You tell me: What panels do you want to hear about from AWP?

Here are some of the panels I attended at AWP. Let me know which ones you're interested in, and I'll blog about those first. There were so many great ones, it's hard to zero in on just one.

1. Narrative Structure: The Episodic and the Epiphanic

Four writers questioned the nature of the epiphany in short stories and asked whether the postmodern movement away from truth is moving fiction more towards the episode than the revelatory moment.

2. Agents and Editors: Best Practices for Securing Your Publishing Partners

Mary Gannon, Julie Barer, Robert Lasner, Corrina Barsan, and Greg Michalson discussed their various roles within the literary market. They gave quite a bit of dos and don'ts and general counsel about how to approach publishing professionals.

3. Why Don’t They List Agents on Demystifying the Author/Agent Relationship

Britta Coleman, Matt Bondurant, Alex Glass, Marcy Posner, Jenny Bent, and Ann Cummins used wit and humor to describe the relationship between authors and agents, and gave tips on "finding the right agent, snagging the right agent, and living happily ever after."

4. Love at First Query: Agents and Authors Share Strategies for Falling in Literary Love.

Catherine Cortese, Bret Anthony Johnston, Paige Wheeler, Matthew Gavin Frank, Gordon Warnock, and Michelle Brower gave advice about what questions authors should ask of potential agents and how to relate to agents once you have one. They also talked about when to discontinue the relationship and how to recognize when it's not working.

5. What to Expect When You're Expecting Your First Book

Alexi Zentner, Jill Bialosky, Téa Obreht, Noah Eaker, Peter Mountford, and Adrienne Brodeur explained "what an author can expect, and more importantly, what an author should do, between the period of selling his or her book and the publication date." They talked about dos and don'ts, ideal scenarios, and the importance of getting early buzz for books.

6. The Road Less Traveled: How to be a Writer Without a Full-time Academic Gig.

In this lively panel, authors Cheryl Strayed, Steve Almond, Amy Holman, Ru Freeman, and Christian TeBordo gave a very frank discussion about their writing lives off the tenure-track teaching path that has become the ultimate default goal for most poets and literary fiction writers. They talked about how they'd pieced together a living or worked full-time outside of academia in order to support their artistic writing, and some talked about using the writing itself to support the writing. A great discussion about a subject that has been one of the elephants in the room at most university writing programs.

What do you think? See any of these you'd like to know more about? I took plenty of notes.


Anonymous said…
All of the topics sound interesting, but choices 2, 3, and 4 sound particularly helpful.
Joy said…
Oh Wow! That sounds like a productive conference. I would love to hear about Narrative Frame: Eposodic v. Epiphany; What to Expect When You're Expecting; and Match.Com! And of course, the Road Less Traveled. Thanks for the awesome service you provide for us fledgling writers... ;)

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