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Steve Almond prepares to deliver the keynote address at Conversations and Connections DC.

Steve Almond prepares to deliver the keynote address at Conversations and Connections DC.

Want to write better? Want to get published? Attending pricey, academic-style, lecture-hall writer’s conferences won’t quite get you there, no matter how good the bagels are.

Here’s what will: a comfortable, congenial environment where you can meet other writers, editors and publishers. You need to speak with the people who make editorial decisions, as well as with others who are trying to perfect their craft, just like you.

You’ll find this at Conversations & Connections, a conference devoted to giving you practical advice on getting published.

Since 2007, Conversations & Connections has been a top-pick among writers in the DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh areas.

Cool Thing #1: It’s affordable.

$70 gets you the whole day, which includes three sessions of panels focused on business and craft, a reading and discussion from our featured authors, and whole host of cool stuff (see below). Keynote speakers have included Steve Almond, Mary Gaitskill, Sam Lipsyte, Matthea Harvey and many others.

Cool Thing #2: You get to meet editors.

Our “speed dating with the editors” (one session is included in the registration fee, additional sessions available for $5) is a ten-minute meeting with an editor who will review the first two pages of a story, a novel synopsis, or a few poems, providing feedback on how you might improve your work or where you might consider sending it.

Cool Thing #3: Free Book by a Featured Writer

We feature four writers at every conference. And you get to leave with one of their books as part of your admission fee.

Cool Thing #4: Subscription to a Literary Journal

Before you leave our conference, charged and ready to finish your novel, you will get to select a one-year subscription from one of several participating literary journals. Past choices have included Barrelhouse, Potomac Review, Gettysburg Review, The Common, The Believer, StoryQuarterly, Publishing Genius, Gigantic Sequins, Cobalt, and many others.

Cool Thing #5: You’ll Be Supporting Local Independent Literature

All the profits from Conversations and Connections go directly back to Barrelhouse and the rest of the participating literary magazines and small presses.

Cool Thing #6: Boxed Wine Happy Hour

Boxed wine happy hour! The name kind of speaks for itself.