4 April 2024 Seneca Review Travels to National Writing Conference By Annette Stephens '24

Writing & Rhetoric and English students Katelyn Weeks ’24 and Ella Weiss ’24 served as representatives for HWS and Seneca Review at writing conference in Kansas City.

At the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, Katelyn Weeks ’24 and Ella Weiss ’24 joined Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric and English & Creative Writing Geoffrey Babbitt in Kansas City, Missouri as representatives of HWS and Seneca Review.

The AWP Conference and Bookfair is the annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors and publishers of contemporary writing. It includes thousands of attendees, hundreds of events and bookfair exhibitors, and four days of essential literary conversation and celebration.

Weeks and Weiss accompanied Babbitt following work done in his Writing & Rhetoric class, “Small Press Book Publishing: Book Prize & Acquisitions Editing” where they read and edited unpublished manuscripts to select finalists for the Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize. They also serve as social media managers for Seneca Review.

“It consisted of reading and evaluating 15 manuscripts being considered for the prize which fueled passionate and empowering conversations between my classmates and me,” says Weiss. “The experience gained in this course allowed us to talk to people in attendance at the conference about Seneca Review confidently and allow our admiration for the power of the lyric essay to reflect the work that Seneca Review publishes.”

At the conference, Weeks, Weiss and Babbitt hosted a table where they were able to share the work that Seneca Review is doing and sell copies. They also attended poetry readings and interactive panels with published authors and scholars of the writing world.

“My time at HWS has allowed me to build connections with professors such as Geoffrey Babbitt who gave me the opportunity to attend such a wonderful conference and meet so many lovely writers. These writers were people I knew of and people whose books I had read in classes taught by professors such as Kathryn Cowles,” says Weeks.

Both Weeks and Weiss expressed appreciation for the opportunity as an avenue for preparing them for and envisioning a future in writing.

“As someone who hopes to have a future in creative writing, AWP provided an invaluable opportunity for me to connect with MFA programs and literary journals which will further my career as a poet. Ella and I were some of the only undergraduate students at the conference, exemplifying the wonderful and unique opportunities offered at HWS,” says Weeks.

Pictured above, Weeks and Weiss and Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric and English & Creative Writing Geoffrey Babbitt at their table during the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Kansas City.