VIRTUAL: Writing the Resonant Recent Past

Wednesday, February 7, 2024
9:00 am to 10:00 am


Writers set their novels in the recent past (late twentieth, early twenty-first centuries) for many reasons—to understand social change, to give voice to long-ignored voices, even to enhance plotting (no cell phones!). But what makes such novels resonate with the present? How can focusing on the recent past give us a clearer lens on our current era? And what considerations should writers keep in mind when writing about a time period that’s familiar, but also irrevocably different?

This virtual event was prerecorded. It will be available to watch on-demand online starting on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 through Thursday, March 7, 2024.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Writing_Recent_Past_Outline.pdf



Sarah McCraw Crow is the author of the novel The Wrong Kind of Woman. Her writing has appeared in LitHub, Good Housekeeping, BookPage, Calyx, Crab Orchard Review, Stanford Alumni Magazine, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in New Hampshire.

Jennifer Savran Kelly's (she//they) debut novel Endpapers was published by Algonquin in 2023. Her short fiction has appeared in Potomac Review, Black Warrior Review, Green Mountains Review, and elsewhere.

Ava Homa is the award-winning author of the novel Daughters of Smoke and Fire, which was selected for Roxane Gay's book club and won the 2020 Silver Nautilus Award. Ava holds a Master's degree in creative writing from the University of Windsor in Canada. Her words have appeared in BBC and the Guardian.

Daisy Alpert Florin is the author of My Last Innocent Year, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Washington Post Staff Pick and an Indie Next pick. She received the 2016 Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship at Sarah Lawrence and was a 2019–20 fellow in the BookEnds novel revision fellowship.

Karen Dukess is the author of the novel The Last Book Party, which was a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers and IndieNext pick. She is the host of the Castle Hill Author Talks, a series of virtual and in-person interviews, and teaches writing in Cape Cod and New York.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center