The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Conference gravy + giveaway

Rachael Conlin Levy

Update (4/3/14): The rules of the random drawing for second-hand reading have been changed, slightly, because (one) it’s taking me longer to read all this good stuff, and (two) I hope more people will enter. You have until April 30 to leave a comment, which makes you eligible to receive one of three goodie bags filled with some of what’s listed below.

Last week I attended the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Here’s what I took away from the event that drew more than 12,000 writers, editors, publishers, teachers and readers to Seattle:

Conversation: Apparently, Twitter is the social media for writers, but even a virtual cocktail party can feel daunting to a wallflower like me, planted firmly (and usually silently) in the corner since I joined. The conference was an opportunity for me to creep into the continuous patter of observations, thoughts, critiques and summaries.

Sharon VanEpps, whom I’ve never met, live tweeted the parent-writer workshop, which looked as if it contained good advice (swap childcare time with a writer-friend, view writing time as self-care), but turned prickly when the discussion turned to whether having only one child might be the key to the parent-writer’s success. I was happy to have sidestepped that debate by attending the comic panel where I learned that we “read” even wordless comics, our brain drawing on its right side to translate images into language.

Connection: The best talk was one I learned about at the conference, but had to search out on the internet. Rockstar Amanda Palmer gave an inspiring and thought-provoking speech on why and how writers should converse with their readers. It was sponsored by Grub Street, a Boston creative writing center.

“Connecting The Dots” – Amanda Palmer talks art & controversy @ Grub Muse conference from Grub Street on Vimeo.

(re) Circulation: One of the thrills of attending the AWP conference is its book fair. Two convention rooms were packed with more than 650 small tables manned by professors, students, editors and publishers hawking their writing programs, literary magazines, journals, broadsheets, single-story chapbooks, poems, and books. On the last day, many booths deeply discounted their merchandise, and I was able to stuff a tote bag for cheap. Once I’m finished reading, I’d like to pass the books and magazines on to you. If you’re interested, leave a comment below and I will include your name in a random drawing at the end of March. Here’s what will be available:

7 responses to “Conference gravy + giveaway”

  1. Denise says:

    Lots of good stuff! I’m especially intrigued by your mention of “Readers Write” in The Sun. I’ll watch the video when vacuuming robot has finished his work.

  2. Denise, Readers Write is a good writing prompt, what with its theme and its space limitations, as well as the incentive for publication. I’ve submitted pieces when the subject inspires me, but have yet to be chosen. Notice, I say yet. 🙂

  3. Kyna Moser says:

    Sounds like a great conference, Rach. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Coral says:

    That sounds like you got a lot out of that conference. I’m happy to hear that there is a literary journal dedicated to fairy tales – that makes my heart glad.

  5. […] to share with you. If you’re interested in receiving slightly used, but generally good reading, leave a comment here and I’ll include your name in a random drawing at the end of the […]

  6. […] story collection “Tell Everyone I Said Hi,” (which I will be passing on to those interested in second-hand reading material), is filled with tempered happiness, with yearning. In “You Would’ve Counted Yourself […]

  7. […] some long-promised reading material. It’s a glorious day in Seattle, and I want to walk these packages to the post office and […]

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