Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My babysitter is back and this morning I went to pilates for the first time in what feels like a decade. I'm like a new woman, totally.

And I'm supposed to tell you about the 2nd Annual Conversations and Connections writer's conference held on April 5 at the DC campus of Johns Hopkins University (1717 Mass Ave NW).

There's a big long official spiel about how this conference will make all your dreams come true that they want me to include here, but you can go to the website and get all that. I'm no man's parrot.

What I'm going to do is break it down Rebaroni-style: It's going to be a sold-out conference. A bunch of writers are going to show up wanting to learn the tricks of the trade, how to get published, how to get people to read their work, etc. There's going to be a bunch of publishers who will share advice and ideas based on their experience. It's going to be sound advice. News you can use, as they say.

Then I'm going to participate in the "Web Markets" panel and will talk about sharing your work on your blog, self-publishing and other DIY projects. I'm going to tell people to take control of their own work and not wait around for someone to discover them. I'm going to suggest that writers eschew old-timey conventions, avoid markets that make outlandish demands on what you can do with your own work in your own personal space. I'm going to say that the term "web markets" is passe and just plain dumb, considering that these "markets" are the now the main markets. I'm going to say that anyone who considers web to be ghetto is sooooooooo stoooooopid. Print publishers/editors in the audience are going to take my comments waaaaaaaay too personally and throw animal dung at me. I'm going to contradict many of the other panelists while they do their best to remain very calm and not give me the bitch slapping I so richly deserve. Experts in the audience are going to shout that I'm wrong and correct me. They're going to have anecdotes that may involve the Sylvia Plath estate. Someone is going to turn to the person beside them and ask, "Where they'd find her? In a Cracker Jack box?" I'll hear that and retort, "Hey, my poem was in BAP -- a poem that first appeared on my blog, then at an online magazine and now I'm rich, bitch! So BURN!" Then someone will make a comment about the size of my ass. An unflattering comment about the size of my ass. Later that evening, I will cry myself to sleep. The next day I will write a poem describing my feelings and post it to my blog.

But before all that, I'll also participate in the "Speed Dating" lunch where people will put a poem in front of me and I'll have to come up with something smart to say about it immediately, if I don't pee my pants from the stress of the situation. I didn't participate in that part last year, too much pressure, but I just found out that my press gets $5 for each speed date I have. While I do not profit off others' desire to be published, I find that I am not profiting off of others' (non-existent) desire to buy my press' books. So my press will profit off the grace of my infinite wisdom, likely making up to $50. Do you know how many books I have to sell to make that in royalties? Like a thousand. Well, actually somewhere between 10 and 20, depending on how and where they're sold.

Come to conference! Let us make your publishing dreams come true.


At 11:51 AM, Blogger shanna said...

sounds like a blast. ;)

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

have fun :)

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Shann Palmer said...

I'd love crit the speed dating and participate on the panel, but the rest sounds a lot like the James River Writers Conference where I met you- lots of talk and no useful info that you didn't already say just now in your post.

Why aren't the rest of them as smart as you?? I'm up to my (personal) fat ass with web degraders-

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Reb said...

Shann, oh I think Conversations and Connections offers useful information -- it's just last year I said the exact opposite of what most everybody else thought-- and there were people from Poets & Writers and Blackbird in the audience and they were totally telling me how wrong I was. And most of the panelists disagreed with me too. And only one attendee (out of a couple hundred) used her free magazine subscription (part of the registration) to select The Bedside Guide series.

Yet I was invited to participate again this year -- and on another publishing panel, so even if there's nothing else that interests you -- you can come to the conference for the opportunity to publicly tell me I'm an asshole.

I think that's worth the $45.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps that wasn't a sarcastic "have fun"

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Reb said...

Oh I WILL have fun.

(not sarcastic either)


At 9:42 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Call me crazy, but I'm totally down with the size of your ass.

So there, stupid panelists.

You can quote me.


At 2:21 PM, Blogger John B-R said...

You can always tell these wrong people that there are folks out there that know who you are who don't know who they are. You can mention my name (that'll floor 'em).


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