Creative Writers/SAMLA 2023: Deciphering the “I” in First-Person Writing

deadline for submissions: 
July 28, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Julie Boutwell-Peterson / University of Kentucky
contact email: 

* Please note: This Creative Writing panel will be part of the SAMLA (South Atlantic Modern Language Association) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia Nov. 9-11, 2023.

When we write in first-person, there are, of course, a plethora of “I”s—the imagined self, the narrator self, the authentic self, and/or the public-presented self. Considering this, how should we best approach first-person writing? Can we even distinguish between the different “I”s we put on the page? Should we try? Should the reader know/care about what version of ourselves we are using? This Special Session welcomes creative work of any genre that uses first-person writing: e.g., memoir, poetry, creative nonfiction, or autofiction. Contributors will be asked to read from their work (maximum of eight pages) as well as discuss their thoughts and ideas behind the persona of “I” in their writing. By July 28, please submit the first two pages of your work, an abstract of your piece, a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Julie Boutwell-Peterson, University of Kentucky, at