Two Conferences and a Book Recommendation

It was a busy week here in Portland: Design Week Portland, TEDx, and Write to Publish. I attended two out of the three.

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Wednesday evening, I attended an event called PDX Creative Women Unite—a series of lightning talks by local designers, covering most things from jewelry to events and menstruation cups to social justice programs, bookended by some networking. My highlights:

Jolie Brownell is an 18-year-old who self-published her book Me Too: Just a Collection of Reasons Why You Are So Freakin' in fall 2017. Her bio states that ‟through her love of writing [she] plans to change the world by empowering girls to love themselves, believe in themselves, and go after their dreams.” She spoke with such grace and poise and self-possession. I bought two copies of the book—one for my daughter and a friend. You'll see more from this one.

Rahab's Sisters is an organization that I've been wanting to become more involved with, and their executive director Anneliese Davis shared about their mission and programs with the group. At the event, they were collecting donations of travel size toiletries. Rahab's Sisters offers ‟Radical Hospitality to women in the Portland Metro area that have been marginalized by the sex industry, domestic violence, poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness...We serve all women (or anyone that identifies as a woman), offering a warm safe environment with nutritious food, hot coffee, conversation, and personal hygiene necessities.” They do this every Friday night.

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Saturday was both TEDx and Write to Publish. I chose to attend the latter, and I spoke on a panel called ‟Finding Help Along the Way: Navigating Freelance Services.” It was geared primarily toward writers who know they need some help but aren't sure how to approach freelance book editors, designers, or marketers. Secondarily, it was for people interested in working as freelancers in the book publishing industry. My fellow panelists were a copyeditor who specializes in nonfiction and a developmental editor who specializes in fiction. We discussed our favorite parts of our jobs (the people and variety of projects), setting project scope and personal boundaries, intellectual property, taxes, and how to know if a freelancer is the right fit for you.

I recommended this book to everyone who is thinking of hiring or becoming a freelancer. And now I recommend it to you.

I also attended panels on the book's journey from manuscript to agent (or not!) to publisher, and how to approach literary agents. One of my goals is to continue learning about that part of the business and meeting more real-life literary agents. I caught up with some old industry friends and met some new ones. I sat in the warm April sun and ate curry from the PSU Farmers Market.