Do You Have A Book In You? Agenda for Oct. 21 BlogHer-Penguin Writers Conference

BlogHer Original Post

Hi everyone,

I want to talk with the writer in you.

For seven years, through hundreds of thousands of blog posts, 15 in-person BlogHer conferences, and lo, those many NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo writing exercises, one of the most popular conversations across the BlogHersphere has been and is:

"How can I turn my blog into a book?"

book heart
Image via Little Miss Momma

I have a new idea: On Oct. 21 in New York City, BlogHer will host a Writers Conference presented with Penguin Group USA, a new event designed for those of you who have book lust in your hearts -- in an authorly kind of way. We have room for 200 writers at the Mid-town Hilton in Manhattan. If you ever wanted to turn your blog into a book, or write a book period, this event is designed for you.

Here's how it came about: Earlier this year, I met with the amazing folks at PenguinGroup (USA). They get it: Blogging, social media, and amazing writing, whether it's beautiful and moving (Road Map to Holland by Jennifer Graf Groneberg) or just dang addictive (I Can Has Cheezburger?).

Together we've designed an event that is part survey course on the bidness of book publishing, part tutorial for people who are ready to think seriously about their books and part go-for-it networking with New York-based editors. We'll start with networking the night before, with a welcome reception from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 20. The next morning, after an opening keynote on the state of publishing today, we'll dig in to:

* Blogs to Books: The conference will kick off by tackling the blog-to-book subject immediately and head on. What kind of blogs catch agent and publisher eyes? What makes a blog book-worthy? What kind of books will now remain blogs? Panelists include Marian Lizzi , Patrick Mulligan, and Rebecca Hunt.

* Publishing 101: A basic overview of the entire traditional publishing process, including a glossary of terms, and submission and query how-tos for fiction and non-fiction. Penguin attorney Linda Cowen, along with agent Kate Lee and several other speakers, will share focused advice and answer your questions.

* How to Turn a Book or Two into a Writing Career: Practical information and inspiration focused on how to handle it when your first book gets published, and you don't automatically find yourself making a living as a best-selling author. Lynn Forbes moderates the discussion between Penguin editor Ginny Smith, author Ann Napolitano, blogger/author Carleen Brice, and others for an honest look at life after publication.

* Mentor Brainstorming: Meet for 90 minutes in a small group, led by an advanced professional in the field, to focus your vision and identify your next steps. Groups include:

  • - Seeking fiction agent
  • - Seeking nonfiction agent
  • - Seeking help with a book proposal
  • - Memoir group
  • - Literary novel group
  • - Genre novel group (romance/mystery/thriller/sci-fi, etc.)
  • - Children’s (YA/middle grade/picture book)
  • - Humor/novelty (ex: LOLcats/Cake Wrecks, etc.)
  • - Cookbooks
  • - Shorter works/anthologies
  • - Expert platform nonfiction

* Your Role as Marketer in Today's Publishing World: Discuss the role of social media in promotion...both pre-book deal to validate you have a following, and post-book publication to help you sell your book. Join the discussion with Penguin editor Colleen Lindsay, independent PR consultant Lauren Cerand, and Penguin marketer Lydia Hirt.

* Alternative Publishing Models: It's Not Only about the Printed Hardback: Covering such alternative approaches as digital first, self-publishing, and trans-media publishing. Kamy Wicoff (author and founder of, Katherine McCahill (Penguin's Digital Product Manager) will join other experts to discuss alternative publishing.

* Successful Authors... Their Different Journeys to Writing Nirvana: An inspiring look at the different paths to success, from down-to-earth authors willing to share their personal journeys. Ann Napolitano (author of A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach) and Jean Kwok (author of Girl in Translation) will join the conversation, among other authors.

BlogHer Writers Conference

So. Whether you have a fully-baked book query that you're ready to hand to an agent, or, like so many women you've wondered whether to buckle down and turn that one idea you love more than all the others into a book, this event is your chance.

I hope you'll join us. Carpe diem!



Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-founder

BlogHer is non-partisan but our bloggers aren't! Follow our coverage of Politics & News.


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