By Estelle Erasmus
I’m a writing coach, with national and international clients. I am also delighted to say that I will be teaching a personal essay writing class with Writer’s Digest again, starting 3/30. Sign up here .
Also, as I’ve mentioned before I’m the Chair for the American Society of Journalists and Authors Conference in NYC, May 5-6, 2017 at the Roosevelt Hotel. Well, early registration ends on March 31st, so get your ticket now and make connections, meet editors, learn about the craft of writing and more. Here is the registration link.
Here is the email blast I wrote about the conference that went out last week.
With the annual conference a little less than two months away, on May 5-6, there is a lot to be excited about. USA Today even included the ASJA conference in their roundup of must-attend conferences for freelancers.
The early bird rate will be available until March 31. Register now.
With editors from Dame, Atlantic’s CityLab, Parade, Teen Vogue, The Washington Post, Hearst Publications (Woman’s Day, Dr. Oz’s The Good Life), First for Women, Simple Grace, Brain, Child, Narratively, AARP, Next Avenue/PBS, Rolling Stone, Endless Vacation, Quartz, Contently and more, this is a one of a kind opportunity to get not only the wisdom of ASJA members, but the needs of an editor, straight from the source.
I will be doing a special Shop Talk at 1:00 ET this Wednesday, March 15th where I’ll provide a conference preview. Sign up to attend that here.
In the meantime, here’s what’s new this year.
More Keynote Speakers-4 of Them
Conference attendees will benefit from the wisdom and advice of two speakers per day. On members day, Vanessa Hua, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, author of Deceit and Other Possibilities will discuss how writing journalistic pieces improved her fiction, and in turn, how fiction writing helped her strengthen her nonfiction in terms of thinking about character, setting and voice.
Lane Shefter Bishop, deemed the “Hollywood Book Whisperer” by CNN, because she takes books and makes them into films, and author of Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence will teach us how to do just that, based on the tenets of her book.
On Saturday, author, Jenny Blake, author of: Pivot: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One will be speaking about her path to publication and offer tips on pivoting your career to take advantage of new opportunities and changing markets.
And multimedia journalist Andrea King Collier will talk about her pivot from successful essayist and health journalist to political commentator and opinion writer.
We’ve increased our sessions this year to 46 over two days, with over 50 editors, publishers and agents in attendance.
Early Riser Sessions
We have instituted early riser sessions on both days and short half hour early riser sessions on member’s day, to help you make the most out of your time at the conference.
5 Editor-Centric Panels
Because so many of us come to the conference for face to face connections with editors, I’ve made sure to build several of these into the program. In many cases, I leveraged my network to put the panels together and asked seasoned, savvy ASJA members to helm them. So don’t miss what I like to call the Tell All Series: Women’s Magazine Editors Tell All, Writing About Parenting: Editors Tell All, and What Top Assigning Editors Want you to Know, as well as Saturday’s Subject Area Roundtables with editors and publishers. The roundtables on Saturday are capped at 50 people for each, so come early and sign up for those at registration. I am also very excited to present Finding and Working With Diverse Writers: Editors Share Experiences, moderated and curated by Lottie Joiner.
New Session Structures
Besides instructive panels, we are offering single person sessions, roundtables and craft-based workshops. Try one or more of these sessions to build your freelance tool kit:
Single Person Sessions (Members Only Day)
Facebook Live and Beyond: The Future of Author Promotions
Lisa Sharkey, senior vice president/director of creative programming at HarperCollins and professor at Pace University will speak about a successful program she started at Harper Collins to use Facebook Live and other online platforms to promote the publisher’s authors. The session will be done on Facebook Live and shared across Harper Collins and ASJA’s platforms.
Behind Your Science Writing Pitch by Ankita Rao, an editor at VICE’s science and tech site, Motherboard
Harnessing The Power of Linkedin by Kate Paine
Emerging Contract Issues Every Writer Needs On Their Radar by Milton Toby (So important we are offering it on both days)
Workshops (on Nonmembers Day)
Elevating Your Personal Narrative: From the Confessional to the Universal by Lilly Dancyger, deputy editor of Narratively.
How to Write from Personal Experience by Nancy Davidoff Kelton
The Art of the Ask by Laura Fredricks
Going Off the Grid
Keynote Speaker Andrea King Collier will cover how to develop a single story idea into several salable stories.
Food Writing Pitch Slam (Members Only Day)
Learn about Wine Enthusiast, Eating Well, Saveur, Extra Crispy and other publications from the editors–moderated by Jeanette Hurt–and then take three minutes to pitch your ideas and get immediate feedback, and possibly an on-the-spot assignment.
The A-Z of Putting Together an Anthology (Non Members Day). Moderated by Sherry Amatenstein. Panelists include Veronica Chambers, Cathi Hanauer and Joanne Volpe.
The Buzz on Book Publishing (Multicultural and Other Trends) (Non Members Day)
Moderated by Susan Shapiro. Panelists include Beacon Press editor Rakia Clark, Penguin editor Beena Kamlani (who worked with Saul Bellow), literary agent, Ryan Harbage, Out magazine editor, Les Fabian Brathwaite, Alvina Ling, VP and Editor-in-chief of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Sessions To Build Your Profit
*How to Create the Ultimate Profitable Side Hustle
*The 80/20 Rule for Freelance Writing Success
*Negotiating 101 for Writers: You Deserve It, Learn to Ask for It!
*Ghostwriter for Hire: The Six Strategies to a Six-Digit Income
Fun Agent Pitching Event
We will have an agents roundtable event (sign up at registration), but if you miss it no worries. We will also have a pitching event modeled after the hit television show “The Voice,” called “The Pitch” (watch for those swiveling chairs). So hone up on your book pitches and get ready for this fun, interactive event.
Highlights on Member’s Day
The focus on Member’s Day is for the seasoned freelance writer.
Client Connections is a centerpiece of Member’s Day, and Wendy Helfenbaum has done a stellar job putting together top editors and agents and content clients eager to give that precious one-on-one time to our members. Check out the lineup here.
*An Opportunity to Build Your Platform
Every author and writer can only benefit from more public attention. That’s why on Member’s Day, we are offering a Build Your Platform program in the afternoon, during Client Connections. Presenters include Eyal Solomon (How are You-Dot-com Doing? Is it Time for a Website Overhaul?), Nicole Feliciano of Momtrends.com (How to Get Noticed on Social Media) and Timothy Harper (The Makings of a BestSeller).
*Awards Presentation and Cocktail Reception
On Members Day join your ASJA colleagues and friends to celebrate the exceptional achievement of those winning the 2017 Outstanding Writing Awards. Hosted reception is included in registration.
*Free Career Coaching
To add to the value, I have enlisted the services of certified career coach, Sharon Stern just for ASJA members. Sharon is offering members on a first come, first serve basis 30 minutes of her time. (Sign up at registration).
For the first time, New-York photographer, Steve Schulman will be offering ASJA members headshots for a very reasonable price.
As always, the Lynne Dumas Mentoring program offers mentoring by our most seasoned ASJA members. To sign up to be mentored or to be a mentor, please email email@example.com.
*New Member’s Events
Are you a new ASJA member? Then you must attend the conference. We will have a fun, interactive new member’s welcome that will build long-lasting relationships, plus a networking lunch that you can sign up for. There is also still time to volunteer, if you email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Networking Opportunities
*Subject Area Roundtables: Unlike the editor-centric event on Saturday, this is an opportunity to network with other ASJA members who write in your specialty area in an informal setup.
*Networking lunches: Sign up here for volunteer-led group lunches focused on science, biography and history, the environment/nature, new ASJA members, health and medicine and more.
Glamorous Closing Cocktail Party: We will culminate our Saturday, with a fabulous event that takes out of the Roosevelt Hotel into the gorgeous Time New York Hotel, where we can schmooze with our industry colleagues and other ASJA members, have cocktails and even grab a bite if we choose.
If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for?
Don’t miss out on the excitement, the fun, the networking and the connections.
Come join us–and greet old friends and make new ones, because we all need to Pivot. Publish and Prosper in these trying times.
Hope to see you there and please come up and say hello.
Estelle Erasmus, ASJA 2017 NYC Conference Chair