Our work as writers has never felt more urgent—or more terrifying. Fear is an inevitable part of the writing process—risk, rejection, impostor syndrome—but in our current political climate, it can feel almost paralyzing. How do we write under threats to our bodies, our livelihoods, our lives? How do we write through our own self-doubt? In this lively and honest conversation, five writers will examine how fear both holds them back and drives them forward, despite and sometimes because of it.
Michele Filgate is a contributing editor at Literary Hub and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Slice, Gulf Coast, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, The Rumpus, and many other publications.
Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections, most recently The Wrong Way to Save Your Life. Her work appears in the Best American Essays and on National Public Radio. She is a contributing opinion writer to The New York Times and teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University.
Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the dreamoir Bruja. Publishing credits include The New York Times, Joyland, StoryQuarterly, and a year-long series in McSweeney's Internet Tendency. She is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles.
Porochista Khakpour is the author of the forthcoming memoir Sick, and the novels Sons & Other Flammable Objects and The Last Illusion. She received fellowships from the NEA, Ucross, Yaddo, and more. She writes for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, WSJ, VQR, and more.
samantha irby writes a blog called bitches gotta eat and is the author of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life and Meaty.