My First AWP Experience: Sessions, Friends, Readings! | 8-11 February 2017

I’ve been back for more than a month from The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Washington, DC, and it looks like I am NEVER going to have time to write a blog post, so here are a lot of pictures and some TL;DR commentary.

I usually am pretty good about taking photos, but I made the strange mistake of 1) getting my first smart phone ever 2 days before AWP, and 2) also having a gel-tip manicure, rendering me unable to use my phone.  I had no idea what I was doing with my phone, but it did manage to take a few decent pics.

I got to hang out with a few of my close writing buddies.  Not everyone from my workshop could be there, but I shared a room with the wonderful April Bradley, had a few meals and refreshments with Gay Degani, and  got to enjoy the company of Jan Elman-Stout. We read each others’ work frequently, but there is nothing better than being able to pick up the phone and meet for adventures in the real world!

Beside spending my days at the conference (yes, I was up and out the door and in my front row seat at 8am most days), I had fun attending off-site readings later.

9 February 2017.  First one was HOT PILLOW III, at Busboys + Poets, hosted by Joni Reese. Readers included:  Sara Chavez, David Atkinson, Ben Tanzer, Bill Yarrow, Gay Degani, Christopher Allen, Kenyatta J.P. Garcia, Karen Stefano, Sara Lippman, and so many more. A wonderful line-up of readers, and lots of “nasty women” and “bad hombres” in the audience. Here are some photos:



10 February 2017. An informal reunion of Kathy Fish Fast Flash Workshop students occurred at the City Tap House, thanks to Amy Rossi, Lori Sambol Brody, and Ben Woodard.  We kinda sorta planned on reading, but then kinda sorta wound up laughing and talking and sharing our love with Kathy Fish herself! Here are pics, including sightings of Windy Lynn Harris, Amy Rossi, Lori Sambol Brody, Kathy Fish, April Bradley, Ben Woodard, Anne Weisgerber, Gay Degani, Josh Jones, Mary Lynn Reed, Bree Barton, Maureen Langloss, and more!  It was very cool that Robert Shapard, James Thomas, Grant Faulkner, and Nancy Stohlman also dropped by!  I saw James bright and early the next morning at the Chapbook panel at the conference!

Later that day, I caught an amazing reading, “Fightin’ Words,” hosted by Amanda Miska of  Split Lip Press and Laura Citino of Sundog Lit over at Solly’s U Street Tavern. Not only did I get to hang out with Tommy Dean, Maureen Langloss, and Lori Sambol Brody, but I got to hear readings by Dianelly Antigua, Tyler Barton, Erin Dorney, Amy Rossi, Amy Silverberg, Zach Vandezande, and Emily Paige Wilson. The final reader of the night was Mila Jaroniec, who read from drDOCTOR Vol 1.


Finally, on the evening of 11 February 2017, my buddies Gay, Jan, Lori, April and I hopped a Lyft over to The Pub and the People for the SmokeLong Quarterly event, “Cold Dark Flash: An Evening of Noir Flash Fiction.”  Readers included:  Matt Bell, Tara Campbell, Rob Hart, W. Todd Kaneko, Jennifer Pashley, Amber Sparks, Art Taylor, and was co-hosted by: Tara Laskowski and E.A. Aymar. So much fun to hang out, and got to meet some of my favorite Twitter literary personalities, including Justin Lawrence Daugherty, Christopher Allen, Robert James Russell, and my Pithead Chapel slush buddy Lee Krecklow.  Here is a mix of pics of readers and revelers.




wp-1490464724962.jpgAll were outstanding readings.

I also managed to get to many seminars at the conference, picking up great tips, material, and notes to inform my teaching practice. That’s another post for another day. I also managed to play a little hooky from AWP and spend Saturday morning

at the Newseum, to get material together for the Fake News research
project I was launching the following week with my students.  Here is a photo of me on the observation balcony at the Newseum.

At the book fair, my hands were too full to take photos, but I did manage just a couple.  I loved meeting and speaking with so many editors and writers, table by table.  Here I stopped by the Eckleberg table to say hi to Rae Bryant.  Here she is with Ben Tanzer 20170210_115012and Lee Krecklow.

Other rockstars I got to hang out with include Robert Vaughan, Len Kuntz, Nancy Stohlman, Karen Stefano, and Robert Kay.  This is us hanging out after a long day.  Left to right around the table: Gay Degani, Robert Vaughan,Nancy Stohlman, Lori Sambol Brody, Karen Stefano, Anne Weisgerber, Len Kuntz, April Bradley, Jan Elman Stout.

  • Flash Fiction Gathering at AWP 2017 Washington DC

Photo credit: Len Kuntz 2017.

I also managed to meet up with friends from Word Tango, but don’t have a photo I can find.  This is one that Liz Pettie shared.  It was amazing to hang out with my online community of writing friends!


Photo credit: Elizabeth Pettie 2017

AWP was a great event.

Except where otherwise noted, all are Photo Credit: A.E. Weisgerber 2017