“Diversity in Reviews: Why Reviewing Matters” at AWP15

As PANK‘s Reviews Editor I was part of a panel about women and book reviewing at this year’s AWP in Minneapolis.  It was called “Diversity in Reviews: Why Reviewing Matters” and my fellow panelists were Robin Becker, Camille-Yvette Welsch and Alyse Bensel.


Here is the last paragraph of my paper:

I want to leave you with this thought: I don’t want to discount love. Some books are assigned and some we choose based on a pre-publication description – almost like a classified ad – and the reading experience that follows can be lovely or a trial. But at least every so often I recommend reviewing a book you just plain love – especially if you are new to reviewing. I have one pitching strategy that has so far been 100% successful (and this is the strategy I used when I first started reviewing): I read a book from the new releases shelf at my local library, fall in love with it, and say so (and why) in my query letter. Love isn’t always rational (as so many stories remind us). Sometimes we should just fall, and then try to tell others the tale.


If you’ve really fallen in love with a book (one that was published within the last year, or one that’s at least ten years old for our “Books We Can’t Quit” series) and you want to review it for PANK, tell me the tale at randon@pankmagazine.com.

Assay Journal posts about nonfiction panels at AWP15

This year’s AWP was tremendous — over 10,000 writers descending on the lovely city of Minneapolis where the people are kind and the donuts amazing.  Far too much happened to cram into one post, but I wanted share that Assay Journal has a terrific series of posts about nearly every nonfiction panel, including three that I attended and wrote about:

If couldn’t make it to AWP this year or want to read about a presentation you missed, check out this wonderful resource.  Thanks, Assay!

Assay Journal logo