Feature, Not Flaw: Gatekeepers Discuss Support for Unconventional Stories

Rooms 343-344, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Saturday, March 11, 2023
9:00 am to 10:15 am


The road to bringing a manuscript to its audience can be a gauntlet of good and bad advice from workshop groups, lit mag staff, and industry pros. But “good” writing is culturally subjective. This panel joins a Ballantine editor, MFA teacher, publisher of Gertrude literary journal, and indie editor with 20 years’ experience to discuss ways to help writers without shutting them down. This panel is for writers, teachers, editors, critics, and all who want to enable a more vibrant literary culture.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: 2023_AWP_Gatekeeper_final_Outline.pdf



tammy lynne stoner is an award-winning screenwriter and author of the novel Sugar Land (Red Hen Press, 2018) who creates gritty, queer-centric stories. She is also the publisher of Gertrude journal, lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon, with her three kids, four pets, and one ladyfriend, and is most often found in the tub.

Sarah Cypher is a queer freelance book editor of 20 years and a debut novelist living in Washington, DC. She was a Rona Jaffe Fiction Fellow at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and holds a BA in English and creative writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Jeremy Schraffenberger is editor of The North American Review and a professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of Saint Joe's Passion and The Waxen Poor. His other work has appeared in Best of Brevity, Best Creative Nonfiction, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.

Chelcee Johns is a senior editor at Ballantine / Random House acquiring literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, and narrative nonfiction. Recent publications include the critically acclaimed Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera and Such Big Dreams by Reema Patel.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center