Event Proposal Guidelines

The 2025 AWP Conference & Bookfair will feature hundreds of conference events and thousands of presenters at the in-person conference in Los Angeles, California. 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 open in spring 2024.

Event organizers of all #AWP25 proposals, 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.

Please note that the following proposal guidelines are subject to change and may be altered by AWP without notice.

The 2025 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 2025 AWP events must meet the following criteria:

  • include between two and five participants, including the moderator
  • be seventy-five minutes long for in-person events or sixty minutes long 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. ET on May 23, 2024.

#AWP25 Event Proposal Timeline

May 23, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline to submit 2025 conference event proposals
May 30, 2024: Deadline for all participants to link to event proposals and add their short biographies
June–July 2024: Conference subcommittee evaluates proposals.
August 2024: AWP announces accepted events.
August 23, 2024: Deadline for organizers to confirm accepted events
Fall 2024: 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 commonly 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 regular event proposals and up to two regular conference events. (Participation in a featured event, caucus meeting, bookfair stage event, or other pro forma event does not count toward the participation limit.) It is rare for three proposals for one individual to be accepted, but if 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 their AWP user account to the event.

If for some reason the participant is unable to receive the 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 add the short biography in your AWP user account to the proposal.

Short Biographies

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 biography, 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 the My Conference Participant Information page. 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 Categories

Events are separated into two formats: readings and panel discussions. 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 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 events@awpwriter.org 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.

Fiction Reading

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

Nonfiction 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

Poetry Reading

These readings are by two or more authors of poetry.
Ex. New Poets of Native Nations; The Gothic Pastoral: Poems from a Wrecked Eden

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 play 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 & Marketing

These 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, websites, 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 the presenters will focus on.
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

Program Development

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


Caucuses should be submitted in this category; please see the Caucus section of this document for information about caucuses.

Event Preferences

When submitting your event proposal, you must select either the in-person or virtual event preference option. If you select the in-person option, you are confirming that if your event is accepted, you would like it to take place in person in Los Angeles, California. If you select the virtual option, you are confirming that if your event is accepted, you would like to virtually prerecord it in fall 2024, to be made available online during the conference in March 2025.

Once you have submitted your event proposal, you will not be able to change your event preference. As in-person and virtual events require different resources and planning, we cannot allow events to change format once they have been evaluated and accepted.

Requesting Audio/Visual Equipment

All in-person events will be outfitted with the appropriate number of microphones and speakers; you do not need to request these items in advance. You must submit all requests for additional audio/visual equipment for an in-person conference event, including internet access and an LCD projector and screen, with the initial event proposal. You can request audio/visual equipment to allow in-person presenters to show slides or other visuals, to play audio or video files, or to include a remote presenter via video call.

Submitting Your Event

If your proposal was submitted before it was complete, email us at events@awpwriter.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 page. When an event is successfully submitted, a PDF copy of that proposal is automatically emailed to you and available for download on the Event Management page.

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 already designated under the eighteen event categories within the proposal system (e.g., pedagogy discussions or children’s and young adult literature sessions) is not an eligible basis for creating 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 solve problems 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 events@awpwriter.org by the proposal deadline for the following year’s conference, and be accompanied by the following materials:

  1. a petition signed by thirty AWP members, including first and last names and email addresses;
  2. 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;
  3. a caucus description not to exceed 500 characters, including spaces; and
  4. 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. After notification, accepted event organizers will be asked to confirm all event details and will have the opportunity to make minor changes to their event title, description, and/or participant list. Event organizers must confirm their event details in their Event Management page no later than August 23, 2024 for the accepted event to appear in the 2025 conference schedule.

Accessibility Services

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. 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 ADA@awpwriter.org by Friday, March 7, 2025. AWP will make every effort to accommodate requests that arrive after March 7. Please visit our Accessibility Services for more information.

Registration Policies

All accepted 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, and public receptions during 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.

Event Outline Upload

If your event is accepted, you will be asked to upload an event outline by February 26, 2025. An 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 2025 conference cycle, event outlines will be mandatory, and events without outlines uploaded by February 26, 2025 will be removed from the schedule.

This feature was added to the proposal system to encourage event participants to start preparing for their event well in advance. 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 with a written text. It is also helpful for ASL and CART interpreters to see event information beforehand.

For more information on preparing accessible event outlines, please review the AWP Conference & Bookfair Event Outline Guide (PDF). A plain-text version of this guide is also available.

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.


Accessibility Services

Attendee Terms & Conditions

Refund Policy

2025 Annual Conference & Bookfair

March 26–29, 2025
Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Convention Center