What's in a Name?

Who does the Australian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) represent?

Of the current membership of the AAWP, what do you think is:

a) the number of members from Australian universities?
b) the number of members from Australian TAFEs?
c) the number from New Zealand universities?
d) the number from other universities?
e) the total number?

Which do you think are the associations in other countries equivalent to the AAWP?

Have you visited the website of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) in the United Kingdom? http://www.nawe.co.uk/scripts/WebObjects.exe/naweSite/

Did you know that NAWE is "the one organization supporting the development of creative writing of all genres and in all educational settings throughout the UK" and its membership is open to writers, lecturers, teachers, arts advisers, students, literature workers, librarians, researchers and interested others in Britain?

What do you think about the wide range of services provided to members on the NAWE website (publications, training, projects, funding, online services, study courses guide, events and opportunities guide, etc)?

How much funding do you think lies behind NAWE, and where do you think they get it from?

Have you visited the website of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) in the United States? http://www.awpwriter.org/store/index.htm

Did you know that since 1967 "the AWP has supported writers and writing programs around the world" and they "now support over 21,000 writers at over 340 member colleges and universities and 125 writers' conferences and centers"? (http://www.awpwriter.org/)

Did you know that membership of the AWP includes "writers, students, teachers, editors, literary arts professionals, and lovers of literature"?

What do you think about all the services provided to members on the AWP website (bookshelf, conferences, placement and career services, publications, merchandise, etc)?

How much funding do you think lies behind the AWP, and where do you think they get it from?

Did you know that the AWP conference has an associated bookfair, a venue for interviews for forthcoming university positions, and a meeting place for publishers and writers to negotiate forthcoming projects?

What AAWP services other than running the annual conference and publishing TEXT are you aware of?

Did you know that the subscription list to TEXT this year topped the 1,000 mark?

Did you know that the majority of these subscribers have international addresses?

Are you aware that a correlation can be drawn between the membership of the AAWP and the number of people who attend the AAWP Conference each year?

Do you know that there has never been more than 150 delegates at an AAWP conference?

Are you one of the people who won't be coming to the Sydney conference this year?

Why can't you attend? Is it because

a) you are not employed by a university or TAFE?
b) you are not a "nominated researcher" in your university?
c) you don't have enough research funds?
d) you don't earn enough quantum?
e) you can't afford to join the AAWP?
f) you live too far away?
g) you have calculated that it isn't important enough to you at this stage in your career?
h) you haven't written a paper, don't see the point of it, and besides you don't have time to write one?

As a teacher, could you do a better job if creative practice were more fully recognised as research?

As a teacher/researcher, could you do a better job or would it be a more rewarding job, if you had more links with international teaching/research organisations?

Would you be willing to take up an exchange in the USA, UK, Canada or Hong Kong?

Would you be interested in developing a research or publication project with colleagues

a) in another teaching institution?
b) in another State?
c) in another country?
d) in another discipline?
e) in another sector such as with a colleague in a primary school?

Should the AAWP concern itself with other countries?
Should the AAWP concentrate on home issues and leave other nation states to set up their own organizations which might reflect their own individual situations?
Should it do both?

What is the most important thing about the AAWP becoming more international:

a) the increased strength of the Association?
b) the potential expansion of services to all members?
c) the potential for the AAWP to somehow nurture new members?
d) the possibility of new teaching and research exchange schemes?

What do you think is the best way to incorporate new countries into the AAWP:

a) by changing the AAWP's name?
b) by initiating recruitment drives in new countries?
c) by waiting for new countries' members to join the AAWP as it is?
d) by building links with organisations that have formed in other countries?
e) by forming new country chapters of the AAWP based in the new countries themselves?
f) more than one of the above?

Do you think AAWP membership should be opened up to all-comers?

Do you think that teachers in schools, lovers of writing, writers' centre personnel and members, festival organizers, publishers and editors, booksellers, reviewers, readers, could also be members of the AAWP and the organization reflect issues of concern to those groups?

Should conferences be held and financed by individual universities or by the central AAWP?

Should conferences be held on university campuses, or might they be better located:

a) in wine-growing districts
b) at beachside resorts?
c) near to publishing houses?
d) at a time to coincide with other significant literary events, such as festivals or bookfairs?
e) in several locations simultaneously with video link-ups?
f) online?

Should AAWP conferences become smaller and more regular, focused around a single issue, grouping together possible research collaborators, possible publication projects?

Should the arts or publishing industries be included in such smaller groupings?

Would you be happy to finance travel and accommodation for an AAWP conference out of your own pocket?

Do you have the time and money to do more work in the cause of the nationalisation and/or the internationalisation of the AAWP?

Do you think the AAWP is ready to go international or has it too much work to do nationally?

Nigel Krauth
Tess Brady


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Vol 7 No 2 October 2003
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Tess Brady