Friday, May 29, 2009

2009 Chicago Humanities Festival promises laughs! Oct. 3-Nov16, 2009

One of the richest resources in the nation, The Chicago Humanities Festival, pays tribute to the arts with a city-wide celebration each year. The city is at its peak in autumn and the literary world lives on every corner.

This year, the 19th Chicago Humanities Festival lightens up a bit from the past few years of war and gloom. Now it moves toward The Big Idea, considers the sweep and scale of human ambition: the grand gesture, the great scheme, the Big Idea. Make the most of your Festival right here!

The 2009 schedule is not posted yet. But, if you're not familiar with this rare Chicago gem, click here to view last year's list of programs and presenters.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2009 Printer's Row Lit Fest

It's time! It's here! Chicago's very own 2009 Printer's Row Lit Fest promises to be the biggest and best ever. Don't even think about not going. You know you'll be there, June 6 and 7, 2009.

Some events are already sold out. Check the schedule here. And visit the many vendor booths, Chicago book stores, and free workshops. I'll be at Midwest Writers booth Sunday from 10 a.m. til noon. Stop by for a free publishing consultation.

Helen Gallagher

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another good agent research site

After learning one of my agent-finding recommendations was charging about $12/month for a subscription, I hunted around for an alternative.

I'm happy to recommend LitMatch (what a great name!). With free registration, you can:

* Track the queries, proposals and manuscripts you send to literary agents and view your entire submission history at a glance.

* Store information for multiple titles and track your submissions for each one independently.

* Use our matching search to find the agents who will be most receptive to your work.

* Save literary agents and agencies to your Hotlist for future reference.

If you're seeking representation for an upcoming book, sign up now at LitMatch.

Friday, May 22, 2009

BlogHer Conference in Chicago: July 23-25, 2009

Here are the details on the BlogHer Conference for Chicago this summer.

BlogHer '09 will be at the The Chicago Sheraton and Towers from July 23-25, 2009. We will kick off on Thursday July 23rd with out third annual BlogHer Business Conference, and will continue with the two-day 5th annual BlogHer Annual Conference on Friday and Saturday, July 24-25.

If you're a semi-pro1 blogger, and you are if you've paid attention to my workshops these last few years!) come and see what the online blogging life does to people once they show up in a group of thousands enjoying all Chicago has to offer. It's a chance to "celebrate blogging, whether personal, professional or political, has brought us real work, real friends, real satisfaction and is most definitely a significant part of our real life!" - Read more on their site.

Cross-posted at

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Rising Tide Lifts All Books

We've all been reading about the rise in book sales, partly because Amazon's Kindle making people lust for bedtime reading, as an instant download for a flat $9.99. And, partly because more people are choosing Print-on-Demand to bypass the rejection channels, and have a book published in months rather than years.

Today, pulled this from the AP Wire...

May 19th, 2009 | NEW YORK -- A shrinking economy and rising technology have transformed how, and how many, books are being published.

With publishers cutting back new releases in response to declining sales, an estimated 275,000 traditional books were released in the United States last year, a drop of about 9,000 from 2007, according to Bowker, a New Providence, N.J.-based company that compiles industry statistics.

Categories with the biggest reductions included travel, religion and biography, Bowker said Tuesday.

But the number of "on-demand" books, a category featuring works with tiny, digitally stored print runs, topped 285,000 in 2008, the first time they outnumbered traditional texts. In 2006, there were fewer than 22,000 on-demand titles, which have become an increasingly popular way to bring old books back in print or keep recent releases from going out of print.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Today is Writers Worth Day

Lori Widmer launched the 2nd Annual Writers Worth Day.

Here is her press release promoting fair pay for writers:

United States of America (Press Release) May 6, 2009 --
May 6, 2009 (Valley Forge, PA) – The Second Annual Writers Worth Day has been scheduled for May 15, 2009. This online event, the brainchild of Lori Widmer, a Philadelphia-based writer and editor, is designed to promote the fair market value of writers through education, awareness, and ongoing support.

“Writers Worth Day was established in response to the increasing amount of job postings that offer little, if any, compensation for the amount of work expected,” says Widmer, a veteran writer and editor, who has seen a decline in market rates. “More beginning freelancers accept abominable rates. The message of Writers Worth Day is every writer has marketable skills, and those skills should be compensated fairly and within industry-acceptable standards.”

All this month, Widmer’s weblog – Words on the Page – is highlighting numerous career tips for new writers and extending into the blogging community to inspire other established writers to educate and offer guidance to their followers and all within the writing community. Numerous other bloggers have already joined Writers Worth Day and will be posting their own tips and inspirational posts to extend the reach of the Writers Worth Day message.
source: FPR

“While we cannot change the rates job posters offer, we can educate our ranks to accept no less than we are worth. It hurts all of us when writers devalue themselves and operate on the mistaken notion that they must accept nonpayment or low payment in order to establish a portfolio. It sets an unreal precedent that makes it difficult for professional, educated writers and editors to earn reasonable wages for their skills.”

For more information, please contact Lori Widmer at lwbean AT gmail DOT com.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Writers write & Bloggers blog

At a blogging panel this week, the audience, comprised of sophisticated journalists and serious freelancers, learned the value of having a blog. It's a vehicle to create visibility, share your voice and your opinions. If you need a reminder to begin or update your blog, use this image as a reminder. You're free to download it, by right-clicking and choose to save it to your computer. Why not make it your desktop background instead of last year's family photo?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Have you seen lately? WOW

Take another look at A major surprise overhaul has it looking fantastic. As a reminder, is where you find out all the author events coming up in Chicago, where you can follow you favorite author and of course, where you can keep up with my events...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Social networking sites: You may already be out there...

Things move fast in the online world. A few days ago I learned of a site that profiles authors, and when I went to make a page, my books were already there. Maybe you're out there too:
Go to and search for your name.

The firm built a site in March, with over 1.8 million pre-assembled author pages, according to a report in the Wall St. Journal.