Tiff Ferentini is a former editor of The Manhattanville Review, and has previously served as the Communications Coordinator for the AWP LGBTQ Caucus. They are the current Marketing Manager for Monkey Business International and the Vice President of AWP’s LGBTQ Caucus. Their work has appeared in The Gambler; Off the Rocks, the LGBTQ Anthology of Newtown Writers Press; and Songs of My Selfie: An Anthology of Millennial Writing, published by Three Room’s Press in April 2016. They can be found on Twitter @ferenteeny.
Why did you want to become involved in the AWP Caucus?
I attended my first AWP LGBTQ Caucus meeting during the 2014 conference in Seattle. It was only my second time attending AWP, but AWP had become a place where I felt I truly belonged; where I could meet fellow writers who had the same passion and goals as me, and who just understood me. At time I had been struggled with my sexual orientation and identity, and I thought attending the Caucus would help me confirm some of the suspicions I had about myself. While I admit at the time I wasn’t sure what it was a Caucus was, I knew I belonged there. Once I realized the purposes of the Caucus, I wanted to get more involved and contribute to the Caucus and give back to its community, the same way the Caucus served as a resource for me.
What do you like most about AWP?
I find writing to be such a solitary profession, and I often get overwhelmed and forget that the writing community can also serve as a network where which you can find support, feedback, and personal and professional relationships that can impact and stay with you your entire life. What I love most about AWP is that it has presented me with so many opportunities in the few years I have been attending; I’ve been able to make professional strides, as well as meet and discover amazing writers, colleagues, and friends whom I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.
Thinking back on previous AWP conferences, are there any panels or events that stick out most in your mind? What happened and what was memorable?
I first made Kim van Alkemade’s acquaintance when I attended her Historical Fiction panel at AWP14 in Seattle, and to this day it’s still one of my most favorite panels I have ever attended at AWP. Not only is Kim an amazing panelist and resource to learn from for fellow historical fiction writers, but her panels are so amazing well crafted, organized, and constructed that I’ve found them to be a source of inspiration and model when crafting my own AWP panel proposals!
Who are your favorite contemporary writers?
Vee Hoffman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Neil Gaiman, and Garth Greenwell – just to highlight a few!
Are there any AWP panelists that you think are “must sees” for any AWP goer?
Roger Sedarat, Kim van Alkemade, Garth Greenwell, and Roxane Gay