ASJA Atlanta Conference Sessions


Dream of Being Pitch Perfect: Practice Your Skills With Top Editors

11:15AM - 12:15PM        ​

Get the inside scoop on what the editors of top publications need right now. The editors will give a brief overview of their publications and the types of pitches they want to receive. Then, step up to the mic and give your one-minute pitch-and receive immediate feedback. No pitch? No problem-you'll still learn from the discussion.

Dream of Breaking into Trade, Custom, Digital and Alumni Magazines

11:15AM - 12:15PM        ​

There has never been more work for writers – the secret is knowing where to look and how to catch an editor’s eye. In this session, learn how to build relationships with editors (what to do, what to avoid at all costs), how to keep your name top of mind when editors are assigning, ways to re-slant your research and sell your work to different, non-competing markets, how to pitch to custom magazines using your journalism clips, and much more. Featuring Tanisha Sykes, former personal finance editor at ESSENCE and Jennifer Goforth Gregory, successful content marketing writer.

Dream of Breaking in and Making Big Bucks from Business Writing

1:30PM - 2:30PM   

Love to Write, But Hate to Starve?
Exploring the $75+/Hour World of “Commercial” Writing!
You CAN make a GOOD living writing! Many businesses large and small rely on outside freelancers to handle their writing needs—and for a host of solid economic reasons. And they’re willing to pay handsomely (i.e. $50-125+ an hour). Join Peter Bowerman, author of the award-winning Well-Fed Writer titles ( and nationally renowned authority on lucrative commercial freelancing, for a fast-paced, informative, and entertaining workshop. You’ll study actual samples, and learn all the who, what, where, and how-to of turning your writing skills into a lucrative career with enviable lifestyle benefits. If you’ve dreamed of thriving as a writer, don’t miss it. 

Dream Bold: Writing about Tough Topics

1:30PM - 2:30PM   

Tackling Southern- Fried Tough Topics

How can writers accurately and fairly capture the flavor of the South when they uncover dark regional secrets? Join our panel discussion for an inside look at the challenges facing writers when they seek to reveal uncomfortable truths about Southerners. 

Dream of Expanding Opportunities

2:45PM - 3:45PM​

We’ll discuss how to give journalists new avenues for money-making and becoming a great success story. Writing is a skill. Editing is a skill. Project management is a skill. You’re not a professional until you have paying clients, and you don’t have a sustainable income until you have achieved cruising altitude with practice and business development.  How can you build a first assignment into a true career? This panel will outline classic and new strategies that are proven in today’s market. 

Dream of Publishing Your Book: Self-Publishing, Hybrid or Traditional

2:45PM - 3:45PM​

Moderator Echo Garrett, author of multi-award winning “My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change” (originally self-published and then sold for 6-figures to Random House) and 12 other books, has used all three methods of getting her books to market and will lead a discussion of the pros/cons of each. Panelists include: Daren Wang, executive director of the Decatur Book Festival (the nation’s largest book gathering) and author of the forthcoming novel “The Hidden Light of Northern Fires” (St. Martin’s Press); Peter Bowerman, author of “The Well-Fed Self Publisher" and a national expert of the topic; and Ahmad Meradji, CEO/founder of BookLogix, which offers self-publishing services as well as a hybrid model.

Dream of Building Your Personal Brand

4:00PM - 5:00PM​

Today's journalists and authors are in a tough spot. There are too many writers trying to land the same high-paying gigs. The answer? Create an amazing personal brand that makes you stand out. In this interactive session, award-winning author Beverly Harzog takes you through a few simple steps to help you identify your unique brand and how to use it your benefit. Whether you're a freelance journalist or an author, you'll come away from this session will the tools you need to take your writing business to the top.

Dream of Writing for Stage and Screen

4:00PM - 5:00PM​

Panelists Michael Lucker and Linda Sherbert, who are both industry professionals as well as instructors in writing scripts, bring decades of experience in stage and screen to Dream Bold Atlanta. Topics include adapting existing books, articles, real-life events, and other source materials to a script for performance for the camera or a live audience; how to get your work adapted; how to get your script read by the right people; and how to negotiate your deal. Both panelists will share advice and personal experiences (as well as weaving in advice for writing scripts as time permits). Michael teaches at Emory University and the University of North Georgia, and Linda teaches writing courses at the Alliance Theatre. 









  • 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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