I’ve returned from snowy Boston and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference. It was a mixed bag for me. There were a couple of sessions that were really solid, and I met a handful of interesting editors on the Bookfair floor that I may follow up with at some point. I also attended a couple of panels in which the speakers were disorganized and more focused on self-promotion, and too many panels were either overcrowded or flat-out closed off to some due to lack of room. Still, I’m glad I went, particularly because I was able to connect face-to-face with other writers I know and care about. I still expect to go to AWP 2014 in Seattle, so personal connections may be my top agenda item for that conference.
In case you weren’t following this blog daily during my time in Boston, I’ve gathered up my posts here:
- One writer’s approach to planning for a major writing conference.
- An inspiring keynote conversation with two Nobel prize-winning poets.
- Tips for writers on landing that elusive teaching job.
- The ongoing debate over whether to self-publish.
- A story of a writer overwhelmed with too, too much.
- A round-up of others’ tips for surviving AWP.
- A call for every Artist’s Road reader to meet up in person at AWP 2014.
After last year’s AWP in Chicago, I wrote a post offering nine tips for surviving the conference. I will add a tenth that I learned this year. Should you choose to carry a banana with you (who wouldn’t like a potassium burst after hours of wandering through 600+ Bookfair exhibitors) do not put it in the bottom of your backpack and place on top a 200-page program and a laptop, and then forget about the banana for two days. It turns out the peel of a banana lacks the structural integrity necessary to support that much weight. Who knew? (Well, probably everyone.)