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Frequently Asked Questions about Split This Rock Poetry Festival

This page includes answers to questions you may have about the festival. Feel free to jump up or down the page to the section or question that is of most interest to you by clicking the links under each heading.

General Info about the Festival

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Registering for the Festival | Presenter FAQs | Return to the Top of Page | Go to Bottom of Page
 

Q: What types of events can I expect to see at Split This Rock?
A: The festival includes a wonderful variety of activities! The daytime sessions include three kinds of convenings: group readings, panel or roundtable discussions, and workshops. In addition there will be readings by featured poets, open mics, public activism, programs for youth, a book fair, and a party. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to meet poets and activists from all over the country while exploring Washington, DC.

Q: Once I get to DC, where do I check-in and get my festival badge? Do I need to bring anything to check-in?
A: If you have pre-registered, you can pick up your badge and program book at the check-in table in the National Housing Center, located at 1201 15th Street, NW. The closest Metro stations are Farragut North and McPherson Square. The 16th Street S (S2, S4) Bus Line also serves this location.

STUDENTS: Please bring your student ID with you to check in.

We encourage everyone to give yourself extra time to check in before attending your first session—lines can get long, especially on Friday and Saturday mornings. Please wear your badge to all events.

Q: May I register on-site?
A: Yes. On-site registration is available at the National Housing Center, located at 1201 15th Street, NW. The closest Metro stations are Farragut North and McPherson Square. The 16th Street S (S2, S4) Bus Line also serves this location. Please give yourself extra time to check in before attending your first session—lines can get long, especially on Friday and Saturday mornings. Please wear your badge to all events.

Q: How do I find out the schedule in advance for festival events?
A: Once the schedule has been set, we will post a Program & Schedule webpage which will include the most up-to-date listing of festival events. You may also consult the festival mobile app once it is live. Please note the schedule is subject to some changes due to unforeseeable cancellations. We will use push notifications on the mobile app to send last-minute updates during the festival. However, the majority of the schedule will remain unchanged. Once you arrive at the festival you will also receive a copy of the schedule in your program book. Large-print versions of the program book will be available, upon request.

Q: What days of the week are the festival held?
A: The festival officially begins on Thursday, April 19 and ends on Saturday, April 21. Additional information will be posted on a Program & Schedule webpage once those details are finalized.

Q: What times are the festival events scheduled throughout the day?
A: Festival events begin each day around 9:30 am. Daytime sessions run for 90 minutes, with a minimum of 30 minutes between sessions. Please give yourself extra time to check in before attending your first festival session, as there can be long lines. Readings by the festival’s featured poets are Thursday and Friday evenings, Saturday afternoon and evening, with an after-hours open mic or party each night. We hope you’ll stick around for it all!

Q: There are so many sessions! How many should I attend?
A: Attend as many events as you like. When making your schedule for the week, keep in mind that you may need time for sleeping, eating, socializing, and visiting Saturday’s book fair. We include an hour break for lunch and two hours for dinner.

Q: Who plans the Festival events? Who chooses them?
A: Split This Rock solicits session proposals during the spring and summer the year prior to the festival, through an Open Call to the Split This Rock community and the general public, and sessions are chosen by a committee comprised largely of Split This Rock staff, board, and festival planning committee members. You can read about how the featured poets are selected on our website.

Q: How much does it cost to register?
A: For full festival registration, the early-bird rate is $140. After February 21, registration is $200 (online or on-site at the festival). The student early bird rate for a full festival registration is $50 and becomes $75 after February 21. The day rate is $85. Presenters receive special rates ($100 prior to February 21 and $140 afterward). Scholarships are available for those who seek them. We estimate the true cost of the festival to be $300 per person and we ask everyone who can to pay at that level. For those with a greater capacity, please consider giving an additional amount in order to subside those who aren't able to afford that cost. Thank you!

Q: Why have the registration fees increased a bit this year?
A: Split This Rock is committed to making its biennial festival accessible to all regardless of financial ability. We keep fees low, offer generous scholarships, and provide opportunities to attend the festival for free through volunteering. With income from registration fees covering only about 1/3 of past festival costs, it has become necessary to reimagine our rate structure. For the 2018 festival, we are offering a range of fees to better sustain the event and, ultimately, Split This Rock itself. We estimate the true cost of the festival to be $300 per person and we ask everyone who can to pay at that level. For those with a greater capacity, please consider giving an additional amount in order to subside those who aren't able to afford that cost. Reasonably low rates, scholarships, and volunteer opportunities remain available for those who seek them.

Q: What if I can't afford to attend?
Consider volunteering at the festival. People who volunteer for at least 5 hours receive free festival registration and a t-shirt! Learn more on the festival Volunteer web page.

Additionally, scholarships are available. Submit your request via the online application form by Wednesday, March 28. If the form is not accessible to you, the instructions are available as a Word document or as a PDF. Please note that requests submitted by mail must be postmarked by March 20. Read more about festival scholarships on the Scholarships web page.

Q: Is the festival accessible to people in the disability community?
A: Split This Rock values individuals of all abilities and strives to make its programs and materials accessible to all. The festival’s venues and hotel are all wheelchair accessible. Large print program books will be available at the festival registration table by request. Featured poet readings will include ASL interpreters. Read more about Split This Rock's commitment to accessibility on the Accessibility webpage. If you have questions or suggestions or would like to request an accommodation, please contact us at poetryfest@splitthisrock.org or 202-787-5210. 

Q: May I bring my baby to the festival?
A. We welcome nursing mothers and parents with babies under the age of 1 to join us for the festival. In doing so, we trust parents to consider their infant's disposition and use discretion to avoid causing a distraction during activities. For help finding a private space for breastfeeding, parents may visit the information table at the National Housing Center.

Q: Should I wear perfume or cologne to the festival?
A: The Festival is a **Fragrance-free** space. Guests are asked to please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne, or other synthetically scented or perfumed products including clothing freshly laundered with chemical detergents.

Q: What if I have other questions?
A: Contact Split This Rock at poetryfest@splitthisrock.org or (202) 787-5210.

Registering for the Festival

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Q: How do I register?
A: Visit the festival registration page. Register early! Early-bird rates are available!

Q: How do I know I have registered successfully?
A: You will recieve an e-mail confirmation immediately after you register online, or within 7-10 business days of receipt of your hard copy registration form. (Please note mailed registration forms must be postmarked by March 20.) You will not receive tickets in the mail. STUDENTS: Please bring a current student ID to the festival.

Q: Do I have to register for each individual panel or reading that I want to attend?
A: Your festival pass entitles you to entry to all festival events on the days for which you are registered. You may attend any session you wish. Please show your badge to gain entry.

Q: What do I do if I'm interested in registering a group to attend the festival?
A: Contact us directly if you would like to register a group at poetryfest@splitthisrock.org or by calling 202-787-5210. We offer group rates for groups of 10 or more.

Q: What if I need a refund?
A: We are able to refund your registration, if you notify us within 60 days of making your payment, regardless of whether it is before or after the festival. Unfortunately we cannot make refunds after that date. If you have questions, email us at poetryfest@splitthisrock.org or by calling 202-787-5210.

Presenter FAQs

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Q: If I am presenting at a session, do I need to register for the festival?
A: Yes, all presenters must register for the festival. Presenters receive special discounted rates: $100 if you register during early bird regisration, and $140 after February 21, 2018. Festival registrations include admission to all events, readings, and the book fair for the duration of the festival. Meals, lodging, and travel are not included. For information on lodging, please visit the Where To Stay section of the festival website. Scholarships are available for those who need them. Instructions on how to apply are available online, as a Word document, and as a PDF.

Q: How should I prepare for my panel/roundtable discussion, group reading, or workshop?
A: Be sure to plan in consultation with your fellow panelists or readers, if yours is a group session. Split This Rock festival participants value the discussion and give-and-take that takes place in these sessions. Please design yours to encourage participation and dialogue. Remember, too, that participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds; some have formal poetry training and some do not. Please define any specialized terms you use and do your best to assure that everyone’s along for the ride. Facilitators: Please make sure that your events begin and end on time. If you are part of a group reading, choose your material in advance, rehearse and time your reading including preparatory remarks to ensure that your reading falls within the allotted time. Remember: Split This Rock is not an academic conference. Please do not read an academic paper and if you find yourself using an academic term, remember to define it. If someone uses a term you do not know, don't be afraid to ask what it means. If you don't know, others in the room probably don't either!

Q: May I change the description of my event or list of participating panelists before the festival?
A: The main contact for your session should submit any proposed changes to Split This Rock by December 4, 2017 via the Session Info Form. If unexpected changes occur after December 4, please contact us as soon as possible at poetryfest@splitthisrock.org or 202-787-5210.

Q: Is it possible to use visual aids and/or handouts in my presentation?
A: Yes, please! We, actually, encourage it as an accessibility practice. For handouts, we encourage you to prepare at least three copies in large-print format (boldface 14 to 16 point font size) on white paper for attendees with low vision. Handouts of prepared comments and poems are also helpful to members of the D/deaf and hard of hearing community. Allow ample time when referring to a visual aid or handout, or when pointing out the location of materials. (Please note: A/V equipment requests are due by December 4. See next question.)

Q: Can I request audiovisual (A/V) equipment?
A: The main contact for your session has been asked to submit equipment needs, as well as any other special requests related to your session, by December 4, 2017. Each of our venues provides different resources. We will do our best to accommodate your request given these differences.

Q: If I am unhappy with my room assignment and/or time at the festival may I request a change?
A: Split This Rock will make every effort to account for location and time preferences. The main contact for your session has been asked to submit special requests related to your session by December 4, 2017. We will do our best to accommodate these requests. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the festival and venues, once the schedule is set we will have very little room to consider scheduling changes.