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Surviving Your Debut Year: Staying Sane and Savvy Before and After Publication

  • Oregon Convention Center C123, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1 Portland (map)

The year your first book comes out is dizzying. So many questions! (What is good social media etiquette? Do you have to write personal essays? Do you read your reviews?) So many feels! (The honeymoon bliss of signing with an agent. The anguish of asking for blurbs. The joy of depositing an advance. Those inevitable post-launch blues.) On this panel five novelists and short story writers with new books will share our fresh firsthand experience—to help you ride the highs and endure the lows. This AWP panel will be moderated by Rachel Lyon and include debut novelists Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Adrienne Celt, Aja Gabel, and Lillian Li.

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is from Spring Valley, Rockland County, NY. He is a graduate of the Syracuse MFA program and was the '16-'17 Olive B. O'Connor Fellow in fiction at Colgate University. His fist book, FRIDAY BLACK, is due from Houghton Mifflin Books October 2018.

Adrienne Celt is the author of the novels INVITATION TO A BONFIRE and THE DAUGHTERS, which won the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award, as well as a collection of comics entitled APOCALYPSE HOW? Her work has appeared in the 2016 O. Henry Prize Stories, Zyzzva, Ecotone, The Kenyon Review, & elsewhere.

Aja Gabel’s debut novel, THE ENSEMBLE, was published by Riverhead in 2018. Her fiction can be found in New England Review, Kenyon Review, BOMB, and elsewhere. She was a 2012-2013 fellow in fiction at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and holds a Phd from the University of Houston.

Lillian Li is the author of the novel NUMBER ONE CHINESE RESTAURANT. Her work has been published in Guernica, Granta, Glimmer Train, and Jezebel. Originally from the D.C. metro area, she lives in Ann Arbor.

Final date and time TBD.