We’re Almost There. Kind Of.

The quarter may have just began, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. The Write to Publish team’s elbows are deep in work. The most exciting update? Registration is live! You can purchase tickets to the conference by heading over to the Write to Publish website, or clicking here. We’ve extended the PSU student discount to all college students, so tickets are really affordable to anyone in school, and even non-students will receive a 20 percent discount if they buy their tickets now.

Within the next few days, we hope to have the final touches added to the conference’s website. Our team has been working away at writing copy for our book fair and speaker pages and going through our last round of revisions. Now that tickets are on sale, we can move forward with the rest of our marketing outreach. There’s a Facebook event page you can join for updates (be sure to like Ooligan if you haven’t already). We’re sending out press releases, adding the conference to event listings, and Brian Parker, a designer and illustrator in the program, is helping us put together some designs for our collateral.

In other news, our programming is almost completed. We have our panelists and moderators down. A few of the panel names are subject to change, but our speakers on the “Creating A Professional Platform” panel will be Mary Bisbee-Beek, publicity and marketing consultant; Paul Martone, executive director of Late Night Library; John Mutter, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Shelf Awareness; and Liz Crain, publicity director at Hawthorne Books and author of A Food Lover’s Guide to Portland (Hawthorne Books).

On the “Designed to Sell” panel, our speakers will be Vinnie Kinsella, publications consultant at Indigo Editing & Publications; Brian David Smith, design and production director at Craigmore Creations; Diane Chonette, art director at Tin House; and Cheri Lasota, founder of AudaVoxx.

On the “The Graphic Novel Narrative: Where Words Meet Illustration” panel, our speakers will be Mark Russell, cartoonist and author of God Is Disappointed In You (Top Shelf); Shannon Wheeler, cartoonist for The New Yorker, Too Much Coffee Man (Dark Horse), and God Is Disappointed In You (Top Shelf); Leia Weathington, author of Bold Riley (Northwest Press); and Susan Kirtley, professor at Portland State University and author of the Eisner-award winning Lynda Barry: Girlhood through the Looking Glass (University Press of Mississippi).

On the “Straight Talk About Contracts & Rights” panel, our speakers will be Mary Bisbee-Beek; Todd Sattersten, publishing consultant; Chip MacGregor, literary agent and founder of MacGregor Literary Agency; and Tina Ricks, managing editor at Trial Guides.

On the “Writing Outside the Lines: Why We Tell Uncomfortable Stories” panel, our speakers will be Lois Leveen, author of The Secrets of Mary Bowser (William Morrow) and Juliet’s Nurse (Simon & Schuster); Karelia Stetz-Waters, author of Forgive Me if I’ve Told You This Before (Ooligan Press); Leni Zumas, author of The Listeners (Tin House); and Amber Keyser, author of the upcoming title The V-Word (Beyond Words).

And lastly, on the “How to Fund Your Creative Project” panel, our speakers will be Chris Morey, publisher at Dark Regions Press; Patrick McDonald, publisher at Overcup Press; Todd Sattersten; Nicole McArdle, marketing director at Pubslush; and Leia Weathington.

The reading and our workshops are taking shape quite nicely. We’re almost there. Kind of. Stay tuned, friends. And for all you creative types, don’t forget to submit your stuff to one of our contests!

One last item, we are filling the last tables open in our book fair. We have both full and half tables available. The book fair is in Smith Memorial Student Union and is open to the public, so we expect to see a lot of foot-traffic in addition to attendees. If interested, email w2p@ooliganpress.pdx.edu to discuss rates and availability.

Write to Publish: Looking for Sponsors

As Melanie mentioned in the last blog post, we officially have a site for Write to Publish 2015! Melanie and I are of course ecstatic about this; having an event space and official date means we can now focus on other areas of the conference and start nailing down some details that had to wait until we knew what sort of room situation we were working with. We had begun to get stressed about finding a spot for our conference, and after we reserved Smith we had at least half a day of reduced stress. Of course, Melanie and I are both in classes and interning and there’s so much more to do for Write to Publish that the relief didn’t last long, but at least we had that half a day! I am most excited at having Smith to use for the conference because, in addition to the rooms we’ve reserved, we get to use a huge lounge area for the vendor tables. And, because of the setup, we’ll be able to have the vendor section open to the public!
We’ve begun contacting businesses to sponsor our conference. While we have had vendors in the past, we have never had sponsors for Write to Publish. We are excited to be trying something new with the conference, as it not only helps make the conference a success and contributes to the running of our publishing house, but also provides a learning experience for all the students of the press, in and out of our project team. A lot of it boils down to networking, which is the basis of most of the publishing industry. Making lasting relationships in the community in order to help each other succeed. As most of us in the program are more on the introverted side of the personality spectrum, contacting possible sponsors is great practice for our future careers. (Except Melanie is not an introvert. At all.)
We have a list of panel topics we are taking to the rest of the publishing house on Monday in order to get feedback. Hopefully by the end of next week we’ll have a solid programming agenda, and we can start approaching potential panelists. We’re really excited by all the panel ideas! As we are a publishing house, we’ve tried to focus on topics that other writing conferences don’t cover. Writing is, unfortunately, only a small (though absolutely essential) part of having success as a writer. Possible panel topics include everything from the importance of what your book looks like to your sales, or how to market yourself in order to market your book, to legal questions such as negotiating contracts and the nature of rights. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do every type of panel we’d want to, but I know they will be informative and distinctive.
While we are reaching out to businesses and nonprofits to invite them to sponsor Write to Publish or to host a vendor table, that doesn’t mean that only those we contact are eligible to be a vendor at our conference or to be a sponsor. As Melanie said in the last blog post, if you would like to be a part of Write to Publish, please email us at w2p@ooliganpress.pdx.edu. As I mentioned earlier, our vendor area will be open to the public, so there’ll be plenty of foot traffic in addition to the conference attendees to patronize the tables.