Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The don't-miss-it conference for writers

Click here for information about the ASJA conference.


More times than I can count, the same question from writers finds its way to my inbox: How can I get published?

I’ve recommended useful sites like those listed in the links on this page. Writers can also turn to nonfiction books and magazines mentioned in previous posts at Bookbeat.

There are seminars, retreats, and conventions. But if you can only go to one gathering, the one I’d recommend is organized by the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Years ago, if I’d known about the annual conference organized by ASJA, efforts to reach some of my goals would have been much less frustrating.

Here’s why this organization stands above so many others. ASJA members meet rigorous standards in order to join. Once a writer qualifies, you become part of what I believe is the top organization for professional writers in the country. Our work appears in virtually every well-respected magazine, newspaper or Net site you can name. Many ASJA authors’ books are published by top houses.

What didn’t I know before I became a member? I could’ve attended the conference anyway. It’s open to all writers.

This conference won’t send you off on some feel good mission to learn how to be inspired. If you write, you’re already inspired.

What it will do is put you in the middle of a gathering of editors, agents, accomplished authors and veteran independent journalists. Writing may be a solitary endeavor, but succeeding at it depends on networking and staying on top of new developments in our field.

I meet writers at events where I speak or read, and many ask me to recommend a conference or workshop. The ASJA conference is my top recommendation. This year, sessions on attracting an agent, connecting with magazine editors, writing for children’s magazines, trends in travel, food and wine writing, and freelancing for custom publishing markets are just a few of the opportunities for writers of all levels.

Topping off the roster of accomplished guest speakers and panelists is keynoter Jeanette Walls, author of the bestselling memoir The Glass Castle.

The ASJA conference brings writers to the center of the publishing world, enabling a look at how the profession works from the inside out.

So if you’re a writer looking for a worthwhile experience, join us at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City April 21-22. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And do look me up if you decide to come!


Joan Price said...

I agree! I first attended the ASJA conference as a non-member, and it was the wealth of information from the conference sessions and from networking with other writers that prompted me to apply to ASJA. I've been a member for about 12 years, and get to the conference whenever I can manage the cross-country trip. This year I'm moderating a panel.

The conference is a magical event for both beginning and established writers. Each year, I make contacts and learn information that impacts -- sometimes determines -- the direction my career will take for the next year.

As far as the cost, even with cross-country travel -- I always make it back and much more through the assignments I get following up on the information I learned and the editors I met at the conference.

Joan Price

Author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (Seal Press, 2006, http://www.joanprice.com/BetterThanExpected.htm )

Author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book: 300+ quick and easy exercises you can do whenever you want! (http://www.joanprice.com/books/aaeb.htm )

Join us -- we're talking about ageless sexuality at http://www.betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.com

Kay Day said...

Joan, thanks so much for coming by. And you're right. You can easily make the bucks back by writing about the experience, plus you're meeting editors in person.

So glad to see you here. I love reading about you and visiting your site!--best, Kay

Janice Harayda said...

What a great summary of the ASJA conference! I'd just like to add that, if you write fiction, the event may have something for you, too. In the past the conference has often had panels on topics such as, "Making the Transition from Nonfiction to Fiction." So if you've got a novel in your desk drawer, you may want to keep an eye on the list of panels. And ASJA is expanding what it offers to bloggers and others. For example, it's just launched an e-journalism forum where you can swap ideas with others who write online.

Thanks a million for the link to One-Minute Book Reviews. I do a lot of "Quotes of the Day" that nearly always relate to the writing process and may be especially helpful to writers ...

Jan Harayda
One-Minute Book Reviews

Kay Day said...

Jan, thanks so much. And thanks for the information; I'm interested in fiction, so I was glad to see your post.

I really enjoy One Minute Book Reviews--you put a lot of work into the site and it shows.

Best, Kay