ASJA 2019 DC Writers Conference

Friday, November 8, 2019
Trinity Washington University
Washington DC


Join us in Washington, D.C., for a one-day conference for nonfiction writers managing businesses in today’s rapidly changing media world. Learn how to launch or expand your freelance business, land better clients, break into major publications, and find new pathways for your talent. Improve your writing, researching, and interviewing skills and take your career to the next level – whether it’s tackling new content or writing a book.

A special DC edition of Client Connections will cap off the day. ASJA members, click here to see the full client list. Not an ASJA member? Click here to see a list of the publications that will be participating in this year's Client Connections, and apply for ASJA membership today!

Keynote Speaker: Dorothy Butler Gilliam

The Washington Post’s first black female reporter and author of Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More like America, (January 2019).

Gilliam’s career has spanned more than five decades as a journalist as well as an advocate for women’s rights, a civil rights activist and a renowned author. “Journalism took me places that I would not normally go,” Gilliam says.

Gilliam worked for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Post, and she worked as a freelance reporter and writer while raising her children. She also served as president of the National Association of Black Journalists and founding director of The Post’s Young Journalists Development Program. Read the press release here.

Click here to view the program agenda


Online registration is now closed, but onsite registration is still available at no extra charge. Please plan on arriving at 8:30 am to ensure a smooth and easy check in process.

Onsite Registration Pricing

Members $209
Non-members $239

*ASJA REFUND POLICY: ASJA will refund 100% of an attendee's registration remittance upon receipt of written notice of cancellation received by or before Thursday, August 1, 2019. 75% of your registration fee will be refunded if cancellation is received between Friday, August 2, 2019 and Thursday, October 17, 2019. There are no refunds after Thursday, October 17, 2019. Refunds may take up to 10 business days to process.

Testimonials from the last ASJA conference in DC, August 2015

“The conference exceeded my expectations. Presenters were knowledgeable and offered information and tips I could use immediately.”

“The event was excellent, lots of good ideas, tidbits, a sense of how much the freelancer community supports each other, excellent mix at the end of the day.”

“I was really happy I traveled for the conference. It was great to connect with other members, be inspired by the speakers, meet with clients and have my brain stretched.”

Testimonials from other ASJA regional conferences

"I think that I'll be hiring several of the writers who pitched me during client connections -- what's not
to love about that?" - Austin, 2018

"Thanks so much for the great organization, interesting program content, high professional level,
and the warm comradery, the only thing that wasn't great for me was having to choose which of
the parallel sessions to attend." - Chicago, 2017

Conference Co-Chairs

Christina Lyons is a freelance writer and editor based in the Washington, D.C., area, and covers a range of political, public policy, and human interest stories for local and national news websites and magazines, books, educational videos, and more. As part of her business, ByLyons LLC, Christina also writes memoirs and business histories and does genealogical research for clients. She was a longtime editor for Congressional Quarterly, including serving as co-editor and managing editor of Politics in America.

Emily Paulsen is a writer and editor based in the DC area. She focuses on health and healthcare topics for online and print publications, healthcare organizations, government agencies, and non-profit associations. A long-time ASJA member, she has co-chaired the DC chapter and currently serves on the ASJA board as Secretary.


Client Connections Coordinator

Lisa Rabasca Roepe is a freelance journalist who writes about the culture of work, technology, entrepreneurship, and beer and spirits. Her work has appeared in Fast Company, The Christian Science Monitor, OZY, Family Circle, Good, Quartz, The Atlantic’s City Lab, The Muse, The Week, HR Magazine, Men’s Journal, and Eater. She is a newly elected ASJA board member. 


Hotel & Travel Info

*sorted by closest proximity to the venue

Trinity Washington University - onsite dorm: Northeast Washington DC is a city center location and it's advisable that all guests be aware of their environment as the great numbers of students and commuters leave the area after business hours. For more information about the dorms, please click here. To book your reservation, click here. $90 per night for a single/double, $125 per night for a triple.

Marriott Courtyard Washington DC/US Capitol: 2.1 miles from Trinity Washington campus, 2 blocks to Union Market. Northeast Washington DC is a city center location and it's advisable that all guests be aware of their environment as the great numbers of students and commuters leave the area after business hours. To book your reservation, click here. $219 per night. Room block pricing ends 10/10/19

Delta »

Delta Air Lines is offering special discounted* airfares for ASJA members. Discounts vary, depending on the class of ticket purchased, up to 10% off the fare. Discount applies to round trip travel only.

*Please note the following:

  • The same code will now be used for both Domestic and International flights 
  • Discounts vary, depending on the class of ticket purchased, and apply to round trip travel only.
  • Not valid with other discounts, certificates, coupons or promotional offers.
  • Not all fares are eligible for discount; fare rules determine eligibility 

To take advantage of these Travel Discounts:

  • Visit website and click the Advanced Search link
  • Complete required fields, and enter meeting code: "NMSE9"
  • On the Search Results page, verify the discount is applied. (reminder: not all fare codes are eligible)
  • For detailed instructions on how to use the Delta Discount Code, click here.
  • You may also call Delta Meeting Network Reservations at 1.800.328.1111. (Please use the same phone number to make changes to an existing Delta Meetings Network reservation)
  • 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