July 22-24, 2021
VIRTUAL

 

Author Archive

Chris Bohjalian

“As much as I love writing (the verb), I probably love writing (the noun) even more. I doubt anyone becomes a serious novelist who doesn’t love reading: savoring paragraphs that precisely capture longing or dread or desire. Being riveted by a plot twist that is utterly surprising but, you realize, perfect, because it was inevitable.”

—Chris Bohjalian

Critically acclaimed novelist Chris Bohjalian uses his gripping fiction to explore contemporary social issues and how they play out in the lives of ordinary people, as well as to shed light on some of the most important moments in history. His writing delves into such topics as domestic violence, global climate change, gender identity, genocide, adultery, animal rights, adoption, homelessness, mental illness, and human trafficking with equal facility. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 20 books, and his work has been translated into over 35 languages.

Midwives, an Oprah’s Book Club selection and a #1 New York Times bestseller, is a contemporary classic whose central questions of individual and societal responsibility remain just as pressing today as when the book was first published. Among Bohjalian’s many standout titles since then have been the New York Times bestsellers The Guest RoomThe Sleepwalkerand The Sandcastle Girls, in which Bohjalian tackles the weighty topic of the Armenian genocide in an “intricately nuanced romance” that Julie Kane of Library Journal called “simply astounding.”

Another bestseller, Bohjalian’s novel The Flight Attendant came out in 2018 to rave reviews. In this “expertly turned thriller” (USA Today), a flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, next to a dead manwith no idea what happened. The Washington Post, which named it one of the ten best thrillers and mysteries of the year, said, “Filled with turbulence and sudden plunges in altitude, The Flight Attendant is a very rare thriller whose penultimate chapter made me think to myself, ‘I didn’t see that coming.’” A television adaptation of The Flight Attendant starring Kaley Cuoco is in development as an original series for HBO Max.

In his forthcoming novel, The Red Lotus, Bohjalian tells the story of a Manhattan ER doctor whose boyfriend vanishes while the couple vacations in Vietnam. In a twisting story of love and deceit she must uncover a series of strange revelations, forcing her to confront the fact that much of what she knew about her boyfriend was a lie. The Red Lotus is out in spring 2020.

Bohjalian’s masterful plotting evokes a magician who distracts his audience to look this way, not that way… Fans of Bohjalian know to expect the unexpected and, thanks to his creativity and cunning, readers usually get walloped by one heck of a plot twist by book’s end.

—USA Today

Bohjalian is also a playwright and screenwriter. His first play, Grounded, premiered at the 59 East 59th Theatres in New York City directed by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris, and was released as the Ebook Wingspan by Vintage. He is currently adapting his novel The Sleepwalker for film with Scott Simonsen of Fresh Pond Productions, as well as a stage production of Midwives, which will premiere at the George Street Playhouse in early 2020.

Bohjalian’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by The Washington PostThe St. Louis Post-DispatchThe Hartford CourantThe Milwaukee Journal SentinelPublishers WeeklyLibrary JournalKirkusBookpage, and Salon. Bohjalian has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostCosmopolitanReader’s Digest, and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. He was a weekly columnist in Vermont for The Burlington Free Press from 1992 to 2015.

His awards include the New England Book Award, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian genocide, the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, and other honors. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bohjalian graduated from Amherst College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the photographer Victoria Blewer.

For more information about Chris Bohjalian, please visit him on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or at chrisbohjalian.com.

Personal Essay Essentials: How to Break Into Print with First-Person Writing

This exclusive pre-conference workshop kicks off the 2020 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference weekend on Thursday, November 5th. Seats are limited, so register today!

In this workshop, Windy Lynn Harris—founder of Market Coaching for Creative Writers and author of Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work Published—will teach you how to find publication success in the coveted literary magazine market by crafting and selling short personal essays. Packed with practical advice, this class includes:

  • Personal essay writing defined in detail.
  • A step-by-step guide to crafting personal essays.
  • A revision plan for short creative prose.
  • An overview of literary magazines and how they impact your career.
  • Finding the right magazine for each of your essays.
  • Submitting your work professionally.
  • Making authentic connections with literary magazine editors.
  • Essay chapbooks and full-length collections—other opportunities for your essays.
  • Copyright, contracts, and the rights you sell.

Bonus: Are you writing a memoir? Having essay bylines on your resume are impressive to literary agents, build your pre-publication platform, and can be an essential part of your marketing efforts once your book is in print. In this session, Windy will also cover how to take a chapter from your memoir and revise it into an essay while keeping the rights of the larger project intact. 

Who this session is for

  • Writers of all levels who want to explore essay writing
  • All memoir writers
  • Essayists who want to get published
  • Bloggers who want to expand into literary magazines

REGISTER NOW

Windy Lynn Harris writes personal essays, short stories, flash, nonfiction, and novels from her desk in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. She is the author of Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work Published and a frequent speaker at literary events around the country. Her work has been published across the US and Canada in places like The Literary Review, 34th Parallel, Pithead Chapel, The Sunlight PressLiterary Mama, Sasee, and Chahoots, and many other journals. Learn more about Windy at her website:  www.windylynnharris.com

Crafting Flash

At 1000 words or less, flash fiction and flash memoir represent the smallest of our creative stories. Flash writing includes mini-essays, vignettes, prose poems, lists, fables, and rants, among other more traditional narratives. A flash piece might look like a recipe card or a postcard or even a report card. Anything goes!

Great news: Flash is one of the most sellable pieces of writing in today’s journals. Join this session and learn how to add your voice to this segment of publishing. You’ll leave with information, inspiration, and a list of 100 magazines acquiring flash today.

Rock Your Revisions

Most people think revision is something you do in an afternoon, manuscript and red pen in hand. They think once that first draft is done, the book is practically finished. Writers know better. You know that when it comes time to revise your fiction, trying to juggle all the story elements at once will leave you frustrated and your manuscript in shambles.

In this session, Gabriela will walk you through her signature Pyramid Method for revision, a layer-by-layer approach for a smoother revision and a stronger final draft. You’ll leave this session with a concrete plan and actionable timeline so you can power through and rock your revisions.

#WDC21 and COVID-19

NEW UPDATE!

7 May 2021 

 Dear Writer’s Digest Community, 

Our venue, the New York Hilton Midtown, had hoped to reopen in March, but during a recent meeting, they let us know they wouldn’t be able to reopen until July 1. 

The closure through July 1 poses a problem for us with the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference scheduled to be there about three weeks later. The risk is just too great to move forward with an in-person event in July 2021, along with prioritizing the health and safety of all of our attendees, speakers, staff, and other vendors. We’d run the risk of having the target reopen date extended and we’ve been hearing from our literary agent outreach for the pitch slam that the publishing world is not returning to NYC until the fall, which was making locking in agents for the slam VERY difficult 

 The Hilton gave us some options for moving our dates, but we feel the best solution is to return in the summer of 2022. However, we would like to move forward with a simplified virtual version of the conference during the same or similar time period this July. There will not be a virtual version of the pitch slam this year. We will have more information on the virtual version of the conference soon. We are closing registration while we transition the website with further details and pricing for the virtual version of the conference. 

While we’re disappointed we won’t be able to meet in-person again this year, we do have several things to look forward to: 

  • A virtual version of the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in July 2021. More details to come next week! 
  • 2022 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference dates announced soon! 
  • 2021 Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference is still moving forward with an in-person event October 21-24, 2021 in Pasadena, CA 

Please be on the lookout for updates on our website, social media accounts, and via email. We hope everyone is staying healthy and don’t forget to keep writing! 

 

26 March 2021

A lot of progress has been made in the last two months in the fight against COVID-19. Cases are decreasing or have plateaued and vaccination rates increase every day. Writer’s Digest Annual Conference is STILL hopeful we will be able to meet in-person this July. However, there is still a lot of COVID-related uncertainty in 2021 and WD wants to take the proper steps to ensure all of our speakers, attendees, exhibitors, and staff are as safe as possible. In addition to planning a virtual back-up event, we will extend the same flexible cancellation policy for 2021 as we did in 2020, allowing attendees to cancel, if needed, once they’ve registered for a full refund. We are monitoring vaccination rates and state/federal travel guidelines very closely and will post updates on our website and via email. 

Here’s a short list of how we are planning and what we are doing to ensure the safety of our speakers, attendees, exhibitors, vendors, and staff.  

  • Flexible cancellation policy 
  • Monitoring vaccination rates 
  • Adhering to state/federal regulations and adjusting to changes as they come 
  • Working closely with the venue on updated/increased cleaning procedures and technologies
  • Adding social distancing signage in public venue areas as well as in the event space
  • Updated meeting room sets to accommodate for increased distancing 
  • Working with vendors on safety regulations and cleaning procedures 
  • Gauging interest and comfort levels from speakers for in-person and virtual session options  

There will certainly be updates and additions to this list as things progress. Please be on the lookout for updates on our website, social media, accounts, and via email. We hope everyone is staying healthy and don’t forget to keep writing! #WDC21

 

28 January 2021

Writer’s Digest Annual Conference is hopeful we will be able to meet in-person this July. There is still a lot of COVID-related uncertainty in 2021 and WD wants to take the proper steps to ensure all of our speakers, attendees, exhibitors, and staff are as safe as possible. In addition to planning a virtual back-up event, we will extend the same flexible cancellation policy for 2021 as we did in 2020, allowing attendees to cancel, if needed, once they’ve registered for a full refund. We are monitoring vaccination rates and state/federal travel guidelines very closely and will post updates on our website and via email. 

Here’s a short list of how we are planning and what we are doing to ensure the safety of our speakers, attendees, exhibitors, vendors, and staff.  

  • Flexible cancellation policy 
  • Monitoring vaccination rates 
  • Adhering to state/federal regulations and adjusting to changes as they come 
  • Working closely with the venue on updated cleaning procedures and distancing 
  • Working with vendors on safety regulations and cleaning procedures 
  • Gauging interest and comfort levels from speakers for in-person and virtual session options  

There will certainly be updates and additions to this list as things progress. Please be on the lookout for updates on our website, social media, accounts, and via email. We hope everyone is staying healthy and don’t forget to keep writing! #WDC21

 

25 June 2020

Writer’s Digest Annual Conference 2020 is going VIRTUAL!

New Dates: November 5 –7, 2020

The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference—NEW DATES: November 5-7, 2020—is going virtual for the safety of our attendees, speakers, staff, exhibitors, and partners. We did not come to this decision lightly but feel it is the best course of action for all parties involved.

Now, on to the fun part! What can you expect from the virtual #WDC20? The best writing instruction, inspiration, and publishing advice possible all from the comfort of your own home with flexibility to view sessions when it works for you! We’ve done a lot of research and have partnered with an exciting virtual event platform called Intrado. While the platform is easy to use, it will not be your run-of-the-mill Zoom or GoToWebinar virtual experience.

Registration is now open and we’re working on some exciting surprises. We’ll be providing more information on what to expect, the new platform, and everything #WDC20 in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for announcements on our website www.writersdigestconference.com and on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime, keep writing and stay healthy!

– The WD Team

 

12 May 2020 

Dear #WDC20 Attendees, 

We are now about three months away from the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. The situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly with new and different regulations state to state. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the virus, especially those who are considered essential to keeping us safe, healthy, and well-fed.  

We’re still working on our go-forward plan for the conference but we’re getting closer and expect to have an official update for you in a few weeks. We continue to work on an awesome program and will start sending out programming announcements once we have an official update.  

Keep checking this page and rest assured we will email you when we have concrete information to share. 

Stay well and be safe. 

-The WD Team 

Useful Resources 

 

27 March 2020

Dear #WDC20 Attendees,

We are now about four and a half months away from the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. The situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has changed dramatically in recent weeks and our thoughts are with everyone affected by the virus, especially those who are considered essential to keeping us safe, healthy, and well-fed. 

Because we’re a hopeful group, we still believe we’ll be able to safely gather together in August to celebrate writing and writers. That said, we are considering alternatives should the situation dictate such a response. But, because we don’t anticipate having enough information to make those decisions for several weeks yet, we will be taking a hiatus from sending event emails. We don’t feel it’s appropriate to announce new programming or keynotes at this time, and we don’t want to clog your inboxes with the same COVID-19 message each week. 

Keep checking this page and rest assured we will email you when we have concrete information to share.

Stay well and be safe.

-The WD Team

Useful Resources

 

13 March 2020

Dear #WDC20 Attendees,

Although our Annual Conference in New York City is still more than 5 months away, we know concerns about COVID-19 are growing and we want to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the situation.

Many places in the U.S. now encourage social distancing and the minimization of large gatherings over the next several weeks in order to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. We remain hopeful that these measures will work and that our conference will go on as planned.

We’re still looking forward to offering you the best writing instruction, inspiration, and publishing advice on August 13-16, 2020 at the Hilton Midtown in New York City, but we’ll also be developing contingency plans over the next several weeks should the situation necessitate an alternative approach.

If necessary, you’ll be able to cancel your reservation without penalty by June 30, 2020 by which time we’ll all have a much better sense of what’s happening.

For the most current updates, keep an eye out for future emails, follow @WritersDigest on Twitter, and bookmark this page which we’ll be updating regularly.

– The WD Team

Useful Resources