The AWP Conference & Bookfair is upon us, and to say that the number of options is overwhelming would be an understatement. The editorial staff of Café has rounded up a few panels that we wouldn’t dream of missing, plus some other tips and tricks for everyone who can use a little help sifting through the lengthy conference schedule.
We All Have to Start Somewhere: How Bad Writing Gets Good. Thursday 12:00 – 1:15 Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two (Melissa Stein, Richard Bausch, Tayari Jones, Natalie Diaz, Nick Flynn)
Five writers discuss the painful, but necessary, process of going from garbage to gold. Come to this panel for inspiration to keep plugging away even if you feel like you’re not always writing your best stuff!
The Vein of Jade: What a Single Detail can Reveal in Nonfiction. Friday 9:00 – 10:15 Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four (Angie Chuang, Michael Steinberg, Marion Winik, Michael Downs, Joe Mackall)
Details mater. Listen as these writers describe how they hone in on the essential details and make them so mare larger than they may initially appear.
The Interconnectedness of Poetry and Memoir: A Reading and Conversation with Peter Balakian, Paisley Rekdal, and Tracy K. Smith. Friday 1:30 – 2:45 Ballroom A, Washington Convention Center, Level Three
I think the gray area between poetry and creative nonfiction is fascinating. Not a bad set of panelists, either, though I am fan of Paisley Rekdal in particular—both essays (The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, specifically) and poetry (here’s one: Flowers from a New Love After the Divorce).
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Tips and Tools for Immersion Writing. Saturday 9 – 10:15 Archives, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
This panel will likely prove particularly useful for those of us in Literary Journalism this semester. We’re reading Ted Conover’s book on immersion journalism for the course and it sounds like this panel will help shed light on some of the murkier aspects of immersion writing, including ethical and philosophical considerations.
Other AWP Tips
- AU MFA alumna Leslie Pietrzyk wrote a helpful list of survival tips for #AWP17 on her blog, Work-in-Progress.
- Figuring out how to get to the convention center on time for the panels and parties you want to attend is made a little bit easier with tools like WMATA Trip Planner.
- Want to stop by the AU table? We are in space 302-T. Here’s a list of all the bookfair exhibitors and where you can find them!
Image via AWP.