TODD SUMMAR

Todd has joined the LGBTQ Caucus as the team Secretary.

What do you like most about AWP?

One of the things I like most about AWP, besides the panels, is the opportunity to explore the book fair. It is a rare experience for writers, editors, publishers, organization members, and other writing professionals to interact, have casual conversations, hopefully strike up new relationships. There is a seemingly endless amount of tables and booths, so it can be overwhelming, but to me, it is one of the most important parts of every AWP conference.

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?

One of my favorite AWP panels occurred at the last conference, in March 2016. It was called “Coming Out Narratives: Beyond Queer 101” and featured an interesting mix of writers, including Charlie Jane Anders, a science fiction author, and Justin Torres, know for his semi-autobiographical fiction. The panelists discussed the pros and cons of LGBTQ writers applying the “coming out narrative” trope to their work. I found it striking that they emphasized that the coming out narrative was still important, for writers and readers alike, but that the conversation has evolved from there, and that writers need to evolve with it.

This post is part of a series of posts aimed at introducing you to your LGBTQ Caucus board members.  Got your own AWP advice or your own must see panelists?  Leave a comment below!