I wasn’t sure what to title this post because all my note said was: indecision about AWP, contests etc. What exactly did I want to get at with this post?
Well, first off – I’m not going to AWP in February. I had really hoped that I could swing it but, at the very least, it will cost close to $1000. I love the conference in all it’s overwhelming glory but I want to get a better hold on my finances as I move into 2011 so that was the biggest factor in me deciding not to attend. But, what do you get if you do attend? If your publisher is there you get exposure to a lot of readers via the publisher’s table. There are scores of brilliant readings (all genres), panels and key note speakers. And, there is the meeting up with people you only know online to totally geek out about poetry and writing. That’s the part I’ll miss the most. But, maybe I can save up for 2012 when it is back in Chicago…
But what does my indecision about whether or not to go to AWP have to do with contests and etc?
It is the whole business end of poetry that I’m speaking about. I’ve touched on it from time to time but it still makes me a bit squeamish. Sometimes I just want to write but I also want a career as a teacher and I like sending my work out to be published so I’ve joined the business end of poetry (or you could just say writing in general). But why should writers be made to feel so guilty or ashamed of being aware and/or of knowingly participating in the business end of things? Why do so many people see a writer acknowledging the need for marketing etc as a bad thing?
And the other little tidbit I mentioned: contests. I’m not opposed to them even though I don’t enter many. I am sending my chapbook to contests, due in part, to my hope to (heaven forbid) win one and not so much for any amount of prize money but because this would be a way for me to find readers outside of NC and my blog (which are where my primary readers seem to be). I don’t know how long I’ll keep sending the chapbook to contests though before I say enough! Self-publish.
Just a few random thoughts to start my day. Now back to reading some reading journal/in class essays from my class and the classes I’m still subbing for this week. Or breakfast…definitely breakfast…
Love to hear your thoughts about anything I babbled about above! Keep on having a great week