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Unconventional Approaches to Research


Jenn Shapland
My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

Jenn Shapland is a writer living in New Mexico. Her first book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, is a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award. Her essay "Finders, Keepers" won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and she was awarded the 2019 Rabkin Foundation Award for art journalism. She has a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Can you incorporate research into your writing without boring your reader—or yourself? How do you speak to archivists and get them to give up their secrets? What are the best snacks to sneak into the library? Drawing on her work as an archivist and research into the life of Carson McCullers, Jenn Shapland will offer insights into the process of conducting research. She'll also show some unusual forms that research can take on the page in genre-bendy work by Claudia Rankine, Layli Long Soldier, Eula Biss, and others.