Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AWP 2015: despatches from the conference #1

Calm before the storm: Sam Kelly setting up our AWP Bookfair table
So, we’re back from Minneapolis, just about over the jetlag, and busily picking through all our notes from AWP 2015 - the world's biggest creative writing conference. Thank you to the scores of enthusiastic people who came to chat with us at our table in the bookfair. It was wonderful to meet you all and we hope many of you will become Edinburgh Napier MA students.

[By the way, this entry is being written by Sam Kelly, programme leader for the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University. I don't normally write the blog, but I'm borrowing it to make a few quick posts about my favourite AWP conference sessions.]

We were overwhelmed with aspiring writers wanting to know more about our unique programme. The fact that we embrace writing science fiction and fiction at Edinburgh Napier, that we love fiction genres like horror, crime and mystery made us stand out from the crowd at AWP. There are a few programmes in the US that focus on popular fiction genres - but these are usually low residency course [called distance learning in the UK].

You don't like toffee? David Bishop welcomes visitors to our table
We got to meet and know a lot of fascinating colleagues from creative writing programmes across the States. We’re already in talks about some innovative potential link-ups with US universities in the coming years, and eagerly anticipating visits over the summer. Exciting times!

But it wasn’t all japing around with toffee and tartan on our stand: for us, the conference was also about learning, exploring and sharing teaching practice. We were lucky enough to attend some truly inspiring panel discussions, and they'll be the subject of two more posts. Watch this space...

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