Contributors' AWP Panels

E-mail 1 of 2,

So, first of all, even though it’s not a panel:

The Forward Release Party is on Thursday, March 28th from 5:45-8 PM. It’s at Woody’s Coffee Tavern, 1412 SE Morrison. Facebook Event here:

You’ll have a chance to win a copy, you can buy copies here if you don’t win, and you could get the anthology signed by several of the contributors. It will also be a great time. Readers are: Gene Kwak, Christopher Gonzalez, SJ Sindu, Eshani Surya, Ruth Joffre, Marlin M. Jenkins, Yalie Kamara, Alicita Rodriguez, Maggie Su, Tyrese Coleman, Dennis Norris II, George Abraham, Alvin Park, and Monterica Sade Neil.

LONG Message below, but if you’re looking for ways to support the anthology’s writers during AWP, please come out!


Thursday March 28th:


D139-140, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1 We're Here and We're Queer: LGBTQ Women Tell Their Stories.  (Imogen BinnieChelsey JohnsonNicole Dennis-BennSJ SinduPatricia Smith) Queer people—and queer women especially— have long been marginalized in literature. What are the stories being told about queer women? And who is doing the telling? Four authors with very different backgrounds discuss their books and characters, the stereotypes they fight against, and the truths and lives they reveal. What are the various identities queer women navigate in real life and on the page? What untold stories remain hidden?


 D135, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1 Writing Palestine: Combating Erasure/Imagining the Future.  (Ismail KhalidiGeorge Abraham, Nathalie HandalZaina Alsous) Marking seventy years of displacement and occupation in Palestine, Mizna, the only journal of Arab American literature, presents its Palestine Issue, with readings and discussion about the Palestinian struggle for freedom and the rich literature it has spurred. Acclaimed authors engage with seven decades of resilience and creativity in the face of catastrophe, sharing work that combats erasure by remembering, as well as by imagining possible (and impossible) futures.


B117-119, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1Light is the Left Hand of Darkness: A Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin.  (Alexander LumansEmma EisenbergC Pam ZhangDavid Naimon, Kelly Link) “Truth,” Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her novel The Left Hand of Darkness, “is a matter of the imagination.” In 2018, one of America’s greatest science fiction writers passed on, leaving behind a library of literary and social achievements. Through her imaginative narratives, she scrutinized politics, gender, and the environment, creating alternate worlds and new societies as a means to convey deeper truths about our own. This panel celebrates her influential work and pays tribute to her legacy.


A103-104, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1  A Flash of Difference: Diversity and Inclusion in Flash Fiction.  (Tara Campbell, Marlena Chertock, Christopher GonzalezErinrose MagerMegan Giddings) Flash fiction is having a moment, but how diverse is the field? What is the state of flash in terms of race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual identity/orientation, and disability? Panelists will introduce underrepresented flash writers and resources that amplify traditionally marginalized voices. This panel is suitable for multiple audiences: educators who want to diversify their curricula, readers who want to broaden their reading lists, and publishers who want to enrich their author rosters.

C124, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. What's Craft Got to Do With It?: On Craft, Race, and the Black Imagination.  (Dianca London PottsJessica Lanay Moore , Dennis Norris II, Jeni McFarland Cole Lavalais ) In an age when Black authors are on the rise, why is craft still dismissed as "bougie" or adjacent to whiteness? Why are Black narratives analyzed primarily through a sociological or anthropological lens rather than one of literary craft? Why do so many readers and writers still resist the merit of craft when it comes to Black literature? This dialogue examines, confronts, and unpacks the creative and cultural implications and potential of craft within the contemporary Black literary canon.

Friday, March 29


B116, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. Dystopias and Utopias in Contemporary Asian American Literature.  (Chaya BhuvaneswarJimin HanThirii Myo Kyaw MyintAnita Felicelli) Ted Chiang writes in Story of Your Life: "Despite knowing the journey and where it leads, I embrace it and welcome every moment." Despite Chiang's renown, little attention has been paid to dystopian and utopian visions in Asian American works, particularly by women. Four writers examine the speculative impulse present in literature that on its face is about contemporary political events, combining brief readings, a Q & A on cross-genre literary work and craft, and an audience writing exercise.


A106, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. From the First "The End" to Hitting Send: On Revising the Novel.  (Katie CorteseChantel AcevedoRanda JarrarDerek PalacioSJ Sindu) Kill your darlings. Read it out loud. Have a friend edit it. Plenty of advice exists for revising short fiction, but shoring up a novel spanning hundreds of pages presents a different set of challenges—especially since many workshops focus on short stories. The novelists on this panel have all written books that evolved from messy drafts to published works of art, and they share strategies, techniques, and revision tips—along with some trials and errors—with those who aspire to do the same.

B115, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1 Beyond Survival: Identity & Second Generation Fiction.  (Tyrese ColemanHilary ZAIDYZ Chin, Camille Acker) Panelists will discuss what happens when literature moves away from the struggles of marginality, i.e the "coming out,” the “immigrant,” and the “Civil Rights” story, to talk about identity in new and normative ways. The three women write from their personal perspectives on immigration, queerness, and race, seeking contemporary narratives answering the question, “What are we doing now that we have survived?”


B115, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. Dispatches From the Land of Erasure: Arab American Writers Forum.  (Marwa HelalGeorge Abraham, Lena Khalaf TuffahaFarid MatukPhilip Metres) Arab American poets have struggled to make their voices heard over the din of empire, in a culture eager to use them as voiceless props in an imperial drama about America and the globe. Drawing on the Boston Review forum that appeared in May 2018, this panel will address the dynamics of imperial erasure and poetic insistence as resistance, moving the conversation beyond the bounds of Arab American experience and into a broader conversation about intersectionality and empire. 

C124, Oregon Convention Center. My Memoir’s First Year: Lessons Learned by New Authors of Creative Nonfiction.  (Anthony MollSarah Fawn MontgomeryMatt YoungJoseph OsmundsonTyrese Coleman) Five new memoirists discuss what to expect when you’re expecting a memoir. This assorted group of writers with books published in 2018 share their experiences launching their first memoirs: the expectations each had starting the process, the path from manuscript to book, the rollout and reception of each work, and the range of emotions that come with such a launch, from elation to melancholy.

Saturday, March 30th

9-10:15 AM

B114, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. Beyond the Closet: New Queer Narratives.  (Eric SassonCarter SickelsViet DinhDennis NorrisPatty Smith) Coming Out stories have informed LGBTQ fiction for decades. But as the landscape for LGBTQ rights has expanded, so have the boundaries of LGBTQ fiction. What new narrative possibilities are emerging? How do authors deal with issues of identifying in their fiction without allowing it to consume the work? Are the expectations for LGBTQ fiction shifting as the culture at large shifts? Five authors will discuss how they're navigating the new landscape while remaining true to issues of queer identity.

10:30-11:45 AM

D131-132, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. The Plot to Kill Plot: Practical Alternatives to "Plotting" Fiction.  (Joseph ScapellatoMatt BellAllegra HydeLing MaThirii Myo Kyaw Myint) Has the term “plot” outlived its usefulness? Do the many cultural and craft-related assumptions connected to traditional notions of plot needlessly close the door on other viable forms of narrative construction? In this panel, five writers of aesthetically varied fiction share practical alternatives to “plotting”—helpful strategies for structuring novels and short stories that question, resist, or otherwise usurp conventional conceptions of plot.

Portland Ballroom 255, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2.  McSweeney’s: Celebrating Innovative Fiction(Lucy CorinPatty Yumi CottrellC Pam ZhangDeb Olin UnferthRita Bullwinkel) McSweeney’s has been publishing innovative fiction for over twenty years. Founded in 1998 by the author Dave Eggers, the house’s quarterly journal contributors and books have won innumerable prizes. In celebration of McSweeney’s longstanding championing of literary excellence and experimentation, in this panel four recent McSweeney’s authors will discuss their work and the work of a McSweeney’s author that came before them for whom they hold immense admiration.

4:30-5:45 PM

B116, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. Boulevard 35th Anniversary & 100 Issues Reading(Jessica RogenMegan GiddingsMeron HaderoKarthik Purushothaman) Founded in 1984, Boulevard magazine celebrates 100 issues and thirty five years of continuously publishing the finest in contemporary voices in fiction, poetry, and definitive essays on the arts and culture. Featuring writers from across our thirty five years, this reading reflects Boulevard’s mission to present a variegated yet coherent ensemble of creative and critical writing by both emerging and established writers

We’re also going to send out an e-mail with listings of our contributors’ off-site events and readings.

Thanks for looking this over!