F148. Pushing Past Page 70: Reaching Creative Nonfiction Readers

Room 007A, Henry B. González Convention Center, River Level
Friday, March 6, 2020
10:35 am to 11:50 am


With the advent of e-readers, we now know that many readers stop engaging with books at page 70. Five emerging and established creative nonfiction writers who write from African American, sub-Saharan African, Chinese American, Boricua, & mixed-race Indian American ethnic and cultural backgrounds share insights about challenging racism, colorism, and class marginalization through publishing in the US. This reading addresses head on the challenge of getting readers to push past page 70.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_bios_+_lineup_stuff.docx



Anjoli Roy is a creative writer and founder and cohost of It’s Lit with PhDJ, a literature and music podcast that has featured 100 creative writers to date. With a PhD in English from University of Hawai‘i, she is a VONA alum and winner of the COG Page to Screen award and a StoryQuarterly prize in nonfiction.

Leslie Marrero-Portela is a Boricua essayist. She has been published in the anthologies Palabritas and Boricuas En La Luna. She is currently the newsletter editor for Raising Mothers.

Michelle Chikaonda has work in the Globe & Mail, the Kalahari Review, Hobart, and Feminessay. She has won nonfiction awards from the Tucson Festival of Books and the ALSCW, as well as the Walker Scholarship for writers of color at FAWC. She is an alumna of the Juniper, Tin House, and VONA workshops.

Jen Soong is a writer and editor whose essays have appeared in Washington Post, Entropy, and Manifest Station. She is working on a memoir about family ties, depression, and the silences we learn to break. An alum of VONA, she is currently enrolled in the MFA program in creative writing at University of California, Davis.

Athena Dixon is a writer, editor, and founder of Linden Avenue Literary Journal. She is a fellow of VONA and Callaloo and a Tin House workshop alumna. She is the author of the poetry chapbook No God in This Room and co-host of the New Books in Poetry podcast. Her MFA is from Queens University of Charlotte.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center