Thursday, January 24, 2008


Next week is the Big Apple. Who's going? Whatcha going to see?

One of the great things about AWP last year was that it was late enough that people had been accepted to programs already and you could check out the programs and talk to profs, students, and such. This year is so early you probably won't have heard from many schools before you go, but it's still a great opportunity to meet people from the schools you've applied to and get to know the programs a bit. Swing by the bookfair tables, usually staffed by students, and chat them up.

AWP survial tips for the uninitiated.
1. Go through the program early and pick 2 panels MAX to go to every day. AWP is crazy busy, and this year will be the craziest since it's sold out and in NYC. More than about 2 panels per day and you're going to be one overwhelmed puppy by day 2. The good news is, they have similar panels every year, so if you miss something that seems oh so relavant and groovy this year, you can catch it next year.

2. Try to mix up the kinds of panels you choose; something on craft, something on the life of a writer, something on the business or the job market, and a few readings.

3. Plan to get away from the conference for a little while each day. You're going to be in NYC. It would be criminal if you didn't see a little bit of it.

4. They give away stuff for free at the bookfair tables! Take that silly canvas bag with you because you're going to have armloads of freebies.
SUPERHINT: Usually journals start giving away their mags for FREE on the last day (who wants to lug that stuff home?) so save your purchase power for the essential stuff.

5. You are not going to get any writing done. None. Nor are you going to get any homework done or any reading done, or any grading done. Leave that stuff at home so you'll have room in the suitcase for all the bookfair giveaways. Seriously.

What other tips and pointers do the pros have?

Come by the Sycamore Review table and say hi. I'd love to meet you.


xtinehlee said...

Awesome list. I'll be at AWP and am so excited.

Meredith Ramirez said...

i'll be there. :)

Unknown said...

This looks great; however, I'm not able to go this year. Sadness lingers :( There's always next year! FOR ALL THOSE GOING: DO NOT FORGET TO BRING UPDATED COPIES OF YOUR RESUME or CV since you will probably make connections.

Jess said...

I live in NYC, but I don't have a ticket. I've been having a ramen noodles kind of year, but it's getting better. Those of you who have gone before, is there ever any chance of crashing the party? If there are no shows, do they ever admit people from a wait list or anything?

Suzanne said...

Wow, I wish I heard about this before it was sold out. I'm really jealous of all who are going.

Suzanne said...

While I missed out on registering for the conference, I am not nearly as clueless when it comes to NYC, where I live. I just wrote a book about unusual things to see and do in NYC (coming out in July - Off the Beaten (Subway) Track), so for anyone coming from out of town, feel free to email me for tips or if you want to grab coffee with an aspiring MFA student, I'd love to meet up.

Alex said...

Ahhh I wish I could go. I had a blast in Atlanta last year. Unfortunately I can't swing the airfare/lodging for NYC.