Defining Environmental Fiction: Writers and Editors Discuss

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Friday, February 9, 2024
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Many have a narrow view of environmental fiction; they imagine lyrical encounters with nature or speculative, apocalyptic tales. However, this genre can and should be a capacious, varied genre where writers and readers reimagine place, reflect on our climate crisis, and imagine possibilities for sustainable living. In this panel, editors and writers discuss their definitions of this genre, how all fiction might be environmental, and craft strategies for engaging with the more-than-human world.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_Panel_Outline_2024_EnviroFic_FINAL.docx
Supplemental Document 1: Recommended_environmental_fiction_2024.docx



Michelle Donahue is an assistant professor at University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she is associate editor of Ecotone. Her prose has been published in ‚ÄčPassages North, CutBank, Arts & Letters, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Utah.

Megan Giddings is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. Her first novel, Lakewood, was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and an LA Times Book Prize. Her second novel, The Women Could Fly, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and featured on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Michael Mejia is the author of the novels TOKYO and Forgetfulness. A recipient of grants from the NEA and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, he is editor-in-chief of Western Humanities Review, a cofounding editor of Ninebark Press, and he teaches creative writing at the University of Utah.

Erin Swan is the author of Walk the Vanished Earth, a work of speculative fiction focusing on intergenerational trauma and environmental upheaval. A graduate of Teachers College at Columbia University and the MFA program at the New School, she teaches English at a public high school in Manhattan.

Clare Beams


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center