Too Small to Fail: The Indie Press Prerogative in Advancing Diverse Voices

Rooms 431-432, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Thursday, March 9, 2023
10:35 am to 11:50 am


The Western US is one of the world’s most diverse regions, but the literary scene remains a “mainly white room.” In what ways is it the duty of West Coast indie journals and micro presses to find and publish writing that upends the norms of institutional gatekeeping? LA-based editors from sin cesar (formerly Dryland) and Indicia discuss their experiments with equity, intersectionality, and digital collaboration to publish crucial work that challenges hidden biases of audiences and the editors themselves.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP23_Too_Small_to_Fail_Event_Outline.pdf



Krishna Narayanamurti is a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California. His essays and poems have appeared in LAist, Killing the Buddha, and The Northridge Review. He is a former fiction editor at Gold Line Press and currently edits prose for Indicia.

Marcus Clayton is an Afro-Latino writer from South Gate, California. He holds an MFA in poetry from CSU Long Beach, and is currently earning a PhD from USC's literature and creative writing program. He is an executive editor for Indicia Literary Journal, and has had multiple genres of work published.

Viva Padilla is a poet and the founding editor of Dryland, an independent print literary journal founded in South Central Los Angeles and owner of the bookstore and cultural center Re/Arte Centro Literario. She is a first-generation Chicana, a daughter of immigrants who crossed the border.

AJ Urquidi is a Southern California writer originally from Monterey whose work has been featured in Faultline, Posit, and Chiron Review, among others. Copydesk chief for LA Review of Books and a Gerald Locklin Prize winner, AJ is also the cofounder and editor of experimental online journal indicia.

Amanda Orozco is a literary agent based out of L.A. at Transatlantic Agency. She has worked in academic publishing, publicity, and subsidiary rights in New York, and currently serves as assistant editor for Dryland, where she aims to amplify marginalized voices from the literary underground.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center