New South @ AWP 2018 in Tampa: Networking, Y'all

By: Michael Stoneberg, New South Fiction Editor

One of the more enjoyable and important parts of going to a large conference like this is the chance to see in person the people that have, in one way or another, forged connections with you from afar (or vice versa). Not only does this mean catching up with old friends who live far away (which I did, and it was fabulous), but also creating new professional relationships.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to meet several of the people who have been (or soon will be) published in New South. As has already been mentioned, we hosted a reading featuring several New South contributors, some of whom were in the recent online issue themed issue, Hunger, and some of whom will be in the next print issue, 11.2. Events like these help promote the past issue and get people excited about the upcoming issue, and I think it was a smashing success.

In addition, several of the other writers we have featured or will be featuring stopped by our booth at the Book Fair while I was at the table, and there was much bonhomie to go around. There were also several incredible interactions with writers who had never heard of us, or who had but didn't know much about us, which, I think, helped contribute to that jump in submissions mentioned in a previous post. I got to talk with people about the type of fiction that excites me, and it was great to connect with a number of people whose work sounded fascinating and who said they would submit in the near future. One of the big draws for our booth was how strikingly beautiful our cover art is and has been, so hats off to New South Editors-in-Chief past and present.

Finally, I got to interact with founders and editors of several journals and presses who have been putting out work I really admire. As mentioned in my previous post, I met the co-founder of Rose Metal Press and the co-founder of The Cupboard Pamphlet, both of which are doing incredible work and it was fascinating to pick their brains about the ins and outs of being on the editorial side of things. Beyond that, one of my friends is the Fiction Editor or Gulf Coast, and I got to view the wares and chat with staff members of about a hundred other journals and presses, all of which helps me become better at my job and also spreads the New South name far and wide, which is the way we like it.