AWP Pickup Lines, or, How Important is Platform?

In the Garden of Eva

Last week 12,000 writers and editors convened in Minneapolis for the annual AWP Conference (The Association of Writers and Writing Programs)… Perhaps you were one of them? Maybe you were there for the panel discussions and poetry readings. Maybe you came to buy or sell books at the book fair (or collect the free candy). But certainly you were also there, like everyone else, to network.

Sure, success in the literary world isn’t all about who you know, but who you know can help. I got my agent, for example, through a good word from my mentor, and I got my mentor through a suggestion from my friend Jeni Wallace. I didn’t meet Jeni at AWP, but you might have. She’s gone every year for over a decade.

But making contacts at AWP is no easy feat. You know the scene: thousands of sleep-deprived writers milling around under the fluorescent…

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