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The Grubbie Guide to Writing Contests, Conferences, and Residencies: A Recap

grubI have so much to do today (the penultimate day of my vacation). But I’m so pumped from Grub Street’s “The Muse and the Marketplace” conference that I have to spend some time sharing the experience with you.

I don’t know how they do it, but Grub somehow makes this conference even better every year. I’ll try to write a more comprehensive (or at least, sweeping) recap for you in time for Wednesday’s “Work-in-Progress” post here on Practicing Writing. For now, I’ll just summarize the panel that I moderated yesterday: “The Grubbie Guide to Writing Contests, Conferences, and Residencies,” which featured my super-accomplished co-panelists Sheri Joseph and Douglas Trevor.

I can do this only because the amazing Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) was live-tweeting from the conference, and our panel was lucky enough to draw him in. I’ll share with you Porter’s tweets, and supply a few annotations. (Look especially for the cited handout, which I’ll embed within this post.)

Our general approach in this session was this: We began with self-introductions, in which we talked described ways in which contests, conferences, and residencies had helped shape our own writing lives. Then we moved into some “Do’s & Don’ts,” in which we shared advice on selecting opportunities, application tips, and suggestions for making the most of opportunities won (especially residencies). And then we turned to Q&A.

Hope that you enjoy!

[Here, I was talking about conferences that have meant a lot to my writing life: the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and The Muse itself. My point was that when we’re talking about conferences, it’s not “Bread Loaf of bust.” Doug helpfully elaborated on the bigger point, which is that conferences vary in focus and offerings. Some are designed to help generate new work, some focus on helping you revise existing work, some help you connect with agents and editors. And there can be overlap in conference purposes.]

[Both Sheri and Doug had terrific advice on what to do once you’ve won a residency and how to make the most of your time there.]

[I pointed out that not all of AWP’s resources are available to non-members. But as for the handout – which was designed to allow us to focus the session on application tips and advice on making the most of one’s residency time and other opportunities by pointing attendees to websites where it’s easy to find relevant lists and databases for individual research – HERE IT IS!]

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2 Responses »

  1. Great session, Erika! Thanks!

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