AWP: Mission Accomplished


[The One Story booth @ the AWP Bookfair]

The AWP conference was one hot event this year.  Literally.  As if meeting three whole floors of our lovely readers, writers, and literary magazine comrades in The New York Hilton wasn’t enough excitement, a fire alarm interrupted our 100th issue reading at the Sutton South Lounge on Friday with Brock Clarke, N.M. Kelby, Paul Yoon and Ron Carlson.  Reading at the time was the unflappable N.M. Kelby, who had barely gotten to the second page of One Story Issue #54 “Jubilation, Florida” when the alarm went off and a robotic voice over the loud speaker announced an investigation was being held to the cause.  N.M. admonished those who grabbed their bags to leave, yelling, “Don’t leave! We’ve got sex in here!”  I don’t know if that makes her One Story’s most viable candidate for Fire Marshall, but it definitely makes her our most bad ass writer.  To read an account of this written by someone who thinks people who run from possible fires are cowards, go here or visit galleycat, who posted this video.  Those people who stayed were treated to the rest of her reading, and Ron Carlson’s reading from “Beanball,” One Story’s special double issue (99 and 100).  “Beanball” is a thrilling baseball murder mystery that spans two continents.  It is only a matter of time before Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio are duking it out to play the main character on film, and we are thrilled to share it with our readers for our 100th issue.  I heard Ron’s reading was brilliant.  I didn’t hear it.  I was one of the cowards who ran. 

After the reading on Friday, we trekked down rainy, windy Manhattan to our warm, dry 100th issue party where we continued the fire theme and answered the question: is packing the upstairs at Pianos with hundreds of literary folks a fire hazzard?  One Story authors and friends from Tin House, Ploughshares, Post Road, Redivider, BombMississippi Review, Open City and the newly launched Luna Park and other lit mags were on hand to party with us until we drank enough to forget that issue #101 sadly won’t edit, publish and distribute itself. 

[One Story staffer Marie Bertino & One Story author, Amelia Kahaney @ One Story’s 100th issue party]

[One Story author Brock Clarke charms the locals]


[Editor, Publisher & Webmaster yuck it up]

[One Story magazine takes the mike]

There was no time to nurse hangovers on Saturday.  Ron Carlson chatted with our readers Saturday morning at a special reading and signing at the One Story table.  There, he also signed all 100 copies of our special letter press edition of “Beanball,” which was lovingly blogged about here.    

[Copies of “Beanball” and Ron’s new novel, Five Skies on sale]

[Ron Carlson throws a pitch to Josh Wolf Shenk, director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House (which put together our beautiful letter press edition of “Beanball”]

Of course it wasn’t all glamourama at AWP, there were also some serious strategic talks about food.  Our dedicated reader Jesse Hassenger and I discussed etiquette for approaching an AWP table for the sole reason of obtaining candy.  Jesse informed me that it was prudent to scout the table out first, lest you ask a table clearly marked “Latina Lesbian Novella Writers from Idaho literary magazine” what kind of stories they publish.  We decided a friendly “how’re things over here?” would suffice before helping yourself to a handful of tootsie rolls.  We loved Alimentum’s food balloons, though we found out the hard way they weren’t edible.         

[Fans stop & read short stories @ One Story Booth]

Before the fire alarm, before the hangovers, before picking pieces of mylar out of our teeth, Hannah explained to the crowd at the Sutton South Lounge why she and Maribeth began One Story five years ago.  They wanted a forum that showcased one story and one story writer at a time.  In a time when short story collections that dare to be unlinked are going the way of the dinosaur, we are more proud than ever to be fighting the fight.  Thank you for joining us.  See you next year, in Chicago.     

3 thoughts on “AWP: Mission Accomplished

  1. As flattering as it is to be mistaken for a resident New Yorker in the photo with Brock (is the guitar pick earrings that give me an urban flair?), I’m actually a Midwesterner with my own little publishing gig going on in Illinois. In spite of the fire alarms and the torrents of rain, One-Story’s reading and party were highlights of my overstimulating experience at AWP. Looking forward to seeing you all in our home state next year 🙂

  2. Pingback: One Story blog » Blog Archive » AWP Chicago Accomplished

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