New South goes to Portland: AWP 2019

By Anna Sandy

New South
took our largest collective yet (seven staff members!) to this year’s Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference.

Hosted in Portland, OR, the conference hosted keynotes by the likes of Colson Whitehead and Jesmyn Ward, readings both on-site and off-site by a myriad of amazing writers and poets, panels on topics ranging from pedagogy to craft to the personal, and, of course, the giant, sprawling book fair in which we were all swallowed up day after day before being spit, disoriented, back into the Portland sunshine.

(Yes, you read that right; it was sunny in Portland).

As always, New South’s colorful and eye-catching booth drew several people to our tables, allowing us to rope in new contributors, chat with old ones, promote our annual contest, sell our books, and more. This year, in particular, a pile of pastel popsicle-shaped lip balms were our biggest hit and disappeared in the first day. Thanks, Target!

We were also lucky enough to get our newest issue in the nick of time and release it at the conference, along with selling copies of back issues. Like in previous years, the conference/book fair is invaluable for promotion and we have received several submissions in its aftermath and expect still more to come.

Going into our twelfth year as the rebranded New South, things are getting better. I’m excited to see where we go from here.