The AWP Conference & Bookfair is undoubtedly amazing: where else can you find most of America’s literary writers, publishers, writing students, and organizations all in one place, plus readings, panels, talks, and social events? It’s become a mini-BEA just for the literary world. It’s also wildly overwhelming. It could take all of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday just to make the rounds of the book fair, but on top of that are the many other events vying for attendees’ attention.

Some people come for the craft talks. Others go to pick up their year’s worth of new small press books. Still others are looking to make publishing connections or seek out new career opportunities. Practically everyone hopes to bump into a few far-flung friends.

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs, which organizes the conference, has a comprehensive list on its site of everything that’s going on. To help our readers sort through it, we have selected a list of events that will be of interest to publishing professionals and those looking for the inside scoop on how the book world works.

Since you’ve got to take a break from all the hubbub sometime, our Midwest correspondent has put together a list of places in the Twin Cities you can check out to get away from the craziness of the conference.