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Month: December 2023

The One Where Elizabeth Wins

I’m honored to share that I’ve been awarded an AWP Community Scholarship to attend the 2024 conference in Kansas City.

I was lucky to attend last year’s conference in Seattle, and I absolutely loved it. AWP is one hell of a conference, with about 25 panels per hour aimed for writers and writing programs. It’s got a heavy literary bent, but there is also programming for commercial and genre writers and a LOT for the teaching of writing. And unlike the very white-cis-male spaces we find in publishing, AWP has more diversity in all forms than just about any other space I’ve seen.

A few of the panels I’ve got my eye on:

  • Social justice on the page: How writing and activism feed each other
  • Writing practices for neurodiverse and disabled writers
  • Mapping the creative and pedagogical terrain of community colleges
  • Breaking the rules on chapbooks: New approaches to an old form
  • Women of new fabulism and speculative literature
  • Be Shameless: Everything you need to know to nail promotion
  • Writing life post-MFA: Unearthing the realities
  • A turn of the page: From journalism to creative writing
  • Greater than the sum of its parts: Writing and structuring essay collections
  • The fine art of the craft talk
  • Writing the literary sex scene: Dethroning the male gaze
  • Show (Me) Don’t Tell: Missouri writers grappling with the state of their state
  • Ableism off and on the page
  • How do you eat? Writers talk plainly about funding their writing lives

And about two dozen others among the hundreds available. In addition to the daytime panels, AWP really comes alive at the evening off-site events. Readings are constant, wine-and-cheese receptions and gatherings in dozens of locations every night until the wee hours. I made the grave mistake in Seattle of skipping the nighttime events for the first couple of days, thinking it was like a con room party: fun but skippable. It was only on the third day that I realized it’s where so much of the creative energy of the convention comes from. 

In fact, I wrote a column on ten tips for attending AWP, which you can read here. Tip No. 3 was “The real beauty is in the offsite events.” 

I strongly recommend AWP for beginning writers, established writers, poets, librarians, students, editors, publishers, creative writing teachers, memoirists… basically if you put pen to paper or teach others to do the same, there’s something for you here, particularly in academic and literary circles. 

Having graduated out of student rates, I was very afraid I could not afford to return even though it’s so close to me this year: Kansas City is a mere four hours according to Google Maps, which always means five hours for me. The scholarship makes a huge difference, and I’m incredibly grateful to AWP for its generosity and those of the donors who kick in to help underserved, disabled and low-income writers join in the fray.

If you’re interested, check out the website at awpwriter.org. And let me know if you’ll be there! All adventures are more fun with a fellowship. Didn’t Tolkein teach us that?

 

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New items in the store!

First: We are about to stock copies of parABnormal Magazine, December 2023 edition, which includes an original short story by moi. We only have a small quantity coming in and likely won’t be available for long, so if you want one, you might want to snag it soon! Click here to order.

Also, the site has been updated with a lot of new images, including shots from Paris, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Washington D.C. and other places. As always, anything available on elizabethdonaldphotography.com can be custom ordered, but check out the store for a quick print order – it’s not too late for the holidays!

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Jolabokaflod – wait, what?

I’ve seen that meme about Christmas Eve in Sweden – or is it Finland? – where traditionally everyone gets a book on Christmas Eve and they all snuggle up under blankets, drink cocoa and read. It’s called Jolabokaflod, meaning “Christmas Flood of Books” which doesn’t sound nearly as cool in English.

This is a holiday I can get behind, folks.

In the spirit of Sweden-or-is-it-Finland, I’m offering Setting Suns at $2.99 and Infinity and Gethsemane at 99c for the month of December. Check them out at the links! And remember, you can give these to others via Amazon and even delay the delivery so they arrive on Christmas Eve in a timely fashion.

What, you want dead-tree versions for yourself or to give at the holiday of your choice? Yes, you can order them through Amazon, or you can order directly from me and indicate you want them autographed in the comment on your order. You can also email us at kyates@donaldmedia.com and we’ll make sure they get personalized. 

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