S109. The Thing Builders: Building Literary Communities That Matter

Grand Salon B, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Building a literary thing takes more than money. It takes vision, determination, and faith that, somehow, it will be worth it. Conferences, courses, publications, and socio-political movements are opportunities for writers to find each other, share and improve skills, and create social change. As “thing-builders” who are supporting their own careers while supporting other writers, panelists will share how and why they do it in this time of almost limitless competition and scarce resources.



Penny Guisinger is the author of Postcards from Here and the founding director of Iota: Short Prose Conference. Her work has appeared in Fourth Genre, River Teeth, The Rumpus, and others. Pushcart nominated and a Best American Essays notable, Guisinger is an assistant editor at Brevity.

Amanda Johnston is the author of Another Way to Say Enter. She is an Affrilachian poet and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is a cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, founder of Torch Literary Arts, and faculty with the Stonecoast MFA program.

JP Howard's debut collection Say/Mirror was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. JP was awarded the 2016 Judith Markowitz Emerging Writers Award from Lambda Literary Foundation. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Lambda, and VONA/Voices. JP curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon.

Janna Marlies Maron holds an MA in creative writing from CSU, Sacramento. She is an independent author, editor, and educator. She is the founding editor and publisher of Under the Gum Tree, a quarterly digital literary arts magazine exclusively publishing creative nonfiction and visual art.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center