F156. Tell Me a Story: Getting a Debut Collection Published

C124, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Friday, March 29, 2019
10:30 am to 11:45 am


It’s well known that short story collections can be difficult to publish, yet several avenues exist, as do strategies for making collections stand out. Authors of debut collections discuss the pros and cons of publication through contests, independent publishers, and big five publishers, as well as how to approach each one. The panelists examine ways to make a collection as strong as it can be through, among other things, story selection, sequencing, and themes.



Clare Beams’s story collection, We Show What We Have Learned, was a finalist for the PEN/Bingham, Shirley Jackson, and the Young Lions Fiction Awards. A 2014 NEA fellow in prose, she has taught creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and Catapult. Her novel The Illness Lesson is forthcoming.

Matthew Lansburgh's collection of linked stories, Outside Is the Ocean, won the 2017 Iowa Short Fiction Award and is a finalist for the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Award and the 2018 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. He received an MFA in Fiction from NYU.

Kali Fajardo-Anstine's forthcoming story collection, Sabrina & Corina, and novel, Woman of Light, chronicles the lives of Chicanas in the Southwest. Kali has received fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, and Hedgebrook. She has an MFA from the University of Wyoming.

Ivelisse Rodriguez is the author of Love War Stories. She is also the founder and editor of an interview series focused on contemporary Puerto Rican writers. She has taught creative writing at the United States Coast Guard Academy, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Salem College.

R.L. Maizes is the author of We Love Anderson Cooper, a short story collection coming July 2019, and a forthcoming novel, Other People's Pets. Her fiction has aired on NPR, and her essays have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center