I’d be remiss to let Fiction Week on the Bleader pass without mentioning the upcoming Association of Writers & Writing Programs annual conference, to be held February 29 through March 3 in Chicago.

Billing itself as “the single largest literary gathering in North America” (no argument here), the conference features hundreds of events and more than 500 exhibitors. And there will be dozens of related off-site events open to the public.

Margaret Atwood delivers the keynote address, and other featured presenters include such literary luminaries as Bonnie Jo Campbell, Jennifer Egan, Nikky Finney, Aleksandar Hemon, Audrey Niffenegger, Marilynne Robinson, Luis J. Rodriguez, Rebecca Skloot, Jane Smiley, and Irvine Welsh. And that isn’t the half of it.