In the Spotlight

Featuring AWP members who represent AWP’s mission to foster literary achievement, to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing.


  • James McNulty

    James McNulty

    Austin, TX      Member Since: 2016

    “Read as much as you can, and when you do read, don’t just read for the content. Pay attention to the language, the paragraphs, the punctuation: the execution. Don’t write sentences just for their content; instead, look at a sentence as a piece of art that belongs to a larger work of art.”

    About: James McNulty is the managing fiction editor at Driftwood Press; he also runs the Driftwood Editing Service, where he gives comprehensive critiques and lessons to new and established writers, some of whom have gone on to publish with magazines such as Tin House. James holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Austin, Texas.

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  • Jenny Romero Llaguno

    Jenny Romero Llaguno

    Metro Manila, Philippines      Member Since: 2017

    “I read every book I could lay my hands on—literature from all over the world—found in the library, borrowed from friends, some I even bought, gifts from various suitors. I was definitely hooked, intoxicated with words.”

    About: Upon return from exile during the martial law years in the Philippines, Jenny Romero Llaguno hastily returned to academe for her MA and PhD and then began serious writing for publication in 1988. An activist, she has been engaged for the last 29 years in the women’s movement and other revolutionary activities, marching when called for to protest inequality, racism, and exploitation of peoples and the environment. She is the coeditor of Centennial Crossings: Readings on Babaylan Feminism in the Philippines, and her first short story collection, A Woman with Money and Other Stories, was published in 2018.

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Previously in the Spotlight


  • Julie Hensley

    Julie Hensley

    Richmond, Kentucky      Member Since: 1999

    “Write what you want to read, and dwell in the work. Let the work sustain you until you find an audience.”
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  • Philip Kenney

    Philip Kenney

    Portland, Oregon       Member Since: 2018

    “What I loved about a writing practice from the beginning was that it asked me to be awake… Soon I noticed I was less preoccupied with my insecurities and more present with my experience of the moment and the enchantments of life.”
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  • Larissa Lai

    Larissa Lai

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    “In the life I dream of, students, colleagues, friends, and strangers would have a lot more freedom to engage their practices from the cores of their beings, without so much administration, so many hoops, exams, requirements, and most of all without so much competition. Both inside the academy and out, we would have very different forms of governance.”
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  • Kwoya Fagin Maples

    Kwoya Fagin Maples

    Birmingham, Alabama      Member Since: 2015

    “…what we most need in life is empathy and a capacity for understanding. We also need to know that where we are is not always indicative of where we will be.”
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  • Allen Gee

    Allen Gee

    Columbus, GA      Member Since: 2004

    “Editing is time consuming; I bring all of my attention to the editing process when working with a writer. You always have to strike the right balance, supporting the author with what they’ve intended to do, and not rewriting or commandeering a manuscript.”
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In the Spotlight highlights AWP members who are making exceptional contributions to the literary community.

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