Oh, the Book Fair! There’s nothing quite like it: rows and rows and rows of booths, each one featuring another group or organization vying for your attention. Read this magazine! Buy this book! Apply to this school! Apply for our residency! And there, amidst the literary journals and writing programs and small presses sits…US!! The LGBTQ Writers Caucus Booth.
I tracked down Tiff Ferentini, Caucus VP, to talk to us about why YOU should come and say hi!
Sam: Why did the caucus decide to have a booth presence?
Tiff: We originally decided to have a booth to help promote the Caucus’s visual presence at AWP, and to serve as a hub to inform both our Caucus members and AWP members attending the Conference not only about the Caucus, but about all the queer panels, readings, and events going on at AWP. The Caucus strives to serve as both a community and resource for LGBTQ writers and the queer members of AWP, and we thought having a booth in the Bookfair would help strengthen that community and could be something we could give back to our members.
After seeing the positive response from having a booth in the Bookfair at last year’s AWP Conference, we thought it would be a great idea to offer a booth again. The booth provided not only conference attendees an opportunity to meet our members, some of whom which hosted several book signings at our booth, but we also wanted the booth itself to serve as a safe space where current and inquiring members could meet and get additional information about the Caucus and queer events that were going on at AWP.
Sam: What can people expect at the booth?
Tiff: Again, we would like the booth to serve as a safe space where our members can meet, convene, and promote themselves. If you have a recent publication, let us know – we want to help spread the word! We will also have flyers listing all of the queer panels and events going on at AWP, as well as additional information about the Caucus, how you can get involved, and information on how to sign up for our mailing list and stay in touch with us all year long – not just at AWP.
Sam: What are you most excited about in terms of the booth this year?
Tiff: I’m incredibly proud and humbled that we will be sharing a booth with Lambda Literary this year, and am looking forward to meeting and learning from the amazing Lambda staff. I’m also looking forward to our author signings, and to having the opportunity to meet and
speak with more of our members. AWP is the one time of year where I can see, reconnect with, and make new queer and writing friends. The Booth really allowed me that opportunity last year, and I can’t wait for that again!
Special thanks, too, to Miguel Morales, Caucus President, for working so hard to have an LGBTQ Writers Caucus Presence at the Book Fair!