Event Proposal Guidelines
The 2023 AWP Conference & Bookfair will feature hundreds of conference events and thousands of presenters at the in-person conference in Seattle, WA. A select number of events will be made available virtually for both in-person and virtual-only attendees to enjoy. Proposals for both in-person and virtual conference events will be accepted in spring 2022.
Event organizers of all #AWP23 events, both in-person and virtual, are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the event proposal guidelines below and the presenter guidelines. If you are planning to propose a virtual event, please also be sure to review the Virtual Conference Events page for specific information on how these events will be held.
The AWP conference subcommittee seeks proposals featuring panelists who are diverse in their backgrounds, pursuits, affiliations, and ages. While an institutional affiliation is not required of participants, when appropriate, panels should showcase presenters from a variety of organizations and institutions who are at different stages of their careers. The ideal panel will consist of participants who represent a broad range of perspectives and experiences. The committee also encourages panel participation from graduate and undergraduate students.
All 2023 AWP events must follow the following guidelines:
- include between two and five participants, including the moderator
- be seventy-five minutes in length for in-person events or sixty minutes in length for virtual events
- be correctly categorized
- include a title, description, and statement of value
AWP membership is not necessary to propose or participate in a conference event.
AWP reserves the right to reject any panel proposal if one or more of its proposed participants fails to meet the guidelines set forth here.
If your event is accepted, you and your fellow panelists must execute the event as it was described in your proposal. Panelists who fail to execute their accepted panel as it is described in the event proposal submission may forfeit their participation in future conferences.Consider revising and resending a previously rejected panel. Each year, AWP is unable to accept a number of high-quality panels because of space and resource limitations. Because the composition of the conference subcommittee changes from year to year, we encourage you to resubmit if the panel topic remains relevant.
The deadline for event organizers to submit their event proposal is 11:59 p.m. EST on June 15, 2022.
- #AWP23 Event Timeline
- Event Roles & Responsibilities
- Limits on Participation
- Linking to an Event
- Short Biographies
- Event Outline Upload
- Event Categories
- Submitting Your Event
- Selection & Scoring Process
- Accessibility Services
- Registration Policies
- Attendee Terms & Conditons
#AWP23 Event Timeline
June 15, 11:59 p.m. EST: deadline to submit 2023 conference proposals
June 22: deadline for all participants to link to event proposals and add their short biographies
June–July: conference subcommittee evaluates proposals
August: AWP announces accepted events
Late August: deadline for organizers to confirm accepted events
Fall 2022: full schedule is announced
Event Roles & Responsibilities
Organizer: The event organizer is the person who submits the event to AWP. This person will be the main point of contact for AWP staff and will act as the liaison between AWP and the participants. The organizer of the event doesn’t necessarily need to be a participant.
Moderator: The moderator oversees event proceedings and must ensure that presentation, discussion, and/or reading time is managed appropriately within the event’s allotted time. The moderator is considered an event participant and is expected to adhere to AWP’s participation guidelines, policies, and limitations. The moderator’s biographical note will be included in the online conference schedule. Please note: While the moderator is responsible for managing the content of the conference event, the event organizer is responsible for submitting all relevant paperwork to AWP and for serving as the liaison between AWP and the event participants.
Participant: Also popularly called presenters, participants in events are those who have been added by the organizer and have linked their AWP user account to the proposal.
Limits on Participation
Each participant may be included on up to three event proposals and up to two conference events. It is rare for three proposals for one individual to be accepted, but in the case that this happens, that participant would need to step down from one of their events to comply with the two-event limit. The two-event limit includes both in-person and virtual conference events.
Linking to an Event
Once the proposal is submitted, an email will be sent to each participant who was added to the event at the email address the organizer provided. In this email is a unique hyperlink that will allow each participant to link to the event.
If for some reason the participant is unable to receive the invitation to link email, the event organizer may manually send the participant the unique hyperlink that will allow them to link to the event. The organizer may send this unique hyperlink by going to their Event Management page and clicking the “ Copy Link ” button next to the name of the participant who did not receive the email. The organizer can then send that link to the participant, who may use it to link their AWP account to the event proposal.
Every participant must link to their conference event proposal. By linking your AWP user account with the event, you are giving AWP confirmation of your participation in this proposal. When you link, we are also able to use the short biography added in your AWP user account to the proposal.
All participants may add a short bio for inclusion in the online program. These must be added by the deadline to confirm accepted events.
During the linking process, you should be asked to include your bio, but if you miss this step or want to add a biography at a different time, you can always add one by logging in to your AWP user account and going to My Conference Participant Information. All short biographies will be automatically added to any events to which they are linked. Changes made to biographies after the deadline will not be reflected in the online schedule.
AWP reserves the right to edit all biographical notes.
Luna Hartman is the author of three books of poetry: Threshold; Lunar Sightings; and Wonderlust. She was awarded an NEA fellowship for poetry in 2010. Hartman directs the writing program at Palmer University.
Roger Martinez is a former fellow and current board member for the Windside Artist Residency. He is the fiction editor of the New Albany Review and is the program director at the Center for the Arts. His book reviews appear in newspapers throughout the country.
Event Outline Upload
In the case that your event is accepted, you will be asked to upload an outline to your event by January 20, 2023. An event outline can include any written remarks you have prepared, reading material you plan to share, or a list of moderator questions. This document can be uploaded only by the organizer or the moderator.
This event outline will be available for attendees to download from the online schedule when it goes live in the fall. You may replace this document with a more updated version at any time as your plans come into better focus closer to the event.
For the 2023 conference cycle, event outlines will be mandatory, and events without outlines uploaded by January 20 will be removed from the schedule.
This feature was added to the proposal system to encourage event participants to start preparing for the event well beforehand. Additionally, these copies are essential for holding an accessible event. Consider members of your audience who have disabilities and may wish or need to follow along to a written text. It is also helpful for ASL and CART interpreters to see event information beforehand.
Events are separated into three formats: readings, panel discussions, and discussion rooms. Within those formats are different categories, such as a fiction reading or a poetry craft and criticism panel discussion. It is very important to categorize your event correctly as this is how AWP will publicize your event in our print program.
If you would like to see a full list of past events, please visit our conference archives.
If you are unsure which category your event proposal best fits into, please email email@example.com for assistance.
Each reading features two to five writers. Presses may also propose events in this category, including anniversary readings celebrating milestones in their publishing history. Readings may also showcase outstanding authors from the region in which the annual conference is held.
These readings are by two or more authors of novels and short story collections. Ex. Dirty Works: Fiction from the New American Working Class; Innovations in Southeast Asian Narratives
Multiple Literary Genres Reading
Readings by two or more writers in two or more literary genres fall under this category. Ex. Surveillance in the Borderlands: A Reading by Southwest Writers; Iron Horse Literary Review: 20th Anniversary Reading
These readings are by two or more authors of memoirs, essays of creative nonfiction, and literary biographies. Ex. True Story: Revolutionary Creative Nonfiction; Celebrating 20 Years of the Oxford American Southern Music Issue
Panel Discussions: Craft & Criticism
These events focus on the craft of writing. Presenters who read from or discuss their own work during these panel discussions do so in a limited capacity (not longer than five minutes), and only to expand upon the discussion of other texts, authors, or subjects. Discussions may also be focused on topics that highlight the region where the conference is being held.
Fiction Craft & Criticism
These events focus on the craft of writing short stories and novels. These presentations may focus on topics of craft that apply to fiction along with other artistic mediums, including mixed media collaborations and interdisciplinary forms. Ex. Unrealism: The True Art of Fantastic Fiction; Agents of Change: The Activist Protagonist
Multiple Literary Genres Craft & Criticism
These events focus on topics of craft that apply to two or more literary genres. The discussion should be around how issues or the topic of discussion plays across at least two literary genres. These presentations may also focus on topics of craft that apply to genre bending and blending aesthetics. Ex. Worth a Thousand Words: Poetry, Photography, and Instagram; The Intersection of Writing and Performing
Nonfiction Craft & Criticism
These events focus on the craft of writing nonfiction. These presentations may focus on topics of craft that apply to nonfiction along with other artistic mediums, including mixed media collaborations and interdisciplinary forms. Ex. Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Finding the Heart of Travel Writing; Immortalizing Our Beloveds: The Risks and Rewards of Writing About Family
Poetry Craft & Criticism
These events focus on the craft of writing poetry. These presentations may focus on topics of craft that apply to poetry along with other artistic mediums, including mixed media collaborations and interdisciplinary forms. Ex. Tell Don’t Show: A Panel on Poetic Statement; Sex at the Intersections: The Erotics of Queer and Of-Color Poetry
Children’s & Young Adult Literature
These events focus on the elements of craft in writing for children or young adults and other topics. Ex. The Future of Gender: Optimism and Realism in Transgender Children’s Books; The Big Black Dog: Children’s Literature Takes on Mental Illness
Playwriting & Screenwriting
These events focus on elements of craft in playwriting and screenwriting, as well as appreciations of other writers and discussions of cultural trends in theater, cinema, and television. Ex. The Emerging Eco-Theatre; The Legacy of Angels in America
These events focus on theories and strategies of translation, cultural differences, and the practical considerations of international literary markets for translated works. They may also include discussions with translators reading from recent work and may be followed by a short reading or speech by the translated author. Ex. Politics and Pragmatics of Translating Asian Languages; Property of the Imagination: Caribbean Literature in Translation
Tributes are appreciations of outstanding living authors, literary mentors, and editors or those who have died within the last twenty years. Discussions may be focused on individuals who hold significant literary ties to the region where the conference is being held. Such events typically include speakers testifying about the tributee’s work as an artist, mentor, or teacher. The testimonies can be followed by a short reading or speech by the honoree. Ex. The Triumph of Lucia Berlin; Diana's Diaspora: Diana Der-Hovanessian's Influence on Armenian American Writers
Panel Discussions: Professional & Industry
These events focus on the professional aspects of working in the writing industry, including the perspectives of writers championing their own work, publishing industry professionals, and/or individuals managing other literary organizations.
Agents, Contracts, Contests & MarketingThese events address the business side of publishing. Events should provide advice in selecting a literary agent, entering literary competitions, understanding copyright laws and issues of libel or defamation, finding a publisher, executing a contract for publication, organizing reading tours and book launches, and promoting and marketing one’s own literary work. Ex. Wait! Wait! Don’t Sign That: A Writer’s Guide to Book Contract Basics; I Sold It! Now What?
Artistic & Professional Development
These events provide advice on how one should manage one’s talents, life, and career for greater artistic or professional success. Topics may include managing the writer’s life; employment or promotion, either within or outside academia; post-MFA/PhD opportunities; community outreach; managing writing groups; writing residency opportunities; time management; familial or parental concerns; literacy; job interview skills; development of resumes or CVs; internships; and jobs in professional writing, criticism, editing, publishing, arts administration, and academia. Ex. A Job of One’s Own: How to Create a Professional Life that Works for You; Surviving Your Debut Year: Staying Sane and Savvy Before and After Publication
Publishing, Editing, & Technology
These events are addressed to editors, publishers, distributors, and the technological facilitators of literary books, anthologies, journals, book reviews, web sites, and electronic media. Topics may include marketing, graphic design, editing, rights acquisition, copyright, website development, organizational development, business realignments in publishing, small press administration, designing publications for digital tablets, and technological innovations influencing reading, writing, and publishing. Ex. Elements of Small Press Success; Editing Patriarchy: Women Editors Respond to Historic & Restorative Publishing
Writers’ Conferences & Centers
These events focus on issues related to good management of literary nonprofit organizations, writers’ conferences, and community centers; audience development; community service; administration; marketing; board development; fundraising; programming; facilities management; strategic planning; and teaching outside academia. Ex. Launching a Literary Start-Up; Creating Discrimination & Harassment Policies in the Era of #MeToo
Panel Discussions: Academic
These events focus on the practice of teaching writing, particularly in academic settings.
These presentations focus primarily on issues related to effective teaching of writing at all levels: graduate workshops, undergraduate seminars, K through 12, and writers-in-the-schools or community classes. Pedagogy events may be focused on the teaching of a single genre or multiple genres. Proposals should clarify which levels of education upon which the presenters will focus. Ex. Tips From the Wired Trenches: Tactics for Teaching Creative Writing Online; One Size Doesn’t Fit All: The Equity-Minded Workshop in a Two-Year College
These events are designed for the administrators of various kinds of creative writing programs: residency programs, low-residency programs, undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and programs at two-year colleges. The presentations focus on the elements of good program administration: admissions, state and regional accreditation requirements, curriculum development, recruitment of faculty, fundraising, alumni development, marketing, and strategic planning. Ex. If You Build It, Will They Come? Cultivating Literary Culture at Rural Colleges; Tapping the Untapped: Building a Vibrant Reading Series for Authors & Audiences
Discussion rooms are an opportunity for presenters and attendees to engage in deeper, more collaborative conversation on specific literary topics. During the discussion room onsite at the conference, presenters will lead attendees in discussion about the topic and should be prepared to share their own perspectives, pose questions to be answered and discussed by attendees, and answer questions from attendees. Presenters should be prepared to lead a room of up to one hundred attendees in discussion. Ex. Writing Through Grief & Loss: The Intersection of Social & Personal Grief During COVID; After Sexual Misconduct: A Community Dialogue for Survivors and Allies
Caucuses should be submitted in this category; please see the Caucus section of this document for information about caucuses.
Submitting Your Event
If your proposal was submitted before it was complete, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When we hear from you, we will eliminate the incomplete proposal, and you may submit a new version.
Make sure you’ve entered your email address correctly and wait for your confirmation email. Confirmation for your proposal will be sent via email a few minutes after you submit. Please be patient. You can check on the status of your proposal at any time by visiting the Event Management system. When an event is successfully submitted, a PDF copy of that proposal is automatically emailed to you and available for download in the Event Management system.
Be sure to have current contact information for your event participants. Missing or incorrect email addresses may prevent important information from reaching your participants. AWP does not sell or trade email addresses.
AWP welcomes the creation of new caucuses through our annual conference event proposal system. Proposed caucuses should be made up of a specific demographic group that shares academic, literary, and professional development concerns. Please note that subject matter or event category already designated under the eighteen programming modules within the proposal system (e.g. pedagogy discussions or children’s and young adult literature sessions) is not eligible to create a caucus.
Caucuses can also create and facilitate opportunities for communication between AWP and their caucus members. AWP very much wants to hear from the caucuses about their needs and how they would like to be supported. AWP may also call upon caucus leaders to address issues between AWP and caucuses’ members to problem-solve and create solutions.
Nonprofit literary organizations whose mission is to support a particular demographic group can propose new caucuses. If no affiliated organization exists or can offer their support, AWP will still consider proposals. All members of caucus leadership must be AWP members. A proposal for a new caucus must be sent to email@example.com by the proposal deadline for the following year’s conference, and be accompanied by the following materials:
- a petition signed by thirty AWP members, including first and last names and email addresses;
- if applicable, a one-page letter from the executive director or senior official of the sponsoring nonprofit detailing how the organization will help administer the caucus;
- a caucus description not to exceed 500 characters, including spaces; and
- a statement of value not to exceed 500 characters, including spaces.
The Conference Steering Committee of the AWP Board of Directors will evaluate new caucus proposals. Once a proposal is accepted, the caucus will need to be submitted through AWP’s electronic proposal system for recordkeeping purposes.
After a caucus holds two annual meetings, the AWP board reevaluates the caucus for automatic acceptance onto the conference schedule. To receive this status, the caucus must demonstrate a need that goes beyond the programming accepted through the regular proposal process.
Selection & Scoring Process
Please visit the How Events Are Selected page for an explanation of the selection and scoring process.
All event organizers will be notified of submission results via email in August. Event confirmation forms and formal letters of acceptance will be sent via email shortly thereafter. Your confirmation form must be completed, signed electronically, and returned to AWP no later than August 29, 2022, for the accepted event to appear in the 2023 conference schedule.
AWP is committed to making all reasonable arrangements that will allow conference attendees to participate in conference events.
Many accessibility services require advanced planning and reservations for a conference as large as AWP’s. In order to help us better prepare, all requests for accessibility services, equipment, or accommodations, should be submitted in advance. AWP can best meet accessibility needs when requests are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, February 15, 2023. AWP will make every effort to accommodate requests that arrive after February 15. Please see the Accessibility Services page of our website for more information.
All presenters must register for the conference and can do so at our reduced presenter rate. The rate will be made available to all presenters, who will be notified via email about how and when to register.
Presenter registration includes admission to AWP’s bookfair, meetings, panels, readings, discussion rooms, and public receptions for the duration of the conference period. Meals, lodging, and travel are not included. For information on lodging at AWP’s official conference hotels, please visit the Hotel & Travel page.
Attendee Terms & Conditons
Please visit the Attendee Terms & Conditions page for an explanation of these policies, which are automatically agreed upon by anyone who attends the conference.