National Writers Union - Writers Conference

Posted by Lordsheryl on February 15, 2016 at 10:35 AM

I attended my first Writers Conference at the National Writers Union offices in NYC this weekend.  The timely topics included how to protect your work with copyrights and how to raise you social/online profile. 

Troy Johnson founder of the African American Literature Book Club also spoke.  Troy is a very supportive guy and he did my book review for African Venus and even came to my book signing.  Troy shared a wealth of information about finding your audience and encouraged other authors to work with each other to cross promote.  He also mentioned the importance of having your own website and how Facebook continutes to be a major player in book promotion.  He also pointed out when you advertise on Facebook people are making purchases via their Mobile devices.   

The other standout session for me was with Literary Agent - Jan Kardys.  She had lots of knowledge of what books will sell.  She has worked in the industry for many years and had two handouts that help authors focus.  One was - Components of a Novel worksheet - she stressed that she has to be IN LOVE with you book to pitch it to big publishers.  And that each component from plot, setting, climactic scenes and format has to be worked on to perfect a book.  She also gave out a Research Your Competiton worksheet that I thought was interesting.   

Their were aspiring writers and established author's in the room; some of whom have been featured in The New York Times.  I like meeting new authors like Morella Bynoe who is a Social Worker and saw the need to write a children' s book about self-image.  I also met Ellen Schnepel, Ph.D. who is a Applied Anthropologist who specializes in Creole Studies.  We had a great conversation about the Island of Guadeloupe; one of the settings in my story.  I look forward to meeting her again. 

One of my goals in 2016 is to finished the expanded version of African Venus.  Like many writers I face the challenge of moving my book from a 10,000 word Novella to a 50,000 or 60,000 word novel.  I was intimdated at 10,000 words.  I know one thing I am IN LOVE with this story and as Diana Ross & The Supremes sang "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" to keep me from doing this. 



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Reply Troy Johnson
1:57 PM on February 15, 2016 
It was a pleasant surprise to see your face in the audience Sheryl. I enjoyed reading the current version of African Venus: the longer version should be really good!

I too enjoyed the event. Did you get to meet Calvin Alexander Ramsey? He is the author of Ruth and the Green Book:
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