Update from the Editors
Visit Us at Bookfair Table G20
On Saturday afternoon, March 9, come “talk writing” with Editor-in-Chief Martha Nichols and Fiction Editor David Cameron. They’ll be table sitting and conversing, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., at the AWP Bookfair.
In addition, other Talking Writing editors will be on hand during next week’s Association of Writers and Writing Programs’s conference in Boston. From Thursday through Saturday, TW editors and writers will staff Bookfair Table G20 at various times each day.
Many of us will be wearing "We're Talking Writing—Are You?" T-shirts. Look for the TW talk bubble as we circulate through other exhibit halls and events at the Hynes Convention Center—if you haven't been there before, it's big—and live tweet some sessions.
Out-of-town TW attendees this year include Associate Editor Lorraine Berry and David Meischen, winner of the 2012 Talking Writing Prize for Short Fiction.
As a writer, but also as a fan of great writing, I'm swooning over the list of presenters who will be at the conference. Some have written books I've assigned in my classes; others have written books that have brought me great joy."
Boston is about to become ground zero for the literary world, a veritable geyser of writers and editors and publishers strutting their stuff, making connections. As for me, my hope is to connect with some promising fiction writers who can soon grace the pages of Talking Writing."
(Helpful hint: He has a beard now.)
AWP is only the second time I’ve ever really wished I could clone myself to cover more ground. (The other was my first trip to Disney World.) When I looked at the eye-popping, heart-thumping list of seminars, I was psyched. Some appeal to the writer in me ('Carol Shields: Her Language and Craft'; 'What Do You Mean, I Have to Change That?'; 'Bringing Poetry to the People'), others to the reality that, yes, soon I will need a real job ('Marketing vs. Writing With a Nod to the New Media'). Everything else is suddenly less important. Taxes? That can wait till after AWP. For now, I'm contemplating what I can wear that will evoke the perfect combination of 'writer here' and 'hire me.'"
I'm especially excited about visiting the other booths and tables to see how others are handling their online presence, as the Web designer in me never rests. I'm also curious about the 'Keeping Track of Your Book" talk on Thursday morning.... But most of all, I can't wait to meet all the people who stop by our TW table."
AWP reminds me that I'm a writer. And that writing matters. For four days, I get to live immersed in a conversation about what matters most to me. I spend a lot of creative energy; I come home with even more."
For TW founder Martha Nichols, running a magazine is very much on her mind these days. But at a conference like this, she also enjoys wrestling with the Big Questions about literary journalism that fuel TW's larger mission:
Since the first AWP conference I attended in the 1990s, I've seen the ongoing debate about memoir writing and creative nonfiction evolve in fascinating ways. For instance: TW board member Michael Steinberg is on a panel this year ('Looking for Real-Life Humberts') that addresses unreliable narrators in creative nonfiction. I love not only the craft issues involved but the increasing emphasis on the ethical questions we need to ask when writing 'true stories.'"
At Table G20, we'll be giving away the lovely Talking Writing bookmarks created by Sheila Walsh, ace graphic designer and TW's administrative editor. The front of the bookmark includes a detail from "Physical Constants" by Susan Denniston, one of our featured artists last year. Of the design process, Sheila Walsh says:
I just wanted something that would be really simple and striking. I chose Susan's painting because it reminded me of a bookmark I found in a library book, a strip of an acrylic painting that someone was probably unhappy to lose but that's now a favorite of mine. So, less inspiration than imitation!"
She's being modest. Or maybe "less inspiration than imitation" is a phrase we should coin for all creative people. For writers, it takes both inspiration and a healthy dose of adaptation—but what do you think?
Come talk with us at Table G20, where we'll happily continue the conversation.
For more information about Susan Denniston's work, see her TW image essay: "At the Seawall." The back of the TW bookmark is based on the magazine's tag cloud: