F191. Small Town Fiction From Five Points of View

C124, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Friday, March 29, 2019
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Five novelists. Five perspectives on writing rural. The phrase “small town” conjures images that range from idyllic, outdoorsy, and close-knit to backwater, country, and dead-end, to something even more ominous like gritty, depressed, and secretive. The pieces shared will be cut from a wide swath of small town perceptions and drawn from crime, historical, literary, and women’s fiction. Panelists will highlight small town “characters” and the way rural fiction often includes nature itself as character.



Emily Strelow has an MFA in Writing from University of Washington and an undergraduate degree in environmental science. Her debut novel is The Wild Birds

Michelle Hoover is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program. Her novel The Quickening was a MA Book Award Must Read pick. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow. Her second novel Bottomland was the 2017 All Iowa Reads Pick.

Susan Bernhard is a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship recipient and a graduate of the year-long, MFA-level GrubStreet Novel Incubator program. Her debut novel is Winter Loon.

Rebecca Clarren

Alexi Zentner


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center