It’s that time of year again: all the cool people are headed to the annual conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs — my beloved AWP. This year it’s in Boston, another of my favorite conference cities, and once again I’m bummed I can’t make it.
I just have to one year left to wait, though: next year it’s in Seattle, just a quick train ride north, and I WILL BE THERE!
In the meantime, if you’re going to AWP in Boston this week, do yourself a favor and meet the people below. Meet everyone, of course, but these are some folks I love. Stop by tables in the bookfair, hit some panels, attend those epic off-site readings. But of course, start in the bookfair, hit these tables and booths, and buy a book or subscribe to a magazine while you’re there:
I used to work as production editor for these guys. That was way back in 2005 to 2006, but I keep in touch.
I love Ampersand, and I had the good fortune to read at the Ampersand West Coast Invasion here in Portland last year. Look for Jason Cook and ask him about the “Sam Says Hi!” t-shirt. Cobalt is a new favorite, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better.
Bill Roorbach is one of my favorite human beings, and I love his blog. How awesome that he and Dave Gessner have a table at the bookfair! If you get a chance to see Bill, seriously, give him a hug. Or buy him a beer. Or both.
I’m a fan. These guys all rule, and they publish great stuff. If you bump into Ben Tanzer, particularly, say howdy.
I’m new to these guys, but they’re really cool so far. I can’t tell you who to look for, but let them all know they have a new reader.
Hannah Tinti is one of the coolest people out there, and I always try to wave to her at some point during AWP. The One Story readings rule, too.
This is one of the hottest lit mags out there, and I’m lucky to know a lot of people they’ve published. And if you see Roxane Gay, tell her how much I love her blog. (If you don’t spot her at the bookfair table, look for Roxane at her book signing, Friday at 3:00 p.m.)
Another of the hottest magazines out there, and another one that has published folks I know. Please say hi to Ashley Inguanta and Gay Degani if you see them.
Huge, HUGE fans of both these publications! How lucky you are that you’ll get to find them both at the same table! Look for Justin Lawrence Daugherty, who is one of the coolest dudes in contemporary literature, and high-five the man. Also try to find Nathaniel Tower of Bartleby Snopes and thank him for publishing so many awesome people (and me) in one of my favorite magazines on the internet.
Trust me on this: go to this table in the bookfair and find David McNamara and shake his hand. On my behalf. Tell him I owe him a drink and I will definitely see him in Seattle next year.
When you hit the panels and booksignings and readings, also try to shake hands with these excellent writers (some of these link to their websites, others link to their announcements about AWP; either way, check the conference schedule for their appearances):
- Gabriel Blackwell
- Matty Byloos
- Myfawny Collins
- Trevor Dodge
- Monica Drake
- Beth Ann Fennelly
- Jesse Lee Kercheval
- Debra Monroe
- Bill Roorbach
- Carrie Seitzinger
- Cheryl Strayed
- Hannah Tinti
- Meg Tuite
- J.A. Tyler
- Robert Vaughan
- Lidia Yuknavitch
For the full list of bookfair booths and tables, go here.
Anyone I left out? Feel like promoting your magazine, press, reading, party, or other event? Or just telling everyone that you’re going so they’ll stop by and say hi? Feel free to leave a comment!