MFA Monday: Gimme an A, W, P!

So life continues to happen and as it happens, it inevitably interferes with blogging. But this is all to the good, I think, because it illustrates that some things continue to trump the constant flow and flow and flow of the internet. Life should interfere with blogging. That’s preferable to reverse, no?

(See: Julia’s Very Obvious Rationalizations For Why She Didn’t Finish Blogging Last Week)

This week life will be interfering with blogging in a big way: the Associated Writers and Writing Programs is holding their annual conference in Washington, DC this Wednesday-Saturday.  This is The Conference for MFA programs, professors, and students, and the largest literary conference in the United States. Or so wikipedia tells me.

So what’s the big deal exactly? We’re talking the largest gathering of writers in the country. So what? What do they do exactly?

You’re in luck! As a senior in college, I attended the 2009 conference in Chicago and I gleaned that writers who attend AWP do following:

1. Hold/attend panels and readings featuring some of the nation’s most esteemed novelists, poets, essayists, and playwrights.

2. Drink

3. Gather around the host city at various literary venues for MORE readings and release parties put on by various small presses, writer groups, etc.

4. Drink

5. Hold/attend an enormous book fair/program info session where interested students can go around and talk to representatives from the MFA programs and publications that interest them.

6. Drink

7. Buy overpriced aspirin at the hotel’s convenience store and complain about florescent lighting being so painful.

8. Bemoan the death of American fiction/poetry/theatre/politics/unicorns.

9. Drink

10. Regale young writers with tales of their adventures at said MFA programs . . . and then awkwardly acknowledge that they have yet to sell their books. This may be followed by some degree of flirting/propositioning/sexual harassment depending on the persons involved.

11. Drink

12. Get free stuff from the aforementioned book fair.

13. Go to parties hosted by publications, presses, and programs where they . . . you guessed it, drink.

It’s always an experience, for sure. Here’s the thing: like any conference, it’s absolutely what you make of it. I’m going to go to a few panels, do my stint at my program’s table, attend some readings (preferably by authors I don’t know — they’re always more fun), maybe buy a few books, drag my friends from the program around the city, hit up a few of those off-schedule events, and yes, I might have a drink or two, but you can bet I’m going to keep within reason. Because DC’s an expensive city and, honestly, I like my liver.

What does that mean for the blog? Lucky for you all, not too much! I’ve got some pre-written entries already scheduled to post over the next week, including the missing Follow Friday posts from the past two weeks.

And if you follow me on twitter, keep an eye out for conference tweets. The iPad is your friend and mine.

Or maybe I’ll see you there!

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2 thoughts on “MFA Monday: Gimme an A, W, P!

  1. 😀 lol well, in defense of writers, I hear that ppl drink quite a bit at other conferences too. Drinking is just a popular option, I guess.

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