Karen (Ren) vanMeenen

Karen has served as the Coordinator of the “If All of Rochester Reads the Same Book…” program (aka Rochester Reads) since 2001. She is also a full-time Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology, teaching courses in Writing, Literature, and Contemporary Media Art. Karen has been the Editor of the media arts journal Afterimage for more than twenty years. She edited the collections Giving Sorrow Words: Poems of Strength and Solace; Light At the End: Poems by Lyn Lifshin; and Nevermore: Poetry and Prose by Edgar Allan Poe, and has copyedited several full-length works. She has contributed to several publications including Art Papers, Art New England, Source: Ireland’s Photographic Review, and theJournal of Applied Arts and Health. She is certified as a writing therapist and serves on the executive board of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and is the Book Reviews Editor for the Journal for Poetry Therapy.

Self-Publishing Forum

Theresa Leigh, William Schiele, Katrina Thompson. Moderator: Ebony Nicole Smith
2017 saw more than 1 million self-published titles, a 28% increase in volume from the year before. Despite what you may hear, this a publishing trend that isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Join this panel of self-published authors as they help you navigate the booming world of self-publishing. Discover which routes you can take, and which to avoid, as you embark on your publishing voyage.

Publishing Poems, Stories, and Essays

Al Abonado, Robert Glick, Rion Amilcar Scott. Moderator: Calvin Eaton
Literary journals nourish emerging writers by giving them a space to promote their work. But getting published in journals takes time, dedication, and perseverance. Are you a poet, short story writer, or essayist wondering where to place your work once it’s done? Our panelists will provide strategies for publishing poems, short stories, and collections.

Is a Small Press Right for Me?

Peter Conners, Elizabeth DeMeo, Chad Post, Michael McGandy. Moderator: Brian Wood
Not every writer needs an agent to succeed. There are hundreds of small or independent presses in the United States alone that are looking for work in every imaginable niche. But how do you find them? And what do you do to attract their interest? In this panel featuring editors and publishers at several leading independent publishers, you will discover the pros and cons of the Small Publishing world.

How (Not) to Be an Amateur Poet

Phil Memmer, Anastasia Nikolis, Georgia Popoff. Moderator: Stephen Huff
Four poetry editors talk about what to avoid when sending out individual poems or manuscripts to journals and contests, why you should follow up on an invitation to “send again,” and how to persist in the face of ongoing rejection. A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion.

Meet the Agents

Barbara Berson, Markus Hoffman, Allie Levick, Rhea Lyons.
Believe it or not, literary agents are people, too. Each agent has individual tastes and interests in the work they’d like to represent. In this question and answer forum, you’ll learn which agent is the right fit for your unique work. Find out the etiquette for contacting them, or how to best pitch your manuscript at the mixer. Or, just attend to attach a face with a name. But whatever you do, don’t be the writer who sends a devotional cookbook to an agent who wants a space-vampire romance.

What to Expect While You’re Expecting

Markus Hoffmann, Andrew Ervin, Barbara Berson, Amanda Ghazale Aziz, Moderator: Stacey Freed
As any writer knows, finding a literary agent remains one of the best ways to be successful in the world of traditional publishing. Imagine that you’ve written your novel or book, and you’ve signed on with a literary agent who loves your work. In this panel featuring two authors and their agents, you will find out first-hand the ins and outs of the author/agent relationship.

Promoting Your Work

Anthony Blake, Amy Collins, Ron Martin-Dent, Leslie C Youngblood. Moderator: Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
Writers need readers. Here’s your chance to put together an effective plan for getting your work in front of potential agents, publishers, and readers. Get tips on blogging, websites, reviews, interviews, social media, speaking engagements, conferences, and other ways of letting the world know what you’re working on and where you’ve been published so your work gets the exposure and support it deserves.