F248. The Long and the Short of It: Five Debut Authors Divulge How They Got Their Short Fiction Collections Published, Buzzed, Reviewed, and Read

Room 208 C&D, Level 2
Friday, April 10, 2015
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Five first-time authors discuss the process of bringing their debut short story collections to life. This session will examine the process of compiling a collection, exploring publication avenues, developing publicity plans, generating buzz, securing reviews, connecting with readers, and more. Panelists will discuss what they did right and what they could have done better to offer a comprehensive view of what it takes to successfully publish a short story collection in today’s market.



Laura Maylene Walter is the author of the short story collection Living Arrangements, which won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction and a national gold IPPY. Her nonfiction has been published in the Sun and Poets & Writers. She is the fiction editor of Mid-American Review.

Vanessa Blakeslee is the author of Train Shots: stories. Her writing has appeared in the Paris Review Daily and the Southern Review, among others. In 2013 she received the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. She teaches at Rollins College.

Miroslav Penkov is the author of the collection East of the West. His fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2008, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012, and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. An assistant professor at the University of North Texas, he is a fiction editor of the American Literary Review.

Josh Rolnick's debut short story collection, Pulp and Paper, won the 2011 John Simmons Short Fiction Award. His stories have won the Arts & Letters Prize and the Florida Review Prize. He currently serves as editor of Unstuck, a literary annual, and publisher of Sh'ma, a journal of Jewish ideas.

Tessa Mellas's debut collection Lungs Full of Noise won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. An assistant professor at the University of Maine at Machias, she holds a PhD from the University of Cincinnati. Her work explores the intersections between fabulism and environmentalism.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center