New Fiction Confab 2018

Saturday, May 5

We are thrilled to welcome several of the most notable fiction authors to publish new work in 2017 and 2018 to the Austin Public Library for day of readings, conversations, panel discussions, and craft talks. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Ramona Ausubel  |  Owen Egerton  |  Rebecca Kauffman Jardine Libaire 

Thomas Pierce | Natalia Sylvester Nafissa Thompson-Spires | Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi  

Readings & Conversations / Central Library / 2:00-5:00pm

2:00 pm
Owen Egerton, Thomas Pierce & Natalia Sylvester

Moderator: Jill Meyers, Co-Director of A Strange Object

3:00 pm
Jardine Libaire & Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Moderator: Claire Campbell, Program Director at the Writing Barn

4:00 pm
Ramona Ausubel, Rebecca Kauffmann & Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Moderator: Becka Oliver, Executive Director of The Writers' League of Texas

4:45 pm
Book sales & signing

Austin Lit Fair / Central Library / 2:00-5:00pm

The New Fiction Confab showcases local publishers and literary organizations shaping Austin’s dynamic community of readers and writers. Discover their work and meet the editors and publishers enriching Austin.

This year's Lit Fair features:

A Strange Object

American Short Fiction

AWST Press

Bat City Review

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review

Cider Spoon Stories

fields magazine

HOST Publications

Writers’ League of Texas

The Writing Barn

Writing Workshops & Craft Talks / 10:30-11:30am

Craft Talk for Adults

Rebecca Kauffman at Cepeda Branch Library


Craft Talk for Adults

Ramona Ausubel at Terrazas Branch Library


Craft Talk for Adults

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi at Willie Mae Kirk Branch Library


Workshop for Teens (Grades 7-12)

Thomas Pierce at Recycled Reads


Workshop for Kids (Grades 3-6)

Nafissa Thompson-Spires at Recycled Reads


2018 New Fiction Confab Authors

Ramona Ausubel’s fourth book of fiction, Awayland, is a tenderly imagined short story collection that traverses small towns and tropical islands, revealing truths about parenthood, love, and growing up. Ausubel’s debut novel, No One is here Except All of Us, won the PEN Center USA Fiction Award, among others. Her first story collection, A Guide to Being Born, was named a Notable Book of 2013 by The New York Times, and her second novel, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, was named a Best Book of 2016 by NPR.

Owen Egerton’s fourth work of fiction, Hollow, follows a bereaved, broken father as he looks for meaning in the wake of his son’s death. His journey lures him into an obscure group that believes Earth is a hollow container for a utopian world miles beneath our feet. The novel explores the depths of doubt and hope, and the many ways we find healing. Egerton is also the writer/director of the horror film Follow, and has written for Fox, Disney, and Warner Bros. He co-wrote the creative writing guide This Word Now with his wife, poet Jodi Egerton. He also hosts NPR’s “The Write Up.”

Rebecca Kauffman’s second novel, The Gunners, reunites a group of childhood friends after one of their members commits suicide, taking with her secrets about their shared history. This story about truth, friendship, and forgiveness follows Kauffman’s debut novel, Another Place You’ve Never Been, which was a Center for Fiction long-list finalist in 2016. Kauffman holds a degree in Classical Violin Performance and an MFA in Creative Writing (New York University). She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and originally hails from rural northeastern Ohio.

Jardine Libaire’s second novel, White Fur, is a sticky, tender, messy, graphic, violent, transgressive, ecstatic Romeo-and-Juliet tale set in the streets of 1980’s New York City. It was selected a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Pick and Amazon Best of the Month Pick for June 2017. Libaire is a graduate of Skidmore College and the University of Michigan Creative Writing MFA Program. She lives in Austin.

Thomas Pierce’s first novel, The Afterlives, follows a man seeking deep answers to big questions after his near-death experience failed to produce the profound encounter one typically expects. After the publication of Pierce’s debut short story collection, Hall of Small Mammals, Pierce received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award in 2016. His stories have appeared in The New YorkerThe AtlanticOxford American, and elsewhere. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughters.

Natalia Sylvester’s second novel, Everyone Knows You Go Home, explores the intricacies of family heartache and finding home through the pertinent lens of immigration. Her first novel, Chasing the Sun, was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad, and was chosen Book of the Month by the National Latino Book Club. Sylvester was born in Lima, Peru, and came to the U.S. at the age of four. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Miami, is a faculty member in the low-residency MFA program at Regis University, and works at as a freelance writer based in Austin.

Nafissa Thompson-Spires earned a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, and The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She is a 2016 fellow of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. Her debut collection, Heads of the Colored People, contains moving, timely, and darkly funny stories that examine the concept of black identity in a so-called post-racial era.

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s second work of fiction, Call Me Zebra, explores the ways we cope with grief, our unresolved histories, and the tangled depths of love. It traces a journey from Iran to New York City, and makes a powerful case for the importance of literary art. Oloomi is the recipient of a Whiting Award and was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honorees in 2015 for her debut book Fra Keeler. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, Guernica, BOMB, and elsewhere.


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