The AAWW Publishing Conference

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Schedule / What writers say / Sponsors / Participants
Saturday, December 8th, 2012 from 12PM-6PM
@ Daruma Asset Management,
80 West 40th Street, 9th Fl., NY NY 10018

You're a writer. We know it. You know it.

We also know that sometimes the hardest part isn't getting your ideas down on paper, but getting your manuscript out of the slush pile. It's hard to know where to start, especially if you've got a full-time job or are raising a kid. Enroll in the Asian American Writers’ Workshop's first annual publishing conference and meet veteran agents and editors and publishers from Farrar Straus Giroux, Little Brown Publishing, The New York Times, Grantland, Paris Review, and Vogue magazine. They'll share their trade secrets to get you on your way from solitary writer to bestselling author. Open to writers of all ages, races, and genres!

We'll be adding more guests--as well as special one-on-one consultations--in the coming weeks, so please check back!

Who You'll Meet

Meet the curators and tastemakers in the emerging garde of digital publishing: Evan Ratliff, the co-founder of Atavist; Uzoamaka Maduka, wunderkind founder of The American Reader—a monthly literary mag for Gen Y; and Sasha Weiss, editor of The New Yorker's Culture Desk. Meet more of our special guests.

Evan Ratliff

Uzoamaka Maduka
The American Reader

Sasha Weiss
The New Yorker

The Details

What you pay: $150 Members / $200 Non-Members for the entire day

What you get:

  • Admission to our an all-day, 6-panel publishing conference. You'll spend a sunny Saturday in a beautiful seminar room overlooking Bryant park meeting editors and agents at the biggest publishing houses in New York.

  • Free one-year general AAWW membership/renewal (includes free admission to regular events, discounts on writing workshops, 25% book discounts at events, and special notification, opportunities, and fellowships only available to members)

  • Rare back issue of the Asian Pacific American Journal (APAJ)

  • Limited edition AAWW tote bag


12:15-12:45 PM Opening & Lunch

12:45-1:30 PM How to score an agent
Get the attention you deserve! Veteran agents teach you how to stand out, refine your pitch, and acquire the representation you’ve only dreamed of. Featuring Edward Orloff of McCormick & Williams, Kristyn Keene of ICM Partners, Chris Parris-Lamb of Gernert Company, and Renée Zuckerbrot of Renée Zuckerbrot Literary Agency. Moderated by Jin Auh of The Wylie Agency.

1:30-2:15 PM How to pitch for trade publications
Editors from trade houses talk about working on manuscripts and how that should affect your pitch. Featuring Megan Lynch of Riverhead, Noah Eaker of Dial, Paul Whitlatch at Scribner, Laura Tisdel of Little, Brown and Company, Tom Mayer of Norton, and Sarah Bowlin of Holt. Moderated by Kirby Kim of William Morris Endeavor.

2:15-3:00 PM How to get placed in small presses
A must for any emerging writer is publishing in small journals and presses. These local publishers and editors will get you started. Featuring Mark Doten of Soho Press, Uzoamaka Maduka of The American Reader, Liese Mayer of Overlook Press, and Erika Goldman of Bellevue Literary Press. Moderated by Joanna Yas of NYU Creative Writing Program.

3:00-3:15 PM Coffee Break

3:15-4:00 PM How I got my big break
Acclaimed debut writers share their success stories. They’ll tell you how they got their big break and offer tips on how you can get yours! Featuring Mishka Shubaly, Julian Tepper, Rebecca Harrington, Leigh Newman, Taylor Antrim of Vogue, Heidi Durrow, and Justin Torres. Moderated by John McElwee of Aitken Alexander Associates.

4:00-4:45 PM Ultimate Social Media Guide
Not a fan of self-promotion? These agents and editors will make it painless. Learn to plug your work online, enhance your social media presence, and build marketing/publicity strategies. Featuring Kimberly Burns of the Kimberly Burns Literary Publicity, Mary Buckley of Knopf Publishing, Katie Freeman of Riverhead, Miwa Messer of Barnes & Noble, and Sarita Varma of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Moderated by Fauzia Burke, president of FSB Associates.

4:45-5:30 PM Longform
Not only are The Atavist and #longreads making a big splash, but 2012 has been an incredible year for longform and online magazines. See how your work can play a part in the recent renaissance. Featuring: Mike Hale of The New York Times; Lorin Stein, editor of the Paris Review; Sasha Weiss of The New Yorker; Evan Ratliff, co-founder of Atavist; Hua Hsu of Grantland; and Will Blythe of Byliner. Moderated by Nina Rastogi of Figment.

5:30-5:40 PM Cocktail Hour & Closing Remarks. Featuring drinks by Remy Martin.

Who You'll Meet

Lorin Stein, editor of the half-century-old Paris Review, has some advice for young writers. First, read lots and read contemporaries—“what’s the point of publishing in a magazine that you don’t already read?” Second, learn to write short-form journalism, not just creative writing. Third, pitch early and aim high—“start sending pitches to your favorite magazines. The main thing is to write for an editor who can help you improve—tightening sentences, taking yourself out of the picture when you don’t belong, that kind of thing.” Read more about special guests.

Writers on AAWW

"By the time I was in my early twenties, I wanted to write fiction but I was too afraid. The Asian American Writers' Workshop was a secret door that opened and cared about and supported my work as a writer. It was such an important moment in my life as a writer to be there."
Jhumpa Lahiri, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Interpreter of Maladies

"Back when I was a young writer starting out, the AAWW's open mike readings were a place I tested new work, found community and made friends with other writers that have lasted to this day. I also found myself approached after one reading by a woman who would one day be my agent. Looking back, I wouldn't be the writer I am today without the Workshop."
Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh

"I am deeply grateful to The Asian American Writers' Workshop for offering a most loving literary shelter... It's one thing to be offered a platform for one's work, but the people I have met and the events I have been a part of—and often just witness to, as an audience member—have been infinitely inspiring in a way I have not encountered, ever."
Porochista Khakpour, author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects

Who We Are

Established in 1991, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is the preeminent literary arts nonprofit in NYC dedicated to incubating Asian American writers of tomorrow. We've spent more than two decades nurturing emerging writers of all ages to find their true voice and get published. We threw Pulitizer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri's first and only book party. We were the first place to publish writers like NYT Bestselling novelist Jean Kwok, NEA Fellow R. Zamora Linmark, V.V. Ganeshananthan (Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers). We also gave important fellowships to emerging writers like bestselling novelist Monique Truong, bestselling novelist Monica Ferrell, and award-winning poet Cathy Park Hong.

In 2012, we launched three online magazines to reinvent what it means to be both an American and a global citizen: The Margins (the flagship editorial platform of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop), Open City (an online magazine that takes the real-time pulse of metropolitan Asian America as it’s being lived on the streets right now), and CultureStrike (a countercultural movement around immigration).


Maryam Gunja, AAWW Program Director , (212) 494-0061