F147. Digging for Story: Research, Fieldwork, and Accuracy in Creative Writing

Room 205 A&B, Level 2
Friday, April 10, 2015
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Fieldwork, immersion, interviews, and archival research: Are these tools limited to journalism, or should other writers dig deeper for the sake of truth and accuracy? This panel brings together writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays to discuss the importance of getting it right in their writing process. We will explore ways to integrate these tools into coursework, and debate our methods and the ethics around our search for emotional, cultural, historical, and geographical accuracy. 



Maggie Messitt is a narrative and immersion journalist focused on middle America and southern Africa. Author of The Rainy Season, Maggie was a reporter and editor in rural South Africa for eight years. A PhD candidate at Ohio University, she's currently working on a hybrid of investigation and memoir.

Kristyn Jo Benedyk holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of Southern California, as well as an MFA in Playwriting from Arizona State University. She has written and directed numerous short films that have played at festivals nationwide.

Bronwen Dickey is the author of Dog/Fight, a cultural history of pit bulls and their people. She is also a contributing editor at the Oxford American and the recipient of a 2009 first-place Lowell Thomas Award in travel journalism.

Kristen Millares Young, freelancer for The Guardian and The New York Times, was the researcher for Snow Fall, which won a Pulitzer Prize and a Peabody Award. Hailed by the Stranger as a fresh new face in Seattle fiction, Kristen has written her first novel, Subduction, about an ill-fated affair.

Sheri J. Booker is a the author of the memoir Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home, the poetry book One Woman, One Hustle, and Vook, I am the Poem. She has written for Urbanite, Channel, the Amazwi Villager, a. magazine, and the East County Times.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center