The Ladder Literary Conference

The Ladder: Publish

This is a list of all the panels at The Ladder Literary Conference that focus on the PUBLISH rung.


How a Book Happens

9:45-11:00am, Room A

What role does an agent play in shaping a book? The editor? Have you ever wondered what it’s like for a first-time novelist to go through the acceptance and editorial process at a major publishing house? This is your opportunity to learn the steps, forms, and ins and outs of the publishing process. Join a debut novelist and her editor at Disney-Hyperion as they discuss how a book happens.

Panelists: Leslie C. Youngblood, Laura Schreiber. Moderator: Tokeya C. Graham.


From Inspiration to Publication: Award-winning Poets Talk Shop

11:15am-12:30pm, Room B

In this panel session, four nationally recognized poets will describe how a poem progresses from conception to publication, share how to know when you have a book on your hands (and not just a pile of poems), weigh in on the merits of contests versus open submissions, and discuss the best markets for your work.

Panelists: Ralph Black, James Longenbach, Jennifer Grotz. Moderator: Sarah Freligh.


Book Publishing Contracts: How They Work and What You Can Include in Your Book without Getting Sued

11:15am-12:30pm, Room D

So you are about to write the next great American novel or an unauthorized biography of Drew Barrymore. Now what? You know how to write but you are not sure what you can write about without getting permission. You see things on TV, you read things on Twitter, and you find information on any of the 1.3 billion websites from around the world, but you are not sure if you can use any of that information in your book. Is any of it protected by copyright? Can you use trademarked names or logos in your book? What is “fair use” and how can it work for you? What are rights of publicity/rights of privacy and how do those affect what you can write about? Now that you’ve written your book, you want to publish it. Do you self-publish the book or do you seek out a publisher and get the book published? If you are offered a book publishing contract, what does it cover and how does it work?

Panelist: Mark Costello, Esq.


How to Write Winning Pitches

1:45–3:00pm, Room D

So you want to pitch your work to magazines, newspaper editors, and TV and radio producers, but don’t know where to begin. Whom do you contact? How much should you expect to be paid? Local magazine and newspaper editors, along with two widely published freelance writers, will provide insights into how to get your story ideas into print and on the air.

Panelists: Jane Milliman, Rebecca Rafferty, Stacey Freed, Karen (Ren) vanMeenen. Moderator: Ruth Thaler-Carter.


How I Self-published My Book

3:15–4:30pm, Room A

You have something to say, you are passionate about saying it, so you wrote a book. Now you face one of the most daunting hurdles for new authors: how to publish your work. There are so many variables in the publishing industry; where’s an author to start? You want the best of all as an indie author. Hear the experiences of four self-published authors as they connect the dots on the variables that led them to published work. They’ll talk about all aspects of self-publishing and self-promotion, including hard copy, ebook, audiobook, and—most importantly—marketing the finished work.

Panelists: Kelly Artieri, Javi, Terri Cook. Moderator: Gregory Gerard.