Poets & Writers Selects Ten Debut Authors for New Publicity Incubator

Get the Word Out inaugural fiction cohort, pictured, from top left:
Federico Erebia, Kristen Gentry, Anita Gail Jones, Chin-Sun Lee, Magogodi Makhene,
Mark Ernest Pothier, Shannon Sanders, Brenda C. Wilson, Lauren Yero, and Ada Zhang.


New York, NY—November 30, 2022—Poets & Writers today announced that ten fiction writers have been selected to participate in Get the Word Out, a new publicity incubator for debut authors.  

Get the Word Out builds on Poets & Writers’ long history of providing practical guidance about the business of writing. “Introducing a book to the world is a moment ripe with potential—and this is especially true when it’s an author’s debut book,” said Thierry Kehou, director of programs and partnerships at Poets & Writers. “We’re looking forward to working with these ten promising writers to help them reach readers and garner the attention their work deserves.”  

Over the coming months, the selected writers will take part in a series of workshops led by Lauren Cerand, who brings two decades of experience promoting books. Cerand’s guidance will be complemented by seminars presented by other leading publishing professionals. Each author will develop and execute a strategic marketing plan to maximize the exposure of their forthcoming book and build skills to identify and harness future opportunities.  

Thanks to generous support from Leonard & Louise Riggio and Macmillan Publishers, there is no cost to participants in Get the Word Out. The ten writers selected reside in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina.  

Get the Word Out is part of United States of Writing, an initiative to extend and deepen Poets & Writers’ service to writers nationwide. It aims to reduce barriers to success for writers from historically marginalized communities—including BIPOC and LGBTQ writers—as well as those from outside of New York City and those whose books are published by independent presses. Poets & Writers will accept applications for the first poetry cohort beginning in January 2023. (For more information visit at.pw.org/GTWO.)


Federico Erebia is a retired physician, woodworker, author, and illustrator. He lives in Massachusetts with his husband and their westie and whippet. His debut novel, Pedro & Daniel, will be published by Levine Querido in June 2023.  

Kristen Gentry is from Louisville, Kentucky, and received her MFA from Indiana University. She currently lives in Rochester, New York, near SUNY Geneseo where she is an associate professor of English and the director of creative writing. Her short stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Jabberwock Review, and other journals. Her debut story collection, Mama Said, is forthcoming from West Virginia University Press in October 2023.  

Anita Gail Jones is a visual artist and writer born and raised in Albany, Georgia. She is a Hedgebrook alumna, and a 2018-2019 Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Her debut novel, The Peach Seed, a 2021 top ten finalist in the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, will be published by Henry Holt & Company in August 2023.   

Chin-Sun Lee is the author of the debut novel Upcountry, forthcoming from Unnamed Press in fall 2023. She’s also a contributor to the New York Times best-selling anthology Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press/Penguin, 2014). Her work has appeared in the Rumpus, Joyland, the Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, and the Believer Logger, among other publications. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the New School. 
Magogodi Makhene leads Love As A Kind of Cure, a social enterprise dismantling white supremacy, and is an Iowa Writers’ Workshop trained writer with fancy pants awards like the Caine African Writers’ Prize, Macdowell and Hedgebrook Fellowships, and the Rona Jaffe Writing Award. She’s been published by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, as well as in Granta, Harvard Review, and Ploughshares. She is proudly from Soweto, South Africa. Her first book, Innards, will be published in May 2023 by W.W. Norton & Company. 

Mark Ernest Pothier earned his BA from St. John’s College in Annapolis, his MFA from San Francisco State, and is a recipient of a Nelson Algren Short Story Award. After a twenty-five year communications career working with nonprofits, including the California Council for the Humanities, he’s writing full-time. He lives with his wife and kids in San Francisco. Outer Sunset (University of Iowa Press, spring 2023) is his first novel. 

Shannon Sanders is a Black attorney and writer. Her fiction debut, Company, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in October 2023. Her short fiction has appeared in One Story, Joyland, Electric Literature, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. She is a 2020 winner of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband and three sons. 
Brenda C. Wilson began as a short story writer and challenged herself to turn one into a novel based on comments in a writing class. Her first novel, Red Door Scriptures (forthcoming from SFK Press in April 2023), is in a desk drawer under a pile of papers. Ten years ago, her second novel, A Cakewalk to Memphis, was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University, Charlotte, NC, works professionally in finance/technology, and keeps writing. 

Lauren Yero is a Cuban American writer and teacher. Born in Florida, she received her BA from Davidson College and her MA in Literature and Environment from the University of Nevada Reno. Her desire to connect more deeply with her Cuban roots led her to study and work throughout the Spanish-speaking world—including Chile, where she drew inspiration for her debut novel Under This Forgetful Sky (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, July 2023). She lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. 

Ada Zhang is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She grew up in Austin, Texas, and now lives in New York City, where she is an associate editor of adult’s and children’s books at Running Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. The Sorrows of Others (A Public Space, May 2023) is her first book.


Poets & Writers is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the United States. Our mission is to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public. 

Poets & Writers Magazine is the leading publication of its kind, reaching a readership of 125,000. Our website offers extensive free resources to help writers navigate the literary marketplace and a lively online community. Our programs include Readings & Workshops, which pays writers for giving readings and leading writing workshops in small towns and big cities across the country; Mapping the Maze, an online workshop that demystifies the publishing process and helps writers chart a path to publication; and Get the Word Out, a publicity incubator for debut authors. We sponsor the Jackson Poetry Prize and Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. We are guided by our core values of service, inclusivity, integrity, and excellence and are committed to becoming an antiracist organization. Learn more at pw.org

Rachel Schuder
Director of Development & Marketing