S133. Real True Crime: Nonfiction Writers Reimagine the Genre

E145, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
9:00 am to 10:15 am


True crime often reinforces social norms, but nonfiction about crimes and criminality can also help writers pose messier political and social questions such as: Is it criminal to enforce policies that lead to disenfranchisement and death? And how do victims reconstruct memories in ways that feel “true”? This panel reframes true crime to include topics, approaches, and voices outside of the traditional “whodunit” narrative, outlining ways to teach and write true crime as a genre of social change.



Sarah Viren is the author of the essay collection Mine, which won the River Teeth Book Prize. Her writing and translations have appeared in the Oxford American, AGNI, Ploughshares, the Iowa Review, and other literary magazines. She teaches at Arizona State University.

Laurel Flores Fantauzzo wrote The First Impulse, a nonfiction mystery. She wrote for the New York Times, CNN, and Esquire Philippines, and she was a 2016 finalist for the PEN/Fusion Award. A PhD candidate at RMIT, she teaches at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

L.M. Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas has creative nonfiction and literary translation MFAs from the University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing, and Don’t Come Back from Mad Creek Books. She is a Rona Jaffe fellow and works as an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Angela Pelster's essay collection Limber won the Great Lakes Colleges Award New Writer Award in Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the PEN/Diamondstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center