The 2016 Association of Writers & Writing Programs—known colloquially as AWP—is kind of like a traveling circus of writers, publishers, editors and agents. Each year they pop up in a different US city bringing with them over 800 presses, journals and literary organizations from around the world. The conference spans over one long weekend and has over 12,000 attendees. This year they chose Los Angeles, so we thought we’d check in with some of our favorite authors and publishers to see what all the hub bub is about:
LBS – Have you been to a past AWP? If so, which one?
CHRIS – This will be Unnamed’s second year exhibiting as a publisher. We went last year to AWP in Minneapolis. That said, I didn’t go myself, so I’m a newbie.
GALLAGHER – Yes, AWP 2012. I learned how exciting and dizzying it is to choose from so many panels and activities, and how difficult it is to stop buying books when there isn’t a lot of space in one’s luggage.
LBS – What’s your favorite thing about AWP?
CHRIS – Having never personally been, I’d say I like any place that gathers so many people excited about story-telling, the future of books, and writing generally.
GALLAGHER – The collective magnetic (poetry) field of energy from so many writers in one place.
LBS – Which panel or event are you most looking forward to?
CHRIS – Without question, that would be our Unnamed Press author showcase, featuring four really fantastic novelists: Gallagher Lawson, Fabienne Josaphat, Esmé Weijun Wang and Margaret Wappler. We’ll be talking about transcending genre and diversity in the literary universe.
Room 506, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016, 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Join the Unnamed Press for a celebration of Los Angeles’s new home for contemporary fiction from around the world. Hosted by Unnamed Press founder and publisher C. P. Heiser, this reading showcases the diversity and breadth of what the Unnamed Press publishes. Unnamed brings international perspectives and previously unheard voices to the forefront of the literary conversation. Interspersed with questions and commentary, four talented new authors read from their recent debut novels
GALLAGHER – For events: the bookfair, which is like a booklover’s buffet. As for panels, I’m most excited to see SoCal Magical Realism, which includes readings and a discussion with Heather Fowler, Ben Loory, Bonnie ZoBell, Andy Roe, and Daniel Olivas.
Gold Salon 4, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 10:30 am to 11:45 am
Magical realism has trickled up the coast from Latin America to the Golden State. Set in reality with magic introduced matter-of-factly, it’s less of a genre than a style. Five SoCal writers mix it up with magical elements, most set in SoCal, some speculative. Each reads a sample of work and discusses what magical realism means in his or her writing, followed by a Q&A.
LBS – Are you on a panel? Tell us about it:
CHRIS – In addition to the author showcase, I’ll be on a panel called What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Redline with Mia Lipman, Kjerstin Johnson, Nadxieli Nieto and Annie Tucker. I’d give you more details, but I think the title says it all.
Room 512, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
Your work has been accepted—congratulations! So what happens next? How come it takes so long between that coveted “yes” and seeing your name in print? Why do editors want to change your words after you worked like crazy to make them perfect? And what’s a redline, anyway? This panel pulls back the curtain on the book and magazine editing process: the order of business, typical timeframes, what the red marks mean, and why your editor wants to be your partner in crime (and isn’t out to get you).
GALLAGHER – I’ll be joining the panel Celebrating the Unnamed Press: A New Home for Contemporary Authors in Los Angeles. This panel was organized by my publisher, based here in LA, and features several of their writers from around the world reading and discussing the diverse perspectives found in our debut novels. It will be moderated by editor and publisher… Chris Heiser. I’m looking forward to meeting and being part of the extended Unnamed Press family!
Like they say on their website, Unnamed Press is “always interested in unlikely protagonists, undiscovered territories and courageous voices.” Our kinda folks.