VIRTUAL: Excavating the Past: Writers and Characters Who Research

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


The perfect telling detail can bring heroes and locales to life. It’s crucial for writers to not only know where and how to conduct research, but also, what constitutes a juicy factual find. Five novelists at varied stages of their careers—who have all penned historical fiction with a pop culture bent, often with protagonists who must themselves excavate the past—reveal their research secrets.

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: Tomlinson_AWP_Outline.pdf



Sarah Tomlinson, a former music journalist, has been a ghostwriter since 2008, penning more than twenty books, including five New York Times bestsellers. In 2015, she published the memoir, Good Girl. Her debut novel, The Last Days of the Midnight Ramblers, is forthcoming from Flatiron Books in 2024.

Sara Sligar is the author of the novel Take Me Apart (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux). She holds a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania and now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

Alex Segura is the bestselling and award-winning author of Secret Identity, which the New York Times called “wittily original” and named an Editor’s Choice. Secret Identity was also listed as one of the Best Mysteries of the Year by NPR, Kirkus, Booklist, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and more.

Steph Cha is the author of Your House Will Pay, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, and the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s a book critic and television writer, as well as the current series editor of the Best American Mystery & Suspense anthology.

Katie Gutierrez's writing has appeared in the Washington PostHarper's BazaarTexas Monthly, and more. Her debut novel, More Than You'll Ever Know, was published by William Morrow in 2022.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center