Manuscript to Marketplace, a conference for writers of all genres, will take place on the Shepherd University campus September 9 & 10 and is expected to draw attendees from across the region and beyond.
Conference founder and co-director Alan Gibson, a Shepherdstown resident, is a published author with a background in advertising. According to Gibson, writers of all levels are welcome to attend the conference — especially aspiring writers who want to learn how to get published and market their work. Conference attendees will be able to network and trade insights not only with fellow writers, but also with publishing industry luminaries.
Publishing guru Robin Cutler will kick off the conference with a keynote on “Transitioning from Self-Published to Published: Things You Need to Know.” Cutler has experienced all facets of publishing and was responsible for the creation of one of the largest self-publishing platforms, IngramSpark. She is now CEO of HowToPublishBooks.com, among other roles.
Another keynote will explore how the internet and other technologies are changing what it means to be a writer. In “The Digital Era of Authorship: Thinking Beyond the Book,” publishing industry analyst Jane Friedman will describe how writers can adapt to changes in how content is distributed to readers.
Stephen Spotswood, an award-winning playwright, journalist, and educator based in Washington, D.C., will close the conference with a talk designed to help attendees ask the right questions about their journey as writers.
2022 marks this conference’s second year with plans to make it an annual event. New to the conference this year is the opportunity to book one-on-one consultations in which attendees can receive candid expert feedback. Topics of these sessions include: “Manuscript Review; Pitch to a Publisher; Pitch to an Agent;” and “Every Book Needs a Killer First Line.” Also new are prizes which will be awarded in the categories of “flash fiction,” short poems, and “killer first lines.”
Shepherdstown-based independent book store Four Seasons Books will operate a book sale during the entirety of the conference. Four Seasons owner Kendra Goldsborough is also on the conference committee which includes several university representatives. Local mystery author Lee Doty has joined Gibson as overall co-director.
The registration fee to attend the conference (see below) includes reception, lunch, and snacks. Conference organizers hope the heavily-discounted registration fee for students makes it clear that they are welcome and encouraged to attend Manuscript to Market.
Online registration for the conference is at WritersConferenceSU.com. Regular registration fee is $199 and for students with ID only $10. Readers of The Observer can take $25 off the regular registration fee with discount code WVO25.By Staff Contributor