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2022 virtual event schedule 

Explore our scheduled 2022 conference programming taking place virtually

Program information is subject to change, and is being updated daily.

 

Friday, August 5th, 2022

7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. 

Keynote Conversation 

K-Ming Chang & Nate Marshall in conversation with Nicole Counts  (livestream from Denver, CO)

Saturday, August 6th, 2022

9:00 a.m.–10:05 a.m.

Community Track

Panel - Sanctuary: The Solace of Words

Hosted in partnership with the Jaipur Literary Festival

Panelists: Aruni Kashyap, Prajwal Parajuly and Manjushree Thapa in conversation.

A session examining the complex nuances of immigrant identity, across the markers of race and culture to explore the intangibles of home. Poet, translator and writer Aruni Kashyap is the author of His Father’s Disease, There Is No Good Time for Bad News and How to Tell the Story of an Insurgency: Fifteen Tales from Assam among others. Prajwal Parajuly is the author of Land Where I Flee and the short story collection, The Gurkha's Daughter. Writer and translator Manjushree Thapa is the author of ten books of fiction and literary nonfiction such as All of Us in Our Own Lives, The Lives We Have Lost, and Seasons of Flight all around her homeland, Nepal. Together they speak of their work and explore the geographies and multilayered legacies that have informed their lives.

Business/Industry Track

Panel: Movement Building & New Publishing Spaces

Moderated by Bunmi Ishola

Panelists: Amanda Johnston, Saleem Hue Penny, Jyothi Natarajan

On building the spaces and communities we need, this panel will feature a discussion from leaders in literary movement building and creating, maintaining new publishing and writing spaces.

9:00 a.m.–10:05 a.m.

9:00 a.m.–10:05 a.m.

Writing Craft Track

More information coming soon

10:15 a.m.–11:20 a.m.

Community Track

Panel: Equity and Access in Translation, Navigating Translation with a Marginalized Identity

Moderated by paparouna

Panelists: Adrija Ghosh, Poupeh Missaghi, and Yilin Wang

A discussion on navigating translation as its own literary form, as a way to offer and enter language, expanding and creating conversations and worldviews, and creating a home inside language with a marginalized identity.

Business/Industry Track

Workshop: YAY! I’m (Going to Be) Published. Now What?

Hosted by: Janae Marks & Valerie Bolling

This workshop will demystify the publishing process for aspiring and debut authors. We will discuss the process of what happens after a book is acquired, when to reach out to your agent vs. your editor, the difference between marketing and publicity, and how authors can help promote their books. There will also be time for audience questions.

10:15 a.m.–11:20 a.m.

Writing Craft Track

Workshop: How to Write Circles Around Others: Non-Linear Story Structures from Non-Western Traditions, Hosted by: Henry Lien

“Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland. Carroll’s king was clearly not a Chinese king. Western storytelling traditions decree that a linear structure (along with the three act structure, the hero’s journey, and a rising self-esteem arc) are mandatory features of any satisfying story. This is Western-centric silliness. This course explores non-linear structures, specifically cyclic and nested structures, using examples from non-Western stories and films. It explores how these non-linear structures allow for thematic stacking, embracing of moral complexity, and a synthesis between form and content to explode the idea that a straight line is the best way to tell every story. The course emphasizes practical craft takeaways for storytellers to apply to their own works in progress.

10:15 a.m.–11:20 a.m.

Lunch break   

 

 

 

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Community Track

Cohort Writing Group: Queer Writers

Hosted by: Mark Travis Rivera

Join to connect with fellow Queer writers to chat about your writing, commiserate, celebrate, inspire one another.

1:00 p.m.–2:05 p.m.

Community Track

Panel: The Beauty and Crisis of Writing Climate 

Moderated by: Franklin Cruz

Panelists: Ashia Ajani and KB Brookins

Poets are often tasked with finding the beauty and expanding it, making it more visible for all of us. In a world of rapidly changing climate, Poets Ashia Ajani and KB Brookins will be in conversation about their approaches to writing about the changes they observe, the impacts, and the victories.

1:00 p.m.–2:05 p.m.

Business/Industry Track

Panel: On Publishing & Publicity

Hosted in partnership with Hachette Book Group

A panel featuring industry experts Katherine Akey, Ivan Lett, Cheryl Lew, and Lena Little

Writing Craft Track 

Panel: Neurodivergence, Madness, and Form

Moderated by: Cortland Nesley with Veronique West, Taylor Biedler, Harmon dot aut, and Seeley Quest

Content from lived experience narratives can potentially combat the ableism from clinical perspectives; however, their ability to do so is often limited by normative forms that presuppose a neurotypical/sane/colonial logic. What is "good" plotting? What is "good" pacing? What is "causality"? What is "logic"? Clinical pathologizations police the authenticity of Neurodivergent and Mad experiences when they do not match rigid and narrow homogeneous narrative frameworks. When Neurodivergent/Mad folk threaten neurotypical notions of normality in their stories, they are labeled crazy and are quickly brushed aside (and often incarcerated in psychiatric institutions). To wield Neurodivergent/Mad authenticity, the question of how to tell the story is just as important as what the story is. In what ways can we actively and intentionally madden and neuroqueer our storytelling? And, how can doing so be freeing?

1:00 p.m.–2:05 p.m.

Community Track

Panel & Reading: On supporting the work of writers who are incarcerated

Panelists: Caits Meissner, Vivian Nixon, and Zeke Caligiuri

Writers Zeke Caliguri & Vivian Nixon in conversation with Caits Meissner, director of Prison and Justice Writing at PEN America. Hosted in partnership with PEN America

2:15 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

2:15 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

Business/Industry Track 

Workshop: Stranded in Submission Limbo: A Different Type of Torment

Hosted by: Mohamed Shalabi

 

Finding an agent is surely the end of the journey, right? You’ve got an agent, you’re on submission, and now what? I will discuss feelings of both excitement and angst, and answer these vital questions. As an agented author on submission, what are the best ways to handle the uncertainty of publishing? And what are best practices to combat imposter syndrome and stay focused on your individual journey before, during and after submission?

Writing Craft Track

Reading: A reading with Patricia Smith 

Join us for a reading with Patricia Smith, the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the 2018 NAACP Image Award, and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, a collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, Life According to Motown; the children's book Janna and the Kings and the history Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry, Best American Essays and Best American Mystery Stories. She co-edited The Golden Shovel Anthology—New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks and edited the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir.

2:15 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

3:30 p.m.–4:40 p.m.

Community Track

Panel: Reserving a Seat at the Table We’ve Made

Panelists: Amanda Johnston, Dr. Sequoia Maner, Saida Agostini, Kindall Gant

Hosted in partnership with Torch Literary Arts

Torch Literary Arts (TORCH) was founded in 2006 by Amanda Johnston to provide a space to publish and promote Black women writers. For over 15 years, TORCH has featured established and emerging writers online at TorchLiteryArts.org. This roundtable discussion brings together TORCH’s founder, features, and board members to discuss the needs, challenges, and joy of sustaining a space dedicated to Black women writers.

3:30 p.m.–4:40 p.m.

Business/Industry Track

Workshop: Self-Publishing 101

Hosted by: Erica Ridley

Erica Ridley went from self-publishing novice to hitting bestseller lists like USA Today and the New York Times. She'll walk you through how to get started, key strategies, best practices, what she would have done differently, as well as tips and tricks for maximizing opportunities at each vendor.

3:30 p.m.–4:40 p.m.

Writing Craft Track

Panel: “Eres de aqui o de alla?” “Are you from here or over there?”

Hosted in partnership with Biennial of the Americas

Moderated by Mariana Esteves

Panelists: Adriana Lisboa, Billy Ray Belcourt, and Manuel Iris

A celebration of the shared contours and margins of our belonging through multicultural narratives, moderated by Mariana Esteves. Biennial of the Americas x Margins aims to promote cultural empathy by showcasing the work of writers across the Americas. This virtual panel will feature authors whose voices echo battles over language, identity, borders, and belonging. This conversation and reading with authors Adriana Lisboa and Billy-Ray Belcourt will explore the power of ancestry, movement, and belonging in forging multicultural narratives.

4:45 p.m.–6:15p.m.

Dinner break

Community Track

Cohort Writing Group: Black Writers

Hosted by: Landon Smith

Join to connect with fellow Black writers, to chat about your writing, commiserate, celebrate, inspire one another.

5:15 p.m.–6:15p.m.

Awards Ceremony (livestream from Denver, CO)

Let's gather to celebrate the 2022 recipients of the Alchemy Award, the Rasquache Award, and the Rishi Award!

6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, August 7th, 2022

9:00 a.m.–10:05 a.m.

Community Track

Panel: Cities Come Alive: authentic lenses for diverse children who play, sing, and fly!

Moderated by Valerie Bolling

Panelists: Brittany J. Thurman, Cynthia Harmony, and Valerie Bolling

 

Cities provide an environment for children to have fun, achieve milestones, and connect with others in their family and community. Engage in a discussion with three picture book authors about creating agency in their characters that encourages children to play, learn, and take action. These authors will share excerpts from their books to show the importance of depicting nuances of our communities truthfully through text and illustration. In addition, this panel will discuss the importance of basing stories on personal experiences and why ALL diverse books belong in the hands of readers.

9:00 a.m.–10:05 a.m.

Business/Industry Track  

Panel: Query 101

Moderated by Eric Smith

Panelists: Linda Camacho, Priya Doraswamy, Ali Lake, and Sandy Lu

Literary Agents will discuss on your observations of the dos and don'ts of querying - some of the things that you love to see, tips for writers on successful pitches, pitfalls to avoid? This would be a one hour conversation with a moderator & audience Q&A.

Community Track

Cohort Writing Group: Disabled Writers

Hosted by: Zoeglossia

Join to connect with fellow Disabled writers, to chat about your writing, commiserate, celebrate, inspire one another.

9:00 a.m.–10:05 a.m.

10:15 a.m.–11:20 a.m.

Business/Industry Track 

Panel: Identity and Self-Love In the Time of Book Bans

Panelists: Jyoti Rajan Gopal, Nicole Chen, Valerie Bolling, Monique James Duncan, Jonathan Hillman

 

The backlash against books that decenter the hetero-normative white point of view is very real. Unfortunately, this is not new. Book bans have been around for centuries. What does feel new is that even books that merely seek to affirm a particular identity are now being targeted. Anything that mentions gender, race, culture, or sexuality seems to be up for grabs. And legislated against. That feels new and very, very dangerous.

10:15 a.m.–11:20 a.m.

Writing Craft Track 

Crip Cash: Resisting the Commodification of Disabled Identities

Panelists: Pinka PopsicKle, Kimberly Jackson, Leslie McIntosh, Saleem Hue Penny, and Walela Nehanda

Join Team Zoeglossia members Pinka PopsicKle, Kimberly Jackson, Leslie McIntosh, Saleem Hue Penny, and Walela Nehanda for a discussion on how we approach content and center our own voices in a landscape determined to commodify disabled identities.

10:15 a.m.–11:20 a.m.

Writing Craft Track

On Queer Re-Tellings

Panelists: Addie Tsai & Kelly Ann Jacobson

Join Authors Kelly Ann Jacobson, author of Tink and Wendy, and Addie Tsai, author of Unwieldy Creatures, for a discussion of their approaches to re-telling stories through a queer lens.

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Lunch break

Community Track

Cohort Writing Group: Asian-American & Pacific Islander Writers

Hosted by: Asian-American Lit Fest 

Join to connect with fellow Asian American & Pacific Islander writers to chat about your writing, commiserate, celebrate, inspire one another.

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

1:00 p.m.–2:05 p.m.

Community Track 

Reading: Featuring Amanda Johnston, Dr. Sequoia Maner, Saida Agostini, Kindall Gant, with Torch Literary Arts

Torch Literary Arts (TORCH) was founded in 2006 by Amanda Johnston to provide a space to publish and promote Black women writers. For over 15 years, TORCH has featured established and emerging writers online at TorchLiteryArts.org. This reading brings together TORCH’s founder, features, and board members to share their writing and celebrating the many voices of Black women writers.

1:00 p.m.–2:05 p.m.

Business/Industry Track

Panel - Paths to Publication: Poetry

Moderator: Jessica Helen Lopez

Panelists: Cynthia Manick, Tara Betts, Amal Kassir

A conversation and Q&A session where authors will discuss their unique paths to publishing and offer their advice for writers to navigate moving forward. Join these panelists for a conversation on how poems make their way into the world. From creating a collection, submitting poems, building community, booking readings, and all of the paths our poems take.

1:00 p.m.–2:05 p.m.

Writing Craft Track

Panel: Writing Rom-Coms: Tropes, Timing, and the Perfect Kiss.

Panelists: Maya Prasad, Brian D. Kennedy, and Priyanka Taslim

Slow-burn. Enemies-to-lovers. Fake dating. Tropes are a staple of rom-coms, but it takes skill and practice to pull them off in an original way. In this panel, three debut authors will discuss the craft of writing rom-coms, including comedic situations and timing, building to the perfect kiss, and keeping your readers in suspense about how that “Happily Ever After” will unfold.

2:15 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

Community Track

KidLit in Color: Writing and Modeling Anti-Racism for Young Readers

Panelists: Kaitlyn Wells, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Valerie Bolling, Kirstie Myvett, and Tina Athaide

 

Picture books, chapter books, YA novels -- these genres all get lumped into the category of “kidlit,” and they are often separated from the more lauded category of “literature.” However, one of the most important ways that anti-racism work can be accomplished is through literature for young readers. In this session, children’s writers will read short excerpts from our work and discuss how a dedication to diversity and anti-racism influences our writing. We will also discuss how reaching young readers through books is critical in two ways: children of color and children from marginalized communities need these books as “mirrors” for their own self-development, while white children need these books as windows into marginalized communities. Finally, we will discuss the legacy of the #ownvoices movement, which strived to highlight books in which the protagonist and author belong to the same community.

2:15 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

Business/Industry Track 

Panel - Paths to Publication: Fiction

Panelists: Henry Lien, Erica Ridley, Eric Smith

A conversation and Q&A session where authors will discuss their unique paths to publishing and offer their advice for writers to navigate moving forward.

2:15 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

Business/Industry Craft Track

Workshop: Knowing and Reaching Your Audience 

Hosted by Carolina Meurkens

A workshop that helps authors consider who the audience for their book really is, and then ideas for identifying the publishing and marketing paths that might be most tailored to successfully reach that audience.

2:15 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

Writing Craft Track

Panel: Nonfiction & the Storyteller

Panelists: A.E. Rooks, Scott Woods. Moderator: Raksha Vasudevan

Let's explore the different ways we narrate to tell nonfiction, from the personality of voice to deepen our understanding of truth.

3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Closing Ceremony (livestream from Denver, CO)