ASJA Educational Foundation

The Foundation of a Successful Freelance Career

The ASJA Educational Foundation was launched in 2010 and embodies a new approach to our longstanding educational mission. The Foundation's largest event, the annual ASJA Writers Conference, is held each Spring in New York City and has been bringing freelance writers together in the nation's media capital for more than 40 years. The annual conference is supplemented by regional conferences.

The ASJA Educational Foundation is a program of the ASJA Charitable Trust, a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax-deductible and we invite your support.

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Foundation Leadership

MINDA ZETLIN, Program Chair of the Foundation; Board member, ASJA Charitable Trust
As Program Chair for the ASJA Educational Foundation, Minda Zetlin helps oversee all of ASJA's educational events. She is immediate past president of ASJA, as well as a two-time annual conference chair. She's a speaker on leadership topics, author or co-author of six books, most recently The Geek Gap, and writes the daily Laid-Back Leader column at Inc.com, the Inc. magazine website.

JOANNE Y. CLEAVER, Development Chair of the Foundation
Joanne Cleaver has been advocating for lifelong economic and career self-sufficiency since she launched her career as a freelance journalist, in 1981. She has been a member of ASJA since 1994. In 2013, working with a highly talented committee of ASJA members, she conceived and launched Content Connections, the new ASJA conference focused on corporate and content work. Cleaver is a nationally published journalist whose work has appeared in publications from Crain's Chicago Business to Working Mother to Good Housekeeping to Inc. She designed and managed Working Woman magazine's Top 25 Companies for Executive Women, then spun off that methodology to manage industry-specific research that measures and supports the advancement of women. The Career Lattice (McGraw Professional, 2012) is Cleaver's seventh book.



SHERRY BECK PAPROCKI, President ASJA Charitable Trust; President ASJA
Sherry Beck Paprocki is an award-winning journalist, author and social media strategist. She is president of R.S. Rock Media, Inc., a content firm that creates niche magazines and websites for publishing companies, nonprofits, small businesses and big personalities. She is also the former national communications manager for the National Inventor Hall of Fame Foundation’s Camp and Club Invention programs. Her books include The Complete Idiot's Guide to Branding Yourself (Alpha, 2009), as well as several juvenile biographies for Chelsea House focused on big personalities including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Katie Couric and others.

MILTON TOBY, Vice President ASJA Charitable Trust; Vice President ASJA
Milton Toby is the author of eight nonfiction books and scores of magazine articles about the horse industry. Milt also is an attorney, a frequent presenter on copyright and contract issues, and a past chairman of ASJA’s Contracts & Conflicts Committee. 

  • 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