AWP 2023 Conference and Book Fair in Seattle


First things first, if you’ve never been to AWP – the Association of Writers & Writing Programs – it’s an annual gathering of writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers from all over the world. Simply put, it’s a word lover’s paradise.

Upon my arrival in Seattle, the buzz of anticipation was palpable. The city’s love for the arts, its vibrant culture and its stunning views of the Puget Sound only added to the exhilaration of the upcoming event.

The conference began with a plethora of engaging workshops and panels. There was this thrilling sense of being on the cusp of literary history, surrounded by people who love writing as much as I do.

Of course, a highlight was the Book Fair. Imagine a room filled with thousands of books – it’s a bibliophile’s dream come true! I was able to chat with publishers and writers, discovering new voices and even scoring some signed copies of my favorite authors’ works.

This year, I invited Brandon Pollock, the voice-over artist who narrated that audiobook of “In This Room,” to share my exhibit.

What struck me most about AWP 2023 was the sense of community. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by so many people dedicated to the craft of writing, eager to learn, share, and grow together. And, I must admit, the food was amazing!

I returned home with a sense of accomplishment, a whole heart, and my mind buzzing with fresh ideas and renewed inspiration. The AWP 2023 Conference and Book Fair was more than just an event. It was an affirmation of the power of words and the people who craft them. It was a testament to the vibrant, ever-evolving literary world. And I can’t wait to see what AWP 2024 holds!

On a more personal note, even though the trip was amazing, and the convention was phenomenal, my favorite part of this venture to Seattle was the fortune of encountering an incredibly warm and convivial group of individuals hailing from the vibrant city of Dublin, Ireland.

Our connection was instantaneous, and as we shared stories, laughter, and cultural exchanges, it was clear that the bonds of friendship were quickly solidifying.
As the hotel bar drew the curtains on the night, this lively Irish crew extended an invitation to continue our revelries, having procured a fine selection of beers from a nearby liquor store.

The camaraderie that ensued was truly memorable. Though our paths have since diverged, I hope that one day our journeys will converge once more, allowing us to rekindle the delightful memories forged in that enchanting Seattle week.

Sending love around the world to Shane and Clair O’Kelly, their friends and family.

– Bradley Carter (20% Irish)

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