Top 7 Things I Learned at AWP

If you haven’t already, check out my AWP conference wrap-up.  Here are the top 7 things I learned,  in no particular order:

1. The reports of the death of print are greatly exaggerated. It’s more of an evolution, or perhaps a mutation. Case in point: for all the talk of ebook domination and the digital publishing revolution, small presses only see about 3% of their revenue from ebooks.

2. The mutation of print won’t include extra appendages or scary, gross deformities. On the contrary, it’ll get prettier. The endurance of print publications will rely on their uniqueness and transformation into art objects. Expect higher quality paper, innovative binding and construction – things that can’t be duplicated electronically.

3. Rejections (a.k.a the thing that shall not be named) don’t exist. Deny them and they’ll go away. Or if not, at least you’ll feel better and keep submitting.

4. Impersonal rejections may be better than critiques. Editors aren’t your teachers and a bunch of their opinions on the work that they’re rejecting may or may not be actually helpful. Quick form letters aren’t personal and shouldn’t be taken personally by the writer, which may reduce the sting of the thing that shall not be named.

5. Publishers may Google you before accepting you, so don’t be a jerk online.

6. HBO’s The Wire was the great American novel of our time.

7. If the day arrives when authors need to sell t-shirts at the back of readings like musicians do at concerts … are you ready?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Photo by Kevin Collins