ASJA Writers Conference in DC: We’re Putting Together Our Dream Conference for You!

We can barely contain our excitement about ASJA’s Writers Conference in Washington, DC, scheduled for November 8, 2019, at Trinity Washington University. So, we won’t!

A team of successful ASJA members based in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region has been working for months to put together the conference of our dreams—so that you can attain your dreams. The team has pooled their contacts, their visions, and their skills to put together a top-notch lineup of editors from high-profile publications, trusted colleagues with successful businesses and knowledge to share, and writing experts with a range of perspectives.

The goal is to draw on D.C.-area expertise and clientele and showcase the opportunities and knowledge base for freelancers around the U.S. and beyond.

Word is spreading. In the first week of registration, more than 50 writers from New York, Montreal, Florida, and even London registered!

Chicago-based writer Darcy Lewis was one of the first to sign up. A veteran of ASJA’s regional conference in her hometown, Lewis believes in the high value of these smaller, one-day events. She knew a D.C. conference would offer new insights and opportunities along with plenty of networking time. As a writer focused on health and medicine, she’s coming to tap into “DC’s unparalleled association environment,” she says. “I’m hoping to establish relationships with new clients.” With association representatives scheduled to speak on several panels and meet with ASJA members in Client Connections, Lewis may well get her wish.

Lisa Rabasca Roepe is heading up the effort to recruit editors and other clients to meet with ASJA members at the DC event. So far she’s got a list of more than 16 editors, including representatives from Mother Jones, Vox, WP BrandStudio/The Washington Post, and CustomNEWS, Inc. Many participating editors pay $1/word or more. (Not an ASJA member? Apply for ASJA Professional Membership by September 30 to participate in Client Connections.)

The conference will offer nine sessions total, divided along three tracks: “Capital Connections,” exploring the unique opportunities and resources in the DC area; the “Craft of Writing,” digging deep into the techniques and artistry of our profession; and the “Business of Freelancing,” offering insider tips and tricks to building and maintaining a successful writing business. Each track has been designed and developed by writers for writers like you.

Tam Harbert, a technology and business writer who co-chaired ASJA’s successful 2015 conference in DC, is excited about the interviewing panel that she’s lined up. “The variety of panelists on The Art of the Interview – from a White House correspondent to a long-time CNN anchor to an historian at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress – promises to offer valuable tips on conducting different types of interviews,” she says.

Harbert is also looking forward to hearing more about alternative funding streams for in-depth and investigational journalism projects. “With the disappearance of so many traditional journalism outlets, it’s getting harder and harder to research and write major features on important issues,” she says. “I’m eager to hear advice from experts on the Grants and Fellowships panel on how to get funding for major reporting projects.”

What could be better than a hands-on session that features dynamo duo Jennifer Goforth Gregory and Carolyn Crist speaking on how to land better clients? These two successful entrepreneurs use creative prospecting and marketing techniques along with their writing chops to expand their businesses to top-tier clients that include publications, brands, thought leaders, and more. Best of all, they’re willing to share their secrets with conference attendees!

And the whole committee is a bit starstruck by our keynote speaker, Dorothy Butler Gilliam, the first Black woman reporter at The Washington Post, who overcame barriers of racism and sexism in the newsroom. “She’s had a jam-packed touring schedule since the release of her book, Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America,” says Lottie Joiner, editor of The Crisis, freelance writer, and ASJA board member. “I’m so glad she’s able to join us.”

Will you join us?

Register by September 18, 2019 to get the early bird rates and help make your professional dreams come true.