S140. Only Connect: Building Literary Community Beyond the MFA

Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Community is often touted as the best reason to get an MFA. But what happens when the program ends, or if an MFA isn’t right for you? Administrators from organizations changing the literary ecosystem discuss the opportunities for connection that exist in nonacademic settings. Topics include writing, publishing, and networking on- and offline; teaching and studying outside of academia; and how writers from every educational background can find and build their own sustaining, creative communities.


Julie Buntin is the director of writing programs at Catapult, a new independent literary publisher. She is the author of the novel, Marlena, and she teaches creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College.

Saeed Jones debut poetry collection Prelude to Bruise was the winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award and a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. His memoir is forthcoming.

Ken Chen is the Executive Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for his poetry collection Juvenilia, which was selected by Louise Glück. He is one of the founders of CultureStrike, an arts organization dedicated to migrant justice.

Christine Texeira received her MFA in fiction from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. Her work has appeared in print and online. She has worked on literary journals and taught creative writing, and is the program director at Hugo House, a center for writers in Seattle.

Alison Murphy is the program director at GrubStreet. She was the recipient of the James Jones 2016 First Novel Fellowship for her novel Balagan, about the second intifada in Israel and the 2003 Iraq War.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside