I’ve always been a big believer of talent winning out. Send your manuscript out and someone will recognize a good story and the skill it took you to write it
My writing group is hosting a one day conference next fall. Another member and I have been chasing down a venue and keynote speaker.
Our writing group (http://bit.ly/GRRWG) has a book exchange every month. Books for Bucks. Contribute a book you no longer need (ha! like that’s likely in a group of writers) and buy someone else’s for a dollar. All money goes to the treasury.