I leave for the AWP conference on Wednesday afternoon. As I wrote about earlier, it's a large industry conference with talks ranging from the meta of the field to craft nuts and bolts to intellectual discussions of concepts, and a great chance to socialize and meet with editors, agents, lit mags, presses, and writers. I'm in the planning stage of conference-going, so I'm making sure that my schedule works and has breathing room, and that outside commitments don't conflict with important conference-going goals.
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:
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.