Event Proposal Guidelines

AWP seeks proposals for panel discussions and readings about contemporary literature, the art of writing, the pedagogy of writing, and the business of publishing or managing an arts educational program for writers. All presentations are 75 minutes in length.

Proposals for 2019 are open! The deadline to submit your event proposal is May 1, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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.

The deadline to submit is May 1, 2018 before 11:59 p.m. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your #AWP19 proposal!

Using the Event Management System

  • All proposals must be submitted online through our Event Submission System. Read the instructions below or see a video about how to submit a proposal.
  • The Event Management system will let you create, edit, save, and return to edit your event as many times as you need to. Be sure all sections are complete and accurate before you submit.
  • Don’t draft your proposal in the online form or leave your proposal form open and idle on your computer without pressing the green SAVE button for the section. This could cause you to lose information if for some reason you are disconnected from AWP’s website or the form unexpectedly closes. Prepare the text beforehand and copy-and-paste into the online form. 
  • Save a backup copy of your proposal. Make sure you have a copy of your proposal saved in case something should go wrong during your submission process. 
  • Once you have submitted your proposal, in your AWP user account go to “My Events.” If your proposal has been submitted successfully, you should see the proposal there. You should also receive a confirmation email when you have submitted your proposal successfully.
  • 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. 

Required Information for #AWP19 Proposals

Title

Title cannot exceed 80 characters with spaces. The title should accurately reflect the content of the panel discussion or reading.

Type of Event

Be careful about the categorization of your event. There are two types of events. Panel Discussions and Readings. Within each of these types are more specific categories. Please see the Event Type section of this webpage for more detail about each category.

  • Panel Discussion types include Agents, Contracts, Contests, & Marketing; Artistic & Professional Stewardship; Fiction Craft & Criticism; Multiple Literary Genres Craft & Criticism; Nonfiction Craft & Criticism; Pedagogy; Poetry Craft & Criticism; Program Development; Publishing, Editing, & Technology; Tributes; Writers’ Conferences & Center Events.
  • Reading types include Fiction Readings; Multiple Literary Genres Readings; Nonfiction Readings; Poetry Readings.
  • Categories that will be sorted based on keywords in event titles and descriptions into either a Panel Discussion or a Reading are Children’s & Young Adult Literature: Craft, Criticism, & Readings; Playwriting & Screenwriting: Craft, Criticism, & Readings; Translation: Craft, Criticism, & Readings.

Event Description

Your event description should be no more than 500 characters long, including spaces. This text will appear in the conference programs if your event is accepted. On our web-based schedule, attendees are able to search accepted events' titles and descriptions for specific subjects that may interest them. Your description should indicate the panel’s topic and focus as specifically as possible, and reference any key terms that may be pertinent to attendees interested in your event. Do not use all caps other than to indicate acronyms. Do not include email addresses or personal web addresses. Do not list the names of your participants in your event description.

Statement of Merit

Your statement of merit should be no longer than 500 characters, including spaces. This is your opportunity to share with the conference subcommittee the importance of your proposal. Explain why the topic is of specific interest to the field, how the event addresses specific needs of a constituency, how it is inclusive and diverse, and how it stands out among others. Do not use all caps other than to indicate acronyms.

Event Roles & Responsibilities

The AWP Board of Trustees and the Portland 2019 Subcommittee encourages proposals featuring panelists who are diverse in their backgrounds, pursuits, affiliations, locations, and ages. While an institutional affiliation is not required of participants, panels should showcase presenters from a variety of organizations and institutions who are at different stages of their careers (including graduate students). The ideal panel discussion will consist of participants who represent a broad range of perspectives and experiences. 

Each event may have a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of (5) participants, including the moderator. Each presenter must confirm that she or he wishes to participate in the event via AWP’s online submission system. If AWP identifies proposals listing unconfirmed presenters, the event may be removed from consideration. Proposals with unconfirmed presenters have a historically lower chance of being accepted onto the schedule.

Event Organizer

The Event Organizer will serve as the liaison between AWP and the event participants and is typically the person who submits the proposal. The Event Organizer is responsible for completing all relevant confirmation forms, making sure all panelists register and participate, respond to requests for information, and maintaining an open line of communication between AWP and the event’s participants. The Event Organizer is NOT automatically identified in the system as a panelist. If the Event Organizer wishes to be included as a moderator or as a panelist, please include your information and biographical note in the Participant information area of the online submission form. Make sure you’ve entered your email address correctly. Confirmation for your proposal will be sent via email within 48 hours of your submission. 

Event Moderator

The moderator oversees event proceedings, including the question and answer session, 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.

Event Participant

In order to add an event participant to an AWP proposal, you will need a valid email address for each person. The Event Organizer needs to enter the participant’s first name and last name in the proposal as that presenter would like to be identified in the program and will need to label each participant as a Moderator or a Participant. 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.

Limits on Participation

In order for AWP to create a diverse and well-balanced schedule, presenters may participate in no more than two (2) accepted events, only one of which may be a reading. An individual may be included in no more than three (3) proposals. If an individual is listed as a participant in more than three proposals, all proposals that include that individual may be removed from consideration.

Biographical Notes

Each participant should have a short biographical note of no more than 300 characters, including spaces. Participants submit their short bio when they follow email instructions to link their account to a proposal or through the My Conference Participant Information page of their online user account. All short bios will be automatically added to any events to which they are linked. The short bio should begin with the presenter’s first and last name. Biographical notes should concisely reflect information relevant to the panel, such as publications or teaching, editorial, and/or administrative experience. For publications, include the genre and no more than three book or journal titles.

Please do not include the following in biographical notes:

  • Personal information, such as place of birth, family members, or hobbies;
  • Publishers or years of publication;
  • Magazine publications if you have published a book;
  • All caps other than to indicate acronyms; or
  • Email addresses or web addresses.

AWP reserves the right to edit all biographical notes.

Sample bios:

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.

Audio-Visual Requests

Audio-visual requests are not required in the submission of an event proposal. All events will be outfitted with an appropriate sound system that does not need to be requested in advance. Please do not make a request for additional audio-visual equipment unless you require such items to facilitate your event.

If Internet access or an LCD projector is necessary to your event, please select your equipment requirements on the proposal submission form and provide a statement of need. As a result of the significant costs related to the rental of these items at the conference, requests will not be taken after event proposals are submitted. AWP reserves the right to accept or deny audio-visual requests for accepted events. Audio-visual requests will not be factored into the scoring of your proposal during the selection process.

Types of Events

Events are separated into two categories: Readings and Panel Discussions. Within those categories are different subtypes, such as a Fiction Reading or Multiple Genres Craft & Criticism. It is very important to categorize your event correctly as it may affect your participants’ ability to participate if your event is accepted. You will not be able to change the category of the event later.

Events categorized as Readings should be focused on the participant’s own work. Reading from original work should take up at least 45 minutes of the 75-minute event. Readings may include brief discussion surrounding the readings.

Events categorized as Panel Discussions should be focused on the craft and criticism of another person’s work outside of the panel. Discussion should be the focus of the event. Reading should take up no more than 20 minutes (5 minutes per participant) of the 75-minute event.

For three event types, you may submit either a Panel Discussion or Reading. Once the events in these categories are accepted, they will be sorted into either a Reading or Panel Discussion category based on the title and event description. When submitting in one of these types, Event Organizers should indicate in the title, description, or statement or merit what they intend for their event to be.

Reading Event Types Description

Fiction Reading

These readings are by two or more authors of novels and short story collections. 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.

Multiple Literary Genres Readings

Readings by two or more writers in two or more literary genres fall under this category. Presses may also propose events in this category, including readings celebrating milestones in their publishing history. Readings may also showcase outstanding authors from the region in which the annual conference is being held.

Nonfiction Readings

These readings are by two or more authors of memoirs, essays of creative nonfiction, and literary biographies. 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.

Poetry Readings

These readings are by two or more authors of poetry. 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.

 

Panel Discussion Event Types Description

Agents, Contracts, Contests, & Marketing

These presentations and workshops 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.

Artistic & Professional Stewardship

These presentations 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 academe; post-MFA/PhD opportunities; community outreach; managing writing groups; writing residency opportunities; time management; familial or parental concerns; needs of the disabled; literacy; job interview skills; development of resumes or CVs; internships; and jobs in professional writing, criticism, editing, publishing, arts administration, and academe. Caucuses should be submitted in this category; please see the “Caucus” section of this document for information about caucuses.

Fiction Craft & Criticism

These presentations focus on the craft of writing short stories and novels and the challenges of writing in various forms of narration: epistolary novels, experimental fiction, short-short fiction, unreliable narrators, handling point-of-view, genre fiction, effective dialogue, ethnic representation, maximalist fiction, speculative fiction, minimalism, humor, the influence or legacy of fiction writers, current controversies and trends in recently published fiction, and other topics. These presentations may focus on topics of craft that apply to fiction along with other artistic mediums, including mixed media collaborations, interdisciplinary forms, and other genre bending and blending aesthetics. Presenters who read from or discuss their own work during these panel discussions, do so in a limited capacity (not longer than 5 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.

Multiple Literary Genres Craft & Criticism

These presentations focus on topics of craft that apply to two or more literary genres, including issues pertaining to the creative process; literary culture or cultural theory; and writing for social justice, ethnic representation, environmental issues, religion, politics, science, and cultural trends and upheavals. The discussion should be around how the issues play across at least two literary genres. Presenters who read from or discuss their own work during these panel discussions, do so in a limited capacity (not longer than 5 minutes), and only to expand upon the discussion of other texts, authors, or subjects. These presentations may also focus on topics of craft that apply to two or more literary genres along with other artistic mediums, including mixed media collaboration, interdisciplinary forms, and other genre bending and blending aesthetics.

Nonfiction Craft & Criticism

These presentations focus on the craft of writing nonfiction, including personal and lyric essays, biography, memoir, environmental advocacy, research, the influence or legacy of nonfiction writers, current controversies and trends, and other topics. These presentations may focus on topics of craft that apply to nonfiction along with other artistic mediums, including mixed media collaborations, interdisciplinary forms, and other genre bending and blending aesthetics. Presenters who read from or discuss their own work during these panel discussions, do so in a limited capacity (not longer than 5 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.

Pedagogy

These presentations focus primarily on issues related to effective teaching of writing at all levels: graduate workshops, undergraduate seminars, K though 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.

Poetry Craft & Criticism

These presentations focus on the craft of writing poetry: the elements of formal verse, free verse, creative strategies, literary theory, audience development, aesthetics, the influence or legacy of poets, current controversies and trends, and other topics. These presentations may focus on topics of craft that apply to poetry along with other artistic mediums, including mixed media collaborations, interdisciplinary forms, and other genre bending and blending aesthetics. Presenters who read from or discuss their own work during these panel discussions, do so in a limited capacity (not longer than 5 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.

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.

Publishing, Editing, & Technology

These presentations 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, web site development, organizational development, business realignments in publishing, small press administration, designing publications for digital tablets, and technological innovations influencing reading, writing, and publishing.

Tributes

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 have at least three 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.

Writers’ Conferences & Centers Events

These presentations 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 academe.

 

Reading or Panel Discussion Event Types Description

Children’s & Young Adult Literature: Craft, Criticism, & Readings

These presentations (panels or readings) focus on the elements of craft in writing for children or young adults and other topics. They may also include readings by three or more children’s and young adult authors.

Playwriting & Screenwriting: Craft, Criticism, & Readings

These presentations focus on elements of craft as well as appreciations of other writers and discussions of cultural trends in theater, cinema, and television. Readings by actors, playwrights, or screenwriters should also be submitted in this category.

Translation: Craft, Criticism, & Readings

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 events with translators reading from recent work, and may be followed by a short reading or speech by the translated author.

Caucuses

Proposed caucuses should be made up of a specific demographic group that shares academic, literary, and professional development concerns that are not already addressed through the other 18 programming modules within the proposal system. Subject matter already designated under the 18 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.

A new caucus may be proposed only by a nonprofit literary organization whose mission is to support the demographic group of the caucus. If no such organization exists, AWP will still consider the proposal without any such affiliation. A proposal for a new caucus must be sent to events@awpwriter.org by May 1 for the following year’s conference, and be accompanied by the following materials:

  1. A petition signed by 30 AWP members who have attended the previous three conferences, which must include their 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 administer the caucus;
  3. A caucus description not to exceed 500 characters, including spaces; and
  4. A statement of merit not to exceed 500 characters, including spaces.

The Conference Steering Committee of the AWP Board of Trustees will evaluate new caucus proposals with no guarantee of acceptance. Once a proposal is accepted, the caucus will need to be submitted through AWP’s electronic proposal system for record keeping purposes.

After a caucus holds two annual meetings, the AWP board revaluates the caucus for automatic acceptance onto the conference schedule. To receive this status, the caucus must demonstrate an extraordinary need that goes beyond the programming accepted through the regular proposal process.

The Conference Steering Committee of the AWP Board of Trustees reserves the right to deny a caucus acceptance onto the conference schedule for a violation of the Caucus Presenter Guidelines as outlined in the Presenter Guidelines. Please see the Presenter Guidelines for a detailed explanation of the guidelines for conducting caucuses and the criteria for automatic acceptance of a caucus.

Selection and Scoring Process

Please visit the How Events Are Selected page for an explanation of the selection and scoring process.

Notification

All event organizers will be notified of submission results via email in early 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 Monday, August 14 for the accepted event to appear in the 2018 conference schedule.

Suggestions for Success

Do not wait until the final week to submit.

Consider revising and resending a previously rejected panel. Each year, AWP is unable to accept a number of high-quality panels because of space limitations. Because the composition of the conference subcommittee changes from year to year, we encourage you to resubmit if the panel topic remains relevant.

Save a backup copy of your proposal. Make sure you have a copy of your proposal saved in case something should go wrong during your submission process.

The Event Management system will let you create, edit, save, and return to edit your event as many times as you need to. Be sure all sections are complete and accurate before you submit.

Don’t draft your proposal in the online form or leave your proposal form open and idle on your computer without pressing the green SAVE button for the section. This could cause you to lose information if for some reason you are disconnected from AWP’s website or the form unexpectedly closes. Prepare the text beforehand and copy-and-paste into the online form.

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.

If you would like to be in the conference program, include yourself as a participant. Event organizers must list themselves as participants in order to be included in the program.

Do not mail your proposal. AWP does not accept proposals sent by post or email. Proposals must be submitted through our website.

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.

Make sure you’ve entered your email address correctly. Confirmation for your proposal will be sent via email within 48 hours of your submission.

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.

Accessibility Services

AWP is committed to making all reasonable arrangements that will allow conference attendees to participate in conference events. All convention centers and hotels occupied by the conference are accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All rooms at the conference are wheelchair accessible and have seats in the first row marked as reserved for individuals with accessibility needs.

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 events@awpwriter.org by Wednesday, February 27, 2019. AWP will make every effort to accommodate requests that arrive after February 27, 2019. Please see the Accessibility Services page of our website for more information.

Attendees who require services during the conference should request it from staff at AWP’s Accessibility Desk located in the registration area.

Registration Policies

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, 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 of our website.

Individuals registering at the student rate must present a valid student ID on site. Individuals registering at the senior rate must also present a valid ID on site.

Attendee Terms and 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

#AWP19
#AWP19

March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center