Having never before participated in an AWP panel (though I have attended many), I was initiated only from the perspective of an audience member. Knowing that an uninteresting topic coupled with boring presenters may drive the audience to mutiny, I came prepared to be as concise and witty (hopefully) as possible. Overall, I consider my effort a success. Of course, having panelists like Tanya Egan Gibson, Dan Blank, Bethanne Patrick, Christina Katz, and moderator Jane Friedman at the dais made failure near-impossible.
I’ve argued before that and author should openly embrace Social Media; the goal of both online social engagement and book-bound literary endeavors are the same: communicating on a human level. While naysayers abound, the consistent monologue about the form (such as this very AWP panel) seems to slowly be cultivating a more accepting and even more eager mindset.
Here’s the official description:
Social media is easy to disparage as meaningless socializing, undignified shilling, or time better spent writing. Yet sharing information online and having conversations with readers is critical to spreading the word about what you (or your organization) does. Online community building can help develop a long-term readership, plus open up new opportunities.