F206. Failure: The Taboo Element of Craft

Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


If you think of failure as a necessary part of the creative process, you begin to see it as an essential element of craft, the gateway to writing the thing that does work. Eventually, the connection between writing that succeeds and writing that fails illuminates itself, and you use this to your advantage. The five writers on this panel will address the various ways that they view failure as an inevitable and therefore important part of the process, and how they've accommodated for it.



John McNally is author of The Promise of Failure: A Writer's Perspective on Not Succeeding; After the Workshop: A Novel; The Book of Ralph: A Novel; Ghosts of Chicago: Stories; Troublemakers: Stories; among others. He is writer in residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Hannah Tinti is the author of Animal Crackers,The Good Thief, and The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. She is also cofounder and executive editor of One Story magazine. She teaches at New York University's MFA program.

Valerie Laken is the author of the story collection, Separate Kingdoms, and the novel, Dream House. Her work has received a Pushcart Prize and has been longlisted for the Story Prize, the Frank O’Connor Award, and Best American Short Stories. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Eric G Wilson is author of Against Happiness and Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck. His work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Georgia Review, The Collagist, the Portland Review, and Hotel Amerika. His novel Polaris Ghost is forthcoming. He teaches at Wake Forest University.

Sheree L. Greer founded Kitchen Table Literary Arts to showcase and support the work of women writers of color. The author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms, she is a VONA/VOICES alum and currently teaches writing at St. Petersburg College.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center