Catch Me If You Can: April 8th-11th, 2015 AWP Conference & Bookfair, Minneapolis, MN

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​April 8th-11th, 2015 AWP Conference & Bookfair, Minneapolis, MN, see below:
 
Thursday, April 9th, 10:30-noon, book signing at Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing table (plus I will be hanging around until 2pm, available to talk about VCFA’s graduate programs);
2-3pm book signing at Harpur Palate
 
Friday, April 10th, 1:30-2:30pm, book signing at Green Mountains Review;
3-4:15pm panel “The Long and the Short of It: Five Debut Authors Divulge How They Got Their Short Fiction Collections Published, Buzzed, Reviewed, and Read”
 
Saturday, April 11th, noon-1:15pm panel reading,
“America by Train: Riding and Writing the Rails”
​followed by book signing at Curbside Splendor
 
You can also catch me from time to time at the Burrow Press table, where you can purchase Train Shots for the special conference deal of $10. I haven’t attended AWP since 2009, and so many dear friends are going. I can hardly wait!  
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“On Parakeets & Writers”: I talk Train Shots & Juventud with Angela Mitchell

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Back in the summer of 2009, I attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and hit it off with fellow fiction writer, Angela Mitchell. One of the most fun aspects of seeing your books (finally!) turn into print is reconnecting with the hardworking writers you’ve met over the years: to set up readings in one another’s cities, interviews, etc., etc. Angela and I are long overdue for a visit, but I suspect we’ll bump into each other before too long at a book fair or conference. Meanwhile, she was kind enough to interview me for her blog, where we talk mostly about Train Shots, but about the challenge of leaping from short story writing to the novel, too.  Read the interview and while you’re there, check out Angela’s work: her stories have won numerous awards, been published in great places like Colorado Review. All this she’s accomplished while mothering, teaching, and cattle-farming. She’s a creative woman of many hats whom I’m in awe of from afar, and I so look forward to our paths crossing again.

Here’s the link:

http://angela-mitchell.com/on-parakeets-and-writers/ 

Miami Book Fair Update, plus Interview with Rob Alexander at Saw Palm

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Whew! Just settling back home after an exhilarating weekend at the Miami Book Fair International where I was honored to participate as an author. On Thursday night, Burrow Press & Co. kicked off the festivities onstage at “The Swamp” in a reading showdown with Miami authors. I read a satirical piece aptly entitled, “Florida National Guard Invades Cuba,” which appeared a couple of years ago in the anthology, Far-flung and Foreign. Much fun was had with literary friends new and old including Jaquira Diaz, Lynne Barrett, Ivonne Lamazares, Jamie Poissant, Lindsay Hunter, & Boris Fishman, just to name a few. BP nonfiction editor and conference-partner-in-crime, Susan Fallows and I hit up the Penguin book truck for some classics and dashing new totes, chatted with the lovely folks at Akashic and Books & Books, and attended some revealing panels on book reviewing in the Internet age and the VIDA count. The festivities concluded with Sunday evening’s presentation featuring John Cleese of Monty Python fame — truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Conclusion? Miami Book Fair Int’l is a must-attend for lit folks in Florida and a less overwhelming, cost-effective (and warmer!) alternative to AWP.  I’m extremely grateful to Books & Books and Miami Dad College for inviting me, as it made for the perfect grande finale of the Train Shots 2014 Book Tour.

And now for something completely different. Saw Palm, the literary magazine based at USF, interviewed me this fall and asked some thoughtful, worthwhile questions. You may read my conversation with editor Rob Alexander here:

http://www.sawpalm.org/interview-with-vanessa-blakeslee.html