>AWP is coming


I’m not sure I’ve ever gone a whole wee without posting before. I apologize! I’ve been awfully busy this week as I prepare for next week’s 2011 AWP Conference in DC.

When I tell people, even many writers, that I’m going to AWP, they often stare at me blankly and I have to explain. AWP is the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (so it should be AWWP, right?) and every year they hold an amazing conference in late winter or early spring. (Last year’s was in Denver in April, so it seems early to be doing this again. Next year it’s in Chicago at the end of February into early March.))

The conference this year runs from Thursday, Feb. 3 through Saturday Feb. 5 and it is non-stop. Check out the schedule. There are hundreds of panels, readings, discussions, receptions, and parties. This year there are over 6,000 people registered for the conference. It’s a blast.

But I’ll be busy, and that’s why I’ve already been busy getting ready. I’m on two panels. The first is about how small, independent presses are helping to keep short story collections going (since it’s difficult to get a story collection published by a big house). The second is about linked story collections. I figure both of these will be appealing topics to people, but they’re at terrible times–one is first thing on Saturday morning and the other is at the end of the day on Saturday, when everyone is sick of panels. We’ll see how it goes. That part of it is out of my control.

The highlight of the conference for me, though, is the bookfair. That runs the whole three days an includes 500 or so exhibitors–small presses and literary magazines, mostly, and other organizations or service providers that are related. Press 53 will have a table (D17) at the bookfair–my book will be available there and on Saturday morning I’ll be on hand to sign copies–and I’ll also be at the table to talk about Prime Number Magazine, the journal I edit that is published by Press 53. Come by for free stuff.

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