R228. Success, Failure, and the Green-Eyed Monster: Thriving in a Competitive Environment

Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


This diverse panel of writers at different stages of their careers talks openly about issues all writers face: rejection, success, and envy. They share strategies for overcoming these challenges and discuss how they manage to persevere in the extremely competitive world of publishing without losing their humanity or sense of humor. The panelists also explore how their own ethnic identities, genders, and backgrounds have helped or hindered their success.



Jean Kwok is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the award-winning novels Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in eighteen countries and is taught in schools across the world. She has spoken at Harvard, Columbia, and many other schools and venues.

Rebecca Makkai is the author of the story collection Music for Wartime and two novels, The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower. Her work was chosen for The Best American Short Stories in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and won a 2016 Pushcart Prize. She teaches at Northwestern University and Sierra Nevada College.

Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years won the Ernest Gaines Prize. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel prize, and the Hurston Wright Legacy award. Jackson has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the Center for Fiction.

Mira Jacob is the author of the novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, which was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, honored by the APALA, and named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and the Millions.

Jami Attenberg is the New York Times bestselling author of five novels, including The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie. Her sixth book, All Grown Up, will be published in March.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center