AWP 2016

This past weekend, Kira and I (Olivia C), went to Los Angeles for the 49th annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference to represent BatCat Press! It was my second year attending AWP, and much like the first, it was a great experience to be so deeply, personally involved in the writing community for a few days.

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Kira and I met a few of our old BatCat authors, like Kevin Haworth (Far Out All My Life), Christopher Lowe (When You’re Down by the River), and Sarah Carson, who sold and signed a copy of our sold-out second run of Poems in Which You Die right out of her backpack to one of the nice ladies at the booth next door!

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Kira and I had a ton of fun running the booth. I don’t want to repeat the blog post I made last year too much, as it was a very similar experience, but it’s still so, so cool to get to meet all these authors and librarians and publishers and students, especially as I’m preparing to go off to college. It’s one thing to hear that there are a bunch of jobs in the literary field, but it’s another to share a convention room floor with thousands of real, literal, tangible people.

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Kira and I being real, literal, tangible people behind our table

Of course, we brought more than just books. You may remember our cool little spinning pamphlets from last year; as we always do, we changed up the design while still keeping it handpainted and handmade. We also added a little last-minute-paper-made candy box, which was appreciated by booth-goers and our booth-runners alike.

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We also saw the AWP return of the haiku box, where it made it’s debut last year. My box, which is way more important to me than a box lined with hilariously colored faux leather should be, got a little damaged on the cross-country flight, but I should be able to fix it up with just a little bit of glue. Regardless, it did it’s job very well, and guided lots of people in making some lovely haikus for us.

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Way more signs than last year, and a new option of buying a gift box to show off your set.
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You can find all of these on our Instagram (@batcatpress) and a few on our Facebook.

Once again, I left AWP with an overwhelming sense of pride in what BatCat does. It’s always great to tell people all about whatever your passion is, and even better when your passion is your work. I’m really thankful to my parents for getting me out to Los Angeles this year (especially because we left a few days early in order to go to Disneyland, my other passion), and to Mrs. Baringer for letting Kira and I run the booth.

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The view of downtown LA (and the Hollywood sign!) from my family’s hotel room.

Despite graduating from high school (and therefore BatCat) this spring, I’m hoping to still go to AWP next year in Washington DC, either by myself or with a journal at my future college so that I can attend some panels, visit with BatCat, and maybe even go to another poetry slam (it was the only non-bookfair event Kira and I attended, and it was awesome). Plus, it’s always great to pick up some free swag.

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Thank you, Submittable, for my favorite sticker possibly ever.

Olivia C
BatCat Staff Member

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