Featured Books

Conference registration includes your choice from one of four featured books. All books are produced by small presses, and the proceeds for each selected book are given directly to each press. On a practical level, you’ll hand us a sheet that indicates which book you’ve selected, then we’ll hand you a book, and on the back end, we’ll hand that publisher or author $12 per book. Everybody wins.

All featured book authors will be participating in the conference, and will be available at designated times (probably during Boxed Wine Happy Hour) for book signings.


I Brake for Moose
by Geeta Kothari (Braddock Avenue Books)

“These unusually varied stories are informed by Geeta Kothari’s brilliant, and far-ranging imagination, so you never know what you’re getting into. Every story is a new occasion, a new land, a new investigation into the identity of characters from all over the world, and a reminder that this formal and thematic dexterity is part of what informs, and makes necessary, the short story. Few collections take advantage of the form the way Kothari does here. The stories are imbued with her distinctly trenchant humor and wisdom, along with a quiet compassion for the grieving, the bewildered, and the misfit. Let’s all hope this is the first of many collections from Geeta Kothari.” —Jane McCafferty, author of First You Try Everything

(Note: We were planning for the featured book to be Insurrections by Rion Amilcar Scott, and it’s an awesome book and you should buy it, but Rion had a conflict on the date of the conference, so we had to switch up. We’re thrilled to have Geeta and her book in DC, in addition to our Pittsburgh conference in October 2017, but just wanted to say that if you came here expecting Rion, you’re not crazy.)


hanifThe Crown Ain’t Worth Much
by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib (Button Poetry)

“Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib’s THE CROWN AIN’T WORTH MUCH leaves me contemplating the meanings of soul: communal soul (peep the breadth of cultural shout outs), rhythmic soul (peep the breadth of sound and syntax), and spiritual soul (peep the breadth of compassion). As titles like “Ode to Drake, Ending with Blood in a Field” and “At the House Party Where We Found Out Whitney Houston Was Dead” suggest, Willis-Abdurraqib bridges the bravado and bling of praise with the blood and tears of elegy. The soul of this magnificent book is dynamic, distinguished, and when called for, down and dirty. What a fresh, remarkable debut.” Terrance Hayes


tmifl_cover_finalTell Me If You’re Lying
by Sarah Sweeney (Barrelhouse Books)

“Tell Me If You’re Lying covers a wide selection of great subjects: sex, drugs, rebellion, youthful misadventures, not-so-youthful misadventures, family, death, cars, aliens, Madonna, the early career of Adrian Grenier. Sarah Sweeney has some kind of range; her writing can be hysterically funny one line and heartbreaking the next. This is a strikingly smart, self-aware, and empathetic book about a lot of things, but mostly love: for the people and places and decisions that make us who we are. Essays, memoir, whatever you want to call it, it’s a hell of a good read.” Justin St. Germain, author of Son of a Gun


by Tara Campbell (Lillicat Publishers)

“…exciting, entertaining, thought-provoking, with an upside-down look at the current plague of people on our planet. A must-read for fans of Campbell, environmental politics, the planet, a good spec fiction romp—and yes, anyone who’s rooting for the trees.” Amber Sparks, critically-acclaimed author of The Unfinished World and May We Shed These Human Bodies