S122. The Shadow of the Mouse: How Florida Fiction Can Escape Theme Park Culture

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


When Americans think of Florida too often they think of theme parks or mobility scooters. Those who write in and about this region hope to be taken seriously when the place they write about isn’t. Five writers of literary fiction consider the inward and outward facing qualities of Florida literature. Specifically, how can fiction writers make Florida feel real when it’s so often associated with make believe? How can they humanize a cartoon state?



Chris Eder is a graduate of the Adelphi University MFA program. He has just completed his graduate thesis (a collection of stories), and is currently working on new material.

Regina Sakalarios-Rogers is an instructor of creative writing at the University of West Florida. Her short fiction stories and essays have been published in various magazine and literary journals, She edits a regional literary journal and has completed a satirical crime novel set on the Gulf Coast.

Jeff Newberry is the author of a novel (A Stairway to the Sea) and a poetry collection (Brackish). The poet in residence at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, he teaches in the Writing and Communications Program and serves as an advisory editor for the literary magazine Pegasus.

Patrick Ryan is the author of The Dream Life of Astronauts and Send Me. His work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Tin House, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts. A former editor at Granta, Patrick is the editor of One Story.

Lynne Barrett, author of the story collections Magpies and The Secret Names of Women, has received the Florida Book Award's fiction gold medal and an Edgar Award for best mystery story. She teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University and edits The Florida Book Review.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center