Loosely Literal: A Serious Person's Top Five AWP Events
The annual, and very serious, Association of Writing and Writing Programs conference is just around the corner, and if you’re a serious person flying to Los Angeles in order to attend, you might already be feeling overwhelmed by how much serious opportunity will soon be available to you. We here at Loosely Literal, a very serious blog, are committed to streamlining and optimizing your AWP experience so that you can get the most out of your serious registration fees. Here’s our rundown of the events you should seriously plan on attending. For more information, come check out our booth in the LA Convention Center’s boiler room.
ME BIG GORILLA!
Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 1am-2:45am
This event is dedicated to the art of speed-networking. Similar to male gorillas pounding their chests in the mountains of Uganda, participants will verbally chest-pound in order to establish as quickly as possible the conference’s social hierarchy. Tips will be given on what scientists call the “approach,” aka close matters of diction, syntax, and tone: “What do you do?” v. “what do you do”; “You teach where?” versus “where do you teach?”; “I’ve never heard of that press!” versus “Huh.” Additional information will be given on careerism v. collusion, sexual harassment v. “fun times,” and the strategic use of eyeglasses.
AM I THE DRUNKEST ONE HERE?
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 1am-2:45am
How do you know how drunk you are? Are you drunker than everyone else? Do you feel drunker when you stand up? Can other people tell? This event, like writing itself, focuses on the inner lives of highly sensitive people while they attempt to “be casual.” Tips will be given by field experts, Hooters’ chesty servers, on “acting natural,” “asking open-ended questions,” and “appearing as if you do not have a hive of bees buzzing through your mind at all times.” Open bar available for those hoping to hook up with someone over the weekend.
I SAW TONI MORRISON SNORING ON A HOTEL LOBBY CHAISE
Friday, April 1, 2016, 10am-11:30am
El Compadre Restaurant
At this off-site event, hungover participants are welcome to a complementary bloody mary bar in exchange for intrusive details about famous authors’ private lives. (Note: in order to gain entry to this invite-only event, convention-goers should plan to, for example, skip that panel on speculative fiction and, for example, eavesdrop on Jonathan Franzen’s hotel room via cupped ear and water glass.)
I JUST FEEL LIKE EVERYONE’S MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN ME
Friday, April 1, 2016, 11pm-12:30am
El Compadre Restaurant
Following Eula Biss’ and Jonathan Lethem’s groundbreaking reading and discussion, participants will decamp to drink margaritas and bemoan the state of their own careers. As part and parcel of this event, the music in the restaurant will seem way too loud and the drinks way too expensive, though in fact everything will be exactly the same as it was the night before. Those attending are encouraged to form small-group Q&As about recent progress made in therapy.
I’VE NEVER FELT THIS WAY ABOUT ANYONE, SERIOUSLY
Sunday, April 3, 1:45-2:50pm
LAX Economy Class Ticketing & Gates
This event is dedicated to those participants who have thrown off the shackles of convention (pun intended!) via white-hot romances commencing in dark corners of bars and/or hotel rooms shared by six other people. Requirements: must phone friend or mother, but only ones likely to support participants in the pursuit of a long-term relationship. Roaming charges not included in conference registration fees.
Sally Franson received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and was a 2012 GRPP Fellow. Her work has recently appeared in Witness, Room, elimae, and Bartleby Snopes, among others, and she was the winner of the Loft’s Fall Writing Contest in 2012. She is also a recipient of a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. In addition to teaching and finishing her first book, Sally is a contributing writer toThe Fiddleback and Paper Darts. sallyfranson.com