Earlier this month I went to Washington DC for AWP’s annual conference. For those of you who aren’t familiar with AWP, it’s the Association for Writers and Writing Programs. The trip was scheduled just a few days after I returned from Toronto, so it was hard to get back onto a plane again – but it sure was worth it. I met with some writers who I’ve been meaning to connect with for a long, long time, and talked about my next book with my agent. I attended panel discussions on flash fiction, editing a literary magazine, and a host of other topics. I attended the event with my friend Russell, whose work recently appeared in Subtropics. The journal also published a super interesting interview with Russell as well. But Russell, aside from being an incredible writer, just doesn’t dig technology. Over lunch, when his sister started texting him on his wife’s phone, he decided to send his very first text. I had to snap a picture to commemorate the moment. Here he is, charging boldly into uncharted territory.
The most important part of the conference, however, was finally meeting Diane Zinna from Writer to Writer, a mentorship program that I wrote about here, and that my good friend Colette wrote about here.
The two pieces offer very different (but both extremely positive!) views on the program: one from the mentor’s perspective, and one from the mentee’s. Folks, if you’re in an MFA program, or thinking about applying to one, or if you’re a writer who wants to engage with other writers about your work, please, please, please consider applying to Writer to Writer. The work that Diane does, connecting writers from all walks of life, is not only brilliant, but life-changing. Information about applying is available AWP’s website. Colette and I participated in the program in the spring semester of 2016. I hope to give it another go in the fall. Here I am with Diane at the Writer to Writer reception.
And here’s a picture of some of the other mentors and writers, all together. Diane of course is front and center in the photo. Really can’t wait to serve as a mentor again!