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AWP Conference: Muse, Martyr, Mother, Monarch: Writing Women in History

March 5, 2020 @ 1:45 pm - 3:00 pm

Writing female characters that transcend tropes and come alive on the page is a challenging—and crucial—task for any writer. When those women lived decades, centuries, or even millennia ago, the work of the writer becomes even more complex. This panel will explore the process and practices of five women novelists who’ve featured powerful female characters, from a 19th-century astronomer to an 18th-century Russian empress, a midcentury mathematician, and an American slave in antebellum Ohio.

Room 008, Henry B. González Convention Center, River Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Rebecca Makkai’s fourth book, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award; it won the LA Times Book Prize, the Carnegie Medal, and the Stonewall Award. She is artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Amy Brill is the author of The Movement of Stars and a 2015 NYFA fiction fellow. Her fiction and essays have been appeared in One Story, The Common, Guernica, and several anthologies, and she’s been awarded residencies at Millay Colony, Jentel, the American Antiquarian Society, and elsewhere.

Irina Reyn is the author of the novels Mother Country, The Imperial Wife, and What Happened to Anna K, as well as the anthology, Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take on the Garden State. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the New York Times bestselling author of two novels: Wenchand Balm. Her stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review and elsewhere. She is an associate professor in the American University MFA program.

Jasmin Darznik is the author of the novel Song of a Captive Bird and a memoir, The Good Daughter. She is a professor in the MFA and Writing and Literature programs at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.


March 5, 2020
1:45 pm - 3:00 pm


Association of Writers & Writing Programs


Henry B. González Convention Center
900 E Market St
San Antonio, TX 78205 United States
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