February 9 to11 The Northern Virginia Review (TNVR) represented NOVA at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference and Bookfair at the Washington Convention Center. The largest literary conference in North America, the event is held annually in major cities and regularly draws over 10,000 attendees. If you are a writer, small press, M.F.A. program, or literary journal publisher, the AWP Bookfair is the place to be.
One of over 800 exhibits, TNVR’s table was staffed by board members Adam Chiles, Jen Daniels, Indigo Eriksen, Meredith Reynolds, Nicole Tong, LeeAnn Thomas and current editor Ruth Stewart. A steady stream of visitors stopped by to chat and pick up information about TNVR. Over 100 signed the guestbook and left requests for notification of the next submission period and subscription information when it becomes available.
Among familiar faces were Loudoun English Professor and author Nathan Leslie and NOVA graduate Andrew Tran, who enjoyed chatting with Chiles, his former creative writing instructor and mentor.
Among notable visitors was award-winning poet James Ragan, former director of the University of Southern California Master of Professional Writing Program. Ragan was excited to recall NOVA-TV’s airing of the Remi Platinum Prize winning documentary about his life, “Flowers and Roots, Ambassador of the Arts.”
Another highlight was a visit from acclaimed poet and former U. S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, who recognized the cover of TNVR’s 2015 issue and came over to chat.
By the end of the AWP Bookfair, The Northern Virginia Review staff was tired but exhilarated, happy to have made so many new acquaintances in the literary world, and eager to see what the next round of submissions brings.