We've spent the last two and a half days sitting at the Hazel & Wren / Midway Journal table, meeting and greeting and people-watching. Specifically, shoe-watching. We've learned many things here at AWP-Chicago, none more important than what we've learned from writers and their shoes.

Tennis shoes: This isn't their first rodeo. They've done the three-days-straight-on-your-feet thing before.

Heels: We can only hope this means they have a foot massage already scheduled.

Ballet flats: They most likely have a room at the Hilton, have not ventured outside since Wednesday, and have forgotten that it's February.


Boots: Those wearing combat boots are definitely prepared to battle their way through this crowd of 10,000 writers. Those in snow boots appear to be practical people, although this is a debatable point since there is currently no Chicago snow to speak of.


Fancy dress shoes: (This is all that we know to call them; we are such shoe experts.) These are writers with European flair, like Literary Death Match's Todd Zuniga (who co-hosted our favorite LDM yet, last night with Megan Garr of Versal).

Finally, we've learned that meeting favorite writers, like D.A. Powell (Graywolf Press) and Melissa Kwasny (Milkweed Editions) makes us so star struck that we forget shoes even exist, let alone remember to look at their feet.

Hazel & Wren is (are?) book bloggers Amanda and Melissa Wray. Find them at



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AWP No. 9: "An Ex-Loner's Guide to AWP," by Katy Read

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AWP No. 11: Everybody who's anybody was there, and we have the pictures to prove it.