Presenter Guidelines

Please read the following information to ensure a successful and well-attended event. All conference events will be pre-recorded and broadcast virtually from March 3-7, 2021.

Presenter Terms & Conditions

Virtual Programming

AWP is excited to announce that #AWP21 will be fully virtual this March. The AWP Conference & Bookfair has always been a place of connection, reunion, and celebration, and we hope to offer the same experience in a new way this year.

Following the notification that their event has been accepted, event organizers will receive instructions for scheduling a date and time to pre-record their accepted event with the assistance of an AWP staff member.

Role Description

Event Organizer

The event organizer, identified in the event proposal, serves as the primary contact and must confirm all event particulars, including participant contact information and bios, scheduling requests, and audio-visual needs. The organizer will not be listed as an event participant or identified as such in the conference program unless the organizer self-identifies as a moderator or participant in the proposal. If the event organizer wishes to be listed in the conference program and/or take part in the event, she or he must be included on the list of participants.

Event Moderator

Events should have a designated moderator, who may also be the event organizer. 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.

Organizer Responsibilities

The event organizer is responsible for submitting all relevant paperwork to AWP and for serving as the liaison between AWP and the event participants. Additionally, the event organizer is responsible for ensuring each presenter, including the moderator, is prepared to participate in the event in a virtual manner and has registered for the conference prior to pre-recording the event. Should the event be cancelled without cause or the presenters fail to hold the event, AWP reserves the right to not accept for consideration any event proposals from the organizer for the next conference.

Moderator Responsibilities

The event moderator oversees and manages the event proceedings, ensuring the event observes the following:

  • That presenters are introduced to the audience at the beginning of the event.
  • That presenters speaks for no more than their allotted time and their presentation, discussion, and/or reading time is managed appropriately within the 60-minute timeframe.
  • That presenters who read from or discuss their own work during a panel discussion, as opposed to an event designated as a reading, do so in a limited capacity (not longer than 5-minutes), and only to expand upon the discussion of other texts, authors, or subjects.
  • That the moderator and the panelists adhere to AWP’s presenter guidelines, policies, and limitations. 


All #AWP21 accepted events will be assigned a date and time within the conference dates for their pre-recorded event to be broadcast virtually. We strongly encourage all event participants to watch the first live broadcast of their event at their scheduled time and to be active in the event chat to answer questions and connect with audience members.

AWP can take scheduling requests up to September 15. With so many events, the schedule is challenging to balance in terms of category, subject matter, and presenter scheduling requests; therefore, AWP cannot accept requests based on preference alone. Scheduling requests must be accompanied by a work, family, health, or religious reason as to make it difficult to participate during a particular day and time.

Digital & Other Recordings 

Professional photographs, audio, and video will be captured before and during the conference. Presenters and conference attendees grant AWP and its representatives permission to photograph and/or record them before and during conference events and to use such recordings in support of AWP's mission. Uses may include, but are not limited to, re-broadcasting on AWP’s YouTube channel, educational initiatives, post-conference reporting, and AWP’s podcast series.

Panelists grant AWP a royalty-free license to use, reproduce, and distribute panels and presentations (including all handouts and PowerPoint presentations) in any way in the future, with appropriate attribution of the speakers. Panelists understand this license does not change panelist ownership of a presentation and does not prohibit panelist from using the presentation in any way or from allowing others to use it.

Panelists provide consent for AWP to record presentations in audio and/or visual form. Panelists understand that AWP will be the sole copyright owner of the recording and can distribute it, along with any supporting materials on a for profit basis. Upon request, AWP will provide panelists with one complimentary copy of the recording; however, panelists agree not to sell, distribute, stream over the web, or otherwise use the recording in any way other than for personal, archival use, except with prior written consent from AWP.

Copyright & Trademark Permissions

Panelists agree, to the best of their knowledge, that their presentations do not violate any proprietary or personal rights of others (including any copyright, trademark, and privacy rights) and that they are factually accurate and contain nothing defamatory or otherwise unlawful. Panelists have full authority to enter into this agreement and have obtained all necessary permissions or licenses from any individuals or organizations whose material is included or used in a presentation. Panelists warrant their materials are original or properly licensed and agree to defend and indemnify potential copyright infringement claims. Panelists additionally grant license to AWP to all provided content.

Presenter Guidelines

Our attendees invest a considerable amount of time and expense to attend the conference. For these reasons AWP works hard to ensure every event at the Conference & Bookfair realizes its full potential. Our attendees expect that:

  • Presenters will prepare for their event prior to their event recording.
  • Presenters will present on the issues related in the event description.
  • Presenters will engage the audience in the event chat.
  • Presenters will not simply read directly from written statements.
  • Presenters who read from or discuss their own work during a panel discussion, as opposed to an event designated as a reading, do so in a limited capacity (not longer than 5-minutes), and only to expand upon the discussion of other texts, authors, or subjects.
  • While all events will be captioned, presenters should always face their camera while speaking and should speak loudly and clearly to help facilitate the participation of audience members who are hearing impaired.

Events that are selected for inclusion on the official conference schedule should take the time to review the following best practices.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Moderators should prepare an advance outline of how the event will be executed. Presenters should have notes prepared for their presentation. While we appreciate literary improvisations and liberty, we also appreciate depth of thought and concision. We value prepared presentations that reflect well on the presenters, the conference, and AWP. “Keep It Short and Sweet; Stick to the Promised Program.”

Panels are accepted in part based on the strength of the description submitted during the proposal process. Unless changes have been approved by AWP, these descriptions are used to advertise accepted events to the attendees, who expect that the panel descriptions will accurately describe how the event will be executed. Please be advised that moderators and panelists whose presentations do not align closely to the event description are ranked very poorly on individual event surveys. AWP takes these surveys into consideration when evaluating proposals for subsequent conferences.

Additionally, presenting in a virtual space requires some extra consideration for your own environment. Prior to your event recording session, you will receive detailed instructions and tips for presenting virtually.

For tips on preparing your materials, setting up your space, and practicing for your recording, please check out AWP’s Virtual Presentation Guide. A plain-text version of the Virtual Presentation Guide is also available. If you have any questions about preparing for your virtual event recording or if you foresee any barriers to your group’s participation, please email for assistance.

Engage the Audience

The best panels are often those that take time to engage the audience directly. For this reason, we discourage reading directly from prepared written statements and instead recommend brief presentations and openness to debate.

While all events will be captioned, all presenters should still speak clearly and face the camera at all times.

All accepted panels should plan to receive and answer questions from the audience in the event chat.

Begin & End Your Presentation on Time

Moderators and all presenters must make sure their 60-minute events begin and end on time. Please keep in mind there is usually another event following on the schedule and that attendees may wish to take a break from the screen between events. Presenters should prepare between five and seven pages of notes for a presentation among four panelists. While presenters will not need to devote specific time in their pre-recorded event for a question and answer period, they should be prepared to answer questions in the chat during their event’s first broadcast.

For a reading, we encourage presenters to choose their material in advance, rehearse and time their reading (including any prefatory remarks to a story or poems), and make sure the reading falls within the time they’ve been allotted. Panelists should be courteous to their fellow readers by keeping their presentations brief and avoiding needless shuffling of pages. If a panelist is reading different sections from a printed book, they may find it convenient to mark the pages beforehand.

Presentations, Handouts, & Visual Aids

Event Outlines

Once again this year, event organizers and moderators will be able to upload an event outline directly to their accepted event. For the 2021 cycle, an uploaded event outline will be mandatory and events not including this upload by December 11 will be removed from the schedule.

For more information on preparing accessible event outlines, please review AWP's Guide to Accessible Literary Events.

Handouts, Visual Aids, & Supplementary Material

Any other documents besides the event outlines are optional. Many presenters create informative brochures, flyers, or provide supplementary materials. If you choose to provide such information, please make sure to provide a version of the document in large-print format in boldface, 14-to-16-point font size, on a white background for those who may be visually impaired.

For both supplemental documents and any additional visual aids (images or videos), please consider the possibility that persons in the audience may be blind or visually impaired. Before your event, any video you plan to show needs to be captioned. During your event, please briefly describe all supplemental documents and visual aids to the audience. Allow ample time when referring to a visual aid or when pointing out the location of materials.

ASL, CART, & Cued Speech Interpretation Material

Audience members who are deaf or hearing impaired and those who use sign language interpreters or read lips need all presenters to speak clearly, face the camera, and use good lighting at all times. ASL interpretation will continue to be offered, upon request, for events that are broadcast virtually.

If you are an organizer of a panel for which interpretation has been requested, be aware that you may be contacted by AWP prior to the conference for your prepared remarks, notes, or outline. It is helpful for interpreters to have this information in advance to help them prepare for your event. Please coordinate with your panelists to arrange this information as far in advance as possible.

Social Media

Presenters are encouraged to add their Twitter username to their AWP user account profile to allow attendees to reference them on social media for #AWP21. These Twitter usernames will then be displayed beneath presenter biographies in the online schedule of events.

Caucus Presenter Guidelines

In addition to abiding by the policies outlined in this document and the Proposal Guidelines, caucuses must abide by the following.

Guidelines for Conducting Caucuses

  1. All conference attendees regardless of affiliation are welcome to attend any caucus meeting. Additionally, all attendees present at the meeting of a particular caucus are welcome to vote on all action items that are presented.
  2. AWP is dedicated to supporting caucuses by providing space and time for their annual meetings at the Annual Conference & Bookfair. However, each caucus is an independent group and the views and opinions expressed by caucuses do not necessarily reflect the views of the AWP Board of Directors and Staff.
  3. Caucus meetings may not be readings or duplicate the panel discussions described in the event categories.
  4. Caucuses should share minutes from their meetings with their members and AWP no later than 30 days after the conference.
  5. All caucuses must have presenters who provide caucus leadership and facilitate caucus discussions. Caucus presenters must be members of AWP, either through individual membership or as students or faculty of an AWP member program.
  6. Presenters may not hold their seats longer than 3 years, and they cannot be a caucus presenter again until at least 3 additional years have passed. This rotation of caucus presenters allows for a greater number of caucus members to participate in the leadership.
  7. There will be an AWP Board member and an AWP staff member assigned to each caucus to serve as liaison between individual caucuses and AWP’s staff and board; the moderator of the caucus shall serve as the spokesperson for the caucus.
  8. A caucus may not solicit donations in AWP’s name per AWP policy.
  9. Caucuses are permitted to use AWP in their caucus name and associated messaging and materials but must include a disclaimer that the caucus is an independent group and the views and opinions expressed by caucuses do not necessarily reflect the views of the AWP Board of Directors and Staff.

Criteria for Automatic Acceptance of a Caucus

After two years of a caucus’s operation, the AWP Board of Directors may approve a caucus for non-competitive or automatic acceptance to the conference if the following criteria are met:

  1. The caucus has fulfilled a professional need among a specific group of AWP stakeholders—a need not met by our other 18 modules of programming.
  2. The caucus has featured good moderators who cultivate productive discussions that represent the group as a whole.
  3. The caucus has shared an agenda and meeting minutes with its members and AWP.
  4. The caucus has opened its meeting to all AWP conference attendees who cared to attend.

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.Please note that this year, all presenters must be registered for the conference before pre-recording their conference event.

Presenter registration includes access to AWP’s virtual conference platform for the duration of the conference period. The virtual conference platform will include access to the virtual bookfair, access to all meetings, panels, readings, and additional programming, and the ability to message and video chat other attendees and exhibitors.

Individuals registering at the student rate must upload a photo of a valid student ID at checkout. Individuals registering at the senior rate must also upload a photo of a valid ID at checkout. If you have any trouble with this process, please email for assistance.

Accessibility Services

AWP makes all reasonable arrangements that will allow conference attendees to participate in conference events. All conference events will be pre-recorded in order to allow for closed captioning to be included.

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 by Friday, February 12, 2021. AWP will make every effort to accommodate requests that arrive after February 12. Please see the Accessibility Services page of our website for more information.


Accessibility Services

Attendee Terms & Conditions

Refund Policy


March 3–7, 2021