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The Writing Report for March

We're about to close out the month of March in a few days and with April right around the corner, I've started to think about writing conferences. In trying to decide if I will go to any this year, I've needed to consider all the other obligations in my life, as well as the intent of each conference. I've made my first choice, and will be attending the annual Conversations and Connections conference next Saturday, April 5th.

This conference, organized by Barrelhouse Magazine and sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Master of Arts in Writing program (in which I'm enrolled) has been going on since 2007. I've attended two or three of these conferences and it was actually at last year's conference that I first began to realize that an MA program might be what I needed to move my writing to the next level.

This insight came during the popular "Speed Dating with Editors" event that takes place over the lunch hour. Participants bring a few pages of a piece--any type, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction--and sit with an editor from a literary magazine or small press for instant feedback.

Another upcoming conference that I considered attending but couldn't fit into my schedule is the second annual Books Alive! conference sponsored by the Washington Independent Review of Books. That conference is tomorrow, so if you're interested, check it out right now.

There will be more conferences over the next few months. One I won't be able to attend again (since I will be enrolled in a workshop at Hopkins) is the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. This is not actually a conference, but an ongoing series of workshops that takes place over most of June and July. I had a fantastic experience there last summer and would go again if I could work it into my schedule. I highly recommend it!


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