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March 9, 2012 / thomcaraway

Seven Ways of Looking at AWP

Matt Comi

I.

It place things into a new frame. I think that was of particular importance. I had a whole set of presuppositions about the publishing world and the world of small journals that was totally changed by this trip. So, with that said, here are some thoughts that I have now, that I didn’t necessarily have before.

ONE. It turns out most individuals in the Lit world don’t have crazy standards of elitism and exclusivity, at least not at first. Most people at least feign a lack of pretension.

TWO. The people who are pretentious and/or assholes usually weren’t the people doing particularly cool things with their writing (though there are exceptions).

THREE. Chicago is beautiful.

FOUR. Rock & Sling is pretty much akin to many other literary journals. It’s of a little higher caliber than I may have once thought.

FIVE. Talking to journals was weird. Just be interested, don’t worry about being interesting.

SIX. Got to know, or hear about a huge number of lit presses and journals. Which was cool and resulted and free stuff. But also gave me a real sense of journals I might submit subscribe to.

SEVEN. There are panhandlers on the loose. Don’t trust anyone named Uncle D.

EIGHT. It was humbling. There are important people out there.

NINE. It was motivating. Important people really aren’t different.

TEN. Getting to know people in the major also excited about writing is cool.

That’s about it. In a nutshell at least. the trip was an awesome way to grow friendships with other students, experience a city, and a huge secret-lit-club called AWP. Also, we did work for R&S.

That was cool, too.

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