The 51%
Macklanburg Playhouse, 10:00-11:15
Panelists: Jami Attenberg, Camille Dungy, Melissa Febos, Cathi Hanauer
Moderator: Christina Carney, MU Dept. of Women’s and Gender Studies and Black Studies

It’s been an interesting year for women. The #MeToo movement. The Women’s March on Washington. The ongoing attacks on reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood. The unprecedented numbers of women who are running for elected office across the nation. Given all of this, we are putting together four of the smartest women writers you will ever see congregated in one place, and will be asking what they make of it all.

Do It Yourself: Self-Publishing 101
Stamper Commons, 10:00-11:15
Panelists: Yolanda Ciolli, Josh Floyd, Liz Shulte, C.J. Weiland
Moderator: Vivien Jennings, Rainy Day Books

As self-publishing technology continues to develop, more and more people are publishing their work without the need for “traditional” publishers. Anyone can publish their novel that’s been sitting forgotten in that bottom drawer. Come and discover some of the tricks of the trade from this panel of experts – two successful self-published authors, a graphic designer, and a representative from IngramSpark, one of the largest companies offering self-publishing services. Come ready to ask questions!

Is the First Amendment in Crisis?
Macklanburg Playhouse, 11:30-12:45
Panelists: Lucas Morel, David Von Drehle, Lee Wilkins
Moderator: Carli Conklin, Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy

In an era of social media, fake news, and tension between the presidency and the press, it might appear that the free speech and press provisions of the First Amendment are in crisis. This panel brings together Lucas Morel, Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics at Washington and Lee University; David Von Drehle, columnist for The Washington Post; and Lee Wilkins, expert in Media Ethics and Professor Emeritus of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, to discuss the current status of the First Amendment and the role it does – or ought to – play in preserving and promoting American Constitutional Democracy.  This panel is made possible in part by the support of the University of Missouri Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy.

Punch Drunk Poets: On Boxing in Verse
Recital Hall, 11:30-12:45
Panelists: Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Heather Derr-Smith, Adrian Matejka
Moderator: Marc McKee, MU Department of English

What rhymes with pugilist? Boxing and poetry may seem unlikely bedfellows, but as you’ll discover, there’s some wonderful poetry that celebrates the noble art. Three of this year’s poets have written gorgeous verse about boxing, so we’re getting them together to ask them why and how – and, of course, to hear them read some of their poems. This panel will knock you out (see what we did there?)

Tales from the Archive
Stamper Commons, 11:30-12:45
Panelists: David Crespy, Julija Sukys, Jo Ann Trogdon
Moderator: Anselm Huelsbergen, University of Missouri Archivist

It’s not all on the Google, you know. For many writers, the archive is still the primary research tool for their writing. This discussion will give a fascinating and entertaining insight into the process, and show how there’s always the possibility of discovering the unexpected (although not always welcome) when you don’t have algorithms and search engines to guide you. 

Bon Appetit: the Art of Food Writing
Macklanburg Playhouse, 1:00-2:15
Panelists: Donna Battle Pierce, Nina Furstenau, Kate Lebo, Sam Ligon, Robin Sloan
Moderator: LuAnn Roth, MU Department of English

You’ve heard the saying: you are what you eat.  It’s more true than you ever knew. Writing about food is so much more than recipes – it’s about health, economics, taste, society, history, and a lot more. Put another way, a story about food is a story of who we are. Five diverse and accomplished food writers discuss the myriad ways that the food we eat (and write about) is a reflection of ourselves and the society we live in. 

The Power of Protest
Macklanburg Playhouse, 2:30-3:45
Panelists: Joshua Clover, David Collins, Heather Derr-Smith, John Johnson
Moderator: Becca Hayes, MU Department of English

From the courthouse to the street, from the classroom to (more recently) the airport departure lounge, America has a proud history of protest – and we appear to be entering a rich new age of civic engagement, both online and in the real world. These four writers have chronicled the power of individual and collective voices to make a difference in society. Come and be inspired by their stories.

Passports to Elsewhere
Recital Hall, 2:30-3:45
Panelists: Allison Coffelt, Jennifer Haupt, Rosalie Metro
Moderator: Aarik Danielsen, Columbia Daily Tribune

Where is "elsewhere"? How do our conceptions of who we are influence the way we read and write? All of these first-time authors are white women who have chosen to write about countries in the global South: Haiti, Rwanda, and Burma. What possibilities and responsibilities arise? Come and be part of this critical conversation.

Songs of Myself: Writing Memoir
Recital Hall, 4:00-5:15
Panelists: Garrard Conley, Amy Dickinson, Melissa Febos
Moderator: Karen Piper, MU Department of English

There is nothing to writing, wrote Ernest Hemingway. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. And he was a novelist. Imagine the bloodbath when you sit down to tell your own story. Conley (Boy Erased), Dickinson (Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things) and Febos (Abandon Me) have all approached the art of memoir in very different ways, but all bring the same unblinking honesty to the page. You won’t want to miss this conversation. 

Once Upon a Time… Writing Historical Fiction
Macklanburg Playhouse, 4:15-5:30
Panelists: Christina Baker Kline, Therese Anne Fowler, Martin Seay
Moderator: Phong Nguyen

In their books, Baker Kline (Orphan Train), Fowler (Z: A Novel), and Seay (The Mirror Thief) each adopt and adapt the conventions of the historical novel in different, but equally accomplished, ways. Discover how these writers came to find their own approach to the genre, and learn how telling stories about yesterday can shed light on today.