We are assembling a panel for The Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference next year (Feb 24-Mar 1, 2014 in Seattle, Washington).
The panel will be to discuss how social media has changed the relationship between writers and their readers. We are looking for a combination of fiction writers (non-format specific – fiction writers in film, television, novels, comic books, video games, etc are all welcome) and a couple of people to represent the fan/reader side of the conversation (we are particularly interested in bloggers or podcasters but will consider any one who has experience and a point of view on the reader experience).
Here is the panel description:
Social media engagement, from twitter book clubs, to live tweeting TV shows, to fansites, has completely changed the relationship between audience and author, opening up opportunities for conversation and collaboration between fans and creators. Audiences can take an active part not only in the experience of the art, but also in helping to shape it. This panel will look at how the relationship between writers and their audience has evolved with the advent of social media.
I am organizing this panel with Lesley Tye, who teaches screenwriting at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Lesley has organized panels for AWP before and had this to say about it:
I know that for many conferences and conventions, etc, speakers get paid. AWP is a different kind of animal. The conference, which boasts far more panels and readings than the typical conference is actually for professionals by professionals. It’s highly in demand to get a panel accepted at the conference, and the panelists are also participants who want to attend the other panels and readings by their peers. It’s as much of an educational and networking experience for the panelists as for those who are just coming to participate. There are tons of publishers there, looking for writers as well. And many writers trying to network about their books being published, etc.
Obviously for those who are working writers attending the conference has to come from their own pocket but is a write off for them – a business expense. For many who teach they are able to get funds from their institutions to pay for it, again because it is professional development as well as something prestigious for their CV.
Last year I had a panel accepted which included four very respected writers (screenwriters and novelists) all of whom are also paid to speak at other conferences or workshops. So while it may seem strange for those that don’t know AWP, it is a very accepted for those that know AWP and attend it regularly.
Please contact me at meilu dot mcgonigle at gmail dot com if you know anyone who would be interested and available for the conference panel, which will be in Seattle, Washington from Feb 26-Mar 1, 2013.
Please note: AWP is a non-profit organization and does NOT reimburse for travel expenses. All participants are expected to pay their participation fee ($140). See link for registration overview.