Last Wednesday was a beautiful day for flying. Hot and clear here in the East, cool and clear in the West. I boarded a puddle-jumper at our little local airport and, after a short layover, settled into the Airbus for the trip to Denver. We arrived a little early, my luggage didn't get lost, I found the Super Shuttle kiosk, and made it the Hyatt by about 1pm.
Later in the day, after I got checked in at the hotel and the conference, I helped Kevin of Press 53 set up the bookfair table, and then we took advantage of free WiFi at the Barnes & Noble to catch up on emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Then we connected with Mary Akers, and all went out to a nice dinner to toast the beginning of the conference.
Back at the hotel, Kevin and I attended a reception in honor of bookfair exhibitors, but we were both exhausted--and still on Eastern Time--so we called it quits early.
Thursday was the first full day of the conference. Kevin headed to the Press 53 table and I went off to a 9AM panel. The panel I chose was "The In Sound from Way Out: Submission to Publication" which promised that the editors of several magazines would "unpack their editorial projects and processes"--just what I needed as we embark on the Prime Number Magazine adventure. It was interesting to hear their different approaches to what are essentially the same jobs.
I skipped the 10:30 panel because I was anxious to make my first pass at the bookfair, which is a tremendous part of AWP. I walked past 500 tables/booths, and then managed to get to a 1:00PM panel on "How to Start Your Own Online Literary Magazine" which in the end wasn't really that at all, but still it was interesting to hear how some really good online magazines began and operate. The 3:00 panel I chose was similar and dealt with handling the slush pile, although the editors on the panel adjusted the discussion somewhat being under the impression that the audience was made up mostly of writers rather than editors. I wish they'd stuck with giving advice to editors, but it was still interesting.
Back to the bookfair; I skipped the last panel of the day; and then I went to the bar to hookup with a bunch of online literary friends. We had a few drinks there and then made it to the Mercury Cafe just in time to eat elk burgers and listen to readings: Vermin on the [Rocky] Mount. After that we checked out a private party in a hotel room -- which was promptly shut down by hotel security. Fun while it lasted!
Stay tuned for Part 2.