Tuesday, March 06, 2007


That would be really nice -- we're all talking about it, why don't we do it?


At 11:00 AM, Blogger AB said...

We will.

In addition to what Kasey wrote, here is also what I would want from the conference:

1. A sliding scale for conference admission. Those with institutional funding can pay one amount, private individuals another, and people living on the economic margins can get a FREE PASS to the event.

2. Cheap accomodations, like dorms, with the option of a hotel for those more room-service and swimming-pool minded.

3. Childcare and/or a child friendly enviroment so that people who don't want to don't have to leave their kids behind. Plus, I think my kid would like to hang out with other poet's kids.

Travel is the most expensive part of the event for the people involved, and what I see as most prohibitive.

We would have to have enough money, probably, to pay one key note speaker, but other than that, because WE WILL NOT HAVE TOTE BAGS, an attempt to keep financial overhead low. I think it would have to have some volunteer labor (but we poets are so used to that.)

If anyone knows of any grants that might be good for start up money, I want to know. Or if anyone is good at writing grants, I want to know. I think Ashland/SOU would be ideal. It is a pretty & relaxing little town in the mountains, practically soporific.


At 1:14 PM, Blogger shanna said...

& ashland's festival friendly too. they do that shakespeare thang & it's very popular, right? outside the SOU sphere, with the townies?

i can't understand the lack of a one-day pass or bookfair-only pass at AWP. it's dumb. they aren't even trying. & nonparticipating spouses have to coff up dough too? yes, of course. i don't know re: the kiddies but there were certainly enough in tow the last two years that AWP might have noticed. there are an awful lot of people who go on institutional/press funding. (tho for me, that only ever covered my badge, not travel or hotel.) i even know students whose programs paid to get them in!

it's not really AWP's fault, i guess. it was never meant to be what we want. we came at it like hackers, & coattailed, made it what we could. but it's too big now, & too expensive.

an alt conference wouldn't need a printed catalog the size of a telephone directory for a small town, either. the interweb can host such a thing, for SELECTIVE printing. saves those big green things called trees. & dollars. also, the totebags are ugly. i have 7.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Steven D. Schroeder said...

I'm in.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Tricia said...

Me too! I'll contribute the ice sculptures. Though due to budget constraints, they'll be fairly small--ice cubes, really--and shaped only like the inside of my mouth.

At 1:35 AM, Blogger Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

Possible Options for Event:

1) Make it a touring event to hit 5 major U.S. cities. Get local organizers within each city to arrange venues for panels, interviews, and readings. Each city event could be 1-2 days, depending on resources and costs.

2) Create a fund campaign on a website, and on personal blogs for contributions to the said event.

3) Create a website with membership fees, which include a free ticket to the event, and a literary zine created by the event organizers.

4) Sell zines and art for contributions to the event.

5) Open the event to indie filmmakers, painters, and musicians to create a larger membership pool, more resources, and expand the community.

6) Make pitch proposals to small presses to be included into the event, and offers for each press who contributes membership costs for kudos of some sort. Maybe, an inclusion of excerpts from their most recent titles in a free zine to be distributed by the event organizers, or on the web as SC suggests.

7) Anyone who volunteers to help on the days of the event would be offered free membership.

AB - As far as grants, most will have pretty low ceilings and be region specific, that is why the NEA may be the best route to go. Their ceiling is $150,000, which may be just right for the Ashland Hurrah. Your major brunt will be to establish the organization as a non-profit to acheive tax exempt status and qualify for the grant.

NEA Artist Project Grant

Here is a possible start-up:

Bynner Foundation

Aside from grants, another possibility would be to contact established artists and private lenders for contributions. I am sure there are many who would do so.

I'll think about it some more.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Lee Herrick said...

I served on a Board of Directors where we organized a statewide conference, and we received the majority of funding through publishers. If it wouldn't affect the "feel" of the smaller conference you (all) envision collectively, that might be an option. Certain publishers have money coming out of their ears and want to lure writers, readers, editors, and other publishers. For example, Bedford/St. Martin's Press throws open bar parties at many conferences. Maybe there is an equivalent that would suit your wants. It sounds like a nice idea going on...hope it goes well.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger K. Silem Mohammad said...

Wow, thanks, Reb, Shanna, Steven, Tricia, Pirooz, Lee, and everybody for all the support and helpful info. Other people have backchanneled me and Anne, or left comments on other blogs, and it looks like we have a LOT of willing participants. We really should set up a group blog or something so we can coordinate all our efforts.

I think we should have tote bags, but they should just be recycled grocery sacks with "RITING KONFRENCE" magic-markered on them.

At 6:00 AM, Blogger Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...


The zine to be distributed could carry the same moniker as the tote, RITING KONFRENCE BOOK. Come to think of it, that's a great blog name and title for the conference.

I'll send you some more financial possibilities later in the week.

As far as a blog set-up, just let me know when and where.




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