May 25, 2006    #096
Contact: Nick Barron

Television Program Highlights Former Magazine Editor James McKinley

The latest episode of “New Letters Magazine-TV,” the television companion to Kansas City’s international literary magazine, New Letters, features a candid conversation with the magazine’s former editor James McKinley.

In the episode, McKinley talks about the expansion of the magazine during his tenure to include summer writing workshops, which attract writers from throughout the Midwest. He also discusses the joy of finding undiscovered and talented writers.

“It’s like opening the mail and finding gold,” McKinley said. “It’s the greatest thrill.”

During his 18-year editorship of New Letters, McKinley discovered and published new writings by John Updike, Joyce Carol, Annie Dillard, former President Jimmy Carter, and Margaret Atwood. He also founded the Mark Twain Writer’s Workshop and the New Letters Weekend Writing Conference. He served as editor of New Letters from 1985 to 2002 and is the author of Acts of Love: Short Stories, Woman in the River and Assassination in America.

Already a renowned literary magazine, New Letters added a television component to its popular radio program, “New Letters on the Air,” in 2004. The 60-minute TV program is hosted by Robert Stewart, current editor-in-chief of the magazine. The program has featured poet Gary Gildner, fiction writer Robert Day and playwright Catherine Browder. “This is not some book-chat show,” Stewart said. “This is a program about the writing life, about discovering the best new writing and our own creativity.”

“New Letters Magazine-TV” airs locally in Kansas City at 7 p.m. Fridays on Time Warner Cable Channel 18 and Comcast Cable Channel 20. Streaming episodes are available continuously at For more information, log onto

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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