If you’re more of a visual person, then here.
We’re back and to the left. Back and to the left.
This will be my sixth AWP, and what I can tell you is that going to five previous AWPs does not make the days before an AWP filled with any less AWP angst. For me, the anxiety stems from two different things: 1) FOMO, especially when it comes to the panels and off-site events. 2) The desire to buy all the books and magazines set against the empirical realities of bank accounts and suitcase dimensions and weight restrictions and back problems.
In regard to FOMO, my easy-to-follow advice (which I still need to remind myself of every year) is this:
First, DO make a schedule. Second, take every opportunity NOT to follow it. Not following my schedule is how I wound up at a cocktail party in Minneapolis which I never should’ve been allowed into standing next to Nick Flynn with a plate full of hors d’oeuvres just before heading over to the bar for a (free) drink. Not following my schedule is also how I found myself reading one of my essays in my underwear in a hot tub on a rooftop deck in an apartment building in downtown LA with a bunch of other Texas writers who I’d only met an hour before.
The second source of anxiety is harder to tackle. There are always many tempting literary publications to choose from at AWP: all kinds of great magazines and books. The AWP Bookfair floor is rife with great stuff. So the question becomes, with so many publications to choose from, how do you decide where to spend your book budget? Which make the cut to be counted as precious suitcase cargo for your trip back home?
1) You will not only possess a new book, you will own an art object. I’ve brought home plenty of books and magazines from AWP and I will admit that once I get them home I fail to read many of them. But here’s the thing: read or not, they all find their way onto a coffee table, end table, or bookshelf in my home.
The Atticus Review Print Annual features cover art by Scott G. Brooks, who we interviewed here last month. Place the Atticus Review Print Annual on your coffee table or outwardly-facing on a prominent bookshelf in your living room and you’ll automatically appear more cultured, more refined to family, friends, and guests. And you don’t even need to crack the spine! (Though with our line-up, you’re going to want to.) The narrative of the cover is a great conversation starter, even if that conversation is like the one I had with my Aunt Jackie who told me she was going to need to, “turn that scary looking girl over!”
2) You might get a free Atticus Branded Moleskine with your purchase. You may not need yet another new book while at AWP, but chances are a notebook will come in handy, either for panels, or jotting down the name of an editor who seems interested in your lyric essay, or scribbling the digits of your Twitter crush who you finally met in person for the first time while standing in the inordinately long coffee line.
During certain times throughout the conference, we will announce a secret word over Twitter that is good for a window of time, and if you come by our table with that secret word within that window, you’ll get a free Atticus Review branded Moleskine journal with your purchase of a Print Annual.
3) Let’s be honest, you already have enough Barrelhouse issues on your bookshelf, don’t you? I mean they’re great and all. Awesome people, great magazine (even if they are always pissing people off with their rules.) But look, you know you can always pick up an issue at your next C&C Conference or Writer Camp. Diversify that shelf! Do it now! You know what would look really GREAT, alphabetically in front of all those Barrelhouse covers. That’s right. We know you do. (And, listen, if you really love Barrelhouse as much as we do, you can always spend your money on the Original Fucking Poets tee.)
We’ll see you in a few days!
And THANK YOU to everybody who has already ordered a copy of the Print Annual. We will begin sending copies out next week!