Myth & Monsters in Memoir: Using Folklore to Structure Personal Writing

119AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level
Thursday, March 24, 2022
10:35 am to 11:50 am


Folklore, fairy tales, and myths persist because they tell us stories about ourselves—where we come from, what we should value, what we should fear. These stories exist to establish the boundaries of what we see as possible, desirable, and laudable. As writers, we can also make use of folklore to define our own stories—whether we embrace the cultural narrative or reject it. The authors on this panel will discuss how to harness mythological figures and tropes to give shape to personal writing.



Jess Zimmerman is an editor at Quirk Books and the author of Women and Other Monsters.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of National Book Award finalist story collection Her Body and Other Parties and the memoir In the Dream House. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, and her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Tin House, Conjunctions, and elsewhere.

Sofia Samatar is the author of four books, most recently Monster Portraits, a collaboration with her brother, the artist Del Samatar. Her work has received several honors, including the World Fantasy Award. Her memoir The White Mosque is forthcoming.

Jami Nakamura Lin is the author of The Night Parade, a speculative memoir illustrated by her sister Cori. She is a 2016 NEA US–Japan Creative Artists Fellow and a former Catapult columnist. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Electric Lit, and elsewhere.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center