AWP Bookfair Roundup

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So I uploaded some pictures to our Facebook page depicting our road trip across the country (courtesy of Dan McCloskey and his magical van), and I’ve started to process the influx of knowledge and experience dropped on us at the AWP conference. I think I can safely speak for everyone in saying the trip and conference both exceeded expectations. I’m already excited to start planning for AWP17 in Washington DC next year.

Our Twitter machine’s been active through the trip talking about panels, readings, and all the fun whatnot. Unpacking (finally) unearthed a plethora of tiny pieces of paper picked up at tables in the bookfair, and as I’m going through them I realized we didn’t say much about the cool presses and people we met both wandering and table-sitting. I’m sure I’ll forget somebody, but some highlights:

  • Poetry for Trash, a project that combines poetry with litter pick-up in its home state of Virginia.
  • Both University of Hell Press and Punk Hostage Press, who put on a fantastic shared off-site reading. Both do mostly poetry, though University of Hell just put out their first fiction book (Swarm Theory, a novel in stories by Christine Rice).
  • Spork Press (based out of Tucson, AZ) handmakes books and records cassette tapes. The designs are unique and beautiful and worth checking out.
  • HOOT review is a postcard journal of mini poetry and prose. They also run online and pen pal workshops.
  • Found out there is a literary journal dedicated to sports writing (Sport Literate). They don’t take fiction but are open to both essays and poetry.
  • Obviously there are a ton of journals and presses open to submissions and running contests. Blue Skirt Productions was a new one for me and caught my eye because they’re both a press and journal, interested in fiction from 100 words to novella-length. Sarabande Books is running contents in both poetry and short fiction manuscripts (both open until April 30). Barrelhouse (hosts of the Conversations and Connections conference) is also open for submissions.

…I could keep listing cool stuff all day, but I think that’s a good smattering of the new things I got hip to at the bookfair. Might edit and add to this as I unearth more tiny pieces of paper from my luggage.

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