AWP 2013: After Boston

After several cancelled flights, a detour through Detroit, and the blinding snows of “Snowquester,” Sarabande staff made it to Boston just in time to set up for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual literary fête. At Hynes Convention Center there was a cacophony of To-Do’s before the festivities even began: Find UPS store, locate shipped boxes of books, hang the too-large-banner, set up tables, and attend the opening Awards Ceremony. This year AWP introduced the Small Press Publisher Award for Excellence, Creativity, and Innovation in Nonprofit Literary Publishing. We were in the running against dozens of other top independent presses and much, much to our delight, Sarabande won! The award includes a $2,000 honorarium, a complimentary exhibit booth, and two complimentary conference registrations for next year’s conference in Seattle. Best of all was the beautiful plaque made of leaded crystal with red highlights to be placed in a significant office location for the rest of our lives.

Thanks to the magnanimous Brown-Forman, we were able to celebrate at an offsite location called LIR. The event featured five of our authors, Lauren Shapiro, L. Annette Binder, Steven Cramer, Cleopatra Mathis, and Elena Passarello; the night was neatly packed in a cool hour-and-a-half with a little taste of poetry and a good bit of prose. To keep up the good spirits we unveiled our signature cocktail, created by BF, “The Bookmark Old Fashioned.” The recipe was printed on a hot little bookmark so guests could go home and do a little mixing themselves. We send loads of love and thanks to everyone who came out; we’re almost at our 20th Anniversary and it was great to have so many new and familiar faces supporting us and our authors. Sales at the bookfair topped a record $4000, with several titles selling out completely – Let Me Clear My ThroatPossibility: Essays Against DespairThis is Not Your CityBook of Dog and Easy Math. Congratulations to David Meischen, winner of the 2013 AWP Raffle! He will receive a full year’s worth of Sarabande titles, absolutely free of charge. 

Also, we’ve picked a winner for the 2013 AWP Subscription Raffle. Congrats to David Meischen of Austin, TX! Next year, AWP will be hosted at the home of the Space Needle; we look forward to seeing you then!