Thursday, March 7, 2013

#AWP2013, oh my!

Well, today was my first day at the huge AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference.  And whoo boy! I am exhausted already!  This stuff takes a lot out of me, I don't know how people do it all the time.

For those of you going to the remaining days of the conference, I have some pointers for you.  I was a newbie this time around and I wish someone would have told me this before today:

-Bring a cell phone charger.  Your battery WILL get dangerously low (especially if you're taking photos and video of panels! I had to refrain from using Instagram as much as possible!) and there are outlets that you can grab a quick charge off of.

-Get to your panels EARLY.  Especially if it's something that you can see a lot of other people going to.  (For example, "Keeping track of your novel" was so full that there were probably a good 20-30 people sitting on the floor.  Most people recommend getting to each panel 15 minutes early, but I had the best luck when I got there 30 minutes early.  Also, if you want a seat, don't be timid.  It's okay to sit on the floor, so just waltz right in there and sit.

-Boston in March is cold, snowy and windy. I really wished I had packed a scarf and some rain boots.  If you need a scarf, there is a woman in the book fair selling beautiful Guatemalan fair-trade handmade scarves for $35-$45.  WAY more than I wanted to spend, but depending on how cold it is on Friday and Saturday, I might just be persuaded to scoop one up.

-Don't use cash on the bus.  NO ONE uses cash anymore and you will look and feel like an idiot when your dollar won't go in the machine and you hold up literally everyone.

-There's a Trader Joe's right across from Hynes Convention Center.  WAY cheaper (and better for you!) food than the restaurants and concession stands inside!

-Travel light.  I made the mistake of wearing a dress that DIDN'T have pockets, and I was shuffling my debit cards/cash and business cards from pocket to pocket of my purse all day.  There is a coat check ($3) but it was totally worth it to not have to cart my coat around!  I think I'm going to go as far as to leave my purse behind tomorrow and just bring my tote the end of the day, your back will be killing you.  Trust me.

That's all for my tips from today!  I'll check in again later with more updates on how the conference went!

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