Legal and Ethical Issues in Memoir, Hosted by the Authors Guild

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3
Thursday, February 8, 2024
10:35 am to 11:50 am


Writing about real people comes with an obligation to consider the impact on those involved. Memoirists must write the authentic story that they need to tell, and yet doing so can be difficult when facing the risk of a lawsuit or a damaged relationship with a loved one. How can a writer maintain artistic integrity and truthfulness while minimizing the risk of hurting or angering the people who appear on the page? In this panel, authors and attorneys discuss the legal and ethical implications of memoirs to help you feel confident about writing your truth.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Legal_and_Ethical_Issues_in_Memoir.docx



Umair Kazi is the director of policy and advocacy at the Authors Guild. He studied law at the University of Iowa, and creative writing at Columbia University.

Hannah Pittard is the author of five books, including the memoir We Are Too Many (Henry Holt) and the novels The Fates Will Find Their Way (Ecco) and Listen to Me (Houghton Mifflin). She is a professor of English at the University of Kentucky.

Maya Shanbhag Lang is the author of What We Carry (Penguin Random House) and The Sixteenth of June (Simon & Schuster). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Times of India. She holds a PhD in comparative literature and lives in New York.

Nancy E. Wolff is a partner of the law firm of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard. A frequent speaker on copyright, she is president of the Copyright Society of the USA, chair of the ABA IP Section Committee and ranked by Super Lawyers as one of the top fifty female lawyers in New York City.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center