Surviving AWP

AWP is just a few days away. After reading Kelli's AWP post, I wanted to add my own survival tips.

How to survive the mother of all writers conferences:

1. Check out the schedule BEFORE you get to Seattle. There’s just too much to do in a short amount of time. So save a little time by creating your schedule on AWP’s website and bring it with you. Or,

2. Download a pdf version of the schedule to your iPad or mobile device. The conference book gets heavy in your swag bag. Travel light when you can. Which reminds me …

3. Pack light. Save room in your suitcase for extra books, or get to a post office on Saturday and mail purchases to yourself.

4. Go to at least one off-site. Get out of the conference hotel and support your fellow writers. Or, go see the Space Needle and Pike's Place. Be a tourist for a while.

5. Bring a portable charger for your electronics. My mom gave this one to me for Christmas. No more sitting outside the book fare while waiting for my phone to charge

6. Bring a power bar, water, tissues, ibuprofen, and hand sanitizer. And if you need any of these items, track me down.

7. Master the two-minute hallway chat. Everyone shuffles from one session to another, so don’t tie up a friend with your long, boring story about the round-the-corner line at Starbucks. However, if you do want to extend the conversation ...

8. Be social. Spend a little time with the people you only see once a year, or once a day on Facebook. Speaking on FB ...

9. Don’t FB/Tweet/Instagram/YouTube/Pinterest/Vine every single moment. Because if you are too busy taking pics, are you really in the moment?

10. Be in the moment.

11. Buy books. Yes, the freebies are great, but poets and presses need our support. Don’t be cheap. That being said ...

12. Go to the big parties, because the drinks are free. However ...

13. Don’t embarrass yourself. You know what I mean. Keep it classy. This is AWP Seattle, after all!


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