This website describes AIPF and offers ways to be involved with the country’s largest non-juried poetry festival.  There are basically four independent functions covered by the site: membership, support, submit poetry, attend the festival.  Relevant information on each is presented under respective tabs on the website, but reading this overview might help before moving on to ‘navigating the website.’

What fees and charges are involved?

Membership: $30
Support: Donations and advertising levels of choice
Submit Poetry: $30 (free for K-12 students)
Attend Festival: $50 ($35 for members, seniors, and military; free for K-12 students)

What do you get for the money?

‘Membership’ is an Austin Poets International (API) thing. API hosts AIPF, but there is no obligation to be a member to submit poetry or to attend the festival.  The membership fee ($30) covers the administrative costs of the organization (see Membership tab for a list of benefits and method of payment).

‘Support’ is merely a way for individuals or businesses to do something extra to cover the costs of the festival that exceed the fees collected for attending (see the Support tab for suggested amounts of donations and sponsorships, and advertising rates).

‘Submit poetry’ is done through a submissions management platform that bills independently (See Adult Anthology tab, click on Adult Submissions tab or see Youth Program tab, click on Youth Submissions tab).  The platform retains a small percentage of the $30 adult submissions fee for its service; the remainder comes to API to support editing, printing and mailing of the annual anthology, and the costs of the youth program (the entire program is free for youth) – editing, printing and mailing the youth anthology, hosting readings and workshops for youth, guest poets for youth presentations, and awards for youth participants.

‘Attend the festival’ is the catch-all registration for our annual event (See Festival tab, click on Adult Registration tab  or see Youth Program tab, click on Youth Registration tab).  The registration fee ($50 or discounted fee of $35 for adults and free for youth) helps cover ordinary festival expenses: advertising, promotion, banking, supplies, postage, travel, featured poets, facility rentals, equipment, website hosting, awards, taxes, insurance, and so on.  Payment of the registration fee guarantees two reading slots, a seat at one workshop, SWAG, a festival program which will include festival attendee bios, and access to events otherwise closed to the public.

API and AIPF are run by volunteers, though certain functions, like submissions and IT, are farmed out to professionals.  The fee structure described above is carefully crafted to assure survival of the festival while holding down costs for participants. As you navigate the website and sign up for one thing or another, keep in mind the ever-increasing costs of operation, the benefits to the youth of our communities, and the unbridled joy of novice poets who have a venue to share poetry with more experienced colleagues.