The Loneliness of the Slow Essayist: On Writing Books That Take Forever

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


Does it feel like your nonfiction book is taking too long to write? From the tenure committee to social media, from well-meaning friends to your own worst imagination—pressures to hurry up and write can easily overwhelm. What if you take so long your cultural criticism or memoir is no longer relevant? What if the fire burns out after years of research? Join five writers in the same boat as we create a space to explore and tackle some of the real versus imagined risks of the long-simmering book project.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: The_Loneliness_of_the_Slow_Essayist_OUTLINE.pdf



Chelsea Biondolillo is the author of The Skinned Bird: Essays and two prose chapbooks, #Lovesong and Ologies. Her work has appeared in Best American Science & Nature Essays, Orion, Brevity, Diagram, River Teeth, Passages North, and others. She is a former Colgate O'Connor and Oregon Literary Fellow.

Silas Hansen teaches creative writing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and is the nonfiction editor for Waxwing. His essays have appeared in Slate, Colorado Review, The Normal School, Hayden's Ferry Review, Redivider, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere.

Lisa Nikolidakis's fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Best American Essays 2016, Los Angeles Review, Brevity, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Passages North, The Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor at the University of Evansville.

Helena Rho, a former assistant professor of pediatrics, earned her MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh. Her memoir, American Seoul, was an Amazon Book Editors' Best Books of May 2022 and included in BuzzFeed's "16 Memoirs by AAPI Authors to Add to Your Reading List."

Rajpreet Heir is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at Ithaca College. She has published nonfiction in both commercial and literary venues including The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New York TimesTeen VogueBrevity, and others. She writes about being Indian in Indiana.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center