upstreet Fiction Editor Robin Oliveira, author of the historical novel My Name is Mary Sutter, will be a participant in two events at the Annual Conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in Washington, DC. She will be a featured reader in the Vermont College of Fine Arts 30th Anniversary reading, from 1:30-2:45pm Thursday 3 February, in the Maryland Suite Room on the Lobby Level of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. She will also conduct a panel, “The Craft of Historical Fiction,” from 1:30-2:45pm Saturday 5 February, in the Coolidge Room on the Mezzanine Level of the Marriott.
The reading will be a celebration of VCFA’s 30-year history as one of the first low-residency MFA in Writing programs in the country. As an innovator in the field, the College will celebrate this milestone with an introduction by Mark Doty and a reading by former faculty member Sydney Lea, Robin, and three other alumni/ae—Nin Andrews, Earl Braggs, and Wally Lamb (who was the subject of the upstreet number three author interview).
The panel will be an exploration of the craft of historical fiction by Robin and four other debut authors—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Kelly O’Connor McNees, John Pipkin, and Anna Keesey, the authors of, respectively, Wench, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Woodsburner, and Little Century. They will delve into the role of imagination, the use of fictional versus real characters, the incorporation of research, and the commitment of the author to real events.