What I Wish I Would Have Known: Considerations for First Books and Far Beyond

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


How do you find the right publisher—and what happens next? Five writers who’ve published in different models, genres, and eras will discuss in frank terms what they wish they would have known on the publishing journey. Topics include relationships with publishers, how the money works, and will encompass how to manage expectations against realistic outlooks. With an overall goal of transparency, this panel will help writers at every stage ask questions that will best serve their projects.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2024_Outline_-.pdf



Wendy J. Fox is the author of four books, including the novel If the Ice Had Held and the linked short story collection What If We Were Somewhere Else. She has written for Electric Literature, Buzzfeed, Self, Business Insider, Ms., and others. Her fiction has appeared in many literary magazines.

Gregory Spatz has published three novels and three fiction collections, most recently Inukshuk, Half as Happy, and What Could Be Saved. Recipient of a 2012 NEA Literature Fellowship and a Washington State Book Award, he teaches in and directs the MFA program at Eastern Washington University.

Leland Cheuk is the author of three books of fiction, most recently No Good Very Bad Asian. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, and elsewhere. He runs the indie press 7.13 Books.

Aisha Sharif is the author of To Keep from Undressing, a collection of poems addressing her life as an African American Muslim woman. Aisha's poetry has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and published in Crab Orchard Review and Rattle. She holds an MFA in poetry and is a Cave Canem fellow.

Morgan Christie is the author of Boolean Logic, the Howling Bird Press Nonfiction Prize winner; These Bodies (Tolsun Books, 2020), a Hurston Wright Legacy Award nominee; and four poetry chapbooks. She was awarded the 2022 Arc Poem of the Year prize and Digging Press's Chapbook Series Prize.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center