S219. Getting Home: Writing & Publishing Debut POC Story Collections

B117-119, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Finding a home for a story collection is hard. It’s harder still for people of color writing about worlds bypassed by the larger reading public. This panel features debut authors whose collections explore what it means to speculate on racialized experience in the US, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. They discuss how perceptions of identity wind through issues of craft and cultural expectations: What do readers seek in their work? To what degree do authors fulfill or frustrate assumptions?



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.

YZ Chin is the author of Though I Get Home, which won the inaugural Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. She is also the author of two chapbooks, In Passing and deter. She works as a software engineer by day, and writes by night.

Abbey Mei Otis is the author of the story collection Alien Virus Love Disaster. She loves people and art forms on the margins. She has studied at the Michener Center for Writers and the Clarion West Writers Workshop, and now teaches fiction at Oberlin College.

Juan Martinez is an assistant professor at Northwestern University. Best Worst American, his story collection, was released in 2017, and his work has appeared in HuizacheGlimmer TrainMcSweeney'sEcotoneSelected Shorts, and elsewhere.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center