aspiring writers

10 Reasons why every writer should come to this conference

When I first accepted the crazy notion that I was going to be a writer, I kept getting this advice: go to writers’ conferences and start networking. The idea made sense, but the price tag didn’t. I couldn’t afford tickets upwards of $500 on the off chance I meet someone who likes my pitch, and would remember me from the crowd of hundreds of other eager attendees.

If what you want isn’t out there, make it! It’s taken a lot of hard work, but I am proud to host a conference that is affordable (under $100 including lunch), and intimate. If you know a writer in the New York area, make sure they get a ticket before it sells out.

When and where is it, you ask?

Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 from 10am-4pm in Times Sq. 

Here are just some of the reasons why you should go:

  1. Pitch your story idea to Shira Hoffman, literary agent at McIntosh & Otis.
  2. Hear from my favorite contemporary author, Aryn Kyle, about writers’ residency programs and the process of turning a short story into a novel. P.S. if you haven’t read her work, pick up a copy of The God of Animals today!
  3. Meet other people with same interests and goals so you can start having creative dates together!
  4. Meet Deborah Emin, publisher of Sullivan Street Press, a company that is working to give the power and control back to writers.
  5. Get a behind the scenes look at the publishing world from Christina Bryza, a Senior Copywriter at Simon & Schuster.
  6. Get a free hour of guided writing, care of  Gotham Writers’ Workshop, in addition to a special discount for their classes.
  7. Take your craft seriously. When you spend money on your dreams, they start to become a reality.
  8. Build your support network.
  9. Free lunch!
  10. Get out of the house, get out of the rut, get out of your head, and come and have creative fun with others!

You can buy tickets here, or check out the official website.

A fun moment at the last conference.

A fun moment at the last conference.

Only 35 tickets left!

writers conferenceMy free writers’ conference is booking up quickly – make sure you register to save a seat. Click here to register! Here’s a review of the amazing and talented speakers and their presentation topics:

How I Got a Job in Publishing” by Tricia Remark, contributor for Pyragraph, creator of the blog, Tricia’s Remarks, and Promotions Associate at Workman Publishing.

How I became a Writing Mentor” by Whitney Jacoby, publishing sales and marketing specialist. She is finishing up her third year as a mentor at Girls Write Now, an organization that pairs high school girls who want to be writers with women mentors.

How I Got a Literary Agent” by Melissa Baumgart, writer and tutor for Admit1MBA andAdmit2College. She is currently working on a Young Adult novel.

“How I Turned My Mortifications into a Memoir” by Jen Doll, author of Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest. Jen has also written for The Atlantic, Mental Floss, New York Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and other publications. 

How I became a Freelance Writer” by AnneLise Sorensen, contributor for New York MagazineMSNBCGalavanteNewYork.comDK Top Ten Barcelona, and Gourmet Magazine

How I Got Over Getting Published” by Christina Bryza, author of Are You My Boyfriend?, and founder of Golden Glance Editing. Visit her at or follow @christinaBEaneon Twitter.

How I Get Paid to Travel” by Jamie Cat Callan, author of Ooh La La! , Bonjour, Happiness! and the wildly popular French Women Don’t Sleep Alone. Jamie’s work has been featured in Vanity FairAllure Magazine, Glamour, Woman’s World, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times Sunday Styles Modern Love column.

Stop looking at the screen

When I first moved to New York City almost six years ago, I noticed an incredible phenomenon on the NYC subway system. Down below the sewer mains, and bustling traffic, people were reading books. The crowded subway cars were filled with readers. Even people who couldn’t get a seat, clung onto the pole with one hand and a book with the other. Their cup of coffee usually balancing somewhere between their arm and chest. For an aspiring writer, it was a sight that brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Studying the covers of the books people read, I considered my commute a living bookstore. Oftentimes I would see the same book more than once and felt compelled to buy it. I didn’t need the New York Times to tell me the list of bestselling books — I could see it with my own eyes.

It was during that time I pinpointed my dream. I wanted to see someone holding my book on the subway. I wanted to see a stranger biting her nails and furrowing her brow as she turned the pages of my thoughts.

Now I’m afraid that won’t happen. Not because I’m not writing, but because everyone has a damn e-reader and I can’t see what they’re reading. Six years ago, people laughed at the kindle and nook. Us traditionalists thought that would never catch on.  Occasionally you would see one or two e-readers on the subway but the rest of us gave those weirdos a look of disdain (or at least I did (or at least I thought about doing it)). Now they’re everywhere.

Five years ago all those screens would have been books. Photo credit: corners311

I have no idea what to read because I can’t browse the subways anymore, and my favorite bookstores are closing down one by one.

My writing has always existed on the screen. Anyone can open up a word document and start typing, but the idea of a team of people who are in the know thinking that my word document is so good they are willing to print it out, slap a beautiful cover on it, and take up valuable shelf space in bookstores across the country is an idea so precious, and so worth fighting for that it has kept me motivated like no inspirational quote, or mentor could ever do for me. One of my biggest professional fears is that by the time I get good enough to be published actual books won’t exist anymore, and my writing will never leave the screen.

Please, I beg you, stop reading the screen. Buy a hardcover book. Buy a paperback. Heck buy a magazine, just don’t let books whither away into oblivion. Don’t kill the dream.