Mason at AWP: February 7-10

Mason at AWP: February 7-10

Join Mason Creative Writing in Kansas City, Missouri from February 7-10 for the AWP conference! Several Mason Creative Writing professors and alumni will be participating in various panels and events. Additionally, be sure to stop by Booth 1203 at the book fair to chat with editors from phoebe, Poetry Daily, So To Speak, and representatives from Watershed Lit.


DIY Your Lit Mag: How to Build a Literary Magazine From the Ground Up 

Thursday, February 8, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Featuring Tommy Dean, NaBeela Washington, Steph Liberatore, and Dorothy Chan

You have an idea for a lit mag…great! Now what? Four founding editors share how they launched a literary magazine outside of academia. How do you fund it? How do you staff it? How do you sustain it over time? The editors of Fractured Lit, Honey Literary, In Short, and Lucky Jefferson will provide practical tips and advice for those looking to do-it-themselves.


It’s a Crime! Genre Fiction’s Bad Rap (Sheet) in Academia's Mean Streets

Thursday, February 8, 1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3
Featuring Richie Narvaez, Edwin Hill, Art Taylor, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Crime fiction has often struggled to be taken seriously in literature classes and creative writing workshops, even as the students themselves are avid fans of suspense, thrillers, true crime podcasts, and more. Professors who teach crime fiction as literature (class, race, and social justice as thematic cores) or use it as models for aspiring writers (plotting, pacing, getting readers to turn the page) explore the genre’s strengths for academia and offer tips on bringing it into the classroom. 


Gathering Evidence: Crime Fiction as Social Commentary

Thursday, February 8, 3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m.
Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2
Featuring John Copenhaver, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Mindy Mejia, and James Han Mattson

To know a society, you must first understand its crimes. Crime fiction in its various forms, from thriller to noir to historical, endeavors to understand society through the exploration of criminality and our criminal justice system. Four accomplished authors discuss how they employ genre storytelling to expose truths about troubling aspects of American culture, past and present, as a means of raising awareness of social problems, generational trauma, and victims’ stories.


Yale Younger Poets Reading

Thursday, February 8, 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
1228 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City, MO 64105
Featuring Peter Streckfus, Eduardo C. Corral, Airea D. Matthews, Yanyi, Robert Wood Lynn, Mary-Alice Daniel, and Cindy Juyoung Ok.

All are welcome to come for a poem and stay for a drink! Celebrate the Yale Series of Younger Poets in a group reading of its winners, including: Peter Streckfus, Eduardo C. Corral, Airea D. Matthews, Yanyi, Robert Wood Lynn, Mary-Alice Daniel, and Cindy Juyoung Ok. Their books and more are available for sale from Yale University Press at this location only 0.2 miles from the conference!


We Can’t All Marry Rich: Teaching Creative Writing Students Professional Skills
Friday, February 9, 12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. 

Room 3501GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3 
Featuring Samuel Ashworth, Robbie Maakestad and Rajpreet Heir, plus Daniel A. Hoyt and Monica Prince


Most students don’t become professors, yet the only professional skill most creative writing programs prepare students for is teaching. In this panel, we will share methods for teaching the skills and knowledge—like publishing, freelancing, marketing, etc.—that students need to persevere as working writers outside the ivory tower. Panelists will share practical strategies and assignments for instructors so that when your students graduate, they can answer the toughest question of all: “Now what?"


Teaching Literary Editing and Publishing in a Creative Writing Curriculum

Saturday, February 10, 12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.
Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Featuring Michael Dumanis, Sally Keith, Srikanth Reddy, Hasanthika Sirisena, and James Allen Hall

How can coursework in literary editing and publishing, combined with hands-on experience working on a national publication, best support an undergrad or graduate creative writing curriculum? Five editors of literary journals who teach editing share strategies to engage students in questions of collaborative literary assessment, aesthetic judgment, representation and equity, and distinctive curation as they become stronger readers and writers through the discussion of manuscript submissions.

Mek We Talk: Language and Identity in Caribbean Writing and Beyond 

Saturday, February 10, 12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.
Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Featuring Carol Mitchell, Donna Hemans, Kevin Jared Hosein, Tanya Batson-Savage, Katia D. Ulysse

Like many marginalized authors, Caribbean writers are challenging colonial storytelling patterns. One challenge we face in incorporating local languages into our work is that, while our lived vernacular adds authenticity to our literature, some say it hinders comprehension. In this panel, five Caribbean authors and editors discuss dialect's role in establishing setting, character, and plot; how they respond to demands for “standardized” language; and how they find balance in their own work.