Speaker Spotlight: BlogHer Writers '11 Keynoters

BlogHer Original Post

BlogHer Writers '11Lisa Stone introduced the BlogHer Writers '11 program, and now it's time to start sketching in the details. First, a little more on the backdrop, which is: volatile! In a recent email, Lisa was listing all the turbulence besetting book publishing:

Five viable competitors to the Kindle; the bankruptcy of Borders, not to mention indie bookstores closing; the shuttering of Oprah's book club; the launch of Pottermore.com; all while the number of books bought by readers has arguably increased and certainly held steady. In other words, the publishing world hasn't undergone this much change since the printing press was created -- the opportunities seem both fantastic and potentially insurmountable. What's a writer to do?

Take stock, take aim, and take advantage! Because where there's change, there's opportunity.

This October 21st in New York, BlogHer and Penguin Group will introduce you to over two dozen experts who'll help you answer this question (what to do?) in the best way for you. You'll want to hear what they have to say. Last week Jes described the small-group mentoring sessions that will anchor the afternoon. This week's Speaker Spotlight will shine on keynoters for BlogHer Writers '11: opening, lunchtime, and closing.

The day begins when BlogHer co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins, and Lisa Stone paint a portrait of the BlogHer Writers '11 and share recent research by BlogHer about the book consumption habits and interests of the BlogHer community. They've been watching this space from ringside seats, and you're going to want to hear their commentary. They'll be joined by Penguin Strategic Innovations Advisor Barbara Marcus, who'll provide a veteran insider's look into what's happening now in publishing and the qualities and strategies that will help you chart the smartest path.

BlogHer Writers' lunchtime keynote interview, conducted by Lisa, will be of Dominique Browning, author of Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness, a September BlogHer Book Club pick. Former Editor-in-Chief at Condé Nast's House & Garden -- the folding of the magazine sparked the life changes Slow Love explores -- Dominique authored two previous books, and her decades-long work as a writer, editor, and consultant in the newspaper and magazine fields is prodigious (see for yourself).  

In a March 2010 interview, she talks about how she decided to begin to write about her experience following the folding of House & Garden:

I started writing almost the week after we were all fired from House & Garden, then I kind of collapsed. I developed this weird typing problem [not being able to type i's], which is so ironic because I'm a very good typist. Then after I sold my house [in Westchester] and moved to Rhode Island, I started writing about the garden, and I realized I had a lot of things to deal with. My feeling of loss wasn't just about the job -- but the job was obstructing my ability to figure out the rest. I had been hiding behind the job, which was all-defining. The process of writing was the process of discovery.

"There is no such thing as being a writer," she has said, "There is only writing." The conversation between Dominique and veteran journalist Lisa will be one not to be missed.


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