AWP Report

posted by rdsp

I invested the better part of a week on the Associated Writing Programs annual conference, held this year in Chicago. How did it go? Let’s say Chi-Town was good to the Raw Dog. I met many other publishers, editors, and authors, plus a slew of the professors and graduate students who embody the next generation of literature. Obviously, the goal was to raise awareness of RDSP and its titles, as well as get those titles into the classrooms and libraries. Jennifer crafted a striking catalog that was highly visible from a distance, so almost ALL of them ended up going home with attendees. I even spoke with a couple professors who expressed interest in bringing RDSP titles into their English departments…so who knows?

Aside from distributing bookmarks, business cards, and catalogs, I attended a number of presentations and discussions. Most were truly exceptional, one was a total snoozer. Overall I learned a lot and picked up some contacts with attendees and presenters here too. The book fair was enormous—250 booths on two levels. While plenty of the editors were standoffish many more were willing to engage in dialog about life in the trenches. More good connections made. Dug up plenty of lit journals to submit work to as well, hehehe.

My one great lament is not spending more time with Andi & Lance Olsen. Only got to speak with them VERY briefly on two occasions, and had to leave early on the final day before Lance’s second panel. In a scene devoid of “cool couples” these two rule. If you doubt that assertion, simply pick up Sewing Shut My Eyes from FC2.

Highlight: discussing philosophy late into the night with avant hero D. Harlan Wilson. These sessions were easily as enlightening as any of the featured presentations. Or, maybe the rum was getting to my head by that point. Regardless, my creative side is rejuvenated; I actually wrote 3,000 words or more of new material during the trip.

Conclusion: RDSP is going anywhere but down. EVERYBODY I showed our product to exclaimed “What a beautiful book!” This was certainly heartening. Several copies were distributed to reviewers, so we’ll see more press coverage in the near future. Even considering the fact that we were unable to acquire table space the trip was an unmitigated success. The mind boggles when contemplating what might be accomplished at AWP 2005 in Vancouver.

current mood: sore
current music: Resident Evil soundtrack