A report from the 40 + 1

    The 40 + 1: A post mortem

PEACE CORPS WRITERS HAD a very full schedule of events and offerings at the NPCA Conference June 20th to 23rd at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington.

Awards
During the opening ceremonies that took place in beautiful Constitution Hall, John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil of Peace Corps Writers announced the winners of its annual writing awards. On hand to receive their awards were: Peter Hessler (China 1996–98), 2002 winner of the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award; Margaret Szmowski (Zaire 1973–74, Ethiopia 1974–75), winner of the 2002 Poetry Award and Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990–1993), winner of the 2001 Maria Thomas Fiction Award (which was to be presented last September). Each of these writers, and all other award winners received a framed certificate and $100.00.

Writers Workshops
The eleven writers workshops that we presented averaged 50 people in each session. The rooms were small, so in several of the workshops the audience tumbling out into the hallway. PeaceCorpsWriters.org is indebted to all the panelists for sharing their ideas and experiences.

Readings
The on-going readings that stretched over two days and were organized by Joe Kovacs (Sri Lanka 1997–98) averaged 40 people in attendance an any given time. While the readings unfortunately did not get the promotion that they deserved, conference attendees were finding the small room where they were held and had the opportunity to hear some great prose and poetry. Our thanks to all who read.

Book sales
Meanwhile, in the Bazaar, nineteen Peace Corps writers sold more than a hundred of their epublished/small-publisher/out-of-print books at our booth. A special “Thank You” goes to Joanne Omang (Turkey 1964–66) who took the booth in hand and made it possible for these writers to get their books into the hands of interested readers.
     Next door at the Politics and Prose booth, among the books they were selling were 88 different titles by 67 Peace Corps writers. We do not know what their sales figures were, but the booth was constantly busy, many writers did book signings and we heard that the supply of Jason Carter’s (South Africa 1998–2000) Power Lines sold out!