The first time I went to AWP, it was in Chicago. Between the crowds and the deep feelings of inadequacy, I thought it was one of the worst weekends of my life (aside from the reading and panel with Cheryl Strayed and Bonnie Rough, that is).
Fast forward to 2015: Minneapolis.
What a difference a city and a few years makes. This year's AWP conference was relaxed, interesting, and entertaining. The highlight (aside from surviving my own panel), was a panel on rejection--a topic I know well. The writers (and psychiatrist) who appeared were funny, self-deprecating, and insightful. The book fair was a like a candy store of books and journals. The only down side to AWP this year was the amount of books I came home with. I have a lot of reading to do!