On October 29 & 30, 2016, we’ll be livestreaming all the panels and keynotes taking place in the Cooper Union Great Hall. Check this page on October 29 to find links to the livestream starting at 10 AM ET! The livestream is sponsored by The Harnisch Foundation.
Full recordings of Anna Quindlen and Leigh Stein Keynote Conversation and Pitching 101 with Bustle/Romper are now available for viewing. Also, the video for Page to Stage to Screen has been updated. Links to these and all other past and future sessions can also be found below.
Saturday October 29
Sunday October 30
|10:30-11:45am||Sports Journalism: First Pitch To Final Out And The Trolling In Between|
|12-1:15pm||Obscenesters: Queer Writers Outside Your Comfort Zones|
|2:45-4pm||Page To Stage To Screen|
|4:15-5:30pm||Porochista Khakpour And Elif Batuman Keynote Conversation With Allison Wright|
Leigh Stein is the author of three books, and the co-founder and Executive Director of Out of the Binders, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to advancing the careers of women and gender non-conforming writers. Her début novel The Fallback Plan made the “highbrow brilliant” quadrant of New York magazine’s “Approval Matrix,” and her poetry collection Dispatch from the Future was selected for Publishers Weekly‘s Best Summer Books of 2012 list, and the Rumpus Poetry Book Club. Land of Enchantment, her memoir about young love, obsession, abuse, and loss, is just out from Plume. She has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Allure, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Salon, and Slate.
For her advocacy work, Stein has been called a “leading feminist” by the Washington Post, and honored as a “woman of influence” by New York Business Journal.
Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists. She is the author of eight novels: Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue, Blessings, Rise and Shine, Every Last One, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, and Miller’s Valley. Her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, published in 2012, was a number one New York Times bestseller. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at The New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections, Living Out Loud and Thinking Out Loud. Her Newsweek columns were collected in Loud and Clear.
Stephanie Foo, Elizabeth Bales Frank, Maria Gagliano, Ayesha Pande, and Joanna Rothkopf
An agent writes “Wonderfully written, beautifully done, not for me.” An editor writes “We can’t use this, but please try us again.” Why does this happen, and what does it mean? A panel of editors and agents will provide a behind-the-scenes look into the factors beyond the merit of a work which lead to rejection, from saturated subject matter to lack of personal resonance. Panelists will discuss how they shape their lists or their issues and recommend how to make the most from the blow of “no” (hint: create a submission strategy!)
What goes in a perfect pitch? From a senior editor who reads a high volume of pitches every day, learn what to say (and more importantly, what not to say) in your initial correspondence, and tips on appearing professional and concise. In the second half of the workshop, we’ll look at a couple of pitches from workshop participants and offer constructive feedback—so if you have a pitch you’ve been dying to send somewhere, bring it here first!
Hannah Wood, May Chen, Kristine Puopolo, and Emily Gould
Are you interested in a career in publishing? Eager to know what happens when a submission lands in an editor’s inbox? Curious about what editors actually do all day? Inspired by the popular Editor “Binders Ask Me Anything” session on Facebook, we’ve put together a diverse panel of editors from across the industry, who will draw on their varied personal and professional experience to answer your burning questions! Non-traditional publishing models can also be addressed. From the publishing process to good and bad author behavior to rejected projects that went on to be great successes, (almost) nothing is off-limits.
Beth Haller, Kathi Wolfe, Emily Ladau, Day “Deena” Al-Mohamed, and Sonya Huber
Narratives about both real and fictional disabled people should not be infused with inspiration or dripping with pity, but how do we persuade editors, publishers, fellow writers and other media makers to create full-bodied disabled characters? How can we move disability out of the realm of ableist metaphors in our writing? How can we write more fully about disability identity when it merges with other identities? How can we use writing as a means of sharing stories that lead to better dialogue about key issues regarding disability? This panel will offer guidance and insight for writing about disability in three-dimensional and intersectional ways.
Elena Bergson, Latria Graham, Jen A. Miller, Mary Pilon, and Jenisha Watts
From Serena Williams to Simone Biles to Katie Ledecky, the world is talking about female athletes—but what about the women who are writing about sports? What avenues are open to women interested in this brand of journalism—and will getting more women in the bylines reduce the rampant sexism in sports journalism? This panel brings together editors, freelancers, and staff writers from online and print publications to discuss their careers in covering sports: from breaking in as a freelancer, to cultivating relationships with editors, and supporting the work of other female journalists online.
Tina Horn, Yana Calou, merritt k, and Milcah Halili Orbacedo
The potential of the written word to disturb and offend is more relevant now than ever before.
Conservatives continue to demand that literature reflect certain values, while progressives push for an understanding of the traumatic effect that extreme content can have. Yet some of the most important literature and journalism emerges from an urgent need to disrupt the status quo; and if you’re going to make an omelette, you might have to offend a few eggs. Between censorship and trigger warnings, how do we preserve a space for writing that experiments with sex, violence, profanity, bodies in flux, and other extreme subjects?
Join four queer nonfiction writers as we make the case for the social good of unladylike language and disgusting subject matter. Each of us is fascinated by content that makes people squirm: pleasure, plain, power, profanity, blood, skin, and guts. The subtext of our work—death, consent, race, trauma, and money—is even less polite.
Some questions we will address: How does fear of stigma prevent us from writing the unpretty truth? How is shock and provocation gendered? On a prose level, how do we claim profanity in the name of the feminine? Is it good for society when art makes us uncomfortable? What happens when women and queers wield bad words and taboo subjects? What possible literary value can be found in the abject? How is profanity a useful tool for clapping back against patriarchal and colonial control? Are we just doing this for attention?
This panel will honor the history of women and queer writers who push the envelope of impropriety, from Kathy Acker to Toni Morrison to Patti Smith to Sybil Lamb. Attendees may leave the panel eager to tap into their own vulgar sides.
Ashley Lauren Rogers, Pamela Redmond Satran, Sharbari Zohra Ahmed, and Susan Kim
Ever write a story but think, maybe this would be better as a screenplay? Or a TV pilot? Maybe a stage play? Think that screenplay you wrote would be perfect for the agent you just met here at BinderCon…if only it were a novel. On this panel, we’re going to tackle the art of being adaptable with your work by discussing the art of adapting work with people who have successfully done so with their work. We’ll also talk about how novelists can turn their skill at plot into powerful screenplays, and how a playwright’s talent for dialogue can make for great TV.
Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran in 1978 and raised in the Greater Los Angeles area. She is the author of The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury) and Sons and Other Flammable Objects(Grove/Atlantic). Her memoir Sick is forthcoming in 2017. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, The Chicago Reader, Bookforum, Al Jazeera America, Vice, GQ, The Paris Review Daily, Elle, Spin, Slate, Salon, Poets and Writers, The Rumpus, Guernica, among others. Currently she is the Writer in Residence at Bard College.
Elif Batuman is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (2010). Her first novel, The Idiot, will be published in 2017.
Allison Wright is the managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review. She also serves as president of the nonprofit literary organization WriterHouse and editor of Tiny Hardcore Press. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, VQR, Popular Mechanics, the Texas Observer, Literary Hub, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is a member of the American Society of Magazine Editors, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Overseas Press Club. She holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.