R150. Leashing the Beast: Humanizing Fictional Monsters

Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Thursday, February 9, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Want to write fabulous fabulist fiction? Bring your beasts to the table. Panelists discuss their influences, inspiration, and how they go about creating characters who exist between human and monster, mundane and extraordinary. In addition, they explore how writing a fantastical other can open up the conversation to contemporary societal issues, all while cultivating empathy within both the writer and the reader.



Anna B. Sutton is a poet, publisher, and cofounder of The Porch Writers' Collective in Nashville, Tennessee. She received her MFA from UNCW and a James Merrill fellowship from Vermont Studio Center. She is currently the vice president of sales and marketing at John F. Blair, Publisher.

Steven Sherrill is the author of the novels The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time, Joy PA, The Locktender's House, Visits from the Drowned Girl, and The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, as well as Ersatz Anatomy (poems). He is a professor of English & integrative arts at Penn State Altoona.

Clare Beams’s debut story collection is We Show What We Have Learned. Her fiction appears in One Story and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and he has received special mention in Best American Short Stories. A 2014 NEA fellow in prose, she teaches writing at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Kate Bernheimer is the author of three novels and two story collections, including How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales. The World Fantasy Award winning editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: 40 New Fairy Tales, she is an associate professor at the University of Arizona.

Julia Elliott’s fiction has appeared in Tin House, Conjunctions, Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories. She won a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award. Her book The Wilds was listed by Kirkus, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, and Electric Lit as a Best Book of the Year and was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center