The Association of Writers and Writing Programs hosted its annual conference and book fair in Philadelphia, PA. Ithaca College writing students, faculty, and alumni alike attended this educational event that took place from Wednesday, March 23 to Saturday, March 26.
Among them were Chloe Eberhard ’23 and Emily Fischer ‘22, who were visiting on behalf of their internship with the publication Novel Slices. Chloe describes the atmosphere of the conference: “One of AWP’s goals is to create a space for teachers, makers, readers, and students of contemporary writing to have literary conversations, and I believe it was a huge success.”
The conference hosts a wide variety of activities: panels, readings, and a giant book fair featuring small presses and literary magazines. Writing professors Eleanor Henderson and Rajpreet Heir had the chance to be a part of panels. Professor Henderson spoke with Alexandra Chang, Laura McNeal, Amy Reading, and Sorayya Khan in a panel called “Pictures of Books in Progress: Visualizing the Craft of Research and Writing.”
In Professor Heir’s panel, she spoke about her “experience matching the emotion of my writing with target publications as well as the challenge of balancing my Indian British American identity on the page.” She was in conversation with Liesel Hamilton, Silas Hansen, Alysia Sawchyn, and Robbie Maakestad in a panel called “Navigating Layered Identities in Creative Nonfiction.”
The book fair was where Chloe Eberhard and Emily Fischer were stationed. “At the Novel Slices booth, I helped answer people's questions about the magazine and sell copies of previously released volumes,” said Emily. “Since Novel Slices is a relatively new publication, it was exciting to spread the word about it at AWP.”
Danka Hlinka ’22, a writing major who went to AWP as a visitor, says of her experience: “I had always gone back and forth with my major, but after going to this conference, it really solidified the idea that this is the world for me. These are the people I resonate with and want to be surrounded by. They are having the conversations I love having, they are being vulnerable when it's hard to be, they are the people that I want and try to be. In a building full of people, I finally felt like I was not alone.”