Just a quick update to let you know I will be attending my first AWP next year. The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) organizes the largest annual literary conference in North America. I feel like I need to state that because I’ve chatted with a few writers recently who had never heard of the event!
AWP changes their location each year and they include future conference dates at the bottom of their conference page, which I linked to in the previous paragraph. 2020 is in San Antonio, Texas, 2021 is in Kansas City, Missouri, and 2022 is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conferences are generally held in the February-April window. Being that I don’t want to experience the March weather of Kansas City and Philadelphia, I knew that it would be a few years before I would consider attending AWP, so I decided to take advantage of the Texas location for 2020. 🙂 Plus, I’ve never been to Texas!
Remember, our veteran guest contributor Kimberly Bunker wrote a candid and honest Day-in-the-Life at AWP a few years ago when it was held in Los Angeles.
Here’s the AWP Conference Attendee Guide (PDF) for the 2020 event.
What I’m excited about:
Their Writer to Agent program. No details are posted as of this writing. Program info should be available in November. “The Writer to Agent program allows for any registered conference attendee to submit a 5-page sample of their creative work for review by participating agencies. If the agency is interested in further conversation with the writer, the agency will set up a meeting at the Annual Conference & Bookfair in space provided by AWP. The program opens for submissions in November of each year and closes in late January.”
Discovering small presses and journals. I’d love to be able to speak to journals one-on-one to quickly learn if they’re the right fit. Researching each one online takes up so much time, and many don’t have issues available online, so you have to wait to receive a copy to learn if you’re a good fit. Walking from table-to-table among the hundreds of journals that are expected to be there should be a big help.
Food! I cannot wait to have a Tex-Mex feast!
Meeting you! Please let me know know if you’re attending next year. The conference schedule is not posted yet, but I know about the overwhelming nature of this event from friends who have attended before. I am very much expecting to need to walk away and re-charge over the five days I’m in Texas, so it would be great to wander the River Walk and meet you IRL if we haven’t met before!
Hearing about what excites you. If you’re going, what are you most looking forward to? Anything I shouldn’t miss?