AWP Moves Forward with In-Person #AWP22

January 20, 2022

AWP staff and board understand the concerns among many in the community about attending events in person amid recent rising cases of COVID-19. Attendee safety is the number one priority for the AWP board and staff, and therefore, AWP recently took a pause in the planning of #AWP22 to reevaluate the in-person component of #AWP22.

We have spoken with our city partners in Philadelphia to see what options we have, and we have explored all possibilities for the conference. At this time, we have decided to move forward with the in-person element of our conference in Philadelphia.  

For presenters on accepted events who are hesitant to attend and present in person, AWP will be offering a limited number of events to switch to a virtual format. We will be in touch with event organizers directly to handle this change. For social distancing reasons, we will be moving certain events, like Yoga for Writers and Writer to Agent meetings, to the virtual space. All in-person attendees have access to virtual content.

We appreciate the patience and flexibility this community has shown during this still-uncertain time. We know there are still questions, and we will be sending out regular updates. The full in-person and virtual schedules will be released no later than January 31.  

With the conference ten weeks away, we are hopeful that #AWP22 will be a joyful literary reunion and that we may gather safely in Philadelphia with the precautions we have put in place. We are thrilled to also have the virtual conference option for those who cannot travel to Philadelphia.

As part of our #AWP22 Health & Safety Policy released in September 2021, we will be

  • Requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To be considered fully vaccinated, you must receive the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or the only dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine no later than March 9, 2022, in order to attend on March 23, 2022.
  • Requiring mask-wearing for the duration of the conference
  • Reducing all room capacities by 40 percent
  • Offering distanced seating
  • Placing head presenter tables six feet from the first row of seats
  • Restricting all food and drink consumption to designated areas
  • Providing a contactless registration process
  • Staying in close contact with our city partners to stay apprised of any changes in the operating environment

The Pennsylvania Convention Center has invested heavily in its venue over the course of the pandemic and has received a Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, making it one of the only large venues in the northeast to receive this gold standard for safe venues. This accreditation ensures that the venue is effective in minimizing risks associated with infectious agents, biohazards, and infectious disease. In addition to implementing new HVAC and air purification systems, they employ cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response. All Philadelphia City employees are fully vaccinated, and the city of Philadelphia has reached a 78 percent full vaccination rate, and over 95 percent have their first dose. 

For those who prefer to attend remotely, we are thrilled to offer the virtual #AWP22 experience, where you can enjoy on-demand events and connect virtually with thousands of fellow writers, near and far.

Please be aware that all registration purchases are nonrefundable, but you may be eligible to switch your in-person registration to a virtual registration. Please see our full refund policy.

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