R257. In the Box/Out of the Box: Writing With/Against Your Gender/Race/Ethnicity/Etc.

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


As fiction writers, we often feel pressure to write inside the confines our own experience, as defined by our ethnic identity, gender, sexual orientation, economic class, and so on. This panel explores the edges and interstices of that pressure. In what contexts is it acceptable to write outside such confines? In what contexts is it not? What does "diversity" mean when creating a fictional world? As writers, who has cultural permission to press past the confines of one's own identity?



Christian Kiefer is author of the novels The Infinite Tides and The Animals, and the novella One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place Left to Hide. He is recipient of a Pushcart Prize and holds a PhD in American literature from University of California, Davis.

Bich Minh Nguyen (who goes by Beth) is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which received the PEN/Jerard Award, the novel Short Girls, which received an American Book Award, and the novel Pioneer Girl. She directs the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.

Kelly Luce is the author of Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail and the forthcoming novel Pull Me Under. A contributing editor at Electric Literature, she is a 2016–17 Radcliffe Institute fellow.

Rob Spillman is editor and cofounder of Tin House. He is the 2015 recipient of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing and is currently a lecturer at Columbia University. His memoir, All Tomorrow’s Parties, is forthcoming in paperback in 2017.

Derek Palacio


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center