Somebody somewhere has made this comparison — AWP is the SXSW of literature, minus Scion, Mountain Dew or a Fader Fort. Or indie lit's Mardi Gras, without the beads but with all the booze. AWP (or the Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference is in DC at the end of this week and all of indie lit's young and aspiring converge for sex, drugs, rock 'n reading with little worry of selling out, because uh, there's no one to sell out to there.
Yes, there's your fave blog star schlocking wares at a table or a booth, while the best of the best indie publishers have one hand on moving books and one eye looking for the hottt talent.
Yes, dreams can be made at AWP, reputations secured. And soon the pseudo-academic panels get old and aren't good for networking anyway. The real action is of course at the after readings, or by the end of a few days the party that has no readings.
Here's the list of all the off-site stuff. Need someone to plan your itinerary? The Big Other has it. And the Pinkline Project. Need to know the perspective of the convention center management? Jimmy Chen at HTML Giant has it.
Be safe out on the mean streets of DC, kids. Don't do any readings I wouldn't do.