Stealing Time: On Purpose, Permission, and Putting Writing First

Rooms 345-346, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Friday, March 10, 2023
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


Writers say they “steal time” for writing on days overstuffed with work and family commitments. But who exactly does our time belong to? Can we prioritize writing in a culture that calls our most precious work theft, something we sneak like sweets or cigarettes? Is there, as Rilke suggests, "ancient enmity between our daily life and the great work”? This panel offers a new framework for understanding writing time and proposes a more generous relationship between daily life and the great work.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Stealing_Time_Outline.pdf



Miciah Bay Gault's debut novel is Goodnight Stranger (Park Row Books, 2019). She's faculty in the MFA in writing at VCFA and coordinator of the Vermont Book Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, Southern Review, AGNI, Harvard Review, Poets & Writers, LitHub, and New York Times.

Robin Beth Schaer is the author of the poetry collection Shipbreaking. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, Yaddo, MacDowell, and others. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bomb, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. She teaches writing in Ohio.

Ukamaka Olisakwe's works have appeared in the New York Times, Granta, Longreads, The Rumpus, Catapult, Rattle, Waxwing, Jalada, Brittle Paper, Hunger Mountain, Sampsonia Way, and more. Her books include Eyes of a Goddess (2012) and Ogadinma (2020). She is currently working on her third book.

Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate, is the award-winning author of Perfect Black: Poems, The Birds of Opulence (2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize), Water Street, and Blackberries, Blackberries. She is the recipient of a 2021 O. Henry Prize and a 2020 USA Artists Fellowship.

Connie May Fowler is the author of eight books, including the recent memoir A Million Fragile Bones. Her novel Before Women had Wings won the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She is on the faculty of the VCFA MFA writing program and directs the VCFA Novel Retreat and Yucatan Writing Conference.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center