Who’s Your Dream Author Panel?

James Rollins

Lunch with James Rollins at the Dallas / Fort Worth Writers Conference in 2012.

I’ve had the pleasure of attending several writers conferences around the country and met many great authors who I consider role models. I’m so honored to chat with folks such as James Rollins and Larry Brooks, to interview writing idols like Danielle Trussoni and Karen Abbott. I dressed alike with Jenny Lawson (AKA The Bloggess) and spoke Greek with Arianna Huffington. And I am beyond thrilled to welcome Nickolas Butler and Blair Braverman to La Crosse later this year!

Eventbrite, a company that hosts and assists with lots of great conferences and events – I’m attending several coming up including a travel writing course and a gallery reading with a medium! – asked the question “Who’s on your dream author panel?” 

I suppose it’s not practical to say ALL OF THEM!


There’s little that fills me with as much energy as chatting with other authors. When you’re in a room surrounded by “your people,” it’s pretty awesome. And I’m grateful for every opportunity.

So honestly, many authors are on my dream panel. Those I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before and new faces as well. But if I had to narrow it down, then I’d pick from my favorite genre, memoir, and specifically those authors with the ability to infuse humor into the hardships they face.

So Universe, if you can somehow swing these folks to gather AND put me in the same room with them, I’ll keep my fangirl under control (or try to). 

David Sedaris – Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Naked
Mindy Kaling – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Mishna Wolff – I’m Down
Elaine Lui – Listen to the Squawking Chicken
Caitlyn Moran – Moranifesto
Haven Kimmel – A Girl Named Zippy
Kristin Newman – What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding
Kevin Kling – The Dog Says How
Roz Chast – Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Laurie Notaro – The Idiot Girl’s Action-Adventure Club

Ten is kind of a lot on a panel isn’t it? I don’t care. I like to dream big.

I’d love to hear the perspectives from this mix of essayists, memoirists, and graphic novelist. This panel would hold stories of coming out, cultural identity, race relations, immigration, surviving abusive relationships, feminism, dysfunctional family, living with a disability, caring for aging parents, and living paycheck to paycheck. Topics to make us feel less alone, walk in someone else’s shoes, and find the laughter in the end. Definitely my favorite genre to dive into.

Dream big! Who would be on YOUR author panel if you could choose? 

7 responses

  1. Wow, what a list! I have absolutely no idea how to pick a top ten author panel that I would dream about attending…maybe if it were themed? (*laughs*) Like, a romance panel, historical panel (using fiction/nonfiction), memoir panel, classic panel, children’s authors…. You know?

    Do you find most of your events on Eventbrite? I haven’t attended any writer’s conferences or such this year (most are a little out of my range), but I would like to. Any you’d suggest?

    1. A lot of bloggers did pick panels based on genre. I picked my fave one. Many had mixes. You should do one!

      I’ve used eventbrite for different events. A lot of people use it for tickets and marketing.

      As for writers conferences, I really do enjoy the Writers Institute in Madison, Wi. They provide a lot and it’s very well done. I ogle a lot of other conferences I see in Writers Digest. 🤤🤤🤤

      1. You and me both! 🙂

  2. Important question: are we talking about living authors, or can our panel consist of writers from the past who have since shuffled off this mortal coil?

    1. You blog it. You make the rules.

      *adds Jane Austen to my list*

  3. Excellent question! My dream author panel would be of the Fantasy persuasion and would include: Maggie Stiefvater (duh), George R.R. Martin, Cornelia Funke, and Erika Johansen.

    1. Which of Maggie’s’ books do you like most? I’ve started the Shiver series. Got a recommendation for me?

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