To Lie or Not to Lie? How Writers Choose Between Fiction & Nonfiction

119AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level
Thursday, March 24, 2022
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


How do writers decide between fiction and memoir? How does the process of writing shift when shifting genres? In this panel, writers who have written and published in both genres will discuss the craft choices, ethical questions, research inquiries, and publishing concerns that lie behind each. Rather than approaching the topic as fiction vs. nonfiction, we will offer examples of how to navigate both and encourage people to consider the possibilities that emerge from multigenre writing.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_EVENT_PLAN.pdf



Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me, which was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Audible, Buzzfeed, LJ, NPR, People, Real Simple, Slate, and Washington Post. She is the executive director of Aspen Words, a literary nonprofit.

Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, the novels Short Girls and Pioneer Girl, and the forthcoming memoir Owner of a Lonely Heart. She is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically acclaimed novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick and was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of two story collections, American Estrangement and Brief Encounters With the Enemy, and a memoir, When Skateboards Will Be Free. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. He teaches at NYU and Hunter College.

Joanna Rakoff is the author of the bestsellers My Salinger Year—recently adapted into a feature film starring Sigourney Weaver—and A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction. Her family memoir, The Fifth Passenger, will be out in 2022. She writes for the New York Times and Vogue.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center