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Literary Orphans Presents: Burning Down the Walls: The Art and Importance of Writing Essays That Can Change the World

Essays concerned—directly or indirectly—with the social crises of our time are receiving unprecedented readership. In that context, this panel will discuss the role of the essayist as citizen, issues surrounding personal disclosures in the socially conscious essay, their own call to create change, as well as their own recent works confronting topics such as race, feminism, queer identity, and abortion. Handouts will include a reading list, suggested markets/editors and helpful craft suggestions.


Anna March writing has appeared in the New York TimesNew York magazine, VQR,Tin House, and regularly in the Rumpus and Salon. She writes extensively on gender, sexuality and feminism. Her memoir, Happy People Live Here, is forthcoming, as is her novel, The Diary of Suzanne Frank.

Megan Stielstra is the author of Once I Was Cool and the forthcoming Come Here Fear. She's a contributing opinion writer to the New York Times and a company member at 2nd Story. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University.

Michele Filgate is an essayist, critic, and freelance writer. She is a contributing editor atLiterary Hub and VP/Awards for the National Book Critics Circle. Her work has appeared in Slice, the Paris Review DailyTin House, the RumpusSalonThe Barnes & Noble Review, and many other publications.

Jamia Wilson is the executive director of Women, Action, and the Media, and a staff writer for Rookie Magazine. Her words and works have appeared in and on The Today ShowNew York Magazine,, several anthologies, and more.

Ashley Ford is an essayist, editor, and columnist with work in PANK magazine, theRumpusCrossed Genre's Magazine, the Butter, the Guardian, Buzzfeed, and Literary Orphans.

Later Event: March 31
The Lulu Awards