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!



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.


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


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!



LA BinderCon Panel: Being a Writer While Having a Life

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!).

Being a Writer While Having a Life
(Julia Fierro, Claire Bidwell Smith, Natashia Deon, Steph Cha, Caeli Widger)

The writing life requires time, focus, and discipline—in front of the computer screen, and away from it. Crafting and maintaining a “writing life” requires the mastering of an altogether different art form: the balancing act of finding time and energy for your writing, your personal life, and, often, another job (or two). Authors Julia Fierro (Cutting Teeth), Claire Bidwell Smith (Rules of Inheritance and Life After This), Natashia Deon (Grace), Steph Cha (Follow Her Home, Beware Beware & Dead Soon Enough) and Caeli Widger (Real Happy Family) reveal how they successfully juggle writing with day jobs, parenting, teaching, and other life forces, and how they craft a “room of their own” and give themselves “permission” to write–often while managing friends and loved ones who don’t see writing as “real work.”


What BinderCon Means to Laura Shin

Laura Shin

We are so grateful to have Laura Shin on our Board of Advisors. Laura is a full-time freelancer with a prolific portfolio and track record of generously helping and educating other freelancers, so they can achieve financial stability in an ever-changing industry. You may have even taken her “Financially Successful Freelancing” or “Pretty Standard” contracts workshop at one of our events! Here’s why Laura believes in BinderCon:

I’ve long lamented the male-dominated leadership of many of the newsrooms I’ve worked in. I’ve wept at the VIDA literary count breakdowns showing how few women writers get bylines in our mainstream publications and how few female authors books get reviewed. And as a freelancer, I’ve wondered countless times whether my pitches would have had a different reception if I had had a white male name. Going to BinderCon and seeing so many different kinds of women writers pitching, connecting and sharing their knowledge transformed all those feelings of negativity into inspiration, hope and keyboard-pounding motivation. And to top it all off, the speeches, panels and workshops are the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking of any writing conference I’ve attended. We all strive to make our world the place we imagine it should be, but BinderCon does it more smartly than almost any organization around. – Laura Shin

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 14 days left until our Fund Drive ends!



Sponsor Shout-Out: The Harnisch Foundation

BinderCon is all about inspiring women: and Ruth Ann Harnisch is definitely inspiring. From her pioneering journalism and newsroom work in the 1970s to her philanthropic support of causes that help women and girls (as well as other minorities and silenced and disadvantaged individuals) make similar strides in their professions and personal lives.

As Ruth Ann put it herself to MSNBC in March of 2015, “We invest in journalism because people make decisions based on information, so we support diverse voices presenting high quality reliably sourced information to equip people to make decisions about their government, their health, their work.” We love that the Harnisch foundation puts so much time, effort, and funding into ensuring we have richer, more representative conversations in our media.

In the same interview, Ruth Ann explained the goals of the Harnisch Foundation, ones we whole heartedly support. “I hope the next generation will see every person as worthy of dignity and respectful treatment,” she said. “My hope is for a world in which everyone’s contributions are valued, in which individuals are free to fulfill their potential and are supported in their choices.” Amen to that!

We’re so pleased to be counted among the causes that the Harnisch Foundation supports, and to have a sponsor who has so long been devoted to our shared goal— to engage more women’s voices in conversation and celebrate the stories we have to tell. Thanks to the generosity of the Harnisch Foundation, we’ll be recording and archiving all BinderCon panels – and livestreaming all programming that takes place in the Cooper Union Great Hall (head over to our sessions page [http://nyc.bindercon.com/sessions] for more details on what’s being livestreamed).

And that’s not all: the Harnisch Foundation has also brought their decades of expertise to BinderCon NY 2015 session Blurred Lines: The Complicated Relationship Between Journalism and Documentary Filmmaking. Featured on this panel are award-winning filmmaker and Academy Award-nominated director Jehane Noujaim, Emmy award-winning documentary and news producer Alexandra Dean, cinematographer and director Kirsten Johnson, and Rada Film Group co-founder Michèle Stephenson.

We’re deeply grateful to the Harnisch Foundation for their commitment to promoting women’s voices. If you want to thank them, too, show them some love by following them on Facebook, Twitter, checking out the content in their Media Vault, apply for an Awesome Without Borders grant, and check out the current projects we’re proud to stand next to!


Sponsor Shout-Out: Bustle

Bustle and BinderCon have a lot in common. We’re both dedicated to sharing fresh voices and opinions, and helping writers find a place for their words online. Editor-in-chief Kate Ward explains Bustle’s goal as “[reaching] every millennial woman there is in the US”– which is something we can definitely get behind here at BinderCon. Bustle’s published pieces on everything from Halloween costumes you can wear to work to body positivity to the presidential debates to 90s slang and everything in between. We love their approach to covering the infinitely diverse topics women are interested in writing about and reading, and that there’s one more site out there that creates a space for diverse female voices online. That’s always a plus!

Not surprisingly, the Bustle team knows a whole lot about pitching – which is why Bustle’s Senior Features Editor Rachel Krantz is leading our Pitching 101 workshop at BinderCon. She’ll be offering tips on what to say (and more importantly, what not to say) in your initial correspondence with editors, as well as advice on how to appear professional and concise when you pitch to any publication. The session takes place Saturday, November 7th – the day before Speed Pitch – so you can soak up all of Rachel’s amazing tips in time to test-drive them on the editors you’re pitching!

And that’s not all: Bustle’s also the sponsor of all the fantastic workshops taking place at this year’s BinderCon. Excited to learn about podcasting, contracts, copywriting, and grants? You can thank our friends at Bustle for making those sessions possible.

Want to show your gratitude to Bustle for helping make BinderCon a possibility? Share the Bustle love! You can support them by following them on Facebook and Twitter, checking out their rad YouTube channel, and, of course, sending your pitches their way!


Sponsor Shout-Out: MailChimp

Lots of corporations and startups talk about diversity and creativity these days, but few really embody those values like MailChimp. They strive to make work interesting and fun, not only for the customers using their newsletter service but for their own employees. Chief Culture Officer Marti Wolf’s job has been described as “nurturing a culture of creativity,” and we see a lot in common with what she does at MailChimp and what we do here at BinderCon. MailChimp has had a big hand in the newsletter renaissance, transforming e-blasts from email clutter to a visually engaging storytelling tool for companies, nonprofits, and individuals alike. After all, the world always needs fresh ways to converse and connect. That’s one of the many reasons we work to support more diverse voices in media and publishing.

MailChimp also has a reputation for supporting creative endeavors and storytelling, whether that’s sponsoring podcasts like Serial or coming up with amazing schwag for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing like rad temporary tattoos celebrating wearables and women in tech. We’re proud to be included in their unique approach to corporate philanthropy. MailChimp has been an incredibly generous sponsor of BinderCon since 2014. At this year’s BinderCon New York MailChimp is sponsoring the Diversity in Late Night TV panel–and we couldn’t be more excited!


Featuring Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show), Aparna Nancherla (writer, Late Night with Seth Meyers), Grace Parra (host, White Guy Talk Show), and Christine Nangle (writer, Inside Amy Schumer, SNL), we can’t wait to delve into the unique contributions women can bring to one of America’s premier comedy blocks. There are so many opportunities in late night TV for humor, storytelling, and out-of-the-box concepts. We’re glad MailChimp felt an affinity for the panel, given their own unique approach to company culture, from their penchant for in-system easter eggs to fun coloring books for their employees.

A huge thanks once again to MailChimp for their continual support and belief in our own creative community at BinderCon. If you want to show them some love right back, you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook, subscribe to email updates.


Sponsor Shout-Out: The Harnisch Foundation

The Harnisch Foundation has been one of our most enthusiastic supporters from the very beginning. Their philanthropy is inspiring: progressive, fiercely value-driven, and with keen focus on creativity. Their objective is simple, but vital: supporting “the work of effective leaders and creative communities working to advance gender and racial diversity with a focus on women and girls.” They are furthermore devoted to exploring journalism’s possibilities for enacting social change. As you well know, BinderCon is committed to diversifying the media by empowering and bringing together women and gender non-conforming writers. So, ours is a perfect match, wouldn’t you say?

In October the HF underwrote a fantastic luncheon and keynote conversation between Emily Bell (Director of the Tow Center for Journalism) and former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson. HF Founder and President Ruth Ann Harnisch gave a lovely introduction to a packed room and what followed was a fascinating and invigorating discussion. This weekend, in Los Angeles, they will present a panel on reporting sexual assault, unfortunately a critical topic in our current climate. And we can always count on them to support us on Twitter – and to spread the word on news and issues relevant to feminist-centered journalism.

Speaking of which, here are just a few of the HF’s other inspiring projects: Funny Girls empowers girls between the ages of 10 and 13 to foster leadership skills through the practice of improvisational comedy. Ruth Ann Harnisch is one of the executive producers of The Hunting Ground, a documentary on campus sexual assault (and whose producer/director Amy Ziering will take part in the Harnisch panel). Awesome Without Borders provides grants to projects in TWENTY-NINE different countries. In fact, for the last two years, the HF has funded a grantee EACH WEEK. I mean, wow.

We’re thrilled to continue this wild ride with the Harnisch Foundation at our side.