R278B. First Books: What to Expect When You're Expecting

Room 406 AB, L.A. Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Five authors discuss the joys and vulnerabilities of being newly published. The panelists, who vary not only in the kinds of books they wrote but also in the publishing houses they signed with and the kind of postpublication publicity they engaged in, give a step-by-step guide for writers who are hoping to or already have sold their first books.



Tim Johnston is the author of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize–winning collection of stories Irish Girl and The New York Times bestselling novel Descent. His short stories have won numerous prizes, including an O. Henry Prize, and he currently teaches in the MFA program at the University of Memphis.

Aline Ohanesian's debut novel, Orhan's Inheritance, was a finalist for the PEN/ Bellwether Award. It was voted #1 Indie Pick for April 2015, named Amazon's featured debut of the month and "Best Book of the Month" for April 2015. It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick for summer 2015.

Arna Bontemps Hemenway is the author of Elegy on Kinderklavier, winner of the 2015 PEN/Hemingway Award and finalist for the 2015 Discover Prize. He is assistant professor of creative writing at Baylor.

Matthew Thomas’s New York Times bestselling We Are Not Ourselves was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize & the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction; longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award; nominated for the Folio Prize; and named a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and in several best-of-year lists.

Christopher Scotton is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed debut novel The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, chosen as the #1 Indie Next pick by the American Booksellers Association. The novel was also chosen as an Amazon Featured Debut and an Editor’s Pick by The Chicago Tribune.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center