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AWP 2016 Recap: Panels, Dumplings, and Stickers


Get your stickers while you can. Mail us an SASE.

We’re back from AWP 2016, where we met and chatted with thousands of writers, editors, and other literary friends at the convention center in sunny, so sunny Los Angeles.

We stayed in a haunted hotel, ate fresh beignets for breakfast, and had desserts with foam and peas and popcorn at a rectory-turned-restaurant. You’re so hip, LA, very hip.

Diversity in New Media panel

Diversity in New Media panelists (L-R): Ari Laurel, James Yeh, Jennifer 8. Lee, Mensah Demary

One of the highlights of AWP was that we had the privilege of moderating a panel on Ethnic, Gender, and LGBTQ Diversity in New Media.

We had a superstar group of panelists: Mensah Demary from Catapult, Ari Laurel from HyphenPlympton‘s Jennifer 8. Lee, and James Yeh of VICE. The panelists talked about finding mentors and how to be savvy (and persistent) when it comes to fundraising. Mensah emphasized the importance of using tools like Twitter that are accessible, which can help make it easier for editors from underrepresented groups to start publications: “A diverse space is one that is accessible.”

Plush dumpling keychains from Jennifer 8. Lee. Jealous?

We also sponsored Camp Real Pants, a one-day series of publishing talks and readings held in a fabulous loft near the Fashion District (this is LA, after all). A few of us gave a talk about how Submittable got started.

The staff at VIDA discussed VIDA’s mission and emphasized that there’s no lack of talented writers from underprivileged groups; the key is for publications to put the effort into finding and welcoming diverse writers. “It’s not that hard” to find diverse talent, said VIDA executive board member Camille Rankine. Other speakers included former Harper Perennial editor and chairman of The Center for Fiction Calvert Morgan and Morgan Parker from Little A, Amazon’s literary press. Small Press printer Spencer Printing talked about printing books on canvas.

Submittable merch booth

A couple of friendly Submittable enthusiasts

Thanks to those of you who stopped by our booth for a chat and a headband. We still have some stickers left. If you’d like one, write us a note with your genre of choice and mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to Submittable Stickers, PO Box 8255, Missoula, MT 59807. While supplies last!

Are you a writer hungry for more after AWP 2016? Check out our Discover site for great content on writing, publishing, and creativity.






Asta So

Asta So lives in Missoula, MT, with her husband, dog, and cat. She is Submittable’s Head of People.