Tweeting Amy Tan, Ben Fountain, w/ Audience of Thousands at the NBCC Reading, AWP14 in Seattle

By Jane Ciabattari

The National Book Critics Circle reading at AWP's annual conference in Seattle with Amy Tan and Ben Fountain was a smash!  Fitting to celebrate our most recent fiction winner, Ben Fountain, who read from Billy Lynn's Long Halftime March, and Amy Tan, whose The Joy Luck Club was honored by the NBCC after its launch 25 years ago in Seattle. Amy read from her most recent novel, The Valley of Amazement. And both were generous in their time, and their responses to my questions about writing first novels, the shock of success, the writing process and what's coming next. Here are some tweets….with thanks to Amy and Ben and all who live tweeted.

Poster outside the ballroom, which was the size of a football field in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime March.

Kristen ‏@carnivalpapers

now waiting for amy tan and ben fountain, my most anticipated event of #AWP14


Introducing Amy Tan and Ben Fountain.

Denise Low ‏@deniselow9


Jane Ciabattari thanks staff & board of #AWP14. for great conference at #NBCC event w Amy Tan and Ben Fountain

Ricepaper Magazine ‏@ricepapermag:

Amy Tan: “It just happens that in my family there are terrible men, and they inspire my work.” #AWP14 #AWP

Chris Burlingame ‏@chrisburlingame:

“[having an acclaimed, hit first novel] was like winning the lottery without ever entering.” – Amy Tan #AWP14

Talking Writing ‏@talkingwriting:

#f246 Amy Tan reads from “The Valley of Amazement” – great voice, great details – ceiling curving upward like “the wings of a bat.” #AWP14

Adrian X Tristan ‏@AdrianXTristan

National Book Critic's Circle, Ben Fountain, and Amy Tan, each reading from their works. #beingspoiled, #AWP14

Zoe Trope ‏@zoh_zoh:

However stunningly beautiful you imagine Amy Tan to be, you're wrong. She's more beautiful than that. #AWP14

Amy Tan: “I started writing fiction in 1985 at the age of 33.” #AWP14

Talking Writing ‏@talkingwriting

#f246 Amy Tan says one of her new projects is a nonfiction book about the writer-editor relationship – she'll be talking writing! #AWP14

Danielle Hinesly ‏@mchinesly

Amy Tan is incredible….what a gem in the writing world. #AWP14

Oliver de la Paz ‏@Oliver_delaPaz

So . . . I had a conversation with Amy Tan about Richard Sherman. That happened. #AWP14


Shawn Wong ‏@RedcarWong

#AWP14 writers Ravi Shankar, Alvin Pang & Amy Tan

Amy Tan ‏@AmyTan

#AWP14 Shawn Wong reminds us that people do not jaywalk in Seattle. Even after Super Bowl.


Amy Tan ‏@AmyTan

#AWP14 is massive. Many small press and writing programs–and about 12,000 attendees who love to read and write.


Joanna Scutts ‏@life_savour

Ben Fountain reading #awp14


Meghan Ward ‏@meghancward

Selfie with awesome author Ben Fountain at #AWP14 who is about to read with Amy Tan.

Ben fountain is my hero because he has NO web presence and writes 6+ hours 5.5 days a week. #AWP14

Michael P Thomas ‏@ProfessorMPT

“People don't call you a bum to your face as much, especially your in-laws” –writer Ben Fountain on success of his first novel, #awp14

andrea bennett ‏@akkabah

“You get a great deal of freedom to explore. (If you can keep body & soul together economically.)” – Ben Fountain #AWP14

Ryan Pittington ‏@RyanPittington

“Writers are desperate people.” -Ben Fountain. #AWP14

Talking Writing ‏@talkingwriting

#f246 Ben Fountain: “How do you write the story if you don't know what it is? That's why writers are crazy.” #AWP14

#f246 Ben Fountain: the Marx Bros & Muppets “go into conventional situations and wreak havoc.” #AWP14

K. Imani Tennyson ‏@K_Imani

That's why writers are crazy. We go on faith. The story will reveal itself if we are diligent. – Ben Fountain #AWP14


jane ciabattari ‏@janeciab

Brief moment of downtime #AWP14 after hosting @bookcritics reading & conversation w @amytan Ben Fountain. Our best!


jane ciabattari ‏@janeciab

#AWP14 Seattle, sunset. Inspired by @amytan Ben Fountain, Rachel Kushner, Chris Abani, Chang rae Lee, Colm Tobin