Let’s be honest: your writing goals for this year were wildly unrealistic. So, why not concentrate on next year instead? With that in mind, we offer you the opportunity to procrastinate about writing under the guise of thinking about communicating something original about writing and how you might say that unexamined thing in an examined way. No need to be intimidated. Indeed, you won’t be after reviewing the proposals we have already received:
How Many Eggs is Too Many:
A Deconstructed Look at the Airbnb Shopping List Narrative
Can cohabiting writers with a variety of tea-drinking and carnivorous tendencies agree on how much red rooibos, almond milk, and ground beef to purchase for a three-day conference? Hey! Why not host a brunch? Quiche and Cava. A discussion on the epidemic of food waste in America.
Call Me Ishmael:
Writing the Great White Male
The straight white male is bound to be uncomfortable at the modern writers’ conference. He stands (in your way) scrolling through the possibilities on the conference app. There are panels on transgender and queer identity, feminism, racial diversity.
“I just don’t care about any of these.” Disoriented, searching for his kind, and vaguely titillated by the knowledge that there is a lactation room nearby, could he be on the threshold of an awakening?
During this panel, we travel to the food court in search of “The Great White” and to invite him on a journey to awareness.
Hope in 500 Words
How to craft a bold presentation for next year’s conference that could lead to a proper book advance, tenure in a place that is not sad, and more readers because you are this close to self-publishing your third book. The Book Club Babes of Omaha are no longer responding to emails on the standing offer to do a Skype session on your second book and your Instagram followers no longer “heart” anything related to your first book despite the fact that it was just translated into Tagalog.
What We Can Learn From Poets
Largely ignored, the poet is an accidental inspiration for many. His devil-may-care inattention to publishing prospects gives us the freedom to write whatever the fuck we want because no one is reading anyway. Are you reading this? Point proven.
Complicating the Colon
It is: a disease-prone body part. It is: a punctuation mark that signals takeaway presentation content. It is: the annoying way your sister who spent a single semester in Seville refers to Christopher Columbus. It is: the only actual panel on writing craft in the whole program.
Paying your way
As universities cut back on travel stipends, faculty who hope one day to gain tenure must develop an entrepreneurial toolkit to support scholarly activities. Research shows that few academics recognize “the consumer in the room.” We share ideas to make extra money at the conference, including tips that are achievable during session breaks. VIP access to the presenters’ latest products, including dreamweavers, dammit dolls, and poetry on demand.
Learn how to use pacing and transitions to time a polite, but noticeable, departure from a panel in progress. Possible use: when speakers are halfway through papers written about their topic, and the topic happens to be about dialogue and yet they won’t take time for questions. Or when you need to move your car from the fire lane in front of the convention center. Literary ambition does not cover $30 parking.
The Yes Panel
In which we answer all of your questions in the affirmative. Will I need an agent? Yes. Will the process be daunting? Yes. Will I doubt my self-worth, both as a writer and human being? Yes. But will my book ultimately be published? Next question!
Book Fair and Ballroom
An exploration of nontraditional publishing strategies, such as carrying an anti-anxiety rose quartz crystal while trying not to appear like a striver when talking to book fair editors because you’d like to be an author, but in a very nonchalant and successful way. Later, a tutorial on the Dougie to get you noticed by the right drunk people at the dance party.
Sylvia Plath Distraction Room
Open 24 hours, this space allows you to ignore the fact that 12,000 other people want to be authors too. Play tiddlywinks, Minecraft or dodgeball, retreating to a time in your life when it hadn’t yet occurred to you that your dream might not bear fruit. Oh, and we also have fruit. And vocational training.