S156. The Plot to Kill Plot: Practical Alternatives to "Plotting" Fiction

D131-132, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Has the term “plot” outlived its usefulness? Do the many cultural and craft-related assumptions connected to traditional notions of plot needlessly close the door on other viable forms of narrative construction? In this panel, five writers of aesthetically varied fiction share practical alternatives to “plotting”—helpful strategies for structuring novels and short stories that question, resist, or otherwise usurp conventional conceptions of plot.


Joseph Scapellato earned his MFA in Fiction at New Mexico State University. He is the author of Big Lonesome, a story collection, and the forthcoming novel, The Made-Up Man. Scapellato is an Assistant Professor of English at Bucknell University.

Matt Bell is the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods (a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award), as well as the story collection A Tree of a Person or a Wall. He teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Arizona State University.

Allegra Hyde's first book, Of This New World, won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award. She is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, as well as fellowships from the Lucas Artists Program, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Fulbright Commission. She teaches at the University of Houston.

Ling Ma is the author of Severance. She received her MFA from Cornell University. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Vice, Playboy, Chicago Reader, Ninth Letter and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago.

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of the novel, The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, A Haven. Her short stories have appeared in Black Warrior Review, TriQuarterly, and Kenyon Review Online, among others. She is a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Denver.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center