Special Program / The 2016 Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference (Archived Landing Page)

2016 Conference Panels & Presentations

Saturday, May 28th


Make It Better // 9 am
A panel of authors and editors talks about how work changes through revision, why the revision process is essential, and how to revise effectively. Featuring Lee Gutkind, Jessica Bylander,Tracy Wahl, and Neil White.

Adapting Your Story // 3:30 pm
Nonfiction writing can take many different forms. Get a professional perspective on writing for radio, performance,YA, and more. Featuring Jess Brallier, Adriana Ramirez, and Tracy Wahl.

(Attendees will have their choice of panels and talks to attend. There will be two sessions with all five panels running in both time slots. Morning Session // 10:30 am //// Afternoon Session // 2 pm)

Ask an Editor
Get an insider’s view—our panel of editors answers your questions about the revision and editing process. Learn how pieces change in revision with an editor's help, and how you can apply these guidelines to your own work. Featuring Jessica Bylander, Hattie Fletcher, and Geeta Kothari. 
Better Writing through Research
Learn how research can make your writing more compelling and more marketable. Whether you are writing a journalistic piece or a personal story, research has a role to play. Featuring Maggie Messitt and Adriana Ramirez.

Following Subjects Over Time–Revisiting a Story
How does a story evolve over time? What can writers learn from revisiting the same subject in different times and places? Tracy Wahl, National Public Radio's executive producer for Editorial Franchises, shows how NPR reporters and producers follow a developing story over months or years.

Revising Essays & Short Work
Learn how to be your own best editor for essays, articles, and posts. What do you keep, what do you throw away, and how do you know when a project is finished? Featuring Jason Bittel, Elizabeth Daley, and Kristin Kovacic.

Your Book, Chapter by Chapter
Revising an entire book can be a daunting process. Author Lise Funderburg discuss how to obtain the critical distance you need to successfully evaluate your own work and how to manage the obstacles to revision, and gives an overview of some major steps in revising a book-length work.

Sunday, May 29th


Publishing Today // 9 am
The publishing world is changing rapidly—get the latest inside information on your options and opportunities from a panel of writers and editors. Featuring Lee Gutkind, Sarah Levitt, and Neil White.

Literary Salon & Happy Hour // 3:30 pm
Get the inside scoop from editors on how literary magazines choose the pieces they publish, how you can increase your chances of publishing your work in a lit mag, and how being published in a literary magazine can become a stepping stone to bigger projects. Featuring Hattie Fletcher, Geeta Kothari, and Marc Nieson. Followed by a Q&A and a chance to mingle with the editors of literary magazines and small presses. 

(Attendees will have their choice of panels and talks to attend. There will be two sessions with all five panels running in both time slots. Morning Session // 10:30 am //// Afternoon Session // 2 pm)

All About Self-Publishing
Wondering whether to self-publish your book, and how to go about it? Take a step-by-step walk through the self-publishing process with writer and publisher Neil White.

Ask an Agent
Literary agents Rachel Ekstrom Courage of Irene Goodman Literary Agency and Sarah Levitt of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth answer all your questions about how to get an agent, how to get published, and more.

Platform Building & Self-Promotion
Promoting your work is an essential step in the professional writing process. Whether you have a finished book manuscript or are publishing shorter pieces, it's never too early to learn what a platform is, and how it can help you get more people to read your work. Lindsay Patross guides you through the process.

Practicing Your Elevator Pitch
Sometimes you only have a few seconds–or a few sentences–to get an editor's attention and make a connection that can lead to your book, essay, or article being published. Learn from our panel how to describe your work in a way that will catch an editor or publisher's interest, and hear some live feedback on practice pitches. Featuring Nick Courage, Elizabeth Daley, and Kristina Marusic.

Writing the Book Proposal
A book proposal is your point of entry into the world of publishing–an in-depth way to show agents and publishers why they should back your project. How can you write a proposal that will get your book the attention it deserves? David Goehring and Jess Brailer use their many years of experience in the publishing industry to help guide you through the process.

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