S264. The Suspense Is Killing Me!

Grand Salon B, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


“Suspense” is too often dismissed as a genre, akin to thriller or mystery, when in fact it is an important element of all kinds of fiction, and often central to what makes a story or novel compelling to read. These five panelists will discuss the role of suspense in fiction (theirs and others’) and offer suggestions to generate suspense in a wide range of fiction. “Must-read” recommendations, helpful exercises, and a Q&A will round out the session.


Michael Kardos is the author of the forthcoming novel Bluff, as well as two other novels, a story collection, and the textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction. He is an associate professor of English and codirector of the creative writing program at MIssissippi State University.

Kelly Magee is the author of Body Language, winner of the KAP Prize for Short Fiction, The Neighborhood, and several collaborative works. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Gulf Coast, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review, and others. She teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University.

Phong Nguyen is the author of The Adventures of Joe Harper, Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History, and Memory Sickness. He is coeditor of Pleiades. He coedited the book Nancy Hale: The Life and Work of a Lost American Master. He teaches creative writing at the University of Central Missouri.

Susan Perabo is the author of two novels, The Fall of Lisa Bellow and The Broken Places, and two story collections, Why They Run the Way They Do and Who I Was Supposed to Be. She is a professor and writer in residence at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Christopher Coake is the author of the novel You Came Back and the story collection We're in Trouble, for which he won the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship. In 2006, he was named a Best Young American Novelist by Granta. He teaches and directs the MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside