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The Magnetic Character
Enter the WC&C Scholarship Competition Today
The WC&C Scholarship Competition is currently accepting submissions in three genres, as judged by Tarfia Faizullah for poetry, Jaquira Díaz for creative nonfiction, and Lori Ostlund for fiction. $500 in prize money can be applied to attendance at any of the 150+ writers' conferences, centers, festivals, retreats, or residencies in our WC&C Directory. The deadline to enter is March 30.
Featured This Month
Every month, we feature new members, articles, and podcasts on the main page of our website. This month we're featuring "Writing for Free" by Robin Hemley from the 2012 May/Summer Writer's Chronicle. The featured blog post is "How to Start an MFA Program from Scratch (Part 3 of 3): Opening the Doors" by Christopher Coake, and the featured podcast is Episode 103: From Rent Parties to Kickstarter: Toward a Democratic Patronage of Poetry from #AWP15, featuring Colleen Robertson Abel, Millicent Accardi, Marty McConnell, Eileen Myles, and Rita Mae Reese.
Learn More About Arts Advocacy
On March 7–8, 2016, arts advocates from around the country attended Arts Advocacy Day, led by Americans for the Arts. Six representatives from AWP attended to speak about the importance of increased NEA funding, diversity in the arts, and arts in education. This would be a great time to write your congressperson and tell your story about why the arts matter to you.
#AWP16 Conference News
Livestreaming #AWP16 with Book View Now
AWP is happy to announce a partnership with Detroit Public Television and Book View Now to livestream interviews with some of contemporary literature's best authors on Friday and Saturday from the bookfair in Los Angeles. Keep an eye on AWP's and Book View Now's social media on Facebook and twitter (@awpwriter & @BookViewNow) for more information in the coming weeks.

Last Chance to Submit Offsite Events
Are you hosting an offsite event at #AWP16? The deadline to submit your event to the online listing is Monday, March 14.

Getting Excited About the Bookfair?
Preview over 800 exhibitors that will be waiting for you in the #AWP16 bookfair.
Worst Writing Advice: Write What You Know
AWP asked: Not all advice is created equal. What is your least favorite piece of writing advice?
Some of your answers:

Stephanie Borns: "Write what you know" has pretty much ruined my life. I took it deeply to heart and believed, until recently, that I could only write about topics where I was an expert.

Tim Woldt: Write something every day is my least favorite bit of advice. It suggests that there is more benefit to quantity than quality. Sometimes it's better if I wait for words to come to me rather than pushing all rubbish through the moment for the sake of keeping busy.

Patricia Caspers: Worst: "Don't write for children if you want to be taken seriously as a poet."

Robert D. Gosselin: That a writer should also be constantly reading. While being aware of the controversy surrounding this issue, I would just like to say that I read far less than I used to now that I'm writing. I like to read books in reading groups or classes, but on my own I would rather be writing.

Kelly Neal: "Research is just procrastination." No, it's the origin of a rich, complex world and the basis for believable characters.

G.M. Palmer: You'll never have more than 100 readers, so stop trying to write poetry for a wide audience.

Paula Whyman: "Write what you know"--No. I #write because i don't know.

Stephen Swartz: I almost always dislike the pedantic advice to usually avoid adverbs in most of the frequently used situations.

Kelly Davio: "don't write about pain."

David Bayne: You're 50, that's too old to start a new career. My reply - "I will age, can't change that, but I will never be too old to follow a dream."

Follow AWP on Facebook & Twitter and look for a different question every Tuesday.
See AWP Members In the Spotlight!
March’s #AWPSPOTLIGHT member Emily Carr and the OSU Cascades MFA program are inspiring writers to wish higher, fall faster, and be wilder. Visit In the Spotlight to hear more from Emily and previous In the Spotlight members, or to nominate a writer in your life!
The Award Series Has Closed
Thanks to all who submitted to the AWP Award Series! We've received a total of 1,628 submissions (Poetry: 780; Short Fiction: 332; Novel: 293; Creative Nonfiction: 223). We expect our judges will have their decisions made about this year’s winners by the end of summer. In the meantime, take a look at the latest winners to be published (2014). And if you’ll be attending #AWP16, hear the 2014 winners read on Friday, April 1, at 1:30 p.m.
Learn How to Run a Novel-Writing Course
In a recent online-only exclusive, Audrey Colombe and her students, Paola Crespo and Susanna Jones, discuss how to make an undergraduate novel-writing course work. "Undergraduate writing programs... have found a number of ways to make the study of creative writing applicable to the life of the writer by including courses in research practice, deep revision, editing/publishing (primarily but not exclusively with undergraduate literary journals), genre writing, book arts, and 'forms.'"
Considering an MFA?
AWP hosted its second tweet chat on March 1 about MFA programs. The result was a trending discussion of hundreds of tweets from prospective students, program directors, current MFA students, and graduates. Programs showcased their offerings, questions and answers included everything from genres to funding, and lots of useful advice was given.

Annie Frazier: I've found an incredible community of writers @spalding_mfa even though it's #lowresidency. Lifelong friends & colleagues.

UCRLowResMFA: Mid-career writer considering an MFA? Read this from alum (& bestselling author) Stephen Jay Schwartz: http://algonquinredux.com/something-to-say/

Sue Hertz: One thing to remember about an MFA is that it provides you w/ a community and readers for the rest of your life. Invaluable

Sandra Beasley: What I love about low-res model is the assumption you're integrating writing into work / family--> = smoother post-grad transition.

Virginia Tech CW MFA: for programs that encourage cross-genre work, it can lead to broader community even in smaller programs!

Marshall Warfield: I'll just say it. @PittWriters saved my life. Offered an experience that allowed me to make a living doing what I love.

Diane Zinna: Once you are at your MFA, don’t forget to create a video of your own with your fellow students and send it to us! http://bit.ly/1RKTK89

If you missed any part of the chat, you can read through the transcript now on our archive.
Writers' News
Wins for Toni Morrison, Ross Gay, and Danez Smith
Toni Morrison was awarded the 2016 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, which is given by the PEN organization to a distinguished living author of American fiction. The judges this year were Louise Erdrich, Dinaw Mengestu, and Francine Prose. Read about Morrison and the other winners of PEN's 2016 Literary Awards. Ross Gay and Danez Smith were awarded the Kingsley Tufts and Kate Tufts Discovery Awards, respectively, for their books Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude and [insert] Boy. The awards are given by Claremont Graduate University to a mid-career poet and a poet whose first book shows "genuine promise."

Baltimore's Book Thing Burns
The Book Thing, a popular book exchange shop in Baltimore, suffered a devastating fire on the morning of March 2. Though fortunately no one was harmed, the fire destroyed thousands of books and forced the shop to close until further notice. Russell Wattenburg, the founder, does plan to rebuild it, he told the Baltimore Sun. Their Facebook page has current updates to the situation.
Listen to an AWP Podcast Episode
Check out some of these podcasts you may have missed in the last few weeks. These events took place at #AWP15 in Minneapolis and are available to the public regardless of AWP membership status!

Episode 118: "A Reading by LSU Press Poets." Poets Kelly Cherry, Alice Friman, David Kirby, and Anya Silver read from their LSU books.
Episode 117: "Where We Begin to Revise the Poem." This panel provides a number of proven strategies that will help students focus on revising the areas that most affect a poem’s success.
Episode 116: "The Art of Literary Editing." Gain insight into the editorial process at Grove Atlantic and Graywolf Press.
Episode 115: "Three Decades, Four Poets: Cave Canem Presents Whiting Award Winners." Whiting Award winners Tyehimba Jess, John Keene, Thylias Moss, & Atsuro Riley read from their winning works.
What's that Image?
The header image for this enewsletter features part of the illustration created by Michelle Kondrich for our March/April issue of the Writer's Chronicle (now available online). It was inspired by the article "The Magnetic Character" by Porter Shreve: "As a reflection of the world, a cast of characters should be dynamic."
March 14: Last day to submit an offsite event listing

March 15: Deadline for submissions to the National Program Directors' Prize

March 15: Deadline for submitting sponsor waiver lists and exhibitor access badges

March 16: #AskAWP16 tweet chat

March 30: Deadline for WC&C Contest submissions

March 30–April 2: AWP Conference & Bookfair in Los Angeles
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