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Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: The Panel That AWP Rejected

About a week ago, writers began tweeting and otherwise sharing the good news they’ve received about the panel proposals they submitted a few months ago for the 2013 Association of Writers & Writing Program (AWP) conference in Boston. And I understand the outpouring. Especially since AWP calls this year’s submission pool “more competitive than it has ever been,” those whose panels have been accepted can be forgiven for crowing. I’d probably be doing some crowing myself, had the panel proposal I organized been accepted. But it wasn’t.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had panel proposals rejected (by AWP or other entities). But I remain proud of the proposal our group submitted, and I do have this here blog, so I hope you’ll indulge me as I share excerpts with you:

Event Title: “From Generation to Generation: 2G and 3G Approaches to Writing About the Holocaust”

Event Type: Cross-Genre Issues

Event Description: As the remaining refugees from and survivors of the Holocaust begin to die, their descendants have assumed the responsibility of writing about the Shoah. While second-generation (2G) writers tend to explore trauma and post-memory, many third-generation (3G) writers work to repopulate the historical landscape. In this panel, a group of writer-descendants will discuss the challenges of making poetry and prose after Auschwitz. A literary scholar will provide further context.

Event Statement of Merit: Our panel will be one of few to date to focus on writers in the 2nd AND 3rd generations: children AND grandchildren of Holocaust survivors/refugees. It is also relatively rare in its cross-genre composition. In 2013, which brings the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, this panel will itself reflect some of the changes that have occurred in writing about the Holocaust over the decades, including the development of new modes of expression, such as digital storytelling and hybridized genres.

(I’ll protect the innocent and refrain from naming the four individuals who joined this panel proposal. But I’m grateful to them.)

In other news, AWP also launched a brand-new website last week. I’m still finding my way around it, but so far, I like what I see. Go take a look.

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6 Responses »

  1. Ah, I am disappointed that this panel was rejected. It sounds like it would have been wonderful.

  2. AWP is such a tough nut to crack! I hope your panel finds itself a well-deserved home somewhere (especially since it’s so well-timed).

    • Thanks, Jenn. I’ve cracked it before–most recently for the 2011 conference, with two panels proposed and accepted. But I guess this year it just isn’t to be.

  3. Neither of mine, which included biggish names and, I thought, good topics, were chosen. In fact, I don’t know anyone who got in this year. A lot of people can’t come if their university departments don’t pay (they won’t if they’re not on a panel). I wonder if there will be a trickle down in a few years?

    • Susan, I’m unlikely to go now myself (although the trip would have been self-funded in the first place). But from what I’m hearing, the main hotel is already filling up. Boston is a terrific destination (I can’t believe that I’m may consciously skip an opportunity to attend AWP in one of my favorite and not-so-distant cities). If the panel had been accepted, I would have made it all happen. But I’m rethinking it now and haven’t registered or made any reservations. Of course, I’ve attended AWP many times before, and I certainly hope I’ll do so again.

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