Being held captive at home with kids 24/7 is no joke when you are also trying to finish a creative writing project. We have many ways to help out--our accountability...
It seems incredible, but Christina Chiu has been the Pen Parentis curator for more than five years! From the very first year she came aboard, her thoughtful decisions about which writers would work well together have resulted in fantasy trios like Marly Youmans, Lev Grossman and (MacArthur genius grant winner) Kelly Link — a literal fantasy-genre trio as well as a dream team. She brought in hard-hitting genre writers like Ed Lin and John Langan, as well as diverse and lovely wordsmiths such as Susan Muaddi Daraj, Anjali Mitter Duva, Huda Al-Marashi, Morowa Yejide, and Simon Van Booy. She presided over Salons special events featuring various intriguing forms of writing, from Playwrights to Music, to graphic novelists (that one featured Victor LaValle, Mira Jacob, Josh Neufeld, and Darin Strauss–another knockout dream team!) In accordance with our core value of inclusion, she sought out fantastic parent-writers who are LGBTQ such as Andrea Lawlor, JP Howard, and Stewart Lewis. We also had huge internationally bestselling authors: Jennifer Probst, Marcy Dermansky, Patty Dann, Rick Moody, Terese Svoboda, Min Jin Lee, and many others. A few years ago, she decided to begin to curate the salons according to theme. This was an exciting transformation for our Salons regulars. Some of the topics she’s selected as salon themes included Writers on Displacement, Writing War, and Emerging Writers to Watch (which writers, soon after this salon, immediately catapulted to fame). The upcoming Spring 2020 season is no different – expect an amazing cast of writers, diverse topics, and fascinating conversations. See the whole Spring 2020 season here.
And of course, all of them are parents.
As is she – Christina embodies the motto of Pen Parentis: parenting done, write – we congratulate Christina on her second published book and on winning the James Alan McPherson Award for this eagerly anticipated novel, Beauty, which will launch in May, 2020. (You can preorder it.) She practices what she preaches and takes the time to hone her writing skills and create while also curating a Salon that all can enjoy. We are grateful to her for all she has done to make these Salons spectacular literary events over the past five years, and we look forward to many years to come.