R207. Sum of the Parts: Creating Cohesion from Fragmented Narratives

Florida Salon 6, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Nonfiction writers rely on memory, our own and others.’ Yet, memory is inherently fragmented and made more so by experiences like trauma and illness. Incorporating secondary source material can enhance but complicate the narrative. Five writers who have encountered issues of memory and fragmentation personally and in working with under-represented populations discuss challenges and strategies for bridging—or embracing—these gaps and tying together disparate pieces to create a cohesive narrative.


Lauren Kay Johnson is a former Air Force public affairs officer and Afghanistan veteran. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Emerson College. Her forthcoming memoir chronicles her coming-of-age against the backdrop of war, through her mother’s Army career and her own service.

Heather Bryant has published short fiction and nonfiction in The Massachusetts Review, The Southeast Review, CURA, and in anthologies. A winner of the Southeast Review Narrative Nonfiction Contest, she was Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Randolph College and teaches at Pace University.

Sonya Lea's memoir was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and has garnered praise in Oprah magazine, People, and the BBC. Her essays have appeared in Salon, The Southern Review, Guernica, Ms., and more. She teaches trauma survivors.

Susanne Paola Antonetta’s most recent book is Curious Atoms from Essay Press. Awards include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science book, a Pushcart Prize, and others. She coauthored nonfiction text Tell It Slant and she is editor of the Bellingham Review.

Judith Hannan is an essayist and the author of The Write Prescription and Motherhood Exaggerated. She leads workshops for those affected by illness and for high-risk populations. She mentors cancer patients, and she is a recipient of a 2015 Humanism-in-Medicine award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside