AWP Seattle – Memoir in 2014

AWP is a yearly gathering of the “Associated Writers and Writing Programs.” This year around 15,000 members of the group met in Seattle for 3-4 days of readings, panels, discussions, parties, and networking. This is the professional organization for MFA and PhD programs in Creative Writing, as well as a venue for publishers of Creative Writing. As you might imagine, the book fair is spectacular and includes displays from over 500 publishers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, including small presses whose books can be hard to find.

With so many people and so many possibilities, anyone’s AWP experience can differ from the next. This year I was only a “virtual” attender, but as you might imagine, Dinty Moore and the Creative Nonfiction Crowd were in attendance. Dinty Moore, editor of Brevity, asked a number of people to do blogging about Creative Nonfiction sessions for the Brevity Blog. Here’s a great blog post by Ann Liu Kellor that’s relevant to our extended personal essay assignment:

AWP 2014: Full Disclosure: How to Spill Your Guts Without Making a Mess

As an added bonus, recent GC grads Mary Roth and Anna Ruth texted me from the conference to see if they could meet me for coffee. Instead, I’m going to interview them about their highlights of the conference for this blog. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, if you are serious about Creative Writing as a course of study or a profession, you’ll definitely want to stay aware of this annual conference, which can be both overwhelming and at the same time bring some of those famous writers and intimidating journals to the human level. Next year’s AWP will be April 8-11 in Minneapolis, MN.  Check the AWP site for details.  And check the Brevity Blog for more reports on AWP – each one has something to offer the curious student of writing.


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