[ VCFA's reporter on the ground, Caitlin Leffel '10, will be blogging regularly from AWP. Herewith, her journey begins ...]
February 29, 2011: It's just after 6am on the west coast, and I've already been awake for an hour. My regular Facebook newsfeed is punctuated with allusions to the great coalescing in which some of us will be participating in a day's time. It's a rhythm familiar to all of us who have experienced residency. References to packing; airport journeys; weather concerns; wardrobe queries; and the total unwieldiness of the conference schedule.
This is my first trip to Chicago, but my third to AWP. The first conference I attended was in April 2010; I used AWP's student disount (registration was $40, instead of $100+) and some JetBlue points to investigate this annual event I had heard so much about at VCFA. I was pleased to discover, along with the best tacos in Denver, that my three-quarter-cross-country gamble paid off. AWP provides an annual touchstone for writers across the country. I realized that for me, it could be a good way to keep myself connected to the writing world, and help me push myself forward after graduating from VCFA.
This year, I'm also going to participate in a panel, hosted by the lovely ladies of ModCloth (http://www.modcloth.com/), tomorrow, March 1 from 3-4:15PM at the Palmer House, on blogging. ModCloth is a clothing company with an extra focus on writing, and has been an enthusiastic presence at the conference both years I've attended. I'm so excited and honored to present something with this cool group. If you will be at the conference, please consider checking us out!
Speaking of packing, time to finish mine. Will be back with a fresh dispatch on the ground in Chicago tomorrow!