Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Death and Loss: Women Writing Out Loud

BinderCon LA Recap #6

Nicole Belanger 
Emily Rapp Black 
Mattea Kramer   
Claire Bidwell Smith 
Niva Dorell Smith
Rebecca Soffer 

“In nonfiction, grief is the richest experience you have,” said Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World, a memoir about her son, who was diagnosed with a fatal disease in infancy. “Everyone experiences it differently.

“I wrote my book when my son was still living,” she said, “After he died, I literally was out of my mind. I was trying to find meaning, not feelings, before he died. After, all I had was feelings.”

Monday, April 13, 2015

On Writing Memoir: the Literary, the Legal, and the Loophole

BinderCon LA Recap #5

Eileen CroninMermaid: A Memoir of Resilience 
Wendy OrtizExcavation: A Memoir 
Leigh SteinLand of Enchantment
Quinn Heraty, Esq.   

“So we have two therapists and a lawyer,” Leigh Stein joked, beginning the panel.

“How did you decide to write the book?” she asked both Eileen Cronin and Wendy Ortiz.

“I wrote a piece in the Washington Post,” Cronin said. “My mother took Thalidomide without testing.
I wrote a letter to the editor” about another piece they’d published on the subject that angered her. “I was enraged. I felt completely diminished. I wrote my whole life in 2,000 words in two weeks.”

Friday, April 10, 2015

You Only Need One Yes

BinderCon Recap #4

Keynote: Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights) with Keri Putnam (executive director of the Sundance Institute) 

One of three awesome BinderCon keynotes
When Gina Prince-Bythewood was 12, her TV broke, and her parents didn’t buy another one until she was in high school.

“We were shocked and horrified,” she said.

In high school, when she had a TV again, she became obsessed with soap operas.

“I read an article about how much soap opera writers made,” and thought, “I want to do that.”

Monday, April 6, 2015

Silver Linings: Benefits and Challenges of Writing at Midlife and Beyond

BinderCon Recap #3

Your book is not your baby.” – Eileen Rendahl

Elizabeth EnslinWhile the Gods were Sleeping 
Amy Pence - Armor, Amour 
Eileen Rendahl (Eileen Carr) - Veiled Intentions
Nikki SternDon’t Move: A Novella
Naomi WilliamsLandfalls  

It’s never too late to start publishing your work. That was the theme of this informative, inspiring session at BinderCon LA about writing and publishing after 40. Panelists said they didn’t publish their first books until 51, 54, and even 61.

At 41, I am just now starting to hit my stride, so this was nice to hear; I felt motivated and not alone. Plus, the panelists were hilarious.

Score one for late bloomers.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Writing and Publishing Your Personal Essay

BinderCon LA Recap #2

“’No book’ is not a career deal-breaker.” - Anna March

Anna March – Feminist Killjoy (at least, that's what her business card says)
Wendy OrtizExcavation: A Memoir 

Anna March and Wendy Ortiz sharing a moment. Note the Dean and Deluca gummy bears right in front of me.
Anna March offered us Dean and Deluca gummy bears from her hotel. “They probably cost $50,” she said. I may be the only person who ate them.

“I started writing essays 15 years ago when Salon paid $1,500 per essay,” March said. She submitted an essay, went for a jog, and sold it while she was gone. “I thought, ‘I can write it, submit it, go for a run, and comeback and someone will buy it.’”

Everyone in the audience sighed.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

"SEO is Kind of Like Witchcraft"

Headlines, Websites, Social Media, and all Things Internet for Writers
BinderCon LA Recap #1

Best Headline Ever: How to Keep Your Story from Getting Sucked into the Internet Black Hole
Jen Sabella – Director of Social Engagement for DNAinfo.com

Jen Sabella started with her informative presentation on Internet headlines describing the kinds of headlines "old school white men" like:

“I love puns,” they say.

“No! Get the puns out!” she says.

Her advice is to catch the reader at the headline, or they won’t read it. More specifically, “Six-word headlines are the perfect headline,” and the first three words should be “dynamic.”

She used her mom as an example of catching the reader’s attention.

“My mom is 55, and she gets all her news from facebook. She is a millennial, apparently.”