Potential Writers’ Conference Panels, An Unordered List

  • Anything But the Truth: Lies in Nonfiction
  • Tin-Ears & Toss-Offs: Writing with a Disregard for Language
  • The Nonfiction Novel in Verse: Tomorrow’s Genre, Today!
  • Against Self-Expression
  • The Epic Essay
  • Regionalism as Fascism: Writing Against the Tyranny of Place
  • The Grass Castle: Marijuana & Memoir
  • Frisky Business: Writing Lucrative Erotica with Your Cat
  • Mem-wahr or Mem-wah?: Coming to Terms
  • So You Didn’t Get in to Iowa: Next Steps
  • Short Talks: Making Your Public Reading Feel Less Endless
  • Scrambling the Acronym: Queer Writers Queering the “Queer”
  • Guide My Hand: A Poetics of the Masturbation Scene
  • Magical Realism or Magic Irrealism: Must a Distinction Be Made?
  • The “Writers’ Conference”: New Ideas for Bringing Writers in Conversation Together
  • Meow, That Hurt!: Writing Lucrative Abuse Memoirs with Your Cat
  • Plots: Why Are They So Hard to Come Up With?
  • Writing What You Know: Dealing with the Void
  • The End of the Poem: Getting Your Entire Public Reading Audience to Sigh and Nod
  • Tricks of the Trade: Writing Solely for Money
  • Anyone wanna do a thing for AWP in 2012?


Lots of times, or well maybe back in the day more, you hear about certain people’s writing being like other writers on various chemical substances. He writes like Aimee Bender on acid. It’s like Jonathan Safran Foer on steroids. But when you think about it, those actual circumstances would be insufferable. Who wants to hang out with a tripping Tim O’Brien, or Marilynne Robinson on a roid rage?

Not me. I’d much rather write like Chuck Palahniuk on quaaludes, say, or Tom Wolfe on little to no sleep.