Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Response to AWP's Call for Money


Dear David W. Fenza,
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Thank you for your interest in my money.
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It is certainly admirable that AWP is working so hard for its membership by increasing your "honoraria" for your contributing writers.
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In addition, I am quite certain that your numerous prizes are helping out many new writers, although I, as a totally non-connected "emerging writer," have not personally benefited from your award programs.
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However, I have, in the past, often "donated" to these programs.
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I am particularly puzzled by your assertion that you "have provided a supportive network and community for writers who often feel isolated in their devotion to a difficult and lonely art."
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Hummm. I don't remember any AWP representative reaching out to me in any way, except at renewal time and during times of your organization's own financial need.
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You probably do introduce "many writers to one another"--I believe it is called the yearly AWP Conference.
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"We live in a silly, vulgar, and destructive culture," you write so stridently. I agree 100% with this statement.
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It's silly, vulgar, and destructive when your organization and Poets and Writers turn a blind eye to--and even support--the current non-transparent contest model perpetuated by esteemed universities and literary journals.
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If the writing community were truly interested in rising above our vulgar culture, it would work toward developing a strong code of ethics for fee-based literary contests and the general awarding of literary prizes funded by federal and state tax money.
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Fee-based contests should offer a level playing field for all entrants and should never be weighted to pump up the academic careers of well-connected mediocre writers.
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After careful review, I'm afraid I must pass on your plea for my money; should your organization decide to take action on what is really good for the profession, then I will reconsider my financial decision.
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Good wishes,
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Jennifer Semple Siegel

4 comments:

The Public said...

Blah, blah, blah.

Just one moment please, I'm on the phone.

Alan Cordle said...

AWP is spineless.

The Public said...

Still performing bathroom "scoliosis" tests I see. Did you recommend surgery for Mr. AWP after your services?

Alan Bluehole said...

I was looking at your public statcounter and it looked like Fenza stopped by. Scroll down and take a look.