As Melanie mentioned in the last blog post, we officially have a site for Write to Publish 2015! Melanie and I are of course ecstatic about this; having an event space and official date means we can now focus on other areas of the conference and start nailing down some details that had to wait until we knew what sort of room situation we were working with. We had begun to get stressed about finding a spot for our conference, and after we reserved Smith we had at least half a day of reduced stress. Of course, Melanie and I are both in classes and interning and there’s so much more to do for Write to Publish that the relief didn’t last long, but at least we had that half a day! I am most excited at having Smith to use for the conference because, in addition to the rooms we’ve reserved, we get to use a huge lounge area for the vendor tables. And, because of the setup, we’ll be able to have the vendor section open to the public!
We’ve begun contacting businesses to sponsor our conference. While we have had vendors in the past, we have never had sponsors for Write to Publish. We are excited to be trying something new with the conference, as it not only helps make the conference a success and contributes to the running of our publishing house, but also provides a learning experience for all the students of the press, in and out of our project team. A lot of it boils down to networking, which is the basis of most of the publishing industry. Making lasting relationships in the community in order to help each other succeed. As most of us in the program are more on the introverted side of the personality spectrum, contacting possible sponsors is great practice for our future careers. (Except Melanie is not an introvert. At all.)
We have a list of panel topics we are taking to the rest of the publishing house on Monday in order to get feedback. Hopefully by the end of next week we’ll have a solid programming agenda, and we can start approaching potential panelists. We’re really excited by all the panel ideas! As we are a publishing house, we’ve tried to focus on topics that other writing conferences don’t cover. Writing is, unfortunately, only a small (though absolutely essential) part of having success as a writer. Possible panel topics include everything from the importance of what your book looks like to your sales, or how to market yourself in order to market your book, to legal questions such as negotiating contracts and the nature of rights. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do every type of panel we’d want to, but I know they will be informative and distinctive.
While we are reaching out to businesses and nonprofits to invite them to sponsor Write to Publish or to host a vendor table, that doesn’t mean that only those we contact are eligible to be a vendor at our conference or to be a sponsor. As Melanie said in the last blog post, if you would like to be a part of Write to Publish, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I mentioned earlier, our vendor area will be open to the public, so there’ll be plenty of foot traffic in addition to the conference attendees to patronize the tables.