BlogHer Writers '11 Agenda

Click here for Sessions-at-a-Glance
Day 1: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Time Event
6:00pm - 8:00pm Welcome Reception

Join BlogHer and Penguin as we welcome you to BlogHer Writers '11. You'll have a chance to meet and mingle with your fellow conference attendees, speakers, and BlogHer and Penguin staff during our Welcome Reception at the Bridges Bar in the Hilton New York.

Day 2: Friday, October 21, 2011
Time Event
8:30am - 9:00am Welcome
BlogHer co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins, and Lisa Stone welcome you with a portrait of BlogHer Writers '11 attendees and results of recent research by BlogHer about the book consumption habits and interests of the BlogHer community. They're joined by Penguin Strategic Innovations Advisor Barbara Marcus, who'll provide a veteran insider's view of what's happening now in publishing, and the qualities and strategies that will help you chart the smartest path.  
9:00am - 9:45am General Session: 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 kinds of material currently published in book form will stay online, in blogs or elsewhere?  Elisa Camahort Page moderates the conversation with Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. agent Neeti Madan and Penguin editors Marian Lizzi, Patrick Mulligan, and Rebecca Hunt.  Between them they've brought books to market from the commercial to the cerebral, from reference to narrative nonfiction to humor to pop culture.

10:00am - 11:15am Track 1: Publishing 101
This session provides a basic overview of the entire traditional publishing process, including a glossary of terms, and submission and query how-tos for both fiction and non-fiction works. Moderator Dominique Browning (author of Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas & Found Happiness), along with Penguin editors Amber Qureshi and Danielle Perez, ICM agent Kate Lee, and Penguin attorney Linda Cowen will provide both intel and advice.
Track 2: How to Turn a Book or Two into a Writing Career
What do you do when your first book gets published and you don't automatically find yourself making a living as a best-selling author? Lynn Forbes moderates an honest discussion in which authors Ann Napolitano (author of A Good Hard Look) and Carleen Brice (author of Children of the Waters), Penguin editor Ginny Smith, and writer/producer Jane Schonberger, share the information and inspiration they use to forge a sustainable writing life.
11:30am - 1:00pm Lunch with Publishing Veteran Dominique Browning
BlogHer cofounder Lisa Stone interviews author (Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas & Found Happiness) and veteran journalist Dominique Browning about her writing life, which has spanned over three decades, a dozen-plus journals, several books, and a sea-change or two. What are her greatest challenges, which are her most indispensable writer's practices, who are her most potent role models, and why? 
1:15pm - 2:45pm 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. Part coaching session, part peer networking session, all custom-tuned to the needs and questions you bring to the table.

Joined by no more than nine other attendees, come prepared for the session with a one-minute overview of your project/ concept/ book (i.e., an "elevator pitch") and one or two focused, specific questions or challenges related to it. The mentors will go around the group, so each attendee gets the chance to ask at least one question.  As with any "master class," you can expect to learn as much from the other attendees, their experiences, and the mentor's answers to their questions, as you will learn from working on your own question.

You will choose from the following groups upon registration for the conference: 

- Seeking fiction agent
- Seeking nonfiction agent
- Seeking help with a book proposal
- Memoir group
- Literary novel group
- Genre novel group (romance/mystery/thriller/scifi, etc.)
- Children’s (YA/middle grade/picture book)
- Humor/novelty (ex: LOLcats/Cake Wrecks, etc.)
- Cookbooks
- Shorter works/anthologies
- Expert platform nonfiction (How-tos, Tech books, Business)
- Working with book bloggers to promote your book

3:00pm - 4:00pm Track 1: Your Role as Marketer in Today's Publishing World
Writers are–or need to be–marketers, and your command of social media provides a critical edge: both pre-book deal, to validate you have a following, and post-book publication, to help you sell your book. BlogHer editor Rita Arens (editor of Sleep is for the Weak) moderates a discussion with Penguin Business Development Manager Colleen Lindsay, author Jean Kwok (author of Girl in Translation), independent PR consultant Lauren Cerand, and Penguin marketer Lydia Hirt.
Track 2: Alternative Publishing Models: It's Not Only about the Printed Hardback
Book publishing is undergoing a great deal of change, but not because of a drop in readers and writers. Quite the opposite: this session provides a wide-ranging discussion of the myriad alternatives to paper, such as "digital first," self-publishing, and trans-media. Writer/producer Jane Schonberger will moderate the conversation with author Angela Tung (author of My Tiger Mom & Me), author, editor, and SheWrites publisher Kamy Wicoff (author of I Do But I Don’t: Why The Way We Marry Matters), Penguin Digital Product Manager Katherine McCahill, and Penguin Property Developer Peter Harris.
4:15pm - 5:00pm Closing Session: Successful Authors... Their Different Journeys to Writing Nirvana
BlogHer Writers closes with an inspiring look at three very different paths to success from three very different authors. In spite of their unique paths, all are down-to-earth and eager to share their personal journeys. BlogHer co-founder Jory Des Jardins interviews authors Ann Napolitano (author of A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach), Jean Kwok (author of Girl in Translation), and Kathy Cano-Murillo (author of Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing).