All posts tagged: AWP

AWP Madness Ensues: Tips and Tricks for Success

[Photo credit: Jamie Brown, 2011] With over 12,000 attendees, the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference is the largest literary conference in North America. In total, there are over 2,000 presenters (one of which, this year, is me!) offering more than 550 panels, readings, and presentations. It can all be a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you out: Before You Travel— Vet the Schedule: My big “discovery” this year is the AWP app. You can search the schedule by type of event, person, or day which is extremely useful once you see how thick the conference schedule book is. The app works offline in airplane mode (if you pre-load before disconnecting) so if you’re short on time, you can schedule browse on your flight. If it’s your first AWP, choose your events based on areas of interest—themes, genres, concerns you have about writing. This way, you’ll be drawn to people who are writing similarly to you. Once you start building a broader knowledge, considering choosing events based on people you’re interested …

What I Want to Remember from AWP

At AWP last week, I felt fortunate for the opportunity, yet overwhelmed about “making the most of it” and also, walking around D.C., I felt like an imposter. People wore business suits and bluetooths and walked with purpose, while I felt dazed and hungry and underdressed, and if that isn’t a metaphor for adulthood (at least early adulthood), I don’t know what is. AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) is the largest literary conference in North America. This year, over 12,000 people took part: ranging from graduate students to publishers to poets to memoirists to teachers to editors. Each day offered dozens of panels on a variety of topics. Here are some of the ones I attended: “What Journalists Can Teach Literary Writers,” “Writing from the Wound,” “Success, Failure, and The Green-Eyed Monster: Thriving in a Competitive Environment,” “The Craft of Empathy,” and “Writing Neighborhoods: (Re)Creating the Places We Live.” I think too often we feel inspired and motivated at these types of conferences, but when we return to our lives, we remember laundry, grocery …

Manuscript Review and Mentorships Available from The MFA Years Contributors

Image: Francisco Daum Reservoir Lit and Anthropoid Co are currently running an Indiegogo campaign to help pay for an AWP book fair table and promotional materials. Since The MFA Years has a lot of crossover between the two journals (Kenzie Allen, Minda Honey, Cady Vishniac and myself) some of our contributors have volunteered to review a few poetry and/or fiction manuscripts. Other perks include pins, broadside postcards, signed books from contributors and handwritten postcard poems. We’d appreciate any shares on social media or contributions, no matter the amount. If you’re interested, you can find more information about the Manuscript Review and Mentorship packages below. Cady Vishniac, Kenzie Allen and myself are offering our services. The Manuscript Review package is $75 and the Manuscript Critique package is $200; both are discounted. Click here to visit the Indiegogo fundraiser. Straight from the campaign page: Thanks to our sponsor, ApiaryLit, we have one Manuscript Review available, and more intensive Manuscript Mentorships. Both options include up to 20 pages of poetry, or 30 pages of prose, in-line/margin notes, a written summary evaluation, and …

Contractual Community: Minority Students’ Place in the Creative Writing Program

Image: Conal Gallagher A lot has happened since the events of last semester as detailed here. I thought about what it might look like for me to give an update on promises given, what has improved, what hasn’t. And yet, I feel like it’d be unnecessary, in a sense, to give another somewhat in-depth barometric of things overall. A problem had been pointed out, namely the program’s inadequate approach, specifically under the helm of the current director, Jeff Lockwood, to address issues uniquely relevant to minority students. A call had been made and had been heard. Anymore expended emotional and intellectual energies, other than acting for the sake of my own survival if necessary, would be undue labor on my part, at least in my view. Then, there’s simply the matter of our program’s change in directors starting next year, from Jeff Lockwood to Brad Watson. So rather than go in that direction, I thought I would discuss a topic endemic to the creative writing program generally: problems with the notion of “community.” (Although, if …

AWP Day 1

Image credit: BKL Long time, no see! I’m at AWP for the next few days and loving it so far. On Thursday, I started my day off at “The Poetry of Comics” panel featuring Erica Trabold, Bianca Stone, Gabrielle Bates, Alexander Rothman and Catherine Bresner. I checked it out because I’ve been working on a graphic novel and a short comic series. The panel was all I could have asked for and more. The writers read from their work and talked about how comics and poetry intersect. Much was said about revision, collaboration, ekphrasis poetry, and editing. “Comics is ekphrasis in reverse.” – Catherine Bresner, “The Poetry of Comics” panel I recommend checking out all of the above mentioned writers. Bianca Stone’s book “Poetry Comics” can be found at Pleiades Press (table 1511) and Alexander Rothman helps run INK BRICK (table 1741). After that I wandered around the bookfair. Always my favorite part of AWP (that, and meeting up with friends). I picked up “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” by Ocean Vuong, “When My Brother Was …

Lit-Cit; a no-brainer.

  Lit-Cit; a no-brainer I’m doing laundry. I hope I have time for a haircut before my flight to L.A and AWP, baby. Excited, to say the least. Before entering the MFA world, I had no idea about writer’s conferences, let alone AWP. What’s the point? Shouldn’t all true writing be done in a garret or a remote log cabin far from the bustle locust? In our last fiction workshop, led by Lori Ostlund (read her, her writing f-ing rocks) we discussed literary citizenship. Another new concept. And lickety-split, here I am riding the catch-phrase bandwagon, ticket purchased from Ms. Google, into definitions, debates and diatribes. This search lead me back to AWP, there will be a workshop on Saturday by Lori A. May author of The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship and The Writing Life. The tenants are surprisingly obvious: Write charming notes to authors, check. Interview literary folks you respect, check. Read journals and subscribe, check. Write reviews, check. Buy books and rave about them, check (Aaron Reeder’s first book DAWN, just out by …