19 Diversity-Focused Writing Conferences & Events in 2019

19 Diversity-Focused Writing Conferences & Events in 2019

Fortunately, there are writers’ conferences specifically geared toward marginalized writers, some of which are open exclusively to them. Here is a list of diversity-focused writers’ conferences, book fairs and festivals, summits and symposiums, retreats and intensives, expos and other events scheduled for 2019.

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Switching Literary Agents: Two Agents Offer Advice

Switching Literary Agents: Two Agents Offer Advice

Earlier this year, the book publishing world was rocked by stories of unethical behavior by literary agents. On the one hand, this news was disheartening to hear. On the other hand, it opened up a candid discussion on social media about how different agents communicate with their clients and approach the submissions process. This led to a bigger discussion about how to distinguish between an agent who is unfit for the job—and an agent who is fit for the job but a mismatch for a particular client, and vice versa.

These stories made me think about writers who are represented by reputable, successful agents but are quietly contemplating change. If you’re a writer, how do you know if it’s worth the risk of leaving your current agent? Does past representation impede your ability to find a new agent? I asked literary agents John Cusick and Holly Root. As with all my agent Q&As, neither knew the other’s identity until after they submitted their answers to my questions below. 

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The Rewards and Challenges of Self-Publishing Children’s Books: Q&A with Four Authors

The Rewards and Challenges of Self-Publishing Children’s Books: Q&A with Four Authors

[Note: This interview originally appeared on Jane Friedman's website on August 1, 2018]

As the traditional book publishing landscape becomes increasingly complex and competitive, more writers are considering independent paths. But given their audience, children’s book authors who self-publish face very different challenges from those who write for adults, especially in terms of design, production, and promotion.

Back in 2014, I asked literary agents Kevan Lyon and Kate McKean if children’s book authors should self-publish. In light of the many changes in book publishing since then, I thought I would continue the conversation, this time by speaking directly with writers who have published both traditionally and independently. Separately, I interviewed Zetta Elliott, who has released several books under her own imprint, including picture books; Brent Hartinger, who self-published a young adult series and a new adult series; Cheryl Klein, the author of a self-published a work of nonfiction; and Stephen Mooser, who released a middle grade book on his own.

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Starting Later & Starting Over: Launching a Writing Career When You’re No Longer “Young”

Starting Later & Starting Over: Launching a Writing Career When You’re No Longer “Young”

Judging from the many organizations that offer awards and financial support to writers under 35 or 40 (The New York Public Library, The National Book Foundation, Granta), and the seven-figure deals that seem to be given to more 20-something debut writers than debut writers in any other age group, it would be tough to deny that book publishing is youth-focused. But if this is the case, what explains the success of Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx, who at last fall’s National Book Awards ceremony shared that she started writing at 58? Or that of Frank McCourt, who didn’t begin writing until he was in his 60s? Were these writers more talented than younger writers trying to break in at the same time? Or has the industry started gravitating more toward younger writers in recent years?

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