S242. Write What You Know but Know It All: Research as Catalyst in Fiction

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


One fiction writer constructs an imaginary world and turns to research—historical, scientific, vernacular—for verisimilitude. Another stumbles upon a historical event or character and uses imagination to give it life. Who did it right? Is there such a thing? A panel of novelists who’ve produced a diverse body of fiction, from the seemingly semi-autobiographical to the historical, discuss the ways in which research and imagination work in concert—or conflict—to build a fictional world.


Xhenet Aliu is author of the forthcoming novel Brass and the story collection Domesticated Wild Things and Other Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. She works as an academic librarian in Athens, Georgia.

Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. Recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and a NEA in fiction, he is an associate professor of English at Dartmouth College.

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers (novel) and How to Leave Hialeah (stories), which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the John Gardner Prize. An O. Henry Prize winner and Picador Fellow, she is an assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska.

Patricia Engel is the author of The Veins of the Ocean, It's Not Love, It's Just Paris, and Vida. Her books have received numerous awards and her stories have appeared in various journals and are anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, and elsewhere.

Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes is the author of the novel The Sleeping World. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, and the Millay Colony. She teaches creative writing and English literature at the University of Maryland.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside