Chris and I are in Washington, DC, attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)’s annual conference, along with 15,000 other writers. It is absolutely mind-boggling to see so many aspiring authors all together in one venue. The conference, itself, is being held at the Washington Convention Center, but various activities take place off-site, at hotels and restaurants in the DC area.
Like tonight’s reading…
Fairfield University’s MFA Program and New Rivers Press sponsored a reception/reading for their recently-published authors at the Mandu, an upscale Korean restaurant on K Street NW. The food was delicious and the company was wonderful. I finally got to meet Nayt from New Rivers Press, the very patient man who oversaw the editing of Frozen Voices. And he was just as nice as I thought he would be, too!
I did a brief reading from Frozen Voices and then about a half-dozen other authors read from their newly-published books, too: Matt Winkler, Elizabeth Searle, and others. Really good stuff! Although it was a bit noisy in the restaurant, everyone in the loft listened attentively and applauded enthusiastically. A lot of fun!
The AWP Conference was amazing: thousands of writers attending hundreds of seminars. Chris and I spent much of our time at the Bookfair, the huge room with all of the tables/stalls for all of the schools, publishers, and other organizations that wanted to distribute information and sell books. I spent a few hours signing copies of Frozen Voices at both the Fairfield University MFA booth and the New Rivers Press booth. I really enjoyed talking to people about their own writing projects, too…so many innovative story concepts!
While in DC, Chris and I went out with some good friends to celebrate my birthday at a Cuban restaurant. The meal was delicious and then I got to blow out a candle stuck into some yummy rice pudding. How do you beat that?