R211. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say: How to Write Stories People Don't Want Told

Liberty Salon L, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Thursday, February 9, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


We all know not to talk politics, religion, or money at the dinner table, but should these subjects be off limits for storytelling? Some of the best writing comes from tackling topics people would rather not discuss. These journalists and memoirists have written about gay "conversion" therapy, segregation in school, shameful family secrets, and tracing slave lineage. The panelists will explain how to report stories when sources don’t want to talk, and will share the price they paid for doing so.



Kristen Green is the author of Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County, a New York Times bestseller and a Washington Post Notable Nonfiction pick. She has worked as a journalist for two decades, and she holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Garrard Conley is the author of a memoir, Boy Erased. His work can be found in Time, VICE, CNN, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Madison Review, the Common, and others. He received scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee conferences, and currently teaches creative writing in New York City.

Yvonne Brown


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center