AWP19 Panel Proposal Interests
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Panel Name (80 characters)Panel Description/Proposal Idea (500 characters)Statement of Merit (500 characters)Point of ContactTentative Panelists (5 total)Notes
Writing the Invisible: Genderqueer Writers on Writing and Representing Outside the Gender
How does one write about genders that are often “invisible”? How do non-cis writers navigate a writing and publishing world rife with misgendering and identity erasure? How can one bring alive to the page and exist as a demographic that often goes unseen outside the realms of literature? Be it through fiction, poetry, playwrighting, or comics and graphic novels, this panel features transgender and gender nonconforming writers as they discuss the challenges of writing outside the gender binary, and how one can make one’s characters, narrative, and personal identity visible - both on and off the page.Nothing has been in more demand recently than the need for diverse books that star POC and LGBTQ characters. With transgender and gender nonconforming characters especially overlooked, representation of their lives is particularly urgent. This panel addresses the common issues and
challenges transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming authors and poets face when crafting stories and poems that often feature characters whose identities often go unnoticed, and discusses how one can preserve those lives through literature.
Tiff Ferentini at ferentinit@yahoo.comSAMPLE PANEL THAT WAS ACCEPTED LAST AWP
Opportunities for Job Seekers Without MFA's (and an activist?)I'm not really sure how this would work. I just really wanted a panel where the focus is on getting jobs without an MFA. Some folks were saying how they are paranoid about whether their activist social media might hurt or help that search. (And or whether them being too out can "ruin" chances.) Any assistance could help.?If interested, please contact
"Happen to Be Gay" PanelHow can we avoid writing “token” queer characters and instead create people who participate in our narratives with full complexity and wholehearted representation? How can writers truly enact their best intentions? How can writers ensure that their queer characters (especially POC, disabled, etc.) have a real equity stake in their stories? If it is still controversial to include queer characters, how can we create a practice and a community that makes genuine diversity the norm?
As the need rises for diverse books that star POC and LGBTQ characters, writers increasingly and rightfully must push past tokenization and embrace the imperative of full representation. This panel addresses the common concerns and challenges of writing minority characters, discusses the current climate about diversity in the literary community, and debates the best ways to make diversity the norm— giving writers a mindset and a practice for writing creatively, authentically, and inclusively.Tentative: Julia Leslie GuarchJess Silfa, Deanna Rasch , Thomas Dane , Tiff Ferentini
"On The Offensive": Attitudes on Writing To A Straight AudienceDo LGBTQ writers have a responsibility to “translate” queer culture to a straight, cis, and heteronormative audience? Should queer writing strive to educate its readers or simply expose those readers to the queer community’s truth? How do LGBTQ writers decide their intended audience, and will the scope of their audience affect the impact of their work? This panel features queer writers who fully embraced, rejected, and/or acknowledged their non-queer readers.In the quest for books written in authentic voices, literary creators and publishers struggle to navigate “culture shock” that readers may experience while reading books about other cultures. Queer stories need to be told, but there are common challenges and concerns LGBTQ folks face when writing about queer culture. Additionally, one needs to consider the importance of “translating” queer culture to a straight, cis, and heteronormative audience when publishing work and trying to pay bills.Tentative: Julia Leslie Guarch, Tiff FerentiniBronson Lemer, Sassafras Lowry, Brian Kornell, Thomas Dane, Tiff FerentiniSUBMITTED PANEL 4/25/2018
Where are my Bi+ Folks At? Why is there a lack of Bi+ folks in literature and in panels? Interested: Anthony Moll; Martha Amore
Writing Our Identities: Responsibility or Limitation? Is it our responsibility to write about our identities? What happens if we have more than one label in our identity list? Does this double our responsibility or doubly pigeon-hole us into identity writers? Given today’s political climate, having inclusive literature is critical, but the responsibility comes with unexpected consequences. Panelists discuss our role as writers, educators, and community members from a range of marginalized perspectives.While many panels explore diversity, few discuss the burden this places on marginalized writers to fill a literary void. Does our quest for diversity pigeon-hole writers into identity writers, thus limiting the stories a person can tell? Or is the responsibility the best fuel for our work? This panel reflects both sides of this coin–those who feel it's our responsibility and those struggling with the limitations. Writers reflect gay, lesbian, trans, Filipino, and black perspectives.Samantha Tetangco - stetangco@gmail.comFull! Samantha Tetangco, Tia Clark, Alan Lessik,
Austin Shay, &
Cooper Lee
Queering Place: Coming out Queer in the Classroom & Other SpacesSometimes, the way LGBTQ+ writers come out is through our writing. This panel will discuss the ways we out or identify ourselves in writing, the joys and challenges of writing about LGBTQ+ characters, and what it means to write queer lit.Coming out and being visibly queer is still very much a political act. Writing LGBTQ+ characters and about queer bodies is a form of activism. During the Trump Administration, there has been an active rollback of civil rights for many identities and minorities, including the LGBTQ community. Information on HIV/AIDS has disappeared from government websites, the 2020 Census is removing LGBT questions. But we won’t let this silence and erase us. We write our queerness to be seen, to love, to live.marlenalynne@gmail.comJillian Butler (
Marlena Chertock (
Joanna Eleftheriou (
Tobey Kaplan (
Cooper Lee (;J.R. Toriseva (
Crossing the Streams: Poets Writing ProseAs poets, we're not always strictly writing verse or prose. Sometimes, we straddle the lines and blend the genres.
J.R. Toriseva (
Genderqueer Writing & Genderqueer WritersROUGH DRAFT: Genderqueer and non-binary writers discuss the pleasures, joys and challenges of writing and publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels (and more! UPDATE PENDING PARTICIPANTS) outside of the gender binary. We’ll explore: navigating use of nonbinary pronouns (they/theirs, ze/hir, and more) in text, professional misgendering of authors as well as characters, queering he boundaries and norms of publishing, challenges and opportunities that small and independent publishing offer genderqueer writers, and the importance of representation for queer, and in particular genderqueer readers.If interested pleae contact: Sassafras Lowrey
Shelley Marlow
Jacq Greyja
Tiff Ferentini
Julia Guarch interested: kaiya gordon
non-traditional paths to writing for queer writersIf interested pleae contact: sassafraslowrey@gmail.comTentative: Sassafras Lowrey
queer literary community buildingROUGH DRAFT: From queer bookstores, to poetry readings in bars, underground zine readings and drag queens reading picture books to toddlers in public libraries books and literature are a site of mobilization and belonging for LGBTQ communities. What makes an event successful? What are strategies for building investment within your local queer community? How do you initiate institutional partnerships? How can you get funding for your event? On this panel, authors, writers and literary event organizers will discuss strategies to organizing successful events with focus on inclusion and diversity of queer voices (age/race/gender/sexuality/class/ability).If interested pleae contact: sassafraslowrey@gmail.comSassafras Lowrey - NYC
Michelle Tea - LA
Tania De Rozario - Singapore
Lori Horvitz- Asheville, NC
Mike McClelland Athens, Georgia
Where's The Sex? Writing Romance Stories WIthout Sexual TensionSex repulsed asexuals exist and often have romantic relationships. How can we write their romantic stories?This is Lydia X.Z. Brown -- I am just really interested in this topic, as a repulsed asexual writer!
LGBTQ History of the Obscene
Explicit Lit
Queer Lit History Panel
Parenting While Queer
Finding Your Queer Community Near You
TBCA panel that is "speculative literature" focussed (but "speculative" above all in the sense of "conjecture") and one of the themes would concern how writers can ascribe race and queerness and transness and class to bodies that are less often racialized and queered and trans-ed and classed—like robots and animals, for example. This panel could span literature for young people and for adults. [Note: I'd be especially interested in featuring one or more indigenous writers who draw on indigenous storytelling traditions that might speak to this topic.] tom@tomcho.comPeople who were interested in participating:
Margaret Rhee
Keith S. Wilson
Ching-In Chen
J.R. Toriseva (
Other recommendations I had:
Joshua Whitehead
Yoon Ha Lee
Monk Tellez
I've decided to not go to AWP but feel free to further develop this idea--Hi Tom, It's Everett, I tried to do justice to this idea in a similar proposal.
Queer Literary “Hook-Ups”: Gauging the ImpactDid furtively devouring Audre Lorde’s steamy lyrics in the library stacks make us the writers we are? LGBTQ authors plumb how queer literary ancestors and present-day companions influence what we create. Which vital—even life-saving—words illuminated our paths as we embraced stigmatized identities, and developed our craft? How do such foundational influences shape the current projects we undertake? Which contemporaries have become trailblazers who nudge our work in unforeseen directions? Budding LGBTQ writers often come to consciousness about their identities in secret, seeking out literary guides--forerunners whose creations shed light on a historically silenced and misrepresented minority group’s experience. As queer writers develop, how their art continues to converse with those formative models is rarely examined or celebrated. Of equal importance, dialogue and cross-pollination between today’s LGBTQ mentors and peers help to nurture a varied and sparkling literature.Steven Riel ( Lee Bombardier, Celeste Chan, Natalia M. Vigil, Brian Rigg, Steven RielSUBMITTED PANEL 4/26/2018
Poets and BloggersA panel focused on published poets and current bloggers. I have been a poet since age 12. I am in 4 poetry collections, and published my own poetry book: "The Tiger and The Snake"
If interested please email me at:
Labels - Why We Need Them, Or Do We?This panel focuses on the growing issues of identy and labels. It look at how labels have been used throughout publishing history to ban books, influences publishing, and it's impact on buying options. It will look at how publishers and authors use labels to categorize work. It will also look at how labels are used by the Queer community as identy, and as a way of protest.publisher@sapphirebooks.comInterested in being part of this panel contact;this panel was recently presented at ClexaCon and was well-recieved.Looking to reach a wider audience.
Where Am I in Mainstream Literature?A look at the missing Queer in mainstream commercial fiction.
J.R. Toriseva (
Queeris familias: the sticky ethics of truth telling in the LGBTQ family
“Everyone has the right to tell his or her [or their] own story … but…that story is always already someone else’s,” says G. Thomas Couser, author of Signifying Bodies: Disability in Contemporary Life Writing. Queer writers negotiate the stickiness of intersecting narratives: parents, spouses, children & lovers. Does an abusive parent deserve the same safety, on the page, as the queer child? The ex-spouse? The non-queer child? The dead? How does one use the power of words responsibly?
A queer novelist’s son says, “That boy, in your book, is me. I don’t want everyone to know.” The novelist replies, “It’s not a memoir. It’s not you.” Whether in fiction, non-fiction or autobiographical poetry the queered family poses sticky questions. Who gets to tell the truth? Whose truth is made public? Whose anger or truth is more righteous? These stories need tellings that thoughtfully navigate the sometime competing needs and narratives of the queer family.Thomas Burke, thomas.burke@dominican.eduSteve Bellin-Oka, Lisa Lynne Moore, Chen Chen, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Thomas BurkeSUBMITTED PANEL 4/26/18
Claim an Author's PerspectiveBathrooms are becoming gender neutral. Gender neutral names are more common. AWP's registration form has a beautiful range of gender terms to scroll through and select. However, where are author identities and narrative voices in these discussions and changes? When does the author’s gender matter for the piece, if at all? How apt are we to still make identity biases as we read something? How likely are we to pick up the book/read the poem/etc., even?We can speculate on George Eliot, JK Rowling, EL James, and work to dismantle the presupposition and higher credibility of male or neutral as author. Equally, we can look at the contemporary, of male fiction authors masking their names to be perceived female. We can examine our own suppositions as to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and more. So the question is, when are we more likely to believe the writer for knowing their subject matter? Do we trust the author who is the identity or the author who makes us believe they are the identity? What is our ethical responsibility as writers in the depiction of identity?
Furthermore, how does authorial identification affect our interpretations of characters’ whose identities are not the author’s own. We can examine the problems of YA authors usage of LGBTQ+ characters, who often seem made to appeal a wider demographic, where the character(s) is minor, full of tropes and stereotypes, or is otherwise not worth remembering. We can examine the male author writing the female narrator and vice versa. We can look at examples, both within and outside our own work, and explore the successes and failures of writing both within and outside our own identities. Through experiences and reading lists, this panel intends to explore the multiplying issue of narrative and authorial identity, how they may conflict, and the what and how and when of writers writing both within and without their identities.
Elizabeth Ashe, Nathaniel Fuller,
The Coast is Queer: LGBTQ+ Voices from the Pacific NorthwestHow does sense of place influence the work of LGBTQ+ writers? The Pacific Northwest, a.k.a. the queer-friendly “left coast,” is home to a growing community of LGBTQ+ writers, many of whom are transplants from farther east. Join multi-genre queer writers from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia as they discuss what draws them to Cascadia, how it informs their work, and what it means to live and write in the Northwest, outside the major LGBTQ+ hubs of New York City, San Francisco and Toronto.In progress...Sara Graefe, sara.graefe@ubc.caMichael V. Smith, Carol Guess, Ramon Esquivel, Kate Gray, Sara GraefeSubmitted April 30
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