status update: the essay in the age of facebook

Panel Discussion: Between the ever-popular tell-all memoir and ubiquitous status updates on websites such as Facebook and Twitter, the confession has never been so popular or so utterly mundane. We know more about each other than ever before and yet little that's truly intimate or insightful. This panel will discusses the tradition of the personal essay and what it might offer the contemporary reader and writer, namely the opportunity for real insight and reflection. [download]

Phillip Lopate is widely published in multiple genres. He is the editor of The Art of the Personal Essay, and his books of fiction are Two Marriages, Confessions of Summer, and The Rug Merchant.

Susan McCallum-Smith’s work has been featured in Urbanite, The Scottish Review of Books, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Gettysburg Review, and her essay “The Watermark” received a Pushcart Prize. Her short story collection Slipping the Moorings was published in 2009.

Jocelyn Bartkevicius is the editor of the Florida Review and director of the MFA program at University of Central Florida in Orlando. Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review and Fourth Genre. She has received the Annie Dillard Award and The Missouri Review Award.

Ned Stuckey-French teaches at Florida State University. He is a coauthor of Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft and book review editor of Fourth Genre. His work has appeared The Missouri Review, In These Times, and Guernica.