Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spiritual Writers and Writing Conferences

On Monday, I got the e-mail from the AWP with reminders about registration and the upcoming conference for writers and writing programs.  I printed it out so I could take it with me.  And then,  I made myself look at every day of the schedule.  It was overwhelming, so I did it in small parts throughout the day.

I'm still overwhelmed, so I won't write much about what I noticed.  I won't wade into the possible politics of what gets chosen from the submissions.  There's a wide representation of a wide spectrum of writers and our world.

Here's what I'd like to have seen more of:  how our spiritual lives intersect with writing.  I notice only 2 sessions.  It's possible that there are a few more, but as a minority group, spiritual writers are definitely not represented by as many sessions as other minorities, like for example LBTGQA writers or writers of color.  Again, I'm not complaining or whining, just observing.

I also realize that the amount of submissions from writers of faith exploring faith and writing were probably far less than submissions from LTBGQA writers or writers of color. 

I'm aware of the other conferences that cover this subject in different ways.  Maybe one year I'll explore those too.

My Hindu writer friend asked me if I'd gotten packets made about my memoir which covers the topic of our spiritual lives intersecting with work lives and creative lives.  She's convinced that I'll cross paths with an agent or a publisher at this conference.  I don't share her conviction, but I'll create some packets, because one never knows.

Based on the sessions, I'm much more likely to cross paths with other writers than publishers or agents. Even at the bookfair, I didn't have those kinds of life changing encounters.  Again, different conferences exist solely for the purpose of crossing paths with publishers or writers.  My experience has been that the AWP is not exactly that kind of conference.

A week from today, I'll wake up in Tampa and enter the conference mania.  I'll be missing my spouse who will stay at home to take care of his classes and to catch up.  But I'll be excited to have this learning opportunity.

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