Nebraska Center for Writers

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LEO ADAM BIGA, LEO ADAM BIGA, an Omaha native, gravitated to his career as a freelance writer after public relations stints in the arts and athletic fields. The University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate has established a niche for doing feature and long form cultural journalism. Much of his work charts the creative process.
His eclectic interests are reflected in the subject matter he tackles, including film, theater, art, literature, media, sports, culture, history, race, and social justice. He has come to brand himself with the tag line, "I write stories about people, their passions, and their magnificent obsessions."
He has interviewed and profiled many notables, ranging from Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony, Obie, Emmy, Pulitzer winners to a U.S. Poet Laureate to members of various national halls of fame. He has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with filmmaker Alexander Payne that has resulted in rare access to the artist. Biga has two books in progress about Payne. One of Biga's most extensive projects to date was a thirteen-installment newspaper series on Omaha's Black Sports Legends, entitled “Out to Win: The Roots of Greatness.”
Since 1988 he has had published more than a thousand articles, including hundreds of cover stories. His work has graced the pages of alternative news weeklies, mainstream dailies, statewide magazines, niche monthlies, and a wide variety of corporate and institutional publications. In terms of national reach, he has had stories appear in The Black Scholar and in American Visions, a now defunct African-American culture magazine. A large sampling of his work can be found on the Web. His popular blog,, is an online showcase of his work.
Occasionally, his research takes him on the road. In the mid-1990s Biga went to North Dakota for a series he wrote about the care of developmentally disabled residents at community-based sites in Fargo. In 1999 he joined a week-long tour of various baseball sites in four states to inform My Midwest Baseball Diary. He reported from the Santa Barbara-area set of Payne's Sideways in 2003. In 2008 he spent several days at Lew Hunter's screenwriting colony in Superior, Nebraska for a cover profile of Hunter. In 2009 he embedded himself on a bus trip from Omaha to Washington DC for a cover story on the Barack Obama presidential inauguration experience. In 2012 he will report from the Sand Hills set of Alexander Payne's film Nebraska.
Biga's writing extends beyond journalism. In 2009 he wrote the script for a documentary about the history of the JL Brandeis & Sons Department Store empire in Nebraska. He plans to write a book on the same subject for The History Press. He contributed to a 2010 history of the former Nebraska independent film theater chain, Douglas Theatre Company.
His biography of Omahan Mark Manhart, Open Wide, was published in 2011. He also contributed to a 2011 book published by the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society entitled Memories of the Jewish Midwest: Mom and Pop Grocery Stores. The first of his Payne books will feature his extensive published articles about the filmmaker over the course of fifteen years. The second book will tell the story of the making of Payne's film Nebraska.
He is also slated to write the biography of a former prison inmate who now assists ex-cons in reentering society.
Biga's work has been recognized by his peers at the local, regional, and national levels.

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Nebraska Center for Writers