AWP HACKS! Tips & Advice for First-Time Conference Goers REVISITED

We are officially FIFTEEN DAYS away from the 2018 Conference.  If you aren’t yet thinking about how you’ll spend your time, this may be a good place to start!  Last year, we offered up tips and advice for first time conference goers.  There was so much advice offered we broke it up into two different posts, but can be summed up in the following 10 useful tidbits!

  1. Plan ahead!  There are so many onsite and offsite events that you don’t want to miss out!  Consider your own goals for the conference and focus on those events.

  2. DOWNLOAD and use of the AWP app!  Not only will it offer up reminders, but it will also help you read through the different panels, saving the ones you like as you go.  It also downloads the entire event schedule, so you don’t need wifi to use it.

  3. Plan but don’t overplan!  There is so much to do and it is impossible to do everything.  Trying to stick to a tight schedule might leave you feeling stressed.  Be flexible.

  4. Know that not every panel will be for you, and some might be surprisingly useful.  At the conference, it is more than okay to arrive and leave mid-panel, but please be respectful of the presenters.

  5. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the panelists – they are people, too, and are often happy to speak with you!

  6. Go to the bookfair early and often!  It is MASSIVE and it often takes several visits to see everything.

  7. Take breaks!  Find a quiet space to rest or, better yet, take the afternoon or night off if you  need to.

  8. Be forewarned, your fellow writers will be everywhere!  This feels amazing but can also feel overwhelming.  If you really want to get away, venture away from the conference center or, better yet explore the host city!  You are writers after all, and seeing different places helps to fill the well.

  9. Go to the LGBTQ Caucus meeting – or other caucus meetings!  These are great times and places to meet other like-minded writers.

  10. Finally, as Donna Minkowitz said, “There is no right way to do AWP!”  The conference is yours to do (or not do) as you please!

The Recap not enough?  Here are the original posts!


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