R252. Literary Impostordom: Do I Deserve to Be in This Room?

Room 007A, Henry B. González Convention Center, River Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


Five writers discuss practical ways they work through impostor syndrome, from submitting work to living up to hype. Impostor syndrome, the conviction that we're uniquely untalented, underqualified, and undeserving, afflicts students, authors, editors, and teachers. We’ll discuss confidence and belonging as cultural, political topics in the face of all-too-real barriers, and our visions for truly welcoming, sustaining literary communities. Our survival and success require it.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2020__Literary_Impostordom_handout.pdf



Alison Kinney is the author of Hood and of essays for the Paris Review Daily, the New Yorker, Harper’s, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the New York Times. In 2019 she became Assistant Professor of Writing (Nonfiction) at Eugene Lang College at the New School.

Elisa M. Gonzalez is a Puerto Rican writer raised in Ohio. Her work appears in Harvard Review, Hyperallergic, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. A 2016–2018 US Fulbright scholar in Poland, she has also received fellowships from Yale University, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and Rolex Foundation.

Rafia Zakaria is the author of The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan that was named one of the best nonfiction titles of 2015 by Newsweek  and Veil. She is a columnist for Dawn Pakistan and writes the "Read Other Women" Series at the Boston Review.

Minda Honey is a professional writer whose work has been featured by Longreads, the Oxford American, the Guardian, Playboy, Vice, and elsewhere. She writes a relationship advice column for her local alt-weekly and is an assistant professor and director of the creative writing BFA program at Spalding.

Marisa Siegel holds an MFA in poetry from Mills College in Oakland, California. Her poems have appeared in Handsome, Zaum, (T)here, and elsewhere. Her essay "Inherited Anger" appears in the anthology Burn It Down. She is editor in chief and owner of The Rumpus.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center