2008-02-01: Literary Journalist Melissa Fay Greene to Address ASJA Annual Writers Conference

NEW YORK, February 1, 2008 — Award-winning literary journalist and book author Melissa Fay Greene will be the keynote speaker at the 37rd annual American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Writers Conference Saturday, April 12, 2008, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

Greene's luncheon presentation will highlight the three-day conference, offering educational workshops, panel presentations and mentoring programs on the business and craft of nonfiction freelance writing and publishing.

Georgia-native and Oberlin (Ohio) College graduate, Melissa Fay Greene, is author of four books: Praying for Sheetrock (1991), The Temple Bombing (1996), Last Man Out (2003) and There is No Me Without You (2006). As a literary journalist, Greene immerses herself in issues ranging from civil rights and religion to a Canadian mining tragedy, and the African AIDS epidemic and its resultant orphan crisis. Her writing style relies on in-depth research and reporting combined with compelling narrative nonfiction techniques. Greene has written essays and articles for the New Yorker, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and the Washington Post, among other publications. Her first book, Praying for Sheetrock, won the Robert F. Kennedy and Lillian Smith Book Awards and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She and her husband, Donald Samuel, are parents of nine, including five adopted children.

The 37rd annual ASJA Writers Conference a wide variety of educational sessions with authors, editors, literary agents and publishers on a range of topics, including environmental, investigative and medical journalism; biographical, humor and opinion writing; book publishing and securing movie rights; emerging media and technology trends; and business management and promotional techniques for freelance writers. Programming will also include one-on-one "pitch" sessions with agents and editors, and opportunities for personal mentoring with professional writers. Representatives of several of the nation's leading magazines will participate, notably AARP The Magazine, Audubon, Better Homes & Gardens, E! Magazine, Family Circle, New York Times Magazine, Outside, Redbook, Self and Wired. In addition, electronic and Web-based media professionals are scheduled to appear on selected panels during the three-day conference.

ASJA, the nation's leading organization for nonfiction writers celebrating its 60rd year in 2008, has more than 1,300 members, all of whom who have met strict standards for professional achievement. For a full program and to register for the 37rd annual ASJA Writers Conference, visit www.asja.org/wc/ and sign up to receive regular conference updates via email.

  • 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
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    – Lawrence Welk
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    – Robert Benchley
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    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
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    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
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    –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