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Daniel Jose Older at the True Lit Festival, new Bounds Accelerator


True Lit Festival at the Fayetteville Public Library

The annual True Lit Festival at the Fayetteville Public Library continues tonight with a talk by Neal Shusterman, a winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for his novel Challenger Deep. He speaks at 6 p.m. tonight. Tomorrow night, Daniel Jose Older, a New York Times bestselling author, will discuss the basics of storytelling. He said he believes storytelling is the most powerful thing in the world.

“And I think we can see that all over the place: as stories become weaponized or taken away from people, all of these different levels of politicking that happen around stories are one way of understanding how powerful they are and how much power players recognize that," Older said. "Because of that, I take storytelling very, very seriously.”

Older is the author of several novels, is the lead story architect for Star Wars: The High Republic and has written for Marvel Comics. He said he wants all readers to be able to find themselves in literature.

“It can be a very heartbreaking experience — and I say this from experience— to repeatedly not find yourself over and over," he said. "Like, where were we? I remember looking for myself and not seeing it, especially in fantasy literature. Like, where were the Latinos? I just don’t want anyone to ever feel that way. I think that the more we can make our books inclusive and honest about the world — because it does come back to honesty.”

Older said he appreciates meeting his readers and hopes he can, on some level, inspire them.

“To feel like they can leave that event and see that there was someone on that stage who they understood on some level and felt kinship with on some level," he said. "And that means that they can do that, too.”

Daniel Jose Older will be at the Fayetteville Public Library tomorrow night at 6 p.m. A full schedule for the True Lit Festival can be found at their website.

Walmart and General Mills partner to support regenerative farming

Walmart and General Mills have announced a new collaboration that aims to facilitate regenerative agriculture on more than half a million acres in the United States by 2030. The practice of regenerative agriculture helps to address climate change in an industry heavily impacted by this growing crisis. The partnership will support farmers by increasing capacity through grants overseen by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, supporting resilient production, and expanding programming and education around the practice of regenerative ag. 

University of Arkansas announces Bounds Accelerator

The University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is teaming up with venture development firm Cartwheel Studio to launch the Bounds Accelerator. The accelerator will operate similarly to the office’s Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program but will instead aim to grow companies working in emerging retail technologies such as blockchain, AI, augmented reality, and Virtual Reality.

The 16-week program will begin Jan. 8, 2024, and will bring together 10 different entrepreneurs, industry leaders, tech experts, and startup companies with weekly remote learning and mentoring sessions. The accelerator will be bookended by an in-person orientation and demo day event in Bentonville. 

Funding for the program is provided by grants from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission along with support from Coinbase Ventures, Haun Ventures, and The AI Foundation. Applications to be a part of the accelerator are due by Nov. 3.

War Eagle Fair

The banks of War Eagle Creek will come alive with crafters this week for the 69th annual War Eagle Fair. The event will feature over 250 vendor booths selling only handcrafted goods. Organizers have been strict on the handmade products rule since the fair’s first iteration in 1954, according to their website. You can visit the fair from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday. The fair will close early at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The No. 14 Razorback men's basketball team

The Arkansas Razorback men’s basketball team will start the season ranked 14th in the Associated Press poll. It’s the third consecutive year Arkansas has been ranked inside the pre-season top 20, the first time since the mid-1990s that Arkansas has been in three consecutive preseason polls. The Razorbacks will host an exhibition game with UT-Tyler Friday night at 6:30 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena.

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Matthew Moore is senior producer for Ozarks at Large.
Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
Jack Travis is a reporter for Ozarks at Large.
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