7.30.2010

VOX PRESS, INC (a non-profit literary press in Oxford, Mississippi) is in its initial stages of organizing a literary symposium for the summer of 2011, in Oxford. Mississippi. The purpose of the symposium will be to examine the current state of small press literary publishing, with particular emphasis on the problems and challenges faced by small presses and the resources and innovations that publishers like yourself are using to achieve your mission. In order for VOX to have a better understanding of how the small press literary world might benefit most from this event, please take a few moments and respond to the following questions:

Based upon your experience, what are the key challenges and concerns that small presses face today? (Please list in order of importance.)
On a scale of 1 to 6 (with 1 meaning "not at all interested" and 6 meaning "extremely interested"), how interested would you be in attending a symposium designed to examine and address these challenges?
If you would be interested in attending this type of symposium, which of the challenges and concerns that you identified would you most like to included in the event? (Please list in order of preference.)
What resources, innovations, solutions, etc. have you found to be most useful in addressing the challenges and concerns that you face in your work?
What type of formats and activities (e.g., formal presentations, panel discussions, workshops, "best practice" presentations, etc.) would be most useful for examining and addressing these concerns in a symposium setting?
Have you or any other members of your press ever participated in a literary symposium or festival of this sort? If so, did you find that to be a satisfying experience? How could it have been improved? What specific benefits did you gain from participating?

Yes.

If you are interested in this type of symposium, can you think of any problems or obstacles that might prevent you from attending and/or participating in the event?

It is my experience that these types of symposia / conferences charge the attendees; generally this is because attendees are academics with a small travel/conference stipend they MUST use. Unfortunately, it puts non-academics in the position of having to PAY to DELIVER a reading or talk. Then there are invited STAR readers or "keynotes" who are paid -- usually quite handsomely -- to deliver their work.

It establishes a hierarchy from the get go.

Would you be interested in leading a workshop or participating in a panel discussion on one of the topics that you have identified above? (While the topics will be largely determined by the responses of potential participants, topics for the symposium might include: goals and strategies for greater inclusiveness, the role of new technologies, etc.)
Would you be interested in writing an essay and/or giving a lecture on the theme: What Is the Current State and/or the Future of Literary Small Press Publishing in the 21st Century? Are there other related themes about which you would be interested in writing an essay and/or giving a lecture?
Finally, are there any other issues that you would like to raise or recommendations that you would like to make for us at this time as we begin the initial planning for this event?
Thank you for your response. Your comments and recommendations will play a vital role in the design and implementation of a literary symposium for you and your colleagues in the small press community.

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