ASJA 2016 Annual Writers Conference

Learn how to prosper as an independent writer at ASJA's 45th Annual Writers Conference.

The media landscape has shifted dramatically in the past two decades—and successful freelancers know how to navigate these twists and turns to earn a satisfying living. Join us for two days of education, networking, and sharing winning strategies with top writers, editors, agents, content buyers, and more. Presenters and participants represent The New York Times Book Review,  Harper's, New York, Marie Claire, Town & Country, Scientific American, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Writer's Digest, Budget Travel, BBC Travel, Eating Well, Wine Enthusiast, Woman's Day,,,, Bloomberg News, Fortune, Fast Company, Parents, Popular Mechanics, The Atavist, AARP, ESPN The Magazine, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Contently, Skyword, Seal Press, William Morrow, PBS Next, the Michael J. Fox Foundation,  the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and many more

When you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder, how do you structure your own time most effectively? An independent writer herself, Laura Vanderkam has made a career exploring where our hours really go and how to allocate them better. She is the author of several time-management and productivity books, including I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Vanderkam also raises four children, contributes to outlets like Fast Company and Fortune, and still finds time to blog daily. Leave her talk with tools to get more done and feel less stress about it.


Josh Levs will share the story behind his highly acclaimed book All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families and Businesses -- And How We Can Fix It Together (HarperOne 2015)The father of three took on a policy at Time Warner that prevented him from being able to care for his newborn, preemie daughter and sick wife. As a result of his legal action and the publicity it generated, the company revolutionized its policy, making it much better for dads and moms. Levs will also advise attendees on how to navigate the changing media landscape by sharing how he carved his own career path—including creating on-air roles at NPR and CNN—and offer a no-holds-barred look at what it’s really like to write and publish a book now.

With more than 1,200 members, ASJA stands as the country’s leading association of successful nonfiction writers. While writing may seem like a solitary pursuit, ASJA members know meeting with others in the publishing industry to exchange ideas and learn new skills can help them thrive in a changing world.

The 2016 conference will offer more than 35 instructive topic sessions and invaluable one-on-one meetings with editors, agents, and publishers. Three “pitch slams”—live, open-mic querying sessions with top business, travel, and women’s magazine editors—offer instant feedback and even allow writers to land assignments on the spot. Networking opportunities will abound through a special lounge for members; a welcome brigade led by well-known freelancing-guide author Kelly James-Enger; individual mentoring sessions; networking lunches; and much more. And each day will begin with an inspiring and instructive address from an award-winning author.

The conference returns to a high-powered two-day format this year so you can make the most of your time and resources. In addition, sessions will follow five tracks to help you navigate the schedule and zero in on the areas that best fit your interest and experience levels: Books & Beyond, Pro Tips, Breaking Into, Essentials, and Work Life.

New sessions this year include:
  • Six-Figure Freelancing in 2016
  • How to Crack Content Marketing (and an advanced-level counterpart, How to Make More Money  With Your Content Marketing)
  • Health & Medical Writing, No Science Degree Required
  • The Journalism of Ideas: Crafting Smart, Provocative Stories for Elite Publications 
  • The Art of the Book Proposal: The Ideas Selling Now
  • Indemnity Clauses and Who Really Owns Your Notes
  • Sneaky New High-Tech Reporting Tools with Sree Sreenivasan, the first Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Other sessions will focus on energizing your long-form narratives, going freelance earlier in your career, freelancing over 50, fresh social media and smartphone tricks, managing clients and finances, snagging funding from alternative sources, and much more.

Enjoy two jam-packed days: Friday features sessions exclusively for ASJA members, while on Saturday, we’ll open the doors to all writers, aspiring writers, and students. Join us in NYC in May 2016 to learn new skills, make fresh connections, and come away energized and inspired to reach your big career goals!