What Kind of Writers Are Attending BlogHer Writers '11? All Kinds!

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BlogHer Writers '11Since BlogHer Writers ‘11 is a new conference under the BlogHer umbrella, many people have been wondering what to expect. Our team has been working hard to share some great aspects of this intimate conference -- like the small-ground mentoring sessions and the amazing keynote speakers. BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone explained that the conference is really for anyone who has a book inside their head -- or heart.

But who are those people? Well, let’s find out, shall we?

I thought it would be a great idea to randomly select a few attendees and pick their brains as to why they chose to attend BlogHer Writers ‘11. When you factor in the number of genres in existence, the uniqueness of peoples’ minds and experiences and the number of different mentoring tracts we have at this conference, it’s not shocking to see that these three ladies are coming to New York with very different objectives in mind.

Fadra Nally (@AllThingsFadra) is coming into the conference in a fiction state of mind.

I started blogging for fun and learned along the way that I'm passionate about writing. So my choices are to either become a blogging superstar or try to make a living with my writing. I've had a book in me for a long time. It's a nonfiction account of my brother's journey to China and the sordid crowd he found there. It involves mystery, violence, corruption, and some really strange food. I'm still waiting for the perfect ending, though.

Currently, I'm thrilled to be working on a manuscript with two published authors. I'm the writing newbie in the trio and thought this conference would give me a chance to understand the world of publishing a bit more. And the networking piece doesn't hurt either.

Out of all the viable paths of success for a blogger, publishing is often the biggest one shrouded in mystery. I'm so excited that BlogHer took the time to recognize this and help carve out a specialized conference on writing and publishing. Now if I can just work on my movie deal next...

Jenée Libby (@ediblecville) is known for her food writing, but that’s not what she’s coming to BlogHer Writers to promote.

Four years ago, I began reviewing restaurants, but found there's more to Charlottesville, Virginia than its dining, wine, and the "Which restaurant will close next?" drama. There are LOTS of stories, most of them about food. I share them on “Edible Cville…” with more than 800 Facebook fans and 2000 Twitter followers worldwide. In 2010 I was awarded "Best Local Blog" by C-Ville Weekly, and was honored to be named Runner-Up this year. I'm not a food expert, or a "foodie" or a snob. Just someone who loves to cook, eat, travel and write about it all. I’ve begun two books in the past year, neither of them related to food blogging. Which makes me nervous. But a good nervous. A “skydive/bungee jump” kinda nervous. And I can’t wait to find out how to get these books launched. ‘Cause I know they can fly.

Dresden Shumaker (@DresdenPlaid) proves that even one writer can have multiple books in them, just waiting to be written.

I registered for several reasons the biggest being that I have been craving a writer-centered conference for as long as I have declared myself a blogger. I have been to two BlogHer conferences and in both cases have returned home so charged with creative and proactive energy for my site and for networking. When I heard that BlogHer was going to narrow its focus for a conference to writing (and writing beyond the blog) I purchased my ticket immediately. My hope is that I will finally figure out what the first steps are for writing a book and how to take them. (I'm also looking forward to being around a community of people that are owning that they are writers - that's pretty powerful!)

I have two books that I am working on. One book is a combination self-help/memoir book about my experiences taking care of my Grandmother at home for seven years as we battled her Alzheimer's together. I never found a book that had the answers that I was looking for when I was going through my caregiving. My hope is that I can create a book that fills a need and also helps me share a huge part of my life in a meaningful way.

The other book that I am writing is a book for my son and for any parent or child in an alternative family. I want to illustrate that there is no such thing as normal anymore when it comes to a family.

Since we could only select one book to focus on I decided to work on the children's book during the conference as I feel like it is the book I am the most ready to begin. I am hoping I can still gain some insights to the world of self-help/memoir and turning a blog into a book (as so much of my caregiving story is a part of my blog).

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