Kasey's Comments - February
We’re getting down to the proverbial wire now, people. The conference
rate hotel rooms are filling up, the speakers are gearing up, and the excitement
and anticipation have ratcheted up another dozen notches.
Me? I’m figuring it doesn’t matter that I already broke my
annual New Year’s resolutions to eat less, sleep more, and work diligently
at my computer every day. I still have time to find a way to lose ten pounds,
get a facelift, and assemble an entire wardrobe (translation: although the conference
is casual, pj’s are not usual attire in New York), before climbing into
the not so famous Bieber Bus and heading for the not quite as infamous as it
used to be New York Port Authority and a cab ride to the snazzy Affinia Manhattan. I
am woman, I can schlepp my own suitcases up escalators and onto the street!
Well, at least the Affinia Manhattan staff will hand me a “welcoming refreshment” when
I stagger to the front desk. A little later, our fearless leader, Laura
Resnick, is hosting a “welcome gathering” (please, Lord, let there
be “refreshment” in the Ninc suite), where I will pick up my nametag
and program booklet and pretend I’m not doing a boob (or chest hair) inspection
as I lean in close to read other nametags. Still, I’ve found myopia
to be a great conversation starter: “Hi, I’m not really staring
at your chest …”
Luckily, Ninc conference goers are a cheery bunch, and if you don’t know
anybody when you arrive, you’ll know most everybody before you leave (I’ll
still be squinting at nametags, but that’s just me…). In between
that first tentative hello and a fierce hug goodbye, get ready for some fantastic
workshops and the pleasure of meeting our keynote speaker, Theresa Rebeck.
While rummaging around the Internet, I found Theresa’s website (TheresaRebeck.com),
and learned that she’s a playwright, has written for TV, the movies, and
will soon see her first published book of comedic essays about writing and show
business, Free Fire Zone. Some of the first chapter is online
at her website, and I stumbled over this gem:
“In any case, over the years I've begun to see … how little information
novice [script] writers have about how the business really works--things like,
how to get a play produced, what a producer does, to spot a big fat lie, what
megalomaniacs are like to work for, things like that.”
Even if I never attempt a script, I sure do want to know how to spot “a
big fat lie.” What megalomaniacs are like to work for? Not
so much …
I emailed Jenny Crusie about the topic she’ll speak on with her editor,
Jennifer Enderlin: Taking Chances In Publishing. Although
I figured we’re all doing that every day, I asked her to give me a little
blurb on her workshop and she wrote back, “Jennifer and Jenny talk about
the risks they’ve taken and why they’d do it again.”
Okay. Nice to know we won't need to talk either one of them down from the
Brooklyn Bridge — but what are some of those "chances" writers
might decide to take, and what are the benefits, the possible pitfalls? It's
going to be a packed room for Taking Chances In Publishing. Don't
Here’s some other fun topics:
The Exploding YA Market. Ah, good news.
Multi-published Yet Stuck Without An Agent? Tell me why! Hey,
this one showcases a panel of three agents. Nothing like going to the source.
Will a Publicist Help Your Career? I don’t know about the
rest of you, but I’m looking for all the help I can get.
The Art of the Deal, with Robert Gottlieb. Deal me in (sorry,
couldn’t resist …).
And let’s not forget the agent and editor Roundtables, the innovative way
Ninc has found to get everyone face-to-face in a casual, free-flowing setting.
I could go on (and on – because there isn’t a bad workshop or Night-Owl
session in the bunch), but all you have to do is go to the Ninc website for a
full rundown of every high-energy thing that’s happening between the Welcome
Gathering March 27 through the Sunday night After-Party, where we can let down
our hair and play a little writer-directed game called Your Money or Your
Life (What is this? Don’t ask me, I just write the column. But
I know we can bring our own “refreshment”).
Anyway, as long as you’re going to the website to check out all the goodies,
stop by the sign-up page and lock yourself in for the conference and your very
own mini-suite at the Affinia Manhattan.
There is no downside to this conference, none. It’s New York. It’s
a fabulous hotel. We’re all pretty nifty people we’ll be glad
to meet. The sessions are bursting with information all us in-the-trenches
writers need to know. And Ninc still remains the biggest bang for your
But it’s also February. The time for dithering is over. Come
to New York, Open A New Window, and let’s make 2008 the Year Of Great Things
for all of us!
Conference at a Glance
- March 27-30, 2008
- Affinia Manhattan
- Hotel Room: $219/night
- Conference Registration: $360
Ninc President-elect 2008