What began as a rainy Saturday ended in brilliant sunshine. And if this were a short story, we might be seeing a change in the mood of the crowd to match the gradual increments of light. Conversations and Connections, however, was a gathering of writers, and began in an energetic mood of enthusiasm which grew as the day wore on, thanks to the planning of Dave Housley and folks from Barrelhouse, George Mason University, and Upshur Books, to name a few.
We were glad to be there: Fiction Editor John Wang and Associate Editor Mike Landweber (can we pause long enough to congratulate him again on his new book?) met many fiction writers during the speed dating session; interns Amber and Hieu helped guide the many writers around the large room. Tech Editor Joanna Howard conferred with several speed dating poets. As always, the give -and -take atmosphere ensured that the discussions would be lively on both ends.
It was a special treat to run into Leslie Pietrzyk, who gave the keynote speech, and to catch up with contributors from past and future issues of the magazine–Jeffrey Johnson (2002) and Meg Eden (#59).
Our interns struck up a great conversation with the folks from Stillhouse Press, who shared not only the range of publications at the press, but also provided some background about careers and the getting of advanced degrees in writing.