. In 2021, she joined the staff of Stranger’s Guide as the sports/senior editor.
Nemens grew up in Seattle and received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where she studied art history and studio art. She completed an MFA degree in fiction at Louisiana State University. As an illustrator, she’s collaborated with Harvey Pekar and published her work in The New Yorker, and her watercolor portraits of every woman in Congress were featured across the web and on national TV. Her short stories have appeared in Blackbird (Tarumoto Prize winner), Esquire, n+1, The Iowa Review, Hobart, and The Gettysburg Review. She lives in New Jersey and remains a Mariners fan.

ABOUT The Cactus League

Jason Goodyear is the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Lions, and he’s coming apart at the seams. Moviestar handsome, paparazzi famous, and spectacularly talented, Goodyear is stationed with the rest of his team in the punishingly hot Arizona desert for their annual spring training. As the weeks before the season crawl on, and Goodyear’s cracks begin to show, the coaches, writers, wives, girlfriends, criminals, and diehard fans following his every move are eager to find out what, exactly, is wrong with their star player — as they hide secrets of their own.

Admission is FREE and open to the public

Thursday, October 12

Craft Talk: 2-3:15pm
Book sales and signing will follow.

Plemmons Student Union 201B, Table Rock Room

Susan Weinberg at weinbergsc@appstate.edu

FREE CAMPUS PARKING for community members and students will be allowed for the 6pm readings in the vicinity of the Plemmons Student Union. We recommend either the East Howard Lot (behind the Student Union) or the College Street Deck beginning at 5pm (from King Street, turn down College Street at the First Baptist Church). To reach the Student Union, cross College Street and follow the walkway between the chiller plant and the University Bookstore, passing the Post Office and entering the Student Union on the second floor. For further parking information or a map, please see www.parking.appstate.edu


The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of the late Hughlene Bostian Frank (class of 1968), a 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service Award recipient, past member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees and ASU Foundation, long time member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Board, and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.


  • Appalachian Journal
  • Appalachian State University Foundation, Inc.
  • Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs
  • Belk Library
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of English
  • The Schaefer Center Presents
  • University Bookstore


  • The Gideon Ridge Inn
  • Hellbender Bed and Beverage


  • Thomas McLaughlin
  • Alice Naylor
  • Paul and Judy Tobin


Plemmons Student Union
201-B Plemmons Student Union + Google Map