Write to Publish 2019
“A Writer’s Guide to Publishing”
Registration & breakfast buffet
Opening remarks by Brennah & Zoe / Presenting sponsor presentation from Image Comics
Keynote Speech: Kate Ristau, Folklorist and Author
Keynote Speech Q&A
SESSION ONE: 10:45–11:45 a.m.
Panel 1 – What Route Will You Take?: Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing
Description: Traditional publishing and self-publishing have different benefits and drawbacks, strengths and weaknesses. This panel will give you an overview of both, along with some helpful pros and cons to steer you toward the right path for you and your manuscript.
Speakers: Patricia Marshall, Owner & Editor of Luminare Press; Sean Jones, Director of Acquisitions for Inkwater Press; Laura Stanfill, Publisher of Forest Avenue Press
Seminar 1 – Pitching Your Tent: How to Craft and Send a Book Proposal
Description: This workshop will explore the varied components of a strong book proposal along with tips on how to market that information to catch the eye of an agent and/or a publisher. Attendees will discover a critical marketing exercise that will take their proposal from blah to brilliant and will walk away more informed and more confident as they start the process of crafting this critical document.
Leader: Tawny Johnson, Senior Literary Agent for D.C. Jacobson and Associates
Seminar 2 – Packing and Preparing for the Road Ahead: A Branding Atlas
Description: Branding yourself and being active on social media are two very beneficial ways to interest a potential publisher and great practices to begin to understand and build your readership. This seminar will discuss ways to design and produce an active social media presence or website that keeps readers coming back.
Leader: Rachel Werner, Guest Faculty for the Highlights Foundation
LUNCH: 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Gather around the fire for Pitch to a Professional!
Sign up for a time slot by filling out the Google Form, found here.
Participants: Laura Stanfill, Publisher of Forest Avenue Press; Val Gryphin, Editor-in-Chief at Typehouse Literary Magazine; Patrick McDonald, Publisher of Overcup Press; Ari Mathae & Taylor Thompson, Acquisitions Managers at Ooligan Press
SESSION TWO: 1:15–2:15 p.m.
Panel 2 – Choosing the Right Campground: Small & Independent Publishing Houses
Description: When sending in your book’s proposal, it’s important to decide which will be best for its publication: a small, independent press or one of the Big Five. Your book is a unique creation and finding its home can seem difficult. This panel will help you uncover the benefits of publishing with a small press and what to expect in a smaller house.
Speakers: Kevin Sampsell, Publisher & Editor of Future Tense Books; Margot Wood, Director of Sales at Oni Press; Tara Lehmann, Publicity Assistant for Beyond Words Publishing
Panel 3 – A Tour Guide for Every Step: Hiring Freelance Services
Description: Freelancers can help self-publishing authors throughout their entire journey to publication. Whether for marketing, editing, or designing, there are plenty of professional freelance options to help you along the publication process. This panel will discuss the when, what, and why answers to your freelance questions.
Speakers: Jennifer Zaczek, Owner & Editor of Cypress Editing; Rachel Werner; Robyn Crummer-Olson, Freelancer in Project Management and Book Publishing
Seminar 3 – Survival Hacks: Ten Best Self-Editing & Revision Tips
Description: The ability to read over and edit your manuscript, without immediately tossing it in the trash, is a skill many writers need in the current book publishing climate. Learn how to edit your work effectively and conquer that mountain of a manuscript you have stored under your bed or in your closet with these self-editing and revision tips.
Leader: Adam O’Connor Rodriguez, Senior Editor of Hawthorne Books
SESSION THREE: 2:30–3:30 p.m.
Panel 4 – Each Direction of the Compass: Authors in Different Genres
Description: Come seek advice from those who have successfully been published in their genre! Panelists will share their personal connection to their genre as well as any triumphs or struggles they’ve experienced. This panel will mostly consist of a Q&A session, so be sure to bring questions you’ve been dying to have answered about different genres in the industry.
Speakers: Kyle Sullivan, Creative Picture Books Author; Shea Ernshaw, Young Adult Fantasy Author; Kristen Tracy, Poetry Author; Brian Evenson, Fiction Book Author
Seminar 4 – Backpacking through the Dos and Don’ts: Writing Nonfiction & Memoir
Description: Writing a nonfiction narrative or a memoir can be a gratifying yet challenging experience. These genres are distinct, but they are both personal and offer truths about the world that are not always easy to capture or share. Come learn best practices, techniques to use, and how to balance you as an author and possibly you as a character in your story.
Leader: Dennis Stovall, Nonfiction Author & Professor
Seminar 5 – The Survival Guide: How to Find an Agent
Description: An agent can be your very own book guide who helps direct you throughout the publishing process. In this seminar, learn whether or not you’ll need one, how to find the right one for you and your book, what to do when you have one, and what they can do for you.
Leader: Taylor Thompson, Literary Agent at The Purcell Agency
SESSION FOUR: 3:45–4:45 p.m.
Panel 5 – The Trail Isn’t Over: Marketing and Sales
Description: Selling your book can be its own journey in and of itself. Panelists will discuss the strategies publishers and marketers take in order to promote and sell books. Find out what this entails as an author and what your role is in this process, as well as just how much marketing truly affects sales numbers.
Speakers: Kent Watson, Executive Director of PubWest; Renee Yama, Marketing Director of Hazy Dell Press; Dory Athey, Marketing & Special Sales Associate of Catapult/Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press
Panel 6 – Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Conscious Editing and Writing
Description: Sometimes our words have meanings that we never intend for them. Being a conscious writer or editor can help you be more mindful of the way your words may be perceived by readers. This panel will outline the importance of being aware of your writing when developing potentially difficult scenes or characters and how to use language effectively. It’s a great practice in empathizing with the reader—a skill all writers should have in their toolkit.
Speakers: Jessie Carver, Freelance Editor & Writer; Sarah Heilman, Editor at Ex Libris Editing; Jessica Mehta, Poet & Novelist; Janice Lee, Writer, Editor, & Publisher
Seminar 6 – Writing Contest Readings
Fiction Contest Winner
Nonfiction Contest Winner
Poetry Contest Winner
Reaching the Summit: Networking Hour: 5:00–5:30 pm
Description: We’ve put this off for too long. We’ve made you sit and listen all day. Finally you are free to talk and discuss with peers and professionals alike about your shared passion for writing. Take what you’ve learned today and network!
Leaders: Brennah Hale and Zoe LaHaie, Outreach and Project Development Managers
Closing Remarks & Raffle: 5:30-6 pm