How to Write What You Don't Know

Breakout session

All times are listed in the event's local time zone: EDT (-04:00).


An oft repeated "rule" of writing is to write what you know. The challenge is to write what we don't know particularly with regards to so-called "marginalized" characters. In this session we will discuss some steps to take to address this challenge (and avoid having our work become a Twitter sensation for all the wrong reasons). We will begin by discussing the origins and use of the marginalized label, its appropriateness and/or lack thereof, and continue with how it's imperative to treat all characters with compassion and humility.

Post-Conference Resources

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Session topics

  • Ethics & Inclusion
  • Writing Technique & Craft


  • Angie Chatman

    Angie Chatman is a freelance writer, editor, and storyteller. Her most recent essay "Ode to Poundcake" was published in Pangyrus and nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize; her essay "Not Like Mel's" was anthologized in DINE (Books by Hippocampus). Other short stories and essays can be found in The Rumpus,...