Rock & Sling at AWP: AWP as Told by Elf

by Lauren Klepinger

Bookworms and publishing nerds at AWP often feel like Christmas came again in the spring. You enter a magical wonderland with all of your favorite literary paraphernalia, and you go home loaded with gifts (for others, or for yourself). So, it’s only fitting that I represent my experience with the fictional character who can best match the enthusiasm of a writer/editor/bookworm landed in the AWP conference Literary Mecca: Buddy the Elf.

Of course, the hype for the book fair had been going on for weeks.


And when we stepped through the double doors for the first time, our faces looked something like this:


You can find programs and publishers for virtually any specific literary interest.


I found my own favorite booths…


…and visited them a few too many times to deliberate which books were worthy of my precious luggage space:


When I got back to my hotel, though, I realized I still took too much free stuff.


Of course, we also spent plenty of time selling our own merchandise with that good retail smile.


I also can’t leave out the panels and readings, equal parts entertaining and informative:


But no true bookworm is satisfied without also taking a tour of the local coffee shops…


…and finishing off the day with some good food.


All told, AWP is a whirlwind of enthusiasm for literary culture and all the unique and rich artifacts it produces. And it makes me never want to leave.



Lauren Klepinger is a junior English major at Whitworth University, and the Assistant Poetry Editor for Rock & Sling.

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