As this is my first time at AWP, what I want out of the conference is to make connections, meet or catch up with people I know, and take in as many generally useful talks and advice as possible. I am revising my longer works in the hopes that I will meet someone who is interested in them, but I'm not going to shop them as aggressively as I would at a different type of conference.
As I went through and picked my list of panels, some themes emerged:
- Lit mag how-to (launching, marketing, running, handling lit mags). I'm excited for the bookfair because I'm interested in finding a staff position on a lit mag, or founding one of my own. There are several panels that seem informative.
- Practical career tips. This includes grant-writing sessions, conference-going tips, and job market ideas. There is even a session about pros and cons of a PhD in creative writing, which I will be at even if I have to astrally project to get there.
- Content intersections. These are abstract panels about how hybridization in writing works, which I'm interested in from both a how-to and an academic perspective.
- Networking sessions. Besides the obligatory Goddard College meetup, I'm also helping a friend organize a reading and meetup for poets interested in social justice issues. There's a literary Colorado night, too. But, most of all, I'm curious about what Asian-American writers are doing, and there are some networking sessions and talks that claim to explore just that.
But, the important part is that there's plenty of relaxation time so that my brain can recover and keep learning and absorbing information. Tomorrow, I'm going to cover a very important part of conference talks: say what you mean. I'll analyze some specific panels based on their descriptions, and, after the conference, I'll follow up with whether the blurb matched the actual talk.