2012 Annual Conference & Bookfair
February 29-March 3, 2012
Chicago, IL
Hilton Chicago & Palmer House Hilton

This schedule is a fake and may be modified.
Last edited: February 29, 2012

Friday – March 2, 2012


6:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m.

Ye Olde Country Buffet

4 Over 400: The Gutenberg Problem. Noted grimoire authors Merlin, Gandalf, Conor MacLeod, and Albus Dumbledore discuss the potentially disastrous consequences of printing presses. Will the grimoire survive this radical new development in publishing? How should scroll hawkers best adapt to the new market? What to do with all that unused vellum?

9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Third Floor Coat Room

Minimum Wage: A Privilege, Not a Right. Learn the basics of the unpaid internship. We’ll answer questions like: Is it okay to question your superiors? (Nope.) Will a sexual harassment suit hurt your chances of receiving a recommendation? (Of course it will!)

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


Pregret: Living A Life Ripe For Memoir. Think you have to be unique or important to write a memoir? Guess again. Our panelists will help you cultivate a variety of addictions, illnesses, and eccentricities, including: former Double Dare contestant, Andy Milonakis lookalike, jello veins, fake synesthesia, uncredited writer of “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” grandpa was a lemonade stand, homeless child-clown, home alone, disgruntled scrivener, boy who lived. Plus, the five quickest ways to develop terminal cancer.

B7 (Margaret Hirschberg’s Mother’s Basement)

Subverting the Conventions of Genre Fiction. Vampires who eat garlic. Zombies who eat tofu. Our panel of genre benders will discuss ways to resurrect even the most hackneyed of archetypes. Bring snacks.

Raymond Carver Bar & Grill

Plots that Always Work. Faculty members from top MFA programs discuss the essential elements of a successful story, including weird neighbors, siblings with drinking problems, precocious children, broken dicks, robot sidekicks, and detectives addicted to dog meat.

10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

First Floor Media Lab

@LitBitch61 on the Pros and Cons of Using Your Twitter Name as Your Pseudonym. Everybody knows you from that one time Colson Whitehead retweeted you – but what now? We’ll teach you how to capitalize on your 15 minutes of fame. Plus, we’ll go over tags like #amwriting and other fun ways to remind your followers that you’re a writer.

Colonel Fart’s Butt Room

More Poo-Poos: Working with Child Editors. Make the dog eat 100 diapers and then he throws up in the road where a car crashes and then they all poop together. But they are all robots who are on fire making poops.

Bachmann Lounge

Reading: Oral Roberts MFA Candidates. Does writing (or reading) fiction violate the honor code? Find out as five candidates read page after page of trying to figure out what sex is like. Candidate Noah Baxter writes, “We were just sitting there when I noticed a warm breeze seeping through the curtains. Before I knew it, we were naked wrestling. After we’d both collapsed, exhausted, I heard a soft crying. Between us lay our child, newly born.”

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


How to Market Your Poetry Chapbook. Just kidding. Lunch time.

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Wyvern Keep (Bennigan’s)

Fairies, Faeries, Fayries. Contemporary revisionist fantasy writers face tough decisions in creating their magical realms/planetscapes/dreamgardens. Should your imaginary nomadic desert people be generic racist analogues for Native Americans or Bushmen? Should magic exist, or should it only be rumoured to exist (until it does in book 12)?

Allen Ginsberg Center for Poetry as a Force for Social Change (Basement)

Haiku D’etat. Over the past year, the Arab world has been engulfed in popular uprisings. Our panelists ask, how would things change if, instead of marching or occupying public land, the protesters updated their Facebook statuses with haikus?

First Floor Media Lab

One Tweet at a Time: Converting Your Twitter Feed Into a Memoir. We’ll take a look at some of the best memoir apps and discuss the new MLA rules for citing social media, as well as several handy shortcuts for copying and pasting. Before you know it, How Stuff My Dog Smelled Changed My Life will be a bestseller!

2:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m

Franco Ballroom + Live feed in International Ballroom

Keynote Speaker: James Franco on Media Saturation. Featuring an introduction by Gary Shteyngart. James Franco on how to be everywhere at once: movies, soap operas, books, magazines, pornos, ape-planets. Brought to you by James Franco.


The Word is Square: Thoughts on Contemporary Poetry. CANCELED


Dig Dug: The Novelization. CANCELED

Franco Exhibition Room

A Writing by James Franco. James Franco will live-write his forthcoming book of travel essays, Here, There, Everywhere.

3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

Ley Line Lounge

Divining the Novel. Basic forms of divination (omens, portents, cleromancy, augury, etc.) and tips on “receiving” your novel from the spirit realm are covered. Were you aware that the opening paragraph of Pride and Prejudice is a product of belomancy? Also covered: counterhexing your astral Editor.

Toni Kukoc Gymnasium

NBA on MFA: Basketball Drills in the Workshop. We will practice having students pass the ball off to one another in a workshop version of the three-man-weave, with each participant avoiding telling the writer that his or her piece (the ball) reads like a fourth-grader’s shit – “Good characters!”, “Love the voice!”, “It could even be longer!”, “A schizophrenic time traveler, ummm, yeah!” Lay-up.

Westchester Lounge

The New Black: Including Characters From Other Races and Classes in Your Fiction. Your president is black, why not your narrator, too? We’ll go over ways to meet and befriend minorities, as well as tips on marketing your MFA thesis as a multicultural novel.

5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Normandie Lounge (Ascot required)

Fancy Man Literature. Caning your valet is amusing in real life, but is it good fiction? Also: what to wear, sip, and smell while you write. Dictated but not read.

7:00 p.m.-4:00 a.m.

Dave & Buster’s

The Future of Criticism. Join the editors of Full Stop at Dave & Buster’s, where late capitalism comes alive! $50 buys you 3 tabs of acid and a $25 game card!


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