The Association of Writers and Writing Program (AWP) Conference and Book Fair, currently North America’s largest literary conference, was held in Tampa Florida this year. It featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The book fair hosts over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world.
Among many panelists and readers at the 2018 conference were inspiraton2publication writing coaches and instructors including Arielle Silver, Seth Fisher, and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. inspiraton2publication offers book coaching packages, manuscript review, and live courses all taught by graduates of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Antioch University. Their mission is to provide affordable online creative writing classes and writing coach options for the widest possible range of writers in every writing community.
For the current session of inspiraton2publication, Arielle Silver will be teaching a round of Feasting on Form, which takes its inspiration from food and creative nonfiction hybrid forms. “This is a particular passion of mine—I love lyric essay and the sensory experiences that food inspires in writing, from feasting to starving,” she says.
At the conference, Silver participated in two panels as a presenter. The first titled Identity/Theft: a Conversation for the Classroom about Race, Appropriation, and Rachel Dolezal which arose from a pre-conference conversation on race, gender identity, culture, and appropriation and “featured a round-table discussion with lively audience participation and a culturally diverse panel of educators and social activists.” The second was a panel addressing issues or aspects of the female bodily experience in the world.
Also represented at this year’s conference were chair of the creative writing department at AULA and former president of the AWP Steve Heller, and many other faculty, students, and alums of the program. Panel topics included Poets of Color read Poetry on Parenting with Victoria Chang, Depictions of Class in Contemporary Southern Fiction with Allie Marini and Brennan Defrisco, and Queer Magic: A Reading and Celebration with Kay Ulanday Barrett, Ilana Masad, Natalie Sharp, Jericho Brown, Jenny Factor, and Rachel McKibbens.