Styles Clash

I began working as an editor for the Portland State Vanguard, PSU’s student-run newspaper, over the summer, and while there are a variety of similarities between editing books and newspapers, the steepest learning curve I encountered was in the differences in house editing styles.

It might sound odd if you’re not already an editor, but the differences in style guides at publishing houses can be a tedious affair if you’re not at least a bit fluent in the main English-language house styles.

Like most book publishing companies in the US, Ooligan Press mostly adheres to the Chicago Manual of Style when it comes to editing decisions. Grammar, punctuation, diction, and more: all of these details are often decided by whatever the most updated of CMOS states. At the Vanguard, though, we use a variation of AP Style, similar to what most national papers often use.

One major difference between Chicago and AP is how numbers and number-centric icons are rendered. For example, on actual numbers themselves: In Chicago style, the style I “grew up” with, all numbers below one hundred are written out. However, in AP Style, all digits (0–9) and the number ten (10) are written out, while anything higher than those would be written in their numeral form.

LeBron James scored ninety-three points last night. (Chicago)

LeBron James scored 93 points last night. (AP)

Another instance that tripped up a neophyte editor like myself was the assortment of differences between how ellipses and em dashes are rendered in each respective style. AP Style often calls for one space followed by three consecutive periods and another space, as opposed to a space between all periods in Chicago style. This difference is best understood with an example:

I’m sleepy . . . but ready to hit the road. (Chicago)

I’m sleepy … but ready to hit the road. (AP)

To compound this editorial burden, the Vanguard closes spaces before and after words.

I’m sleepy…but ready to hit the road. (Vanguard house style)

I can tell you firsthand that the reason for these decisions usually has to do with space on a page; there simply isn’t enough room for all of the content sometimes. What this taught me was to closely examine whatever medium you’re working in as an editor. Is what you’re editing going to be read on large newsprint with small text? Will it be published online or in print, or both? Understanding why publishing houses choose to customize their style guides often depends on what exactly the publisher plans to print.

Titles in print are published in different ways, again depending on the house style the publishing house uses. Quick examples using television titles:

“Stranger Things” (AP Style)

Stranger Things (Chicago)

At the Vanguard, we’ve recently opted to go with italics for all television titles—same as Chicago. Again, this has to do with the concept of space, or rather, conserving as much as we can on the page. If we at the paper went back and forth between using AP Style most of the time and using Chicago when it’s convenient, you would end up with an inconsistent looking newspaper.

Ultimately, becoming fluent in both Chicago and AP Style will help a new editor build a professional skillset readymade for the freelance world. Being able to work in both frames of mind will not only expand your career prospectives but also train your eyes and brain in a sharp, rigorous way.

Try New Things

I’ve only ever applied to two colleges in my life. Which, if you know me at all, will seem like a drastic deviance from my general personality. You might say, based on this knowledge, that I’ve “always known what I want to do” or that I’m “really good at making decisions.” The first one less than the second but really, neither apply.

My original plan, before applying to the Masters of Writing: Book Publishing program here at PSU, was to take a year off, work, and generally exist in a space other than an educational institution. I spent the spring, summer, and fall after I graduated doing just that, and if we’re being honest, I kind of hated it. Maybe it’s the structure of classes or the comradery of late nights and finals or the fact that I just really love learning, but I was ready to get back into a classroom and work toward my next goal. But mostly, it’s the fact that I value the stories we are able to share through books and that I want to be a part of that process in whatever way I can, promoting voices we don’t hear often enough.

Actually applying for the program took a long time, especially curating the writing sample and writing the personal statement, so plan ahead. (If you’re interested in knowing more about the admissions process, check out the Ooligan site here.) But once you’ve completed all the things and have been accepted into the program, what can you actually expect?

Every student’s experience is different. Yes, there are core classes that every Ooligan student has to take, but after those are done and even while you’re in them, you can start to tailor your studies to better fit your goals. For me, that means taking a lot of marketing classes and trying to do social media projects for the books I’m working on. For someone else, that might mean taking every editing or design class they can find. I think that’s one of the real strengths of this program; the ability to adapt your learning to the areas you’re interested in while still having opportunities to gain new skills in areas that might be underdeveloped or unfamiliar.

For example, I don’t really consider myself an “editor,” but I’m actively seeking out opportunities where I’m able to expand those skills. That’s probably one of the best things about this program. The ability to try new types of projects, which I highly recommend, is just one way the program prepares you for the publishing industry. Where else are you going to get an opportunity to do both marketing and editing in substantial capacities?

Aside from the general courses, it’s really the work in lab and studio that I’ve found offers the most flexibility in tasks. One week you might be sending emails to potential review outlets, the next you’re taking pictures of collateral, and the next you’re copyediting a section of an upcoming title. Even with all of these small opportunities, after a few terms, you’ll hopefully get a sense of everything you’ve accomplished. I haven’t found much, as of yet, that brings me as much joy as seeing a book I’ve worked on, even in the smallest of ways, out in the world for people to see. If you have an inkling that you too may feel this way, publishing, and, more specifically, a program like the one Ooligan offers, is right for you.

Inside Ooligan: The Next Chapter, Audiobooks

Audiobooks have quickly become one of the fastest-growing areas of publishing in recent years, and Ooligan Press has recently taken on the task of exploring this exciting frontier. As we get ready to start including audiobooks in the publication of a few of our upcoming titles, we have begun testing the process by putting together a mock sample using one of our most well-known titles, Ricochet River. Here is an inside peek at the process, which we have undertaken with the help of the School of Music & Art’s new program, Sonic Arts & Music Production (SAMP).
Testing the audiobook production began with Ooligan’s digital department choosing a title well-suited for the project—they ultimately decided Ricochet River was the perfect candidate. From there, it was announced to the press that we would be exploring this medium in the coming terms, and anyone interested was invited to come to the weekly digital meetings to learn more and begin brainstorming and volunteering to partake in the process of putting the test chapter together. Of course, the first thing to do was select the chapter we would be using in our audiobook test. Next, we selected a section of that chapter we felt would most demonstrate a voice actor’s range in an audition. From there, we were off and running! SAMP’s area coordinator and instructor Andrew Willette was kind enough to not only help us gather talent for our voice actor auditions but also recorded and engineered the audio for those auditions. Those of us who have been interested in the process along the way got a chance to attend the auditions and provide feedback to the actors, which allowed us to experience a broad range of what could be done with our selected text in terms of audio.
After the auditions were complete at the end of Winter term, Andrew sent us the audio files of our candidates, and our digital department put together a survey with the compiled audio clips and sent them to the press for a vote. After much deliberation and a nail-bitingly close vote, the press chose the very talented Jason Drury as the voice for Ricochet River. This Spring, we began holding rehearsals with Jason as we prepared for our audio test of the chosen chapter. We held a rehearsal in the brand new, state-of-the-art recording studio in Lincoln Hall, and then finally, we recorded our test! The goal is to work hand-in-hand with the students of SAMP (which is experiencing some very exciting rapid growth itself!) in this venture, with the guidance and expertise of Andrew and our own digital department leads and audiobook directors. For the many audiobook lovers in our program, this is a very exciting time to be a part of Ooligan Press.

An Interview with Connie King Leonard

Connie King Leonard is the author of Sleeping in My Jeans, a YA novel about a teen girl who has to live out of her car with her mother and young sister. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Connie to discuss what inspired her to write a book about being homeless, what message she hopes it will send, and the unique protagonist at the center of it all—Mattie Rollins.
How did you find Ooligan Press?
I saw an announcement in a Willamette Writers newsletter from Ooligan Press and went to the website. Ooligan was looking for work set in the Northwest dealing with a marginalized population, and I felt Sleeping in My Jeans fit that criteria. I checked with writer friends and found Ooligan had a good reputation as a reputable publishing press.
Your novel is fiction, but it rings true. Do you think it represents real stories of women and girls on the streets?
I do. Women and children are sometimes victims of domestic violence, which puts them in a vulnerable position—particularly if they don’t have the resources to afford to live on their own.
But abuse isn’t the only reason women end up in the street. The loss of a job, a major medical expense, and countless other catastrophes can destroy their ability to meet basic housing expenses. Even families with two adults working full time find themselves with financial problems.
What inspired you to write Sleeping in My Jeans?
I set the story in Eugene because I could visualize Rita parking Ruby in different areas of town, and I thought the best place she could leave Mattie and Meg after school was the city library.
The story was inspired by a sixth grade student I had in science class. Teaching kids to come prepared for class was one of our school goals. That meant bringing your binder, book, and pencil. I checked every day to make sure my students had what they needed.
One boy, I’ll call him Johnny, was a good kid and worked hard in my class, but mid-year he quit bringing his science book. I’d remind him and he would nod that he understood. One day, I said, “Johnny, I want you to go home tonight and look through your room for that science book.”
Johnny whipped his head around and said, “There are five of us living in a camper on the back of a pick-up. My science book is not there.”
Students in middle and high school do not always share the hardships and problems in their lives like elementary students. Even when teachers ask kids if they are okay or need help, older kids don’t open up like little ones. Johnny’s outburst was a shock. I was sick, disgusted with myself for not being in tune with my students.
I got Johnny another science book, but I have never forgotten him, because he taught me a huge lesson. The farm where I grew up in North Dakota was small and poor, but I always had a roof over my head and food on the table. I was privileged.
Why did you choose to write Mattie as biracial?
I am glad to see more wonderful stories being published about kids of color, which is great, but I still don’t see many about biracial kids. From my first idea for this novel, I pictured Mattie as strong, brave, and biracial and couldn’t think of her any other way.
What do you hope your book will achieve?
I want kids to know they are not alone in their struggles, whatever those hardships may be. In Mattie’s case, she has a small and beautiful family, but she lives in extreme hardship. Other kids problems are different, yet sometimes they feel like they are the only kid in school that doesn’t have a perfect life. Mattie is strong and resilient, and I hope kids learn from her determination to strive for a better life.
I also want people to be aware of the lack of affordable housing and know that not everyone goes home to a warm house or even a small apartment. Some of the students in their school may be living in a car, camped in a tent, couchsurfing between family and friends, or living in a shelter.
I hope my readers will enjoy Sleeping in My Jeans and will care about Mattie and her family as much as I do.
Do you have any suggestions for how to get involved with aiding homeless and domestic abuse survivors?
My biggest suggestion is to be aware that the person sleeping in a doorway is a human being. He/she may have serious issues that you and I can not help with, but that person deserves our compassion.
Many people now use the term “houseless” instead of “homeless”, because the new term recognizes that the tent on the side of the freeway or the beat-up minivan parked on a back street is someone’s home. I am training myself to switch terminology.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, we need to fund affordable housing as well as shelters for victims of domestic violence, teen runaways, families in need, veterans, and people with addictions and mental illness. It is a huge task, but one that is being tackled by some great organizations. St. Vincent de Paul in Eugene is doing an amazing job of providing housing options for people in all sorts of circumstances. Food for Lane County and the Oregon Food Bank are two other organizations that provide immense help to so many people in our state.
A portion of the sales of Sleeping in My Jeans will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul for the building of a youth house for houseless teens.

Write to Publish is Coming to Town

In our past two posts, we’ve told you about our new team and developing protocols and a manual for the team. Now that fall has begun, Write to Publish planning is in full swing, and we have some announcements we can share with you!
Date: Write to Publish 2018 will occur on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Unlike in recent years, the conference is taking place in the spring instead of winter. Why? We wanted to celebrate this conference’s roots—this is Write to Publish’s tenth anniversary, and the conference was originally held in the spring. It was moved to the winter in 2013 due to concerns about potential scheduling conflicts. However, with the move to winter came weather-related fears, and Write to Publish 2017 was nearly in danger of cancellation because of the heavy snowfall. By moving the conference to April, we’ve eliminated those concerns.
Venue: This year, Write to Publish will take place in Hoffmann Hall, a gorgeous structure built in 1995 and named after George C. Hoffmann, the history professor responsible for renaming Portland State University in 1951. We’ll use Hoffmann for our panel discussions, vendor fair, and keynote speech, and we’ll utilize nearby classrooms for small group discussions and interactive learning sessions.
Keynote Speaker: We are so excited to announce Claire McKinney, the founder and owner of Claire McKinney PR in New York City, as our 2018 Keynote Speaker! Claire is a book publicist with over twenty years of experience and has worked in publicity and marketing departments in multiple renowned publishing companies. Claire recently released a book on promotion for authors, Do You Know What a Book Publicist Does? A Guide for Creating Your Own Campaigns, which will be for sale at Write to Publish this year. She will speak at the 2018 Writer to Publish conference about book promotion, branding, and the importance of thinking about branding even without a finished book.
Presenting Sponsors: We are extremely pleased and grateful to Willamette Writers and Pomegranate Communications for being our presenting sponsors for Write to Publish 2018. Willamette Writers supports aspiring and professional writers throughout the Pacific Northwest, and Pomegranate publishes award-winning fine art books and gift products. Their support helps make this conference happen!
There’s still a lot of work we need to do to prep for Write to Publish, but the conference planning is well under way. We can’t wait to take you with us on a journey through publishing this spring!

The Taste of Victory

The award season has ended, everybody! We’ve got the Oscars and the Grammys, and let’s not forget our local award celebration, the Literary Arts Oregon Book Awards. As we all know, what’s a good trophy season without some juicy scandal or an incitement for institutionalized social change? The recent Oscars itself received a barrage of social criticism across all media platforms for its monoethnic selection of nominees.

Bullet point: All nominees were white.

Many people were outraged, claiming this was an example of our elitist social bias rearing its multifaceted head. Others believed the results were just a coincidental outcome of honest, well­-earned expressions of respect. Oh Hollywood, whatever shall we do with you?

But as the rain continues to fall here in the Northwest, we Oregonians tend to turn off the tube from time to time and grab a book. You know, that dusty one on the end table that you will be meaning to read. For most of this coming year. With the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship sticker on the cover. You will open the book, and on the inside, you will notice it was published by Ooligan Press.

That’s right everyone, Portland State University’s own Ooligan Press was just awarded the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship from the Literary Arts Oregon Book Awards program! The prestigious award is offered annually to honor Oregon­-based independent publishers and to support their dedication to literature with some good, old fashioned cash. Ooligan Press’s staff of students pursuing master’s degrees in the Department of English at Portland State University are highlighted by this award. Ooligan Press is the only publishing­-focused graduate program on the West Coast.

This student-­run company of writers, designers, planners, and editors leads the independent press community by teaching publishing here in the Pacific Northwest. Cherishing their seven book awards since its founding in 2001, this student­-based press has worked hard to showcase the voices of the Northwest. Presently working on the publication of six novels from local authors, Ooligan Press recently announced that they will also be initiating a research and development team for expanding publication diversity and literary inclusion. Take that, Oscars!

So with gratitude, I’d like to thank the Oregon Literary Fellowship for letting Ooligan Press know how awesome they are. And to the authors, designers, editors, printers, distributors, and everyone else who help bring everything together at Ooligan Press, I thank you. And to the most valuable treasure, the readers, whose passions support us all, I thank you. Now go spend some of that award money, Ooligan. Looks like we’re going to be needing a lot more bookmarks.

Poetry’s Alive in Portland

This past Sunday, November 10th, local poets John Beer and Zachary Schomburg came together for a reading and conversation at the Literary Arts event space here in downtown Portland. They brought Joshua Beckman along for the ride, another accomplished poet who splits his time between Seattle and New York.

The event was well-attended with the seats filled to capacity and many more content to stand and listen in what is an intimate, but not crowded, space. Encouragingly, much of the crowd was a younger set drawn in by good poetry (as well as the free food and drinks that were offered). Many of the events at the space are free and open to public, offering constant opportunities for anyone to walk in off the street and experience something special and inviting right in the middle of the city.

Zachary Schomburg, the first to read, is the author of three volumes of poetry: The Man Suit (2007), Scary No Scary (2009), and Fjords Vol. 1 (2012), which won the 2013 Oregon Book Award for poetry. He publishes through Black Ocean Press, distributed through Small Press Distribution, and coedits Octopus Books here in Portland. His work is often called surrealist or absurdist, but it contains a good deal of self-effacement and humor. The up-and-coming work from which he read didn’t disappoint in this regard. His reading style is laid back and easy, which fit the relaxed atmosphere of the space and set the conversational tone for the rest of the reading. He takes his poetry seriously, though. Schomburg, by his own admission, is well aware of the surrealist traditions he comes from, and he is responding to them and forging new ground for poets like him.

Humor and a comfortable place within tradition are the things that seemed to relate these poets to one another artistically. John Beer, a faculty member in the MFA program at Portland State, gave a reading of his own that elicited plenty of laughter from the crowd. Beer has published The Wasteland and Other Poems (Canarium, 2010) and is now an author for Wave Books. He also has a background in theatre criticism and nonfiction writing. His new work is centered on subject matter that sounds highbrow at first glance: a Duchamp art exhibition or translation of an eighteenth-century German philosopher. The poems themselves, however, are humorous. The poetry about translation is really a long joke about his inadequacy as a translator and all of the tangents and funny conversations he has with other people, and himself, about the failure of his work. His poetry centered on Duchamp, while lyrical and well-rendered, uses repetition of phrases and imagery to assert the absurdity of both the art and his response to it. In listening to Beer and watching his constant smile as he read, I got the sense he takes his poetic craft seriously but definitely doesn’t take himself too seriously.

The same goes for Joshua Beckman, also a writer with Wave Books. He is the author of nine books of poetry and several translations. Beckman chose mostly to read from his newest collection of poetry, entitled The Inside of an Apple, which was published just this past September. His quiet voice drew the room into his spare poetry that was markedly different in rhythm from Beer’s and Schomburg’s. The new book catalogs his mental and emotional responses to everyday events around him in an immediate and visceral way. Beckman’s poetry rolls out in long, convoluted sentences with sound echoes so dense it can be hard to keep track of them all. This made it an interesting listening experience and seemed to keep the audience engaged—even after an hour of reading and a couple breaks for food and drinks.

The evening closed with Beckman and Beer alternating readings of poetry by a poet whom they both like and admire, Robert Lax. John Beer, while living on the island of Patmos in the Greek Isles, actually served as literary assistant to Lax. While Lax’s poetry, repetitive and experimental, didn’t really fit into the style of the rest of the evening, it was good to close the night with Beer and Beckman sharing their love for this particular poet with the audience.

The event accomplished what it set out to do: creating a feeling of having a few beers and good food while listening to friends read the fruits of their passionate labor. As a bonus, it showcased not just some of the Northwest’s best poetry but also the kind of great poetry that’s coming from the small presses here in Portland and elsewhere. With poets like these around, and places like the Literary Arts events space for them to reach the community, literature and poetry will continue to grow and thrive in the city Ooligan Press calls home.

Mel Wells: From Ooligan to Literary Arts

We’re excited to showcase our talented alums as they move on to bigger things. Mel Wells graduated from Ooligan in 2009 and currently works as the Program Coordinator at Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon.
What made you decide to come to the publishing program at PSU?
As an undergrad, I was an English major with an editing minor and working as a course editor for the university’s Independent Study office. I wasn’t sure how to get a job in book publishing (moving to NYC sounded terrifying) and I’ve always wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest, so when I discovered Ooligan, it was a perfect fit.
Did you always know what you wanted to do in publishing?
Not really, although editing has always been my jam. I love how a book that’s been edited well has “invisible” text, in the sense that a reader gets immersed in the story and doesn’t trip on dangling modifiers or misspellings or shifts in tense.  I also find proofreading to be satisfying on a level that probably indicates a need to be medicated for OCD or something. But until Ooligan, I had no idea how much fun book-centric events could be or that I would love design work.
Do you use much of your Ooligan training in your current job?
Yes! Nonprofit arts administration was an unexpected swerve in my career plans, but I’m constantly using InDesign, proofreading materials, communicating with writers, helping plan and prep for events and readings, and generally promoting the writing community. The professionalism and real-world experiences I had with Ooligan, including managing the editing workgroup, were invaluable. In the interim between graduation and getting hired at Literary Arts, I also worked as a freelance editor.
How much do you think being an Ooligan graduate helped you get your current job?
I like to think that beyond my sparkling personality (this is a joke for my coworkers who know how much I loathe mornings), my experiences at Ooligan were key in landing what has turned out to be my dream job. The network I began while at PSU—specifically through internships, attending readings, and getting to know my amazing peers and fellow alums—was a springboard into where I am now. My connection to Ooligan still opens doors for creative partnerships in the community.
What do you enjoy most about your job at Literary Arts?
The people! Portland’s writing community is full of delightful characters, and I get to work with some of the most talented, ambitious, and witty people I’ve ever met. I feel incredibly lucky to have opportunities such as taking a writing class from Annie Proulx, visiting local high schools with writers like Heidi Durrow and Jeffrey Toobin, and nerding out at all the Portland Arts & Lectures nights and the Oregon Book Awards ceremony. I also work to help local students read their work in front of their peers, perform slam poetry at Verselandia!, get published in a gorgeous anthology, and receive one-on-one mentoring attention on their college essays. My job is a ton of work, but it’s also immensely satisfying and, because I already sound cheesy as hell here, is a source of continual inspiration.

Congratulations Chris Ross!

Congratulations to Ooligan alum Chris Ross on his nomination for the Eisner Award for best publication design! Chris is nominated along with Ed Piskor for their work on the graphic novel “Wizzywig.”
The Eisner Awards are the comic book industry’s annual awards honoring creative achievement in American comic books. The awards are quite prestigious, often considered to be the comic industry equivalent of the Oscars. They are named in honor of the pioneering writer and artist Will Eisner (March 6, 1917 – January 3, 2005), who was one of the earliest cartoonists to work in the American comic book industry. In 1978, he popularized the term “graphic novel,” which is the industry standard term still in use for longer works in the comic book style that are not periodicals, as regular comic books are.
Chris Ross and Ed Piskor’s nominated graphic novel “Wizzywig” is described on the website as follows:

They say What You See Is What You Get… but Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle could always see more than most people. In the world of phone phreaks, hackers, and scammers, he’s a legend. His exploits are hotly debated: could he really get free long-distance calls by whistling into a pay phone? Did his video-game piracy scheme accidentally trigger the first computer virus? And did he really dodge the FBI by using their own wiretapping software against them? Is he even a real person? And if he’s ever caught, what would happen to a geek like him in federal prison?
Inspired by the incredible stories of real-life hackers, WIZZYWIG is the thrilling tale of a master manipulator — his journey from precocious child scammer to federally-wanted fugitive, and beyond. In a world transformed by social networks, data leaks, and digital uprisings, Ed Piskor’s debut graphic novel reminds us how much power can rest in the hands of an audacious kid with a keyboard.

The book’s reception has been stellar across the board, including its review from the AV Club saying, “Wizzywig is full of fascinating tidbits…passion for the subject jumps off the page, making Wizzywig both an entertaining read and a powerful argument-starter.” The book has also gotten excellent reviews from The Comics Journal (, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many others; and appears on Barnes & Noble’s Best of 2012 list, as well as the AV Club’s Best of 2012.
The Eisner Awards are presented at the annual Comic-Con International convention held in San Diego, California, in July. Congratulations again to Chris for the nomination, and good luck on winning the award!

Write to Publish Recap

By Kait Heacock
This year’s Write to Publish conference, our fourth, marked a great success for Ooligan Press. Not only did we make money (always a plus), we also introduced many new people to our student staffed publishing house, and more importantly, we helped bring writers, readers, and publishers together. Fresh off the success of our first Transmit Culture lecture series, we continued our work toward demystifying the publishing industry with an all-day conference that featured readings, panel discussions, and workshops.
 Lidia Yuknavitch on a panel
The day’s theme was “Write What You Know” and focused on non-fiction in its many forms, from travel writing and memoir, to journalism and biography. Writers Lidia Yuknavitch, Floyd Skloot, Kevin Sampsell, Ooligan Press’s own Sean Davis, and many more writers explored what it means to write from personal experience. The panels were lively as industry professionals discussed such topics as ethics in journalism and how to sell a travel writing piece.
Per and student
In the classroom publishing panel discussion, Director of Publishing, Per Henningsgaard, discussed the role he feels publishing plays in education, noting that it can be used to “teach anything.” Former Director of Publishing and Ooligan Press founder, Dennis Stovall, believes publishing education helps empower students by giving them an outlet for their writing. He now volunteers with Roosevelt High School students at their own student staffed press. Some of the Roosevelt students appeared on the classroom publishing panel to discuss their own publishing ambitions, which includes publishing their own book later this year.
Journalism panel
In the morning workshop “History and Biography: Forward Through the Past,” Michael McGregor, the current MFA Director, PSU professor, and a writer himself, said that the writing you should be working on now is “whatever you’re obsessed with.” For all those writers who attended this year’s Write to Publish, we hope that whatever your next project is, you find the best avenue for writing it. Hopefully, this year’s Write to Publish conference helped make that path a little clearer.