Writing about Culture and Place: Techniques for Vibrant and Ethical Worldbuilding

Rooms 347-348, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Thursday, March 9, 2023
9:00 am to 10:15 am


This multigenre panel of writers, who have set their work across three continents, will discuss techniques for writing about culture and place, with an emphasis on bringing worlds to life on the page in imaginative and ethical ways. Among some of the questions that we will address: how can we authentically set our work in a culture, particularly if it isn’t our own? And what liberties can we take when representing real places and people, or creating entirely fictional cultures and landscapes?

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Updated_AWP_Outline.pdf



Hannah Bae is the 2020 nonfiction winner of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, which is supporting her memoir-in-progress about family estrangement, mental illness, and Korean American culture. She is a 2021 and 2022 Peter Taylor Fellow for the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops.

Krys Lee is the author of Drifting House and How I Became a North Korean. She is the recipient of the Rome Prize in Literature and the Story Prize Spotlight Award, a Granta New Voices pick, and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She teaches at Yonsei University, Underwood International College.

Jung Yun is the author of O Beautiful (St. Martin's) and Shelter (Picador). She's an associate professor of creative writing at the George Washington University, and her work has appeared in Tin House, The Massachusetts Review, The Atlantic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, among others.

Michael Lukas is the author of The Oracle of Stamboul and The Last Watchman of Old Cairo. Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, the Sophie Brody Medal, and the Sami Rohr Prize, he has received fellowships from the NEA and Bread Loaf. He lives in Oakland and teaches at San Francisco State University.

Chet'la Sebree


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center