Are you going to AWP? Don’t forget your BINGO card. Because what better way to pay due deference to the writing community than to silently, ruthlessly observe and compete?!

Choose 25 of the following items, scramble them up in 5 x 5 rows, and get ready to shriek about victory at the top of your lungs. We can’t all win cash money fellowships and awards, but some of us CAN notice enough things to WIN AT AWP!



-Small press table repeatedly, with increasing desperation, offering WHISKEY! on Twitter, Facebook, and handmade signs at their booth.


-Author who has sexually harassed you/someone you’re close with making eye contact, mouthing “hi,” and looking quickly away.


-Tarfia Faizullah.


-Table where everyone is wearing plaid.


-White, middle aged male writer dressed in a suit/business attire smiling uncomfortably as their agent/rep tries to get people to stop, take a free copy of his book, and get it signed.


-Ben Fama or Monica McClure sighting/reading without the other there.


-Poet wearing MacTaggart jewelry.


-Reference by an emcee to Minneapolis’ “vibrant,” “rich,” or “diverse” literary “culture,” “scene,” or “community.”


-Three or more readers in a row drowned completely out by the sounds of a restaurant or bar that had no idea what it was getting itself into when it said, sure, we can host a, what is it? Reading?


-Green cardigan.


-Don Share, or anyone who has physically seen Don Share and can confirm he’s not just a Twitter account or series of black and white Poetry Foundation website photos.


-Panel whose participants outnumber the audience.


-The disembodied, floating head of Kenneth Goldsmith wincing, shit-eating smirking down over us all.



-Selfie Stick.


-Panel with both a colon and “un” in the title. For example: “Un-Making Meaning: Poetics of Sound ,Vision, and Sound Vision.” “Un-Queering the Brew: The Post-Gender Narratives of Fairy Tale Witches,” or “The Road Un-Traveled: How Much More Shit Can We Say About Robert Frost’s Poem? A Bunch, It Turns Out.”


-Vitriolic, dogmatically outspoken, and unrelentingly argumentative online presence writer speaks no more than 3 words IRL.


-“Just for show” booth typewriter.


-Pizza emoji on a picture of pizza posted by a writer eating pizza or watching other writers eating pizza.


-Conversation with writer that you know/respect online that gets really dark or disturbing within 30 seconds.


-White, cis, male writer complaining about not being included in a VIDA reading or panel.


-Pre-10 AM coffee, cigarette, sunglasses happening together.


-White male poet who doesn’t have a beard, glasses, or a collared shirt.


-Poet sleeping motionlessly in a hotel lobby or hallway.


-Raymond Carver being cited as an inspiration by someone drunk.


-#NotAllMen hashtag used on Instagram in earnest.


-Panel, restaurant table, or circle of 8 or more white writers talking about problematic lack of racial diversity in their favorite TV shows or on their favorite presses.


-Sleepy-eyed writer couple describing recent parenthood as two of the following: “great,” “tiring,” “exhausting,” “impossible to write,” “impossible to get anything done,” “impossible,” “sleep-depriving,” or “sweet.”


-Fedora/goatee one-two punch.


-Generic totebag stuffed beyond capacity with books and papers.


-Writer “double-toteing:” TWO totebags, one on each arm! Bonus satisfaction points if the weight of the totes causes them to do a Quasimodo shuffle.


-University press table staffed by no less than three college-aged interns hunched over with their arms crossed and heads down looking at their phones.


-Writer walking anxiously fast with a dangling cord looking for an outlet.


-Spork book.


-The aching promise of Candy Crush glowing enthusiastically from a seated writer’s phone.


-Pamphlet that includes the words “showcase,” “showcasing,” or “voice’ in the first sentence.


-Really, really cool pen.


-Non-writer attending any AWP event. (Automatically fill your entire card up if found.)


You are now officially the best writer at AWP.


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