Awp conference & Bookfair 2018 Tentative Accepted Events

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2018 AWP Conference & Bookfair

March 7-10, 2018, Tampa, Florida

Tampa Convention Center & Tampa Marriott Waterside

Tentative List of Accepted Events for #AWP18

This list of accepted events for the 2018 AWP Conference & Bookfair in Tampa is tentative as we wait to receive confirmation from all event organizers and participants. We are also working to ensure that each participant does not sit on more than two events, only one of which may be a reading. The final conference schedule will be posted in October at
The list is organized by event type: panel discussions (pg. 2), pedagogy events (pg. 67), and readings (pg. 77). Within these categories, events are alphabetized by title. Event titles and descriptions have not been edited for grammar or content. AWP believes in freedom of expression and open debate, and the views and opinions expressed in these event titles and descriptions may not necessarily reflect the views of AWP’s staff, board of trustees, or members. Visit the page on How Events Are Selected for details about how the 2018 Tampa Subcommittee made their selections.
AWP’s conference subcommittee worked hard to shape a diverse schedule for #AWP18, creating the best possible balance among genres, presenters, and topics. Every year there are a number of high-quality events that have to be left off the schedule due to space limitations. Although the pool of submissions was highly competitive, we did our best to ensure that the conference belongs to AWP’s numerous and varied constituencies. From 1,558, we tentatively accepted 522 events involving more than 1,900 panelists.
Please feel free to contact us at with any questions you may have about this list. For more information about the 2018 AWP Conference & Bookfair, including information about registration, hotels, travel, featured presenters, and the bookfair, please visit our website.


101 Drafts: Demystifying Revision in the Editorial Process (Miciah Bay Gault, Deena Drewis, Robin MacArthur, Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Margaux Weisman)

Writers know how to revise for MFA workshops and writing groups, but what does revision look like in the post-MFA publishing world? Hear from writers, an agent, and editors from Hunger Mountain, Nouvella, and Vintage/Anchor. What kinds of edits can you expect from your agent? How many editors will you work with? What role do copyeditors play? And how can a writer keep her vision intact through the (collaborative) process? Let’s talk drafts and developmental editing, style guides and copyedits.

30 Years of Influence Across Genres in Indigenous Literature: Tribute for Diane Glancy. (Linda Rodriguez, Diane Glancy, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Denise Low, Bruce Bond)

Diane Glancy has won major awards in every literary genre with 50 published novels, memoirs, edited anthologies, and collections of short fiction, essays, and poetry, 20 produced plays, and 3 films. In this interactive discussion, panelists from different fields of Indigenous literature will discuss Glancy's literary legacy and the impact she's had on the next generation of Indigenous writers and on the landscape of American literature across genres.

(A)Dressing the Wound: Writing the Traumatic Event with Truth and Sensitivity (Emily X.R. Pan, Sonia Belasco, Nic Stone, Adam Silvera, Bree Barton)

Franz Kafka famously said we ought to “read only the kind of books that wound or stab us.” But Kafka was coming from a place of privilege—and he wasn’t writing for young adults. How do you write the reality of rape, suicide, police brutality, and violence without re-traumatizing young readers? And how do you plumb the depths of your personal traumas while also taking care of yourself emotionally? In this panel, four YA authors talk about how and why they write traumatic events into their novels.

The Art of Crafting a Chapbook from Start to Finish (Abigail Beckel, Jennifer Tseng, Dan Mahoney, William Todd Seabrook, Brad Aaron Modlin)

What makes a chapbook successful, both in terms of literary merit and sales? This panel will explore best practices for writing, organizing and publishing chapbooks. Authors will discuss how they conceptualized and structured their chapbook manuscripts, and leading chapbook publishers will talk about what they look for in submissions and how they design and market chapbooks. We’ll also discuss the range of genres—poetry, flash, hybrid work—the short length of a chapbook can effectively showcase.

The Art of Politics; the Politics of Art: Writers, Gun Violence, and the Literature of Social Engagement (LeAnne Howe, Sharbari Ahmed, Richard Blanco, Brian Clements, Dean Rader)

Contributors and respondents for Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence in the U.S. will not only discuss how and why they wrote their poems and responses for the anthology but will also talk about their fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, and poetry confronting this issue. Increasingly, writers are making the causes and consequences of gun violence central to their work. This panel will explore the complicated marriage of politics and craft, medium and message.

The Art of the Anthology: From Proposal to Publication and Thereafter (Brian Gresko, Ibi Zoboi, Nadxieli Nieto, Jennifer Baker)

Anthologies like BLACK POETS and the NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF SHORT FICTION have stood the test of time; while current anthologies speak to the immediacy of issues hurting certain demographics via an array of voices (e.g., NYT bestseller THE FIRE NEXT TIME). This conversation includes editors of fiction & nonfiction anthologies discussing the steps to create and produce an anthology from idea to publication to sales/audience along with impact of content & the realities of the successes/struggles.

The Art of the Uncomfortable Conversation: Editing Memoir and Personal Essay (Anjali Enjeti, Lisa Factora-Borchers, Hattie Fletcher, Jennifer Niesslein, Kelly Grey Carlisle)

Memoir and personal essay strive for honest portrayals and explorations of (often uncomfortable) emotions and experiences. A narrator persona adds a polite distance, but editors of personal nonfiction must often ask writers personal questions—about sex/sexuality, illness, abuse, trauma—that in other contexts might be unthinkably rude. Editors from litmags and glossies will share lessons learned and offer best practices for navigating the editor/writer relationship with tact and empathy.

The Arts of Death, Mystery, and Perspective: Edwidge Danticat, Maud Casey, and Christopher Castellani, Sponsored by Graywolf Press (Fiona McCrae, Edwidge Danticat, Maud Casey, Christopher Castellani)

Three acclaimed novelists explore territory often left unturned—the arts of death, of mystery, and of perspective. How can one extend craft into areas and techniques like these, and how does one make space for the personal in criticism and fiction? Three acclaimed novelists answer these questions and read from their recent books in the Graywolf Press Art Of series. Introduced and moderated by Graywolf Press director and publisher Fiona McCrae.

The Art of the Possible”: Making and Teaching Graphic Narratives and Poetry Comics (Kelcey Parker Ervick, Bianca Stone, Nick Potter, Tom Hart, Lauren Haldeman)

Comics are exploding in popularity, and more writers are interested in both creating them and teaching them, but may not know where to begin. The comic artists on this panel will discuss how to create comics, graphic novels, and visual memoirs; how writers can transform their own work into comics; and how teachers can bring comics into the classroom. Covering a range of handmade and digital approaches, the panelists will share, per Kenneth Koch’s book of comics, “The Art of the Possible.”

The (Art) World is Everywhere Whispering Essays (Joey Franklin, Elena Passarello, Shawn Wen, Jericho Parms, Joe Bonomo)

Alexander Smith once wrote “the world is everywhere whispering essays,” and that got us thinking—what does that mean in the art world? What, for instance, might sculpture teach us about shaping an essay? How might theater help us write more convincing nonfiction scenes? What can essayists learn from stand-up comedy or hip hop? What about radio production or rock 'n' roll? Join us as we explore what a close study of other art forms can teach us about crafting the personal essay.

Two-Year College Creative Writing Caucus (Simone Zelitch, Eva Foster, Maria Brandt, Mary Lannon, Lynn Kilpatrick)

Do you teach at a two-year college? Interested in job opportunities at two-year colleges? Join us for our annual networking meeting. With almost half of all students beginning college careers at two-year colleges, and increasing numbers of MFA’s landing two-year college teaching jobs, the future of creative writing courses and programs at our campuses looks bright. We will discuss teaching creative writing at the two-year college, hold a short business meeting, and provide tangible resources

A Woman’s Place: Ecotone Essayists Expand the Boundaries of Place-Based Writing (Emily Louise Smith, Belle Boggs, Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Shuchi Saraswat, Aisha Sabatini Sloan)

Contributors to a new anthology from Ecotone and Lookout Books discuss how we can continue to broaden the traditional boundaries of place-based writing to make room for more complexity: explorations of body, sexuality, gender, and race. Joined by their publisher and editor, these authors consider how women’s unique experiences and histories make them artful observers of the natural world. They will read, and talk about approaches to intersectionality in the field of environmental writing.

Acts of Decolonization: Writing About Southwestern American identity (Dan Darling, Casandra Lopez, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Benjamin Garcia)

The American Southwest is a land rich in cultural, geographical, and linguistic diversity. However, political forces have always sought to categorize, invalidate, or extinguish the identities of those who call the borderlands their home. This makes being a Southwest writer both rewarding and treacherous. Our panelists will discuss how their poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction are defiant acts of decolonization and declarations of convergence and hybridity.

Adapting Your Work for TV, Digital and Feature Film Mediums (Lisanne Sartor, Susan Cartsonis, Mike Salort, Maggie Malone)

With the explosion of multi-media storytelling methods, it’s more important than ever for writers to understand how to adapt their work to fit those varied methods. CineStory panelists will discuss how writers – screenwriters, fiction and non-fiction writers, journalists, playwrights, etc. – can effectively adapt their work into TV series, digital series and feature films.

Adding a Laugh Track: The Role of Humor in Kidlit (Carrie DuBois-Shaw, Betsy Aldredge, J.C. Davis, Kristin L. Gray)

Four Young Adult and Middle Grade authors will discuss the role of humor in their works and how it can help with creating relatable characters, illustrating character growth, heightening the stakes, dealing with tough subjects, and attracting reluctant readers. The authors will discuss different ways in which their works use humor and the things that make them, and readers, laugh.

Advice to Nonprofit Organizations Seeking Funding from the NEA (Jessica Flynn, Amy Stolls, Katy Day, Mohamed Sheriff)

Staff members from the Literature Division of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will address your questions and provide a status update on a range of topics, including grant opportunities, eligibility, the review process, tips for an effective proposal, and the field of literature. Both publishers and presenters are welcome.

Africa & the Caribbean in Children's Literature (Miranda Paul, Eucabeth Odhiambo, Baptiste Paul)

Place, culture, and language inform and influence our characters' stories. Join a handful of children's and young adult authors and illustrators who are from or have ties to specific countries in Africa and/or the Caribbean for a discussion centered around diverse books. Topics include how contemporary children's literature has both the opportunity to introduce myriad cultures and settings to American children as well as a responsibility to authentically represent them within their works.

African Diaspora Caucus (Alyss Dixson, Nicole Sealey, Diem Jones, Sanderia Smith)

Uniting attendees from across disciplines, the African Diaspora Caucus will provide a forum for discussions of careers, best practices for teaching creative writing and obtaining the MFA/PhD. We will work with AWP’s affinity caucuses to develop national diversity benchmarks for creative writing programs, and will collaborate with board and staff to ensure that AWP programs meet the needs of diaspora writers. This Caucus will be an inclusive space that reflects the pluralities in our community.

Amazon Publishing Presents Little A Authors & The Craft of Memoir (Carmen Johnson, Nancy Balbirer, Cinelle Barnes, Diana Marcum, Hannah Howard )

How do you explore country, globalism, and family and make one cohesive story? How do you decide which memories to trust? What’s it like to talk about personal experiences with fans on Twitter? How do you promote memoir in the digital age? Join the authors behind Little A, Amazon Publishing’s literary imprint, for a conversation about their memoirs and the path to publication. Authors will share their storie

An Exemplary Omni-American: A Tribute to James Alan McPherson (Allen Gee, Dewitt Henry, Eileen Pollack, ZZ Packer, Marcus Burke)

During a forty-three year career, the late James Alan McPherson influenced countless writers at UVA and the Iowa Writers Workshop. The first African-American to win the Pulitzer for fiction, his honors also included a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Award, and election into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. This diverse panel will celebrate his legacy as a writer, editor, gifted professor, and friend. His daughter, Rachel McPherson, will attend and speak at the end of the session.

Apollinaire 100 Years On (Catherine Barnett, Roger Reeves, Matthew Rohrer, Ama Codjoe, Julie Carr)

100 years ago, in the last year of his life, Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a poem celebrating the "long quarrel" between "order and adventure," a tension that still animates our best poems. Panelists look at Apollinaire's legacy--tracing his influence on our ongoing experiments and inventions. In a moment when hate crimes are proliferating, it is a tonic to encounter a poet who wanted to "explore goodness that big country where everything is silent..../ Have pity on our errors pity on our sins."

Applying for an Individual NEA Creative Writing Fellowship (Mohamed Sheriff, Jessica Flynn, Katy Day, Amy Stolls)

Want to know what the National Endowment for the Arts fellowships are all about? Staff members from the NEA’s Literature Division discuss and advise on all aspects of the program, including how to submit an application, how winning poets and prose writers are selected, and the impact the fellowships have had on the literary landscape. Plenty of time will be allotted for questions.

Arab American Caucus (Randa Jarrar, Hayan Charara)

This will be a town-hall style meeting, creating a much needed space for Arab American writers to build and connect within AWP. We invite established and emerging writers, editors, students, scholars, and organizers, and aim for the caucus to facilitate networking and exchange on Arab American literary endeavors, as well as craft, publishing, poetics, and praxis. Our caucus seeks to empower and center the voices of underrepresented Americans with roots in the Arab world, including Black Arabs, queer and trans Arabs, differently bodied Arabs, and stateless Arabs. The last 30 minutes of the caucus will be an open mic.

Arab American Poetics (Marwa Helal, Hayan Charara, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Deema Shehabi, Randa Jarrar)

Arab American literary aesthetics and poetics are critical and avant garde, transnational and translingual, cosmopolitan and cosmopolitical, absurd and comic, and ultimately uncategorizable. Poets, fiction writers, and non-fiction writers will be present to discuss, celebrate, critique, and share in his rich conversation on Arab American poetics, with a focus on visual qualities and experimentations of texts, as well as the ways in which they stretch, interrogate,and change the English language.

Archives, Interviews, and Experts: Using Primary Sources in the Service of Stronger Storytelling (Bret Schulte, Lane DeGregory, Paul Reyes, Beverly Lowry, Scott W Berg)

Accomplished nonfiction writers of varied backgrounds explore the challenges of accumulating, interpreting, and incorporating primary source material into compelling narrative. Drawing from their own experiences researching colonial America to the modern day, the panelists will provide a roadmap (and highlight potential roadblocks) for writers who seek to enliven their own stories, fiction or nonfiction, through historical texts, diaries, public documents, oral histories, interviews, and more.

Art School Writing Faculty Caucus Meeting (Amy Lemmon, Joshua Butts, Jeanette Eberhardy, Lee Griffith, Gwendolyn Oxenham)

Annual meeting of writers who work and teach in art and design environments to discuss pedagogy, programming, administration, and best practices particular to their writing classes and programs.

Asian American Caucus (Neelanjana Banerjee, Cathy Linh Che, Lawrence-Minh Davis, Jyothi Natarajan)

How can Asian American writers build a stronger network? What does it mean to be a writer of color in these times? This third annual Asian American Caucus is a town hall-style hang out and community space. Come meet other Asian American writers and discuss fellowships, publication opportunities, and resources available to support you. Organized by the Asian American Writers' Workshop, Kaya, Kundiman, the Asian American Literary Review, Kearny Street, Hyphen, and Smithsonian’s APAC.

Authors Helping Authors: How Banding Together Can Help Boost Your Books Visibility (Louise Miller, Emily Ross, Jennifer Brown, Hank Phillippi Ryan , Ann Garvin)

Book coverage in the media is shrinking, while more books are being published each year. Authors need to take the marketing of their work into their own hands. Many authors are finding creative ways to band together to promote each other’s work through group blogs, online reader/writer discussion groups and genre-based websites. Join us for a panel discussion of the benefits (and challenges) of cultivating a community of authors, and how banding together can help you find a wider readership.

Avoiding the Sunken Place: On Blackness, Selfhood, and the MFA (Dennis Norris II , Yahdon Israel , Tara Betts, Dianca London Potts , Jessica Lanay Moore)

What is it like to earn your MFA as a Black writer? What are the benefits? What are the pitfalls? Five multi genre writers of the African diaspora discuss what they fought or fear losing about their identity while pursing their MFA and the subtle and not so subtle ways Black narratives are dissolved into the literary mainstream. Panelists will also reflect on how their MFA experience shaped their selfhood and their sense of community on the page and off.

Bad Girls Do it Well: Creating Flawed and Fully Formed "Bad" Girl Characters in YA Fiction (Lilliam Rivera, Nova Ren Suma, Erika Sánchez, Brandy Colbert, Amy Spalding)

“If people cannot be flawed in fiction there's no place left for us to be human.” As author Roxane Gay states, fiction is the perfect space to explore female characters in young adult novels that are sometimes considered unlikeable, but how to write a flawed protagonist without alienating readers? In this panel, a diverse group of YA authors explore realistic “bad girl” characters in YA fiction while offering tips on how to create fully formed protagonists that hold true to the story.

Be Brave: Writing YA Literature in an Angry World (Sarah Aronson, Ann Angel, Heather Lee Schroeder)

Young Adult audiences recognize they live in a world of obstacles created by angry and polarized groups within communities and schools and exacerbated by political and cultural strife. Many stories seek to help readers reflect upon differences and to resolve disputes or to seek positive change. Panelists will review a variety of novels and nonfiction they've written and taught and to explore discussion methods that overcome polarity and anger and that encourage understanding across divisions.

#BestSummerEver!!!: Building an Effective Creative Writing Camp for High School Students (Karen Dwyer, Jennifer L. Collins, David Griffith, John Fried)

This panel will consider ways to build, organize, and run effective writing camps for high school students. We’ll consider best practices for recruiting and organizing programs of various lengths (from one week to six) and types (day camps versus residential), and also the day-to-day operation of activities once the camp begins. Four instructors with experience teaching and organizing these programs will help the audience address the key questions to consider when building their own programs.

Beyond 'Add one and stir:': Negotiating Race, Gender & Class as Female Faculty of Color (Val Wang, Ru Freeman, Danielle Evans, Jennifer De Leon)

As of 2013, only 9% of full-time faculty positions in the U.S. were held by women of color and the percentage who are creative writers is even lower. How do these women navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education? Panelists will discuss experiences in the classroom, hallways and meeting rooms, as well as in the hiring, promotion, and tenure process. Together we will develop strategies to build community and challenge institutional biases on the bases of race, gender, and class.

Beyond Genre: Writing, Editing, and Publishing Hybrid Forms in the Age of Fake News (Geoff Bouvier, Todd Seabrook, Kathleen Rooney, Carol Guess, Sindu Sathiyaseelan)

Authors who mix fact with fiction, poetry with prose, memoir with history, can fall through generic cracks in the literary landscape. How do we compose with few examples to follow? Where do we publish composite forms that defy or subvert categorization? In a time when hybrid identities of all kinds, and even truth itself, have come under scrutiny, what are the ethical ramifications of writing across genres? Five writers and publishers of hybrid work will discuss approaches and best practices.

Beyond Measure: Experiments in the Music of Poetry (Orlando White, Harmony Holiday, Samuel Ace, Duriel Harris, Tracie Morris)

Investigating the potent realms between language, the body, and sound, the panelists will explore how voice, silence, improvisation, and elements of time are vital to a poem’s performance, power and content. Panelists will perform, as well as speak to the overlapping influences of spoken language, song, music, and sound, in the service of poem-making.

Beyond Patriarchy: Changing Leadership, Changing Literary Landscapes (Marisa Siegel, Raluca Albu, Camille Rankine, Alexandra Watson, Kima Jones)

This panel will discuss how and whether diversifying magazine mastheads, literary organizations' leadership roles, and publishing industry top-level positions affects real change and creates a truly inclusive literary community. We will look at what these changes in leadership might mean for both writers and readers. We'll also consider how the current political administration has already affected, and will continue to affect, various literary spaces.

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conference -> 017 awp conference & Bookfair February —11, 2017 • Washington, dc
pdf -> Awp’s Seventh Tweet Chat: the George Garrett Award & the Small Press Publisher Award September 10, 2015 from 2: 00-3: 00 p m. Et

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