How to Survive AWP

The independent author’s literary conference survival guide

AWP — the coolest, craziest, literary clusterfright in America — is only a day away. It’s an awkward orgy of desperate self-promotion, and believe it or not, I’m psyched…

… to work the booth for BookBaby at the trade show? (Booth #2709: come visit!) Yes, yes — of course. But also to meet the editors from journals that accepted my poems over the past year, to check out readings by some of my poetry heroes, and to rudely tweet my way through a few friends’ panel discussions.

But I recognize my enthusiasm for such events is not universally shared amongst us bookish types.

If you’re someone who recognizes the value of attending a conference like AWP, but you tremble at the idea of shaking hands with folks who might hold the keys to your success, here’s a list of entertaining articles to cheer you, calm you, and get you ready for maximum networking mayhem.

6 articles that will help you live to tell about AWP

1. The Ides and AWPs of March

2. How to Win AWP

3. The AWP13 Post You’ve Been Waiting For

4. The Art of Schmoozing

5. At the AWP Bookfair

6. (and one from last year) — A Field Guide to AWP

So, there’s your ironic 6-part survival guide. Hopefully these articles help you make the most of any literary conference. If you’re attending AWP, come say hi and let me know how you’re getting by.

Can AWP be “pwned” (nerd-speak for total domination)? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 563 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

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