Pennwriters Conference – The Business of Writing

Know the Business
Please note this schedule is subject to change.
Friday, May 13th
9:15 — 10:15 From Concept to Bookstore with agent Denise Little
What are the typical steps in the publication process? What are some of the exceptions to the rule? And why is it so amazing that books arrive every day in bookstores, ready to amuse and move us? Come hear literary agent, Denise Little answer those questions and more as she discuss the increasingly crazy voyage of a typical book from concept to bookstore.

10:30 — 11:30 Break Free From the Slush Pile with CJ Lyons
Learn the secret to successful pitching and how to engage an editor or agent through your query letter. Participants who wish to have their query evaluated during the workshop should email it as an attachment to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it prior to April 30th. One lucky writer submitter will win a critique from CJ’s agent, Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency!

1:30 — 2:30 Small Press Panel
Is a small press right for your book? Join editor Cathy Teets of Headline Books, agent Jason Pinter of The Waxman Agency, and novelists Rick Robinson and Kristin Bair O’Keeffe as they share the ins and outs of publishing with small and university presses.

2:45 — 3:45 The Pros, Cons & Cautions of Self-Pub’ing Nonfiction with Deanna Adams, Carrie Kennedy and bookseller Maryanne Eichorn
Today’s writers have a lot of publishing options, and self-publishing can seem like a good solution. Is it? Our panel of two nonfiction authors and a bookstore manager discuss their firsthand experiences with self-published books, from quality concerns to marketing and distribution hurdles. Knowing what they now know, would they do it all again?

Saturday, May 14th
9:15 — 10:15 The Author-Agent Relationship with Nancy Martin
One author discusses the important alliance between author and agent–especially now during tumultuous times in the publishing industry. Topics include how to find the right agent, developing short- and longterm career goals, fostering a business partnership, when and how to change agents, and more. Bring your questions and concerns.

10:30 — 11:30 The Dos and Don’ts of Finding and Agent with Victoria Skurnick
The road to finding an agent can be as difficult to navigate as the road to finding a publisher is. In this session, you will find out how to approach an agent, how to get an agent to take you seriously, and how not to piss an agent off.

1:30 — 2:30 Agent Panel
Join our visiting agents as they take your questions on everything and anything that you ever wanted to know about working with agents in today’s publishing climate.

2:45 — 3:45 Welcome to the Jungle with agent Barbara Poelle & CJ Lyons
Get a publishing reality check with NYC agent Barbara Poelle and her client CJ Lyons as they honestly answer questions about today’s industry. Are you better off going Big 6 or small press? What about indy pubbing? Do you even need an agent? If so, how can you grab one? What are editors “really” looking for? Bring your burning questions. (Pith helmets and bull whips optional.)

10:30- 11:30 Building Your Freelance Portfolio with Chuck Sambuchino Building Your Freelance Portfolio with Chuck Sambuchino

Learn the basics of freelancing — how to write articles for magazine, newspapers and websites. We’ll discuss how to identify markets, realize your own specialties, structure a magazine query, come up with ideas, resell ideas, and more.

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