AWP 2009 has come to a close, and NewPages is exhausted and recharged all at the same time!
What great energy we give and receive during those chaotic three days of sessions, bookfair, readings, and dinner talks. And what a difference this year was from five years ago, when NewPages first began rolling the aisles among the journals and publishers, trying to explain our work and hearing: "New what? You do what?" to this year, hearing random shout-outs from people in the halls, "I love NewPages!" and overhearing one magazine editor say to another, "You're on NewPages, right?"
Thanks to ALL of you. It can really be lonely work sitting here behind the computer all year, plugging away at links and trying to make the best selections for the site, hoping readers are finding the site useful and usable. Three days at AWP really helps us to connect and know that we're on the right track here, and not just because of what we do, but because of what so many other people are doing.
As I said time and again when editors thank us for what we do, we thank them right back. NewPages could not do what it does without the great efforts of so many other people who love to read and write, and, like me, who love to help make those connections between readers and writers.
And this year seemed especially upbeat, even given the downward spiral in the economy. More so than last year's AWP, I heard journal staff say they had gained subscribers - SO IMPORTANT - and publishers say they had sold out of books or at the very least were actually making sales this time. Not that anyone who goes to the AWP bookfair will regain their costs to go (at least none I know of!), but to know that there is support, there is interest, this is all very promising for the future of literature and of reading we have so often heard bemoaned.
I think it was a wonderful AWP, and I'm already looking forward to next year, Denver, Colorado, where I'd like to see this famed midwest hospitality continued and even surpassed.
More on AWP later. For now, a bit of R&R - rest and reading.