29
Dec

Episode Five: The Many Influences of Jenny Lumet

The BinderCast is the only podcast exclusively devoted to women and gender non-conforming writers and their careers. In each episode, co-hosts Lux Alptraum and Leigh Stein tackle the essential questions of making it as a writer. Produced by Jennifer Lai.

How do our families shape our careers? What role do mentors play in helping us get ahead? Award winning screenwriter Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) shares how being the daughter of Hollywood royalty helped her get places that women of color don’t normally go – and how she persuaded Jonathan Demme to direct her first film.

Subscribe to The BinderCast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you find your podcasts.

Further reading:

Jenny Getting Noticed, The Wall Street Journal

Going Off Script, The LA Times

Growing Up With Two Icons, The New York Times

28
Dec

LA BinderCon Workshop: Get the Yes: Crafting Your Best Application for Residencies, Fellowships, Grants, and Workshops

Wondering what programming we have in store for you at LA BinderCon? We’ll be announcing all week – stay tuned for more (and be sure to buy your tickets while Early Bird level is still available!).

Get the Yes: Crafting Your Best Application for Residencies, Fellowships, Grants, and Workshops
(Glendaliz Camacho, Grace Jahng Lee)

Whether you’re applying for a writing residency, fellowship, grant, scholarship, or workshop, the process can be anxiety-provoking. How do you even find out about these opportunities? How do you decide which to apply to? What does an artist statement include? Who will write your recommendation letters if you lack literary networks? What do you include in a writer’s CV if you have no/few publications? How do you select your best writing sample? What are strategies for dealing with multiple rejections? For residencies, additional nail-biting may emerge: How do you take time off from work and family obligations to disappear into the woods to write for weeks? How will you finance your residency if you still have rent/bills to pay while away?

As women without MFAs who didn’t pursue writing until their 30s, the workshop leaders found themselves together on a residency on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. With experience as both applicants (awarded 15 residencies within two years and numerous grants, fellowships, scholarships) and selection committee members, they will share strategies to help participants to craft their best application package. They will provide an overview of funded opportunities for writers and lead an interactive workshop with exercises targeting the basic elements of every proposal. Participants are encouraged to bring a copy of a past application or one in-progress. A resource handout will be distributed.

28
Dec

LA BinderCon Panel: Writing for the Masses: Feminists of Color infiltrate Romance and Women’s Fiction

Wondering what programming we have in store for you at LA BinderCon? We’ll be announcing all week – stay tuned for more (and be sure to buy your tickets while Early Bird level is still available!).

Writing for the Masses: Feminists of Color infiltrate Romance and Women’s Fiction
(Aya de Leon, S. Evan Stubblefield, Sofia Quintero)

The annual VIDA count documents how women are second-class literary citizens. Nicola Griffith’s recent study shows that women’s rare wins of big awards are generally for books about male characters. But as women writers fight for change, how are we routinely preoccupied with breaking into the boys’ club? Are we dismissive of social change potential in the areas of the publishing industry that, although generally dismissed by industry elites, are thoroughly dominated by women.

In the ongoing literary/commercial fiction debate, genres such as romance and urban women’s fiction are frequently snubbed as being uniformly lowbrow and without literary merit. Literary fiction is often dismissed as having a narrow and elite audience, and no deep cultural relevance or resonance. How are women of color breaking this binary by intentionally engaging these genres as a form of literary activism? How can this mirror recent changes in television that have the potential to change the national conversation and inject the commercial literary landscape with subversive ideas and stories? How do queer love stories inherently disrupt the status quo?

Traditional feminist analysis has critiqued romance and women’s fiction based on many concerns: chronic preoccupation with men; narrow standards of beauty; tropes of female helplessness, incompetence, and sexual passivity; and the romanticization of male aggression and violence. Feminists of color and intersectional analyses have also critiqued its widespread Eurocentrism and preoccupation with the owning class and materialism. Given these critique histories, how do these women writers of color seek to revitalize and flip romantic and sentimental tropes by injecting them with feminist and activist themes? How do they engage issues of race, class, sexuality, gender, disability, and nationality for a mass audience? And for the long term, how do these writers hope to develop new hybrid genres that have a recognizable, intersectional feminist aesthetic?

28
Dec

LA BinderCon Panel: Tense & Sensibility: Ways to Tackle Tragedy in Young Adult

Wondering what programming we have in store for you at LA BinderCon? We’ll be announcing all week – stay tuned for more (and be sure to buy your tickets while Early Bird level is still available!).

Tense & Sensibility: Ways to Tackle Tragedy in Young Adult
(Brandy Colbert, Isabel Quintero, Lissa Price, Lilliam Rivera, Elizabeth Ross)

Whether you are writing a light-hearted novel, an action-packed fantasy, or a story in a contemporary setting, tackling tense emotional scenes can be tricky in young adult literature. Sometimes writers quickly fall prey to clichés, shying away from exposing real hurt for fear of alienating readers. But young adult readers can smell a fake. How can writers approach tense scenes without losing the young adult voice? Five award-winning young adult authors share how they navigate tragedy through the use of humor, action, even poetry. They will share tips on finding the right balance in your own writing while keeping the authentic young adult voice while offering examples of novels that exemplify the work.

23
Dec

LA BinderCon Panel: Digital Engagement Across Language Barriers

Wondering what programming we have in store for you at LA BinderCon? We’ll be announcing all week – stay tuned for more (and be sure to buy your tickets while Early Bird level is still available!).

Digital Engagement Across Language Barriers
(An Xiao Mina, P. Kim Bui, Daniela Gerson, Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed)

How do you reach an online audience that speaks another language? How do you engage with them and learn from them? How do you report on real-time news in other languages? This panel will look at different approaches to using social media across linguistic divides and will provide practical techniques to implementing them.

In a Los Angeles suburb with a majority Asian population, the police chief learned how to use Weibo (a Twitter-like Chinese social media platform) and transformed his relationship to his immigrant constituents. Last year Reported.ly launched an international newsroom across continents that facilitates conversation and uses social media for real-time reporting across languages. And this year, Meedan, a team building digital tools for global journalism and translation, is launching Bridge, an app to facilitate these connections for journalists, researchers and their communities in real time. They draw from their team’s collective experience translating social media from movements in Egypt and China.

This panel will look at their experiences of connecting people across linguistic divides via social media on local and international levels. It will also look at what producers can do to extend their reach, with emerging software, social media platforms, and growth opportunities.

23
Dec

How to Promote Your Writing — Tips from Writers

I recently asked our community of women and gender non-conforming writers to give us some of their best tips for self-promotion.

Here are some of our favorites:

Go Old School

“Believe it or not, post cards with the book cover on front and brief description along with buy info on the back, have been one of my most useful marketing tools. I keep several in my purse, and when people learn I’m a writer, they are the perfect way to tell them more about my book. Many times, people ask for extra cards so they can share them with friends.” -Jeanne Gassman

Become a Social Star (but not “That Writer”)

“Build a large Twitter presence. Tag editors you would like to see your work when you publish.” -Estelle Sobel Erasmus

And just how would you build that presence? Rebecca VanKoot had some suggestions:  “Genuine engagement. Follow people who you read or admire, or whose work is read by the audience you are hoping to reach. Get involved in conversations with them or their followers. Participate in Twitter chat events and conversations around trending hashtags, if they are actually interesting and you have something real to say. When you share links to stuff you love, tag both the author and the publication.”

Rachel Charlene adds, “Avoid being “that writer” who’s always going on and on about their book on social media. It’s annoying, and you just end up clogging people’s feeds with the same thing over and over again. Also – be careful about creating graphics and promo materials on your own. Props to every writer who chooses to take on social media, but be sure you have the skill-level necessary – no one wants to be the writer who has no idea what they’re doing, posts *only* about their book, and shares hideous graphics. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other writers (and graphic designers) for help and feedback!”

Advertise on Facebook

Lauren Hudgins says that Facebook ads are less expensive than you’d think. “You can target people based on their age, gender, location, and interests. Consider posting one of your articles or book listing to your Page and putting a little money behind it. You can run an ad for as little as you like. Try just putting in $5,” she says.

Connect with Other Writers & Practice Pitching

I think interacting with other writers is important. I often share (and tag) essays and stories, contest winners and books that I’m excited about. Cheering for one another is a good way to participate in a community while also getting your name out there.” -Courtney Gillette

Jennifer Baker agrees, and adds:  “Definitely do the pitch sessions and practice. Making those connections where editors and agents see your personality can be helpful to getting your work read and considered more thoughtfully. And second connecting with other writers because you can pump each other up! I’ve maintained contact with several binders I met this year and who have been super generous. Be considerate and polite!”

Still More Tips & Resources:

Watch the “How to Win Friends and Influence Editors/Agents: Networking Like a Binder” video from BinderCon NY.

Check out this listing of resources on building a platform.

Join Us in L.A. on March 19 & 20, 2016 for BinderCon LA, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Drum up some good karma by donating to the BinderCon Year-End Fund Drive.

Sign Up for our email list for more great info & resources.

We hope these tips help get your creative self-promotion ideas rolling.

~Andrea

 

 

 

22
Dec

BinderCon Success Stories #2

Could you use a little writing inspiration today? Installment #2 of our BinderCon Writer Success Stories includes experiences from Nana Brew-Hammond & Lisa Roepe:

nanaWhat continues to inspire me most about BinderCon is that it exists. It’s real, it’s here, and it came together so quickly! …The fact the founders capitalized on the momentum and went for it continues to motivate me as I work to manifest some of my creative ideas. Big ideas don’t have to die because there are time and resource limitations; they can come together especially when you have a supportive community and lots of likeminded help.” – Nana Brew-Hammond

 

roepe“Fast Company is a publication I read all the time but I never would have the guts to pitch them without the opportunity to speed pitch their editor at BinderCon. I am so thrilled to have pitched this article and then had this published on their site today. What a way for me to end my first year as a full-time freelancer! (Read Lisa’s article: Are Gen X Women Being Squeezed Out of the Workplace?) This would not have been possible without the support of BinderCon. In fact, just about every one of my freelancing gigs can be traced back to the support I get from other Binders so thank you!” – Lisa Roepe

 


BinderCon Fund DriveIf you believe in the work BinderCon is doing to create an inspirational and intersectional community of writers, join the movement and donate today.

There are only 9 days left until our Fund Drive ends!


 

22
Dec

LA BinderCon Workshop: Can You See It? Using Comics and Sketching to Develop your Writing

Wondering what programming we have in store for you at LA BinderCon? We’ll be announcing all week – stay tuned for more (and be sure to buy your tickets while Early Bird level is still available!).

Can You See It? Using Comics and Sketching to Develop your Writing
(Betsy Streeter)

What happens when you explore your writing in a new format? Do you learn things you didn’t know about your characters? Do your ideas take a different form? What if your piece was a comic? An infographic? A single panel?

In this workshop, learn how incorporating principles of comics, cartooning, and storyboarding can open up your perspective. Learn the basics of laying out a comic, and try out your own ideas or challenge Betsy to visualize them for you. Give yourself some time and space to be silly or even confused.

The goal of this workshop is for every participant to leave with a new view of her work, and inspiration to think beyond words on a page or pixels on a screen.

21
Dec

Where does the money go?

Out of the Binders is a non-profit devoted to advancing the careers of women and gender non-conforming writers by connecting them with the skills, knowledge, and networking opportunities they need to get ahead as authors, journalists, screenwriters, TV writers, playwrights, poets, and more.

In the interest of full transparency, and as a part of our Year-End Fund Drive we’ve created this handy chart so you can see where the money goes.

Please join the movement and donate today.

Out of the Binders Budget 2015

21
Dec

BinderCon Success Stories #1

During the month of December we’ve been collecting writing success stories from our wonderful community of women and gender non-conforming writers. These anecdotes are music to our ears–the very reason we volunteer our time. We hope they inspire you.

Stay tuned, we’ll be posting more of these stories over the coming 10 days.

Alicia Wallace“BinderCon inspired me over and over again. I kept a notebook and pen in my hand through every session because they all sparked so many new ideas, gave me new perspectives, and got me excited about new and existing projects. The weekend was comfortable, inspiring, and intimate. I met people who told other people about me, and some of those people sought me out. I attended a fantastic session, but wasn’t able to stay until the end, but wanted to talk to one of the speakers. The next day, she stopped me and said someone told her about me, and she wanted to chat. It was like BinderMagic. This camaraderie and kindness opened new doors, built new relationships, and gave me confidence in my ability to articulate my work and my passion. There aren’t many other conferences where people make the effort to connect others, but BinderCon attracts women and gender nonconforming people and creates a supportive, nurturing environment to benefit us all. Three connections I made at BinderCon have led to new relationships, development, and opportunities in my writing, professional, and personal life.” – Alicia Wallace

 

Julia Phillips“BinderCon has transformed my career and my self-confidence as a writer. In 2014, I attended a weekend’s worth of panels focused on starting out as a freelancer. In 2015, I returned with a year’s worth of clips under my belt, participated in the Pitching 101 workshop to cement my knowledge of the basics, and sold stories to two major publications at Speed Pitch.” – Julia Phillips

 

 


If you believe in the work BinderCon is doing to create an inspirational and intersectional community of writers, join the movement and donate today.

There are only 10 days left until our Fund Drive ends!