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EFA’s Long Island branch meets

776px-Long_Island_statehood_map with clear background and EFA logoThe Long Island branch of the Editorial Freelancers Association met on Wednesday night in New Hyde Park to talk about freelance business goals and about freelancing in general. I had brought some board games to play—I love playing board games and I thought that it might be fun for after the “business” part of the meeting. But once we got to talking, no one wanted to interrupt the lively and positive discussion we were having.

That’s the whole point of having the regional meetings, to get support and feedback from fellow freelancers. “The purpose of the Editorial Freelancers Association is to further a wider understanding of the crucial role of the independent editorial professional in the modern publishing and communication industries, and to enhance the performance and improve the skills of those professionals,” according to the EFA’s Regional Chapters Mission Statement. Read More


Upcoming publishing and editorial events

Brooklyn Book Festival & more

I announced yesterday (well, actually, I’ve already announced it on Twitter and Facebook) that the Long Island branch of the Editorial Freelancers Association is meeting in Port Jefferson tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 20, 1-3 pm at Panera Bread, 4959 Nesconset Hwy, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776, in the private meeting room).

Other upcoming events of interest include the 2014 Brooklyn Book Festival, at which I’ll be manning the EFA information booth on Sunday, and the Communication Central Conference, which I’m attending in Rochester next weekend. I’ve already written about the CCC, a conference I have attended twice before and love coming back to.

I really like working from home, but I need to get out frequently and connect with other people—hence these meetings, festivals and conferences. It inspires me, it gives me support when times are slow and I feel negative, and it allows me to give some support, too. Plus, I usually learn something new, and I get to make new connections or reconnect with folks I haven’t seen in a while.

Hope to see you at one of the upcoming events.



Freelancing on Long Island

Editorial Freelancers Association

Long Island branch meets this Saturday, Sept. 20

If you’re an editorial freelancer on Long Island (or Queens or elsewhere; we’re not that picky), please join us for the September meeting of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Long Island branch.

I’ve recently agreed to step in as coordinator, and I’m in the process of planning future meetings (so anyone with an interesting specialty who wants to present, please let me know). You do not have to be a member of the EFA to attend this meeting, although I think joining is beneficial for those trying to make a go of freelancing.

The topic:

Self-Publishing’s Here to Stay—Benefitting From It

Our guest speaker is Stephen Tiano of Tiano Book Design (http://www.tianobookdesign.com/), a book designer, page compositor, and layout artist. His topic is about the impact of the growth of self-publishing on book design, freelancing, and freelancers’ rates.

Among other aspects of this topic, Steve says he’ll discuss strategies for dealing with self-publishers who have a tendency to want us to price our freelance services in line with their DIY mentality. That is to say, cheap …

I expect there will be some back and forth about negotiating rates and demonstrating our value to self-publishers.

Meeting info:

Time: 1-3 pm
Location: Panera Bread, 4959 Nesconset Hwy, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776. We’ll be in the private meeting room.
Contact: Jan Arzooman at chap_longisland AT the-efa.org. Please let me know if you are coming!


“Out of our garrets”

As I approach my first anniversary of becoming a full-time freelancer, I am excited to once again be attending the Communication Central conference, Sept. 26-27, 2014, in Rochester, NY. This gathering is something I look forward to because of how beneficial it’s been to me. Each time I’ve gone, I’ve learned something new about being a writer and editor.

I’ve also gotten to know Communication Central organizer Ruth Ruth T-C_Jan 2014E. Thaler-Carter over the last few years, and one of the reasons I keep going back to this conference is Ruth’s warm and helpful attitude to other editors and writers. (So helpful that she’s extended the early-bird conference rates just for readers of this blog! See below*) Read More


Aug. 1-3, NYC: Writer’s Digest Conference

The craft and business of being a writer

Writers Digest conference logoThe Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, taking place in New York City in a few weeks, is for literary writers of all experience levels, published, unpublished, or self-published. According to the event’s website, the conference program is “designed to give (writers) a balanced education in both the craft and the business of being a writer, in an encouraging and inspiring environment.” Read More


Infusion of Creativity—WordCamp Asheville

logo for WordCamp

WordCamp logo

Discovering WordCamp

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my very first WordCamp, held in Asheville, NC. Three months ago, I didn’t know what WordCamp was. I have a friend who’s a Website designer. Since I dabble into the design and function of my Website and sometimes run into issues trying to make something happen in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) or CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), I often turn to her. She’s given me lots of great advice. But she knows I want to learn this myself, and sometimes I fear I’m bothering her with something the most basic of WordPress.org bloggers should already know. Read More


Will a Writing Group Improve Your Writing?

Too much pressure?

writing group 3 by Adam Tinworth flickrI hemmed and hawed about joining a writing group for years. I wanted to, because I felt it would push me to write more and write better. But I had long periods where I couldn’t seem to write, at least not anything I thought was decent. I felt that the pressure of a writing group would be counterproductive and would result in my feeling worse about my writing than before.

Yet I saw other writers talking about how such groups helped them finish their novels.

If you have hesitated, like me, afraid of the pressure, then work on finding or starting a writing group that gives as much support as criticism. Read More


For South Jersey book lovers: Collingswood Book Festival, Oct. 5

Collingswood Book Festival logoThis one is for my South Jersey friends and family: Saturday, October 5 is the 11th annual Collingswood Book Festival.

If I can make it down there, I’d love to attend. It’s free—anyone care to join me?

when they were boys

Many authors and writers of all genres will be featured, including Larry Kane, whom Channel 6 Action News fans will of course recognize, with his new book about the Beatles. “When They Were Boys offers gripping, never-before-told stories and eyewitness accounts that tell of the Beatles’ challenges, conflicts, and hardships.”

Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist, formerly of the Philadelphia Inquirer, will also be featured, with his new collection, The Art of Tony Auth: To Stir, Inform and Inflame. 

Tony Auth book

From the Collingswood Book Festival Website:

“Join us on Saturday, October 5, when festival-goers will have an opportunity to stroll more than six blocks of Haddon Avenue, filled with nationally recognized authors and speakers for adults and children, as well as booksellers, storytellers, poetry readings, workshops, exhibitors, kid-friendly activities, and entertainment for all ages. This award-winning festival is the longest-running, largest literary event in the Delaware Valley.”





Sept. 22: “The largest free literary event in NYC”

Brooklyn book fest logo
SAVE THE DATE: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2013, 10am-6pm, Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza,
209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

“The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City, presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors. One of America’s premier book festivals, this hip, smart diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages to enjoy authors and the festival’s lively literary marketplace.”

Click here for the schedule of events: BBF Festival Events.

Also check out the FESTIVAL’s BOOKEND EVENTS, taking place Sept. 16-22, 2013: “literary themed events taking place in clubs, parks, bookstores, theatres and libraries . . . The Bookends kick off a long literary weekend with film screenings, parties, literary games and author appearances.”


Book Expo


I was able to participate last weekend in my first ever Book Expo America, which was held at the Javits Center in New York City. What an event. I’ll fill in more details later, but briefly, I was a volunteer for the Editorial Freelancers Association, which I am an active member of. I worked the Association’s booth on Saturday afternoon, ready to answer questions for the many publishers, authors, freelance editors, and occasional artists or other publishing professionals that stopped by the booth.

I was off work on Friday so I was able to spend the whole day there. I talked to some publishing people I knew, met some authors I knew, some of whom I follow on Twitter, including Chuck Wendig, who was signing copies of his new book, Under the Empyrean Sky.

Because the conference floor gets very crowded, I could only take it in small doses. I spent a large part of my time attending talks about writing, publishing, and social media in the lecture halls downstairs. On Friday I joined in on “Twitter 2.0: Twitter Master Class for Publishing Professionals,” given by Cindy Ratzlaff; “Perspectives in Publishing: an Author’s Transition from Traditional to Self-Publishing,” with Guy Kawasaki and Leigh Haber, and “Self-publishing: Disrupter or Defender of the Book Business,” with James McQuiveyChristopher KenneallyAngela James, and Keith Ogorek. All very informative; I confess that I found Guy Kawasaki’s talk very helpful as well as entertaining, but Cindy Ratzlaff also had some great ideas for social media. I took a lot of notes and will pass on some tidbits in another post.

On Saturday, Neil Gaiman was speaking. I was able to snag a seat in the third row on the side, so I had a great view. He was as entertaining in person as I’ve seen in videos, and he was generous with the audience. He’d signed 1,000 books prior to the event and gave audience members two of his newest books.

As a newbie at the conference, I didn’t plan too well. The first day I was carrying too much. I’d brought a shoulder bag with my laptop inside as I had work to do—big mistake. I ended up with nine books, one of which was a hardcover, plus a bunch of business cards and brochures from publishers and other editors and authors.