The ASJA Weekly
May. 29, 2015

ASJA Comes To DC — Save The Date
A Capital Event: New Markets and Skills for Your Freelance Writing Career
Friday, Aug. 28

Writers in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area remain busy working for the many media companies, associations, government agencies, foundations and other organizations based in the nation's capital. In addition to great markets for writing, the D.C. area is also the source of news and story ideas and home to some of the world's best libraries and research resources. How do they do it? This conference will show you!More

Does Writing a Memoir Help an Author to Heal?
ASJA President Randy Dotinga via The Christian Science Monitor
Novelist and writing professor Darin Strauss has spent the last five years talking and writing about the worst moment of his life, one that he bottled up for almost 20 years. But his voice still breaks when he tells the story. "When I was in high school, I had just turned 18, and I lived a pretty normal life on Long Island," he told a standing-room-only crowd at a panel discussion earlier this month. "I was with some friends, driving on this little highway to go to the beach. I saw some bicyclists in the shoulder. Then I saw one of them wobble and then dart into the road right into the front of me, into my car. She died."

Want to listen to a recording of this session? Purchase it at

Neologisms Help Writers Express the Zeitgeist of the Time
Elizabeth Economou, ASJA
On learning that Uber, the mobile-app-based car service, dinged her half-a-point on a previous ride, the playwright Delia Ephron, sister of the late Nora Ephron, began to obsess.

It wasn’t so much that her “passenger score” had slipped to 4.5 on a 5-point scale, but rather that she was being rated at all. In all likelihood, the small demerit will not be enough for Uber to write-off the prolific author the next time she calls on them to shuttle her from one end of Manhattan to the other. But it might urge her — and the rest of us — to be less fussy in the future. Welcome to the reputation economy, a burgeoning phenomena that has emerged from the ever-expanding sharing economy. It is also one in a steady stream of popular neologisms creeping into our daily vernacular. More

Authors Guild Announces Fair Contract Initiative at BEA 2015
The Authors Guild
Once again this year the Authors Guild is excited to be part of BookExpo America in New York City. To coincide with this year's conference, we're announcing the rollout of the Authors Guild Fair Contract Initiative, a series of commentaries we will publish in the coming months to take a fresh look at the standard book publishing contract. Our guiding principle for this new initiative is to restore balance to the author-publisher relationship and help authors achieve a fair return for the efforts they contribute to the joint venture of book publication.More

Trio of Authors Recall How They Investigated Dark Family Secrets
ASJA President Randy Dotinga via The Christian Science Monitor
Emma Brockes's mother stood up against family abuse as a child in South Africa. Michael Hainey's father died mysteriously, and a code of silence obscured the truth for decades. A hitman robbed David Berg's brother of his life, leaving a legacy of guilt, fury, and regret.

Want to listen to a recording of this session? Purchase it at

How This Self-Published Author Made $450,000
British author, Mark Dawson, makes hundreds of thousands a year from his self-published novels. Now, the second entry of a three-part series, Dawson explains how he cracked the self-publishing industry.More

What Snow White Can Teach Journalists About Audience Engagement
PBS MediaShift
In a keynote speech earlier this month at the Journalism Innovation Summit at City University London, Jennifer Schwanenberg, the program manager of Next Media Accelerator, used a classic Disney cartoon, Snow White, to discuss business models for news in the digital age.More

'Don't Be Boring' and 6 Other Interviewing Tips From Jacqui Banaszynski
The Poynter Institute
In the 1980s, when she was a reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jacqui Banaszynski spent months reporting on the story of a gay Minnesotan couple with AIDS. She had to work with her editors and her sources and fight to tell the story the way she felt it should be told. The result was not only heartrending but also informative for an audience that wasn't yet comfortable talking about gay couples, let alone seeing photos of them or learning about the disease that disproportionately affected their community.More

From Promoting the Stars to Promoting Herself, an Authorpreneur Shares Her Secrets
"Excuse me, could you sign this for my granddaughter?" an elder gentleman asks, pushing a copy of The Hunger Games across the table to me during my book event at a major book store. "Um, I didn't – I didn't write that, sir. This is my book." I gesture to four copies thinly stacked beside me. No, I hadn't sold through piles of stock.More