With 11,000 creative writers about to descend upon Boston for the 2013 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference, it’s not surprising that some of those writers have written online posts providing guidance and advice. I’ve collected a few below. If you’re planning on attending this year’s AWP from March 6-9, feel free to soak in the collected wisdom I’ve gathered. If you’ve never attended AWP, you might want to explore the links to see if attending next year’s conference in Seattle would be of interest to you.
“AWP Nugget: Nine Tips for a Successful AWP,” Patrick Ross, The Artist’s Road. Hey, I’d be crazy not to start with my own post, right? I blogged daily from last year’s AWP in Chicago–I’ll be doing the same this year–and this was my wrap-up post. I can’t emphasize enough #6, the importance of scouting out food options. This year’s conference appears to have the most limited on-site selection in the five AWPs I’ve attended.
- “The AWP13 Post You’ve Been Waiting For,” Andrea Martucci, Ploughshares: Hats off to Andrea and Ploughshares for compiling its own remarkable round-up of links and interviews. You could, in all honesty, stop after this link and spend time with this post. Thank you for welcoming us to your city, Andrea, even if you called us zombies. (I’ll confess I am generally brain dead by Day Three, and hungry, although not for brains.)
- “The Grubbie Guide to AWP 2013,” Grub Street Daily: I spent much of last weekend creating a list of panels I’d like to attend, and still have too many choices. I not only face multiple choices per time slot, I haven’t figured out when I’ll spend time on the Bookfair floor, and that is #1 on my list of advice from last year; the Bookfair is the heart and soul of AWP. But Grub Street Daily did some work for you, analyzing a long list of panel discussions (still far less than the total) and grading them for you.
- “AWP 2013 Boston: What’s New This Year,” Zack Rogow, Advice for Writers: Zack’s post is a far quicker read, but provides a nice overview for an AWP newbie.
“AWP Boston: My Plans for Survival (and Even Enjoyment),” Kelly Davio: An amusing list of amusing incidents from past AWPs, and some guidance for this one, including “Transport less heavy swag to the Bookfair.” Wise advice. I was an exhibitor on the Bookfair floor my first two years and followed that advice. Every year I’ve hauled away enough stuff to now know I need to bring an extra suitcase, and it will be too heavy to carry on.
- “AWP Boston Survival Guide,” Kate Gale: A Mind Never Dormant: Fifteen tips for an AWP first-timer, including ensuring you have water. You’ll do a lot of walking, and remember I mentioned there are few vendors on site.
- “AWP 2013: A Handy Guide to Nonfiction Panels,” Ned Stuckey-French, Brevity Blog: [ADDED FEBRUARY 28 TO THIS POST] A fantastic round-up that I will make use of to help narrow my CNF selections. FYI, I covered a CNF panel for the Brevity blog at last year’s AWP.
Let me direct you, selfishly, to one more AWP post, “The Role of the AWP Conference in a Creative Writer’s Evolution.” It’s my reflection on how the AWP has helped me pursue the path of an art-committed life over the last four years. Who knows what #5 brings; perhaps that will be revealed in the daily posts I’ll be doing from AWP, branded again with an “AWP Nugget” slug.
Maybe I’ll see you in Boston!