Conversations and Connections

Come out on Friday night to hear great new work by Gabino Iglesias, Nik Korpon, and John Edward Lawson.

Gabino Iglesias

Gabino Iglesias is the author of ZERO SAINTS and COYOTE SONGS. He is a book reviewer for NPR, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Criminal Element, and other venues as well as the book reviews editor for PANK Magazine. He has been recently nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.

Nik Korpon is the author of OLD GHOSTS, WEAR YOUR HOME LIKE A SCAR, and QUEEN OF THE STRUGGLE, among others. He lives in Baltimore.

John Edward Lawson’s novels, short fiction, and poetry have garnered nominations for many awards, including the Stoker and Wonderland Awards. In addition to being a founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press and former editor-in-chief of THE DREAM PEOPLE, he currently serves as vice president of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction.

This event will be hosted by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Susan Muaddi Darraj

Susan Muaddi Darraj won the 2016 American Book Award for her second short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home. She is also the author of The Inheritance of Exile, as well as numerous young adult biographies, articles, book reviews, and essays. She also has been awarded the Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction and the Arab American Book Award, and A Curious Land was also shortlisted for the Palestine Book Award. She lives in Baltimore, MD.

Up to date information is available on the event page at

But Wait, There’s More!

Gabino will be a special guest of Conversations and Connections: Practical Advice on Writing operated by is happening on Saturday, April 27. Nik will also be speaking there, and I’ll be there manning the Raw Dog Screaming Press table. Conversations and Connections is a one-day writer’s conference at George Mason University in Arlington, VA that brings together writers, editors, and publishers in a friendly, supportive environment.

Nik Korpon

What do you get for your registration fee? A whole lot of stuff! For your $75 registration fee, you get the full day conference, including the keynote by featured authors keynote discussion, and 3 craft workshop/panel sessions, plus 1 ticket for Speed Dating with Editors, your choice of 1 of the 4 featured books, 1 subscription to a participating literary magazine, and (for those of you 21 or over) our world famous Boxed Wine Happy Hour. Boxed Wine Happy Hour!

Where does the money go? Conversations and Connections is organized by Barrelhouse, a nonprofit literary organization. Exactly one half of every $75 registration goes directly to the participating literary magazines and small presses. After expenses, the rest goes to Barrelhouse to support printing costs, paying writers, and other community projects like the Barrelhouse Amplifier, a $1,500 cash award for emerging literary organizations.

Speed Dating

John Edward Lawson

Ever wanted to go on a date with me? Well, too bad! I’m still available for speed dating as an editor at Conversations and Connections, though. Here’s how it will work:

Your registration includes one ticket for “speed dating with editors” This is a ten minute one-on-one workshop with an editor, and we’ll have additional tickets available for purchase at $5 a piece (this money goes directly to the press or litmag that you meet with). A quick summary of how this works: you’ll sit down with an editor who will read some work and provide immediate feedback during the ten minute session. Things that work best: a poem, a flash story or essay, or the first few pages of a longer piece.

A few notes: Bring hard copies. If you think you might want to go through a few times, maybe bring a few different things to work with. You’ll be matched up with an appropriate editor for your work (poems will be read by poetry editors, stories by fiction editors, nonfiction by nonfiction editors), but we can’t match people up with specific editors due to time constraints. We have two hours reserved for speed dating and lunch and that’s been proven to be enough time for folks to do both. There will probably be a line but it moves pretty quickly (we’ll do ten minute sessions and should have more than twenty editors on hand).

I hope to see you there!