With the Write to Publish 2016 (W2P2016) event program firmly in place, we’re seriously excited about the all-star lineup of panelists, workshop coordinators, vendors, and sponsors. With these contributors, it’s sure to be a day of invaluable learning, networking, and collaboration—but what exactly will the experience entail?

The conference’s goal is to demystify the publishing process, and all of the day’s activities endeavor to fulfill this purpose. But first things first—the W2P2016 docket starts with breakfast. In true Portland spirit, this will include a wide variety from Voodoo Doughnut (bring on that brain fuel), along with coffee, fruit, and other necessities.

Throughout the day, there will be various attendance options; these consist of four panels, each of which feature four specialized panelists, and four workshop sessions. The first panel block topics are Intellectual Property Rights and Writing for Comic Books; the second set of topics discuss the Future of Writing: Digital Media and Working With Freelance Editors. The workshop sessions emphasize practical skills: Submit Like a Professional and What Happens During a Pitch occur during the first time slot, while Cutting Unnecessary Words and Connecting With Your Fans occupy the second.

Perhaps one of the biggest opportunities for W2P2016 attendees is a segment that debuted last year with stellar feedback: Pitch to a Professional. During this portion of the agenda, authors are given ten minutes to pitch their work to acquisitions professionals, including local acquiring editors and agents. This allows the attendees not only to practice advocating their work succinctly and well, but also to receive personal, one-on-one feedback from real-world decision makers in the publishing realm—who, if they haven’t seen it all, have certainly seen a lot.

This year’s experts include Carl Adamshick, editor and publisher of Tavern Books; Betsy Amster, literary agent and principal of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises; Michael D’Alessandro, editor and publisher of Bedouin Books; DongWon Song, literary agent at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency Inc.; and our very own Molly KB Hunt and Bess Pallares, acquisitions editors at Ooligan Press.

Agents and editors receive hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions each year and are therefore only able to accept a fraction of the works that come across their desks (whether physically or digitally). As an author, how can you help yours stand out above the rest? What is the most marketable aspect of your work? What can you do to boost the chance that future agents or editors request the full manuscript based on a pitch or query?

The answers to these questions and more can be answered by the above-mentioned contributors during the pitch slot. Each editor or agent has a wealth of experience from which to draw—they know the pulse of the industry and can point authors in the right direction with advice specific to their work.

The W2P2016 program will conclude with the announcement of the raffle winners (so many fun prizes!), followed by the keynote speech given by Arthur Bradford, an O. Henry Award winning writer, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and MOTH grandslam winner with years of insight and inspiration to share.

Honestly, this post has just scratched the surface of what to expect from this year’s conference. Mark your calendars. January 30, 2016. We can’t wait to share the energy, expertise, and experience of the publishing world with you.

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