Tag Archives: Seattle

I NEED MORE TWITTER FOLLOWERS! (AWP day 2)

At a panel at AWP, writers and journalists talk about the need to use Twitter as a way to reach an audience … just need an audience. Something I need to work on.

Adam in Seattle Coffee Shop

Nice Seattle Selfie. Thanks, Antagonist Me. I try. So, I went to a panel this morning at AWP about how writers can and should use Twitter. It was an interesting idea, though I would say that the panel itself felt a little undirected and more about personal stories than direct application.

Still, it was somewhat enlightening. As I Tweeted from the room, a number of people I could see were retweeting me. Strange relationship, that. But, I have about fifty Twitter followers right now, and the panel talked about how 200 followers was a low amount … which made me feel that my little Twitter empire was rather insignificant. So, I need to work on increasing my follower count.

It’s all about you, isn’t it. I think part of the problem is that I don’t have much of a Twitter strategy. Right now, I basically just make silly comments or point people to my blog posts. These are fine and good and all that, but I think I need to find a way to be more interesting to a general reader. Not sure how to do that, but it’s a good place to think from.

Anyway, having a large group of Twitter followers would be super useful to get more readers to my blog, to point people to publications (should that ever happen), to talk about events and whatnot that I’m taking part of. Twitter is a great tool, and I do agree with the panel that Twitter should be something every writer does.

I wish you kept your thoughts, so called, to 140 characters. Anyway, if you’re a Twitter user, let me know your handle so I can follow you. And if you want to follow me, my twitter site is Twitter.com/adamnannini. Any suggestions on how to expand my follower group, blog fan(s)? I’d welcome your thoughts.

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AWP Seattle 2014: Day 1

This is my third year in a row attending AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs {yes, I know it should be AWWP}), and this year it is in Seattle, WA. The last three years it has been in my three favorite cities: Chicago, then Boston, and now, Seattle.

You call yourself a writer? AWP is a great time. As I said before, I’ve gone three years in a row, and I plan on continuing to go (See you next year, Minneapolis!). Why, you ask? Well, it’s a great place to meet writers face to face (I’ve shaken Benjamin Percy‘s manly hand a couple times), talk to publishers (journals and presses), and hopefully, learn more about the craft and business of creative writing.

Writing as business … Ha! That’s a good one. So, I’ve been to two panels thus far this morning. The first was on structuring a novel. I’m interested in this because I have tried (unsuccessfully) to write a few novels, and I want my MFA thesis to be a novel. I have an idea for a new one, but the talk was helpful. The presenters were a few novelists: Summer Wood, Amanda Boyden, Melissa Remark, and Joseph Boyden. They talked at length about thinking of forms like the three act play or the hero’s journey. A few of them recommended paying attention to movie plot structures as a sort of easy way to think about sustained stories. As a movie fan, this is extremely helpful advice for me, so next time I watch a great movie, I plan on keeping a notebook out to track the general structure.

The next panel I went to was called “Like Sand to the Beach: Bringing Your Book to Market.” The presenters in the panel were an editor from a small press (Jarret Middleton), a bookseller (Karen Maeda Allman), an expert on self-promotion and social media (Rachel Fershleiser), and a very quirky and interesting author who’s made it on self-promotion (Jonathan Evison). I love self-promotion. I love the internet. I suppose I don’t trust the idea that anyone will be as invested as I am about my thoughts and my work, and this panel laid out the process of bringing a book to market and finding a reader base. They kept stressing relationships, that times have changed, and we have to connect directly to readers.

I’m sure readers are happy enough not to find your work. It was an empowering panel. I say that because, though I love AWP, I find a lot of the panels to be rather useless. There are a lot of abstract and ungrounded thoughts (example: “write from your heart” sort of advice), and it’s great to see a well-organized and practical panel that gives me tools to immediately apply. For example, based on the last panel, I created a Tumblr account for myself. If you’re a Tumblr fan, feel free to follow me here. My blog posts will now show up there. But with that, I’ve been thinking a lot about building up my Twitter followers. So, if you feel like following me on Twitter, go here.

Yes, yes. Good, good. I gotta go home now. Alright, well, the moral of the story is this: if you’re a writer, think about coming to AWP. It’s worth it. It can be overwhelming or disappointing at times, but the experience, the panels, the bookfair, I mean … it’s worth it. Give it a shot. On to more panels …

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