Write to Publish is more than a fundraiser for Ooligan Press—it’s a conference that brings together publishing minds to demystify the industry and provide tools for writers through workshops, panels, and speeches from well-informed industry professionals.

The workshops and panels are all a part of what brings people in each year; and what makes Write to Publish unique is its organizational team, its intimate ties to the community, and its mission to “offer emerging writers information about the state of the publishing industry and advise them on how to navigate it successfully.”

The yearly conference is planned by a group of students on the Write to Publish project team—a team solely dedicated to bringing the yearly event to fruition. Contacting industry professionals, building relationships, networking, and working the ins and outs of event planning are among some of their tasks.

This year’s conference featured panels of experts who covered subjects such as self-publishing or how to approach literary agents and publishers, among other things.

Professionals operating within Write to Publish are not only able to converse with the audience at a more intimate level but they are also able to guide and teach, as much as stimulate dialogue. The conference offers a platform for emerging writers and industry professionals alike to have honest and open communication about facets that are troubling the publishing world, while also encouraging its growth. These conversations occur in an intimate setting that removes the distance between professionals and attendees. Additionally, Write to Publish is a major resource for those seeking assistance with their own work, whether it’s learning the craft of writing or learning the legalities of book publishing.

Some of this year’s featured panelists included Lisa Ohlen Harris, a long-time author and editor with a focus on personal essay and memoir writing; DongWon Song, a literary agent representing science fiction, YA, and fantasy at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency; Clark Chamberlain, a writer, editor, and writing counselor on how to disengage from the confines of the negative story; and Brian Tibbetts, a literary agent, writer, editor, and PSU alumnus.

In addition to panels, there were workshops covering various writing-related topics. Adam O’Connor Rodriguez, a writer and the senior editor of Hawthorne Books, led a workshop on crafting dialogue. Writer and filmmaker David F. Walker led a workshop entitled “Writing Outside Yourself.”

The main goal of Write to Publish is to bring the local publishing community together in an effort to lead and encourage emerging writers and individuals within the book publishing industry; and with each year, the Write to Publish conference continues to further those efforts.

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