Sunday, October 12, 2008

Speaking at the GOING FREELANCE Seminar on October 18th

I am honored to speak at the Going Freelance Seminar sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Masters of Arts in Writing Program and American Independent Writers. Details of the event are here:

GOING FREELANCE: An All-Day Seminar on Saturday, October 18, 2008
Jointly sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Masters of Arts in Writing Program and American Independent Writers

Johns Hopkins University
Bernstein-Offit Building  (Lower-Level Conference Hall)
1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Metro: Red Line, Dupont Circle

8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast

9:00-9:15 a.m. Welcome

9:15-10:30 a.m. The Fundamentals of Freelance Business

How do you know what to charge for your hard freelance work? Or what records to keep? Or whether you’re being taken advantage of? This panel presents expert and experienced advice on rate-setting, accounting, record-keeping, legal issues, tax basics, and other nuts and bolts of successful freelancing.

John D. Mason is a Washington DC/Maryland based art, entertainment, and intellectual property attorney. His practice focuses on copyright and trademark matters, litigation, contracts, and commercial matters. He works with writers, artists, and creative people and companies to protect and exploit their work and is also a literary agent. The website for his new firm, The Intellectual Property Group, PLLC, is and his e-mail is

Ken Norkin is an ADDY- and ASPC Colonial Award-winning copywriter and full-time freelancer specializing in business-to-business marketing communications for technology-based products and services. Since establishing his own business—KN Creative—in 1991, he has written ads, brochures, annual reports and Web content for Sprint, Nextel, Mobile ESPN, IBM, Citrix, Carl Zeiss, Road Runner, MCI, Savin, Sharp and the American Gas Association. Beyond the tech market, Norkin has written for T. Rowe Price, Arlington and Prince William Counties, The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Holy Cross Hospital, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Research Center, The Washington Post, PBS, the Discovery Channel and many other companies. His ability to share what he’s learned in 30 years of writing for a living makes Norkin a frequent and sought-after speaker on the business of freelancing and creative self-employment.

Alan C. Portner spent 35 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor and publisher throughout the country including Hawaii, California, Iowa and the metro DC area. He has spent the past five years as a freelance writer and author, as well as the president and founder of The Assignment Desk.

10:45: 12 Noon Finding Work in Commercial Writing

While we all want to publish our essays in national magazines, some of the most lucrative freelancing in the Washington-Baltimore area involves annual reports, media releases, marketing materials, and other writing-for-hire work. This session describes how to network and find the opportunities.

Shashi Bellamkonda (aka, ShashiB) works for Network Solutions as the first-ever Network Solutions “Social Media Swami.” A prolific Twitterer, blogger, and product innovator, Shashi loves technology, testing new things, and helping people. A self-described “Internet junkie,” Shashi has presented previously on “How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss” and “Social Media tools for Small Business.” He’s been in love with social media since his previous life working in the hotel world and, believe it or not, as an executive chef, and Shashi started his blog to keep his many on- and offline friends up to date on the coolest new things to check out and answer their questions on social media and technology—from what to use and how, how to prevent pop-ups, how to avoid viruses, how to save computers from hackers, and the ever popular “Why is my computer freezing?” Shashi’s life’s mission is to be helpful to others and achieve dreams in installments.

Lisa Daniel is an award-winning writer and editor with more than 2,000 published articles. She has reported on all levels of government, from school boards to the White House, for general circulation newspapers and trade presses. She has covered Congress, multiple cabinet departments and all branches of the U.S. armed services for Army Times Publishing Co./Gannett, Federal Times, and UPI. As a freelancer, her feature articles have been published in The Boston Globe, HR Magazine, Government Executive, Retired Officer, National Guard and other trade magazines, newsletters and Web sites. In 1999, Daniel became a full-time freelance writer, editor and communications consultant. She created successful branding and marketing copy in the real estate development, space technology and national security communities. As a freelancer, Daniel also specialized in writing about business and careers. She wrote for several publications of the Society for Human Resource Managers and for two years wrote a weekly careers column for Federal Times/Gannett. Since 2001, Daniel has been a regular contributor to Washingtonian magazine’s biennial “Best Workplaces” cover story and authored a Washingtonian cover story on how people can get ahead in their careers, which won a 2002 Apex Award for excellence in journalism. In December 2007, Daniel returned to a staff position as an editor for American Forces Press Service, a military-based wire service. She has been a two-term board member of American Independent Writers and chaired the 27th Washington Writers Conference in 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from West Virginia University and has completed graduate work at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy.

Lester Reingold has been a freelance writer and editor for more than 30 years, concentrating primarily on aviation and space. He has written for magazines such as Air & Space/Smithsonian, American Heritage and Condé Nast Traveler and newspapers such The Washington Post and USA Today, plus many aerospace trade publications. His first book, a pictorial history of the Wright Brothers’ home town—Dayton, Ohio—was published in 2005. He is a commentator for WAMU and for NPR’s Morning Edition. After the accident that destroyed Space Shuttle Columbia, Reingold served as Lead Editor in the investigation. Since then, he has continued to work as Publications Editor on projects for NASA. A former AIW Board member, Reingold won the 2004 Washington Writing Prize for Reported Nonfiction and was runner-up in the 2003 competition.

Noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch and Networking on your own

1:30-2:45 p.m. It’s Time to Publish

Okay, you have a great idea for an essay or article. Now what? This panel covers the many venues open to publishing creative writing, from online and print journals to magazines and newspapers. The focus will be on publishing essays or articles, although many suggestions will help poets and fiction writers, too. We’ll discuss how to target your work, the need for persistence, and the all-important query and cover letters.

Cathy Alter is a successful freelance writer and author whose feature articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in local and national newspapers and magazines including Washingtonian, Self, Fitness, McSweeney’s, Preservation, and Might. Her book, Virgin Territory: Stories from the Road to Womanhood (Three Rivers Press) was released in 2004 and her memoir, Up for Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over (Atria) was released in July 2008. She teaches nonfiction at the Johns Hopkins M.A. in Writing Program and has lectured for many writing conferences and groups.

Tim Wendel is an award-winning novelist and journalist. His books include the novel, Castro’s Curveball (Ballantine) and The New Face of Baseball (Rayo/HarperCollins), which was named Top History Book for 2004 in the Latino Literary Awards. His new novel, Red Rain, will be released in the fall of 2008. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Esquire, Washingtonian and GQ, and his columns appear on the USA Today op-ed page, where he is on the Board of Contributors. He has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar to the Sewanee Writing Conference and Pen/Faulkner visiting writer to the Washington, D.C. Public Schools. He teaches in the M.A. in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins.

Additional panelist to be announced

3:00-4:15 p.m. Blogging and Your Writing Career

Blogs are everywhere, but they can be more important than simple personal expression. This panel discusses how blog writing differs from other types of writing, how you can make money from a blog, how blogging can jumpstart your career, and how blogs can be a pathway to more prestigious writing work.

Jeff Sypeck is the author of Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800 (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2006). He teaches medieval literature at the University of Maryland University College; his articles about books, history, and travel have appeared in the Washington Post and Salon; and he is also the author of a biography of Charlemagne for middle-school children. He writes about the modern persistence of medieval history and culture on his blog, "Quid Plura?"

Michael Yessis, who co-founded the popular World Hum travel blog and website in 2001, has worked as an editor at Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal and Journey magazines, and as the Destinations Editor at His stories have appeared in Salon, Sunset, Via, Playboy, Westways, E!Online, Outdoor Explorer and many other publications. He lives in the Washington D.C. area. Follow him on Twitter, or see Michael

Additional panelists to be announced

4:15-5:00 p.m. Informal Networking

AIW Members’ cost is $89; non-members’ cost is $129, and non-Hopkins students’ cost is $49. Hopkins Writing Program students are admitted free of charge, but all must RSVP by calling (202) 775-5150, emailing, or registering online at Please mention the event for which you are responding and your membership status.

My Friend Kristen King wrote about it here

American Independent Writers

1 comment:

jennifer said...

it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

AI generated summary of 60 minutes AI edition

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired on April 17, 2023, Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned that artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing rapid...