Sunday, March 05, 2023

Conferencing from Home This Time Hopefully With Improved Eye Sight

 This is the week that AWP opens in Seattle. The Annual Writers Pilgrimage to whatever Mecca is selected for that year.  Seattle it is. 

This is also the week I have eye surgery on my right eye. That happens Tuesday the 8th. As a result, my AWP will be virtual this year. This is disappointing because I know many poets and writers in the Pacific Northwest.  And, I've never been to Seattle. I get many excellent views of the area's natural beauty in pictures, but that only makes me want to see it more. 

I did make the Portland AWP so many of those people were there and then some make the event every year so those people you can count on looking up. 

I will miss the conference. I will miss the people, the sights, the book bargains, and I will miss the swag. Hopefully, I will be able to get to soak up some of the knowledge and benefit my craft virtually, 

Did I say I will miss the swag? Crazy buttons, promotional material from presses, and lit journals. Who knows what brilliant ideas people will have this year. There are always some oldies but goodies that you will see each year that have been done specifically for AWP 23 One of my favorite from the past was the do not disturb door hanger with cute writing-related quotes on it, like go away I'm writing my fucking memoir.  Oh wait, that was a sticker, but still. And various temporary tattoos.

If you have never been to one of these let me tell you, they are:

  • Engagingly fun
  • Highly rejuvenating of ideas and commitmentRemarkable at stimulating new ideas and reestablishing work desire
  • A mammoth networking opportunity
  • Significantly draining  - but if you are counting steps, oh boy, what a win
  • Invaluable contacts with publishers and editors
  • Exposure to thousands of books
  • Did I say draining?  It is physically draining for sure. If you are on the introverted side, the crowd can be especially overwhelming as well. Take a break if you need to. There are seats everywhere. Skip a presentation if you need to some are recorded. I've been to four or five of them, losing count, but they are worth it. I usually take the day after I come back off just to get my head and body working together again.
If this is your first conference or even your 23rd (kudos, I don't know anyone who has been to all of them).  Drop me a note or add a comment and share your experience Anyway, best wishes to all going. Be safe and have a great conference.  Next year is Kansas City, my town.


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