State of the Website Address 2015: What's New and What's Next

August 25, 2015

The redesigned AWP website grew significantly in its third year.

During the past year, we posted over 2,400 jobs in the Job List (600 more than last year), over 1,700 grant/award/submission opportunities in the Writer’s Calendar (more than double what we had last year), 60 articles for writers, 15 podcast episodes, and 12 members in the spotlight.

We added lots of exciting multimedia content, including launching a web series of career advice videos and the Campus Visit video series, where students at member programs can show what makes their writing program unique. Closed captioning is available on videos in both of these series. Our podcast series is updated every week with a new conference panel or reading; it still feels like a new section of our website to us, but we’re nearing our 100th episode already! Transcriptions of ten episodes are available now, and we’re working on more whenever we can.

The redesigned Guide to Writing Programs, launched last fall, has made it much easier to find the writing program that’s right for you. It gives you more information right up front and also lets member programs show off their logos and photos. We integrated the Campus Visit videos into member pages as well, so we hope more students will make and share those with us in the future. At the same time, we gave our Writers’ Conferences & Centers (WC&C) their own section, so that great upcoming writing conference, center, festival, retreat, or residency is only one click away in our directory.

You may have noticed some new campaigns on social media. #QuestionTuesday lets you, the writing community, weigh in on fun topics—anything from what you listen to when writing to what’s at the top of your reading list. We welcome you to check our Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ accounts every Tuesday to join the discussion. Don’t miss the new boards we added on Pinterest, including one for the upcoming #AWP16 conference. And be sure to like the Writer’s Chronicle’s brand new Facebook page, where we showcase a new article from our archive every weekday. With more than 1,200 articles, it will be a few years before we start repeating. Once a month, we host a live chat with AWP staff on Twitter on subjects ranging from the conference to submitting to AWP’s awards and publications.

Speaking of awards and publications, we’ve gone digital with both. Save yourself the printing and postage fees and find our active awards and calls for submission at AWP’s Submittable portal.

Our new Writer’s Chronicle app is fully integrated into our website now, so members and subscribers will get instant access to their corresponding digital issues. This year, for the first time, we had an app for the AWP Conference & Bookfair, which helped attendees navigate the conference, build schedules, and follow the conversations on social media.

We added some new features to the website that you may or may not have noticed throughout the year: a section for our Writer to Writer mentorship program that showcases our previous mentors and mentees and lets them share insights and experiences; a volunteer sign-up form for the #AWP15 conference; a form for those hosting a reception at #AWP15; and forms to fill out to express interest in advertising with AWP.

This has also been the year of archiving. We finally added every Moveable Type article into the Writer’s News, so readers can find out more about some of the presses and journals in our community. Our monthly e-newsletter now has its own archive, so you can always stay up-to-date with what is happening at AWP. Similarly, there is an archive of every tweet chat we have hosted, so you can get the inside scoop even if you are not on Twitter.

We reorganized your My AWP Account tools section to make it clear what is personal information and what gets displayed in your Directory of Members profile. Since we launched, a number of members have contacted us, asking us to make it easier to reorder the publications and awards in your Directory of Members profile. We listened and were finally able to develop that functionality this year for you.

The website is not without its occasional bugs and glitches. Thank you to our website visitors for your understanding and for letting us know when you encounter something strange so we can fix it for you.

During the next year, we will be doing a lot of work on the backend of our systems to help AWP staff to meet your needs. We will be revamping the conference videos page to make it searchable and easier to view each previous conference event recording. We also plan to add photo galleries from our most recent conferences. Continuing our AWP podcast series transcription project is important to us as well; if there is an episode you would like to see transcribed next, let us know. Work should start within the year to develop alternate versions of the site for mobile and assistive devices; this will be a long project, but we look forward to working with our members to accomplish this.

Is there something you would like to see on our website? Email with your suggestions. The web services staff and AWP’s mascot, Dogear, thank you all for using the new website and making its third year a memorable one.

Birthday Card with Dogear mascot holding a cupcake

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Statistics for the AWP Award Series 2011–2015
August 20, 2015

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