Speaker Proposals

ASJA's 49th Annual Writers Conference

Date: Sunday April 19 & Monday, April 20, 2020

Location: Downtown Marriott, New York City

Conference Chair: Randy Dotinga

Deadline for submissions October 7, 2019.

Request for Proposal

It’s that time again! We’re ready for your session proposals for our 2020 annual conference, which will be held April 19 and 20 at the New York Downtown Marriott in Lower Manhattan, New York City

We’re looking for sessions that will inspire, motivate and empower professional, independent non-fiction writers. For 2020, we are emphasizing connections to editors and advanced training through hands-on workshops/interactive presentations. 

Sessions will fall into one of four tracks -- Journalism, Content Marketing, Books, and Craft.

We have a limited number of sessions. To increase your chances of having your proposal accepted, please read through the following very carefully. 

What We Are Looking For In a Session Proposal

Sessions must offer real value to our attendees. We want writers to walk away with ideas they can put into action. Think about hands-on, interactive, DIY sessions that engage attendees and leave them with valuable insight to take home. 

Freelance writers and authors are a diverse group. We will favor proposals that include presenters who don’t fit the typical ASJA mold in areas such as gender, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation/gender identity. We are especially interested in sessions that include editors, speakers who are not ASJA members, and ASJA-member speakers who have not spoken recently at our conferences. 

What do we need from you?

Be as clear and specific as possible. List the names of the presenters in your session. Discuss how your session will engage the audience, teach them something new, and/or help them make new connections with people who will hire them.

What does ASJA offer speakers?

We tightly control conference expenses in order to keep registration fees as low as possible. As a result, we cannot offer monetary compensation to presenters or reimburse travel expenses. Non-member speakers can attend the conference on the days of their presentations for free, and members get discounts for speaking.

All speakers will have an opportunity to ask the on-site bookstore to sell their most recent book. (NOTE: We cannot make guarantees about the books that will be offered by the bookstore.)

What if a speaker cannot attend on one of the conference days?

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to schedule sessions on a specific day, although we will consider requests. 

What happens next?

Applicants will be notified no later than October 28, 2019, about the status of their presentations. If your proposal is accepted, you will receive information about next steps, including information on how to register for the conference (with presenter discounts), what materials must be sent to the conference committee, and how to get your panel ready for show time. 

  • ASJA's 49th Annual Writers Conference - Call for Speakers

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson
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