Women in the Literary Landscape:

Challenges & Opportunities

The Women’s National Book Association and Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences present:

Women in the Literary Landscape: Challenges & Opportunities

Pace University, One Pace Plaza, Bianco Room
November 7, 2017 | 6pm
Free & Open to the Public
RSVP to wnba-nyc.org/events

Women in the U.S. have been pioneering printers, publishers, teachers, editors, journalists, and librarians from colonial times to the present day, blazing trails despite inequities of opportunity. Our literary community is much richer for their diverse contributions. Join our distinguished panelists as they discuss the strategies that they and literary women have used to overcome barriers.

Our very own Professor Jane Denning is the President of WNBA-National and the Immediate Past President of the Women’s National Book Association-NYC chapter.

 

POETS @ PACE 2017 | Jiwon Choi & Amanda Nadelberg


Monday, November 6th, 6-8 pm, Bianco Room
FREE & Open to the public
Pace University, One Pace Plaza, Level B. Enter on Spruce Street.

The Fall 2017 Poets @ Pace reading features two of the most talented and original young poets in the country. It will include a Q&A, book signing, and refreshments. Poets @ Pace, which brings important poets to the Pace NYC campus each semester, is organized by Pace’s Poet-in-Residence, Charles North, and is sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

Jiwon Choi

Author photo by Matthew Beckerman. Cover design by Marie Carter.

Jiwon Choi lives in Brooklyn, teaches preschool at the Educational Alliance on the Lower East Side, and is an active urban gardener and garden administrator. Her first collection of poems, One Daughter is Worth Ten Sons (Hanging Loose Press, 2017), has received a great deal of praise.

“Pissed off, stripped down, and deadly accurate, these poems spare no one. One of the joys of Jiwon Choi’s poems is that her acerbic wit, rather than limiting experience and shutting down inquiry, instead evokes the riddle of our complex, contradictory human selves.” —Joan Larkin

“Drop me off anywhere with Jiwon Choi—these wildly radiant poems of music & magic reel us in, fairy tale realisms mingled with elemental sound songs.” —Naomi Shihab Nye

Amanda Nadelberg

Images courtesy of amandanadelberg.com.

Amanda Nadelberg was born in Massachusetts and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works as an editor. She has published three books of poems, most recently Songs from a Mountain (Coffee House Press, 2016), as well as three chapbooks. She was selected in 2011 as a “New American Poet” for the biennial feature of the Poetry Society of America, and she is the recipient of a Fund for Poetry award.

“Nadelberg’s touch is nimble without being precious, colorful without being tacky, and she confronts loneliness without dwelling, making her sorrow sting all the more with its deftness…her ebullient language captures the giddiness of love and youth.” —Publishers Weekly 

“Songs from a Mountain is a dizzying achievement that rings out loud and precise and clear.” —John Ashbery

 

Link of the Week | New York Comic Con

This post is for Pace’s pop-culture junkies. Whether you’re a comic book connoisseur, a would-be media magnate, or a run-of-the-mill fan fanatic, Comic Con has something for you.

New York Comic Con (NYCC) is the largest pop culture convention on the east coast. An added bonus for NYC attendees is that it also takes place in Gotham City, the comic book capital of the world. More than 185,000 fans attended New York Comic Con in 2016, which made it the largest comic book and pop culture gathering in the U.S. last year. This year’s event will run from October 5–8 at the Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan at 655 West 34th Street.

2015 NYCC attendees. Image courtesy of New York Comic Con.

In addition to panels, screenings, and special events, NYCC features hundreds of guests who will be signing autographs in a designated autograph area, in Artist Alley, in private rooms, and at various booths on the show floor. A very small snapshot of guests include:

Comics:

  • Adi Granov  |  Iron Man, Star Wars: Darth Vader, Marvel Movies
  • Afua Richardson | Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Genius, All Star Batman
  • Geoff Johns | Green Lantern, DC Universe Rebirth
  • Amy Mebberson | Disney Princesses
  • Billy Martin | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mavel Cover Artist

Entertainment:

  • Felicity Jones | Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Jason Isaacs | Harry Potter
  • Josh Hutcherson | Hunger Games, Future Man
  • Peter Capaldi | Doctor Who
  • Yetide Badaki | American Gods

Literary:

  • Jodi Meadows | Before She Ignites, My Lady Jane, The Orphan Queen duology
  • Jason Fry | Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
  • Jonathan Hennessey | The Comic Book Story of Video Games, Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father, The Comic Book Story of Beer
  • Rachel Ignotofsky | Women in Science, Women in Sports
  • R.L. Stine | Goosebumps
Seth Meyers at NYCC 2015. Image Courtesy of New York Comic Con.

The New York Public Library will also play a part in this year’s show.  On October 5th, from 9am–4pm, the library will host a free, ticketed event, or “professional day,” for librarians, teachers, and educators on comics and graphic novels.

We’re posting about Comic Con now because you need to get tickets early. You must also have a Fan Verification profile to attend NYCC.

Happy cosplaying!

 

Around Town: Sept. 19th – Sept. 26th

I hope everyone’s semester is off to a great start! To make it even better, why not check out a few events around town this week.

John Freeman Presents Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation

When: September 19, 2017 @ 7:30pm

Where: Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

John Freeman is an American writer, literary critic, former editor of the literary magazine Granta, and former president of the National Book Critic Circle. At this event, Freeman will be presenting Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, an anthology containing 36 author stories and experiences that investigate “the profound gap between the wealthiest and the poorest in this nation” (Greenlight). There will be “a reading and panel discussion with authors Kirstin Valdez Quade, Ru Freeman, Lawrence Joseph and Jess Rulifson, who contributed pieces to the anthology.”

For more information, click here.

 PLG Fiction Book Group

When: September 20, 2017 @ 7:30pm

Where: 632 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Greenlight general manager Alexis hosts a book club every month at their Prospect Lefferts Gardens store. The PLG Fiction Book Group “discusses paperback fiction, reading broadly in contemporary fiction with the occasional diversion into classics.” This month, they are reading Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, Carthage. This is “a mesmerizing novel that examines grief, faith, justice, and the atrocities of war through the story of a young girl’s disappearance in a small Adirondack town.” Not only will you get the chance to discuss the plot and themes of Carthage, you will also be able to connect with others who are interested in reading and discussing fiction.

For more information, click here.

An Evening with Europa Editions

When: September 21, 2017 @ 7:30pm

Where: 686 Fulton street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Europa Editions is a multi-award winning independent publisher of quality fiction. Its mission is “to bring fresh international voices to the American and British markets and to provide quality editions that have a distinct look and consistently high levels of editorial standards.” Greenlight will be hosting this event celebrating two of Europa Editions’ publications by authors Chantel Acevedo and Santiago Gamboa.

Chantel Acevedo is a “master storyteller” and will be presenting her newest novel, The Living Infinite, a historical book “based on the true story of the Spanish princess Eulalia, an outspoken firebrand at the Bourbon court during the troubled and decadent final years of her family’s reign.”

Santiago Gamboa is a Columbian writer and will be presenting his novel, Return to the Dark Valley, “a mesmerizing polyphonic novel that spans three continents and two centuries as it weaves a tale about dislocation, the violent urges that can bring about regeneration, and the impossibility of return.”

For more information, click here.

Black Book Expo

When: September 23, 2017 @ 10am to 6pm

Where: National Black Theater Inc, 2031 5th Avenue, (Between 126th Street and 125th Street), New York, NY 10035

Cost: $15

Black Expo America Inc. is a “tradeshow, expo planning, and marketing company that produces business expos and conferences in major cities such as New York, NY, Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, etc.” Their mission is “to restore, revitalize and re-energize the African American, Caribbean and African community through the promotion of entrepreneurship coupled with personal growth and business development.”

The 1st Annual Black Book Expo is an event to celebrate and promote the diversity of the written and spoken word. This event will feature emerging authors, poetry performances, a children’s corner, panel discussions, and workshops.

For more information, click here.

Link of the Week | Brooklyn Book Festival


Alright everyone, mark your calendars tout de suite. The Brooklyn Book Festival is THIS SUNDAY, Sept. 17th at 10am at Brooklyn Borough Hall & Plaza 209 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn, NY. The largest free literary event in New York City, is a great way to “casually run into” new voices and literary powerhouses in the publishing industry. To name-drop just a few, five authors participating in the event include:

The Women’s National Book Association, NYC chapter (WNBA-NYC) and National Reading Group Month will also be exhibiting at the fair. (Pace Publishing Professor Jane Kinney Denning is the President of WNBA-National.) Located at Booth 345, they will be showcasing:

  • Membership Benefits
  • Events Calendar
  • Reading Group Guides
  • NRGM Great Group Reads Information and Lists 
  • Raffle Prizes
  • Giveaways
  •  … and more!

Member Volunteers are also needed for the festival! Volunteers will get a chance to meet new people, promote the organization, and spend time with other WNBA members. If you are interested in volunteering for the event, please register here (organizers have asked that you include times that you’re available).

Now is the best time to join the WNBA. As a member during the organization’s Centennial year, you’ll get free admission to WNBA Centennial celebrations and other publishing events throughout the season. Student membership is $20, a great value in the city for aspiring publishers and writers. For more information on membership, you can visit the WNBA membership page.

Welcome Back to Pace University |

Professor Sherman Raskin

Dear Colleagues and Graduate Students,

I hope you enjoyed your summer break. Welcome back to Pace University. We have 27 new students, 57 current students, and 3 visiting students enrolled in the Pace Publishing program for Fall 2017 – a total of 87 students this semester. The faculty and staff look forward to working with you and assisting you this term.

Please mark your calendar for the following publishing event. Bette Rockmore will be giving the Fall semester lecture as Visiting Professor on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. She is the Vice President of Advertising Sales at SiriusXM Satellite Radio and will serve as Visiting Professor for the 2017/18 academic year. Her lecture will take place at 163 William Street, 18th floor at the downtown NYC campus from 6–8pm. She will discuss issues currently facing the publishing and media industries. Refreshments will be served. You will receive an official invitation shortly.

Another important date to place in your calendar is Wednesday, September 27th. We would like to invite all M.S. in Publishing students to our Fall Orientation to meet faculty, staff, and classmates. Join us from 5–6pm in our Multimedia Lab at Midtown Center, 8th floor. RSVP to puboffice@pace.edu no later than September 13, 2017.

We wish you a very successful semester. Please feel free to contact me or faculty or staff if you have any questions. My very best to you this term.

Sherman Raskin
Professor English/Publishing
Director M.S. in Publishing Program
Director Pace University Press

 

BookExpo America 2017- A First Time Experience

BookExpo America is where Publishing Professionals gather to exchange valued information on new titles, breakout authors, and many, many ARCs. As a first-timer to this trade show event, it is very overwhelming at first glance. Left and right, ARCs are being signed and distributed. Major publishing houses like Macmillan and HarperCollins are represented in whole sections decorated with large rugs and smaller companies are housed within booths throughout the show floor.

As someone who is experiencing BookExpo for the first time, I thought it best to take a second to look around and get a good feel of what is going on around me. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle and it is important to soak it all in. If you have a short window to visit BookExpo, as I did, then you should not take too much time soaking it in. After I walked around for a bit, I made sure to network with publishers such as Soho Press, Penguin Random House, and Arcadia Publishing. I saw this as a learning opportunity, a chance to network, and a fun event all wrapped into one.

I made sure to heed Professor Richter’s advice and checked out what events were happening on each day of BookExpo and also brought in my own bag to carry all the free stuff in, though I was given a free tote as soon as I stepped into the building. I ended up going home with 17 new books and a sore shoulder. Nevertheless, it was exciting to meet publishing professionals and authors who all gave me advice and encouragement on my future publishing endeavors.

The Adult Book Editors’ Buzz Panel

There are a wide range of people to meet, events to participate in, and books to obtain. Everywhere you look, there are people mingling, trading business cards, and sharing stories and information that will benefit their publishing careers. I can only imagine how attending BookExpo as a publishing professional will differ from my experience as a student.

Of course, this is just my experience. Articles from the Tampa Bay Times, and the Star tribune offer more insight what is was like at this year’s BookExpo.

Book Expo America – How to Get the Most Out of the BEA

BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade fair in the United States will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City this year from May 31 to June 2. Major publishing houses will congregate to showcase emerging authors, new titles, and meet with other publishing professionals and colleagues. For students and incoming publishing professionals, BookExpo is an exciting event and provides an opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most influential publishers and to gain significant insight into the publishing industry.

Along with faculty, Pace MS in Publishing students will be attending the BookExpo again this year, trading off passes, supplied by the program, throughout the three-day event.

Program Director, Sherman Raskin says:

“I am delighted that Pace University publishing students will have the opportunity to visit the Book Expo this Spring. They will meet publishing professionals, authors and have opportunities to network. The BEA is in NYC this year and New York is the heart of the publishing industry.”

Prof. Michelle Richter  also shares her experience and provides some tips and advice on how to achieve the most rewarding BookExpo experience:

The first time I went to BookExpo, I was exactly where you find yourselves now: a grad student in the publishing program, wildly enthusiastic about books and the industry and the city. And broke. But somehow I managed to scrounge up enough for a ticket.

The Benefits of Going to BookExpo

Of course the first thing that comes to mind is free loot: ARCs, finished books, tote bags, swag. But there’s much more than that. I can’t stress enough the value of the panels. You can learn so much about the industry. Go to the keynote speech if you can. Try to attend at least one of the Buzz panels.

BookExpo in 2015 at the Javits Center

There’s one for adult, one for young adult, and one for middle grade. 5 or 6 editors talk about books they’ve acquired that are getting a lot of buzz, and everyone who attends the panel can get the ARCs afterward. But there are also panels with the authors of the Buzz books. And breakfasts and teas or lunches (the meals require separate tickets) where you can listen to major authors. And panels that talk about industry trends, technological innovations, promotion, social media, and so much more.

Author signings  are everywhere, some in publisher booths, some in an autograph area in the back. Some are ticketed, some are first come, first serve. Some will have huge lines. Some will have lonely authors waiting. If an author offers to sign their book for you, say “yes, thank you”. If you discard it later, do it out of their sight. You don’t have to have it personalized. If there’s a book you’re dying to get and have signed, line up early. Not all books in a booth are free for the taking. Some publishers only have display copies or books for sale.

  • Tip 1: Check the schedule of signings and panels ahead of time, and have a tentative schedule so you don’t miss the things that are really important to you.
  • Tip 2: Though the lure of free books may intoxicate you, remember you have to carry all of them so be discerning. But if you go hog wild, there’s a post office between the Javits and the A train–you can mail books to yourself.
  • Tip 3: Bring your own tote bag, one that won’t dig into your shoulder. Just in case free ones are hard to find or subpar.

Prof. Jane Denning says:

“I love the BEA! It is such a wonderful opportunity to really get a sense of the size and power of the publishing industry and, it is a great place to network. I also really love getting to meet authors and have them sign their books. My advice is to go with an open mind and soak it all in. Learn about publishers you have not heard about before, talk to people about their work and bring a few copies of your resume to give to people who might help you get a job.” 

Networking

Be pleasant to anyone working in a booth. Don’t be too grabby getting free stuff. Check out people’s badges to see where they work or who they are but keep in mind that some people share a badge and may be incognito.

These people may someday be your colleagues. They’re often from the marketing department, but could also be sales, sub rights, publicists, editors, even authors. They may be taking meetings with foreign publishers or booksellers or librarians or agents. Most people are dressed professionally, as they would in the office.

Every time I go to BookExpo, it’s like a giant reunion. I see editors, publicists, marketing managers I used to work with, agents I know, authors, foreign publishers, and people I’ve only met on Twitter until I run into them on the floor at BookExpo. “Wait, have we ever met in person before?”

  • Tip 4: Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. It’s often freezing in the Javits center and the floors are cement. I think you can’t go wrong with a dress and a cardigan if that’s your style, ladies. Gentlemen, I would suggest you dress business casual (not in jeans).
  • Tip 5: Bring a water bottle so you don’t have to buy overpriced drinks. You may want to bring snacks.

The Overall Experience

It’s overwhelming, exhausting, exhilarating. I love it still. Some people get jaded by it, but I hope I never do. Try to walk the entire expo. Visit the remainder houses’ booths, the foreign publishers, the packagers, the Big 5s and all the indies. This is your best opportunity to see the wide range of people who participate in the industry, to randomly encounter a rock star author (I once walked by Margaret Atwood and managed not to lose it), to see something like a book being printed in an Espresso Book Machine, to meet awesome librarians and booksellers, and to listen to some terrific speakers.

Lisa Sharkey on “Book Publishing with Celebrity Authors”

Working with celebrities to get their books published may seem daunting, but Lisa Sharkey—the Senior Vice President and the Director of Creative Development at HarperCollins Publishers—is an expert. On April 26th, Sharkey talked about the joys and challenges of working with well-known public figures on their projects in her lecture, “Book Publishing with Celebrity Authors.” This was Sharkey’s second talk as the 2016-2017 David Pecker Visiting Professor, following-up the presentation on transferable skills she gave in the fall.

With years of experience working with both intentional celebrities (actors, athletes, reality stars, etc.) and unintentional celebrities (people who became famous as a result of news story in which they are a major personality), Sharkey’s familiar with how different it is publishing and promoting a celebrity’s book versus working with a traditional writer. Through personal anecdotes and behind-the-scene details on books she’s published throughout her career, Sharkey illustrated the experience of working with people who aren’t necessarily writers themselves to publish a successful book that might even reach the New York Times bestseller list.

For the first part of her presentation, Sharkey outlined the top joys of working with celebrities. Despite most of the celebrities she works with not being professional writers for their day-jobs, Sharkey says that these books are still important to them “to their legacies.” They value the opportunity to publish their stories without having them filtered through the press for their families and friends—and, of course, for the fans. Fans of celebrities also make a huge difference in how big the book signings and sales will be and what sort of appearances they can do.

Fans “crave the first-person stories of celebrity lives” and are interested in keeping celebrity books “on their nightstand,” enough so that books by celebrities are consistently reliable holiday gift sellers, such as Alec Baldwin’s memoir Nevertheless and Gabby Douglas’s autobiography Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. Sharkey also reveals that celebrities are used to being in the spotlight and are sociable, always camera-ready, and “rule” social media, which are all important elements for the successful marketing of books. Any area of weakness they have, Sharkey said, are also easy to deal with since celebrities generally “know what they don’t know” and are open to accepting that they need help in an arena beyond what they’re famous for.

The challenges working with celebrities are also something different than working with traditional authors. Entourages, the amplified fear of failure, and unrealistic expectations all add to the list of struggles Sharkey has dealt with when working with celebrity authors. There’s also the issue of how in-demand they are; getting celebrities to do book promotions when they’re already so busy and marketplace collisions with them when they are trying to advertise other products, are stand-out instances of how their fame can make them difficult to work with. Also, not every celebrity author has the skill to write their own books despite their desire to. Sharkey says that ghostwriters are often necessary to always have ready to assist the celebrity authors.

The pros and cons aside, working with celebrities is always memorable for Sharkey. She has met Charles, the Prince of Wales, at the Clarence House while working with him on his book, Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, and sharing tea with royalty in a once in a lifetime moment. She discussed the intensity of working with Jenna Miscavige Hill on her book exposing scientology, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape, and recalled a time where the two asked their driver to ditch a suspicious car following them that Hill thought might be associated with Scientology. Rock star front man of Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, shared with her how emotionally moved he was over the success of his autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock, which was a chance to share, for the first time, his challenges growing up and making it through life from his point-of-view.

Lisa Sharkey with her intern and current Pace student, Jennifer Thompson

Sharkey had already shared her interesting career with us in the fall lecture, so it was fascinating to listen to her talk about the work she does getting celebrities to open up and to be honest about their lives and work in their books. As with her previous talk, Sharkey had no trouble keeping everyone invested in her talk through insightful anecdotes and straightforward, honest details about a part of the publishing industry that can feel secret and elusive to publishing students.

We appreciate and thank Sharkey for giving another well-informed and valuable talk, and for concluding her David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor lectures on such a memorable note.

Student Appreciation Dinner 2017

Pace University’s MS in Publishing Program celebrated the hard work and accomplishments of students and alumni at this year’s Student Appreciation Dinner on April 13. The event was enjoyed by faculty and guests of the program.

Professor Sherman Raskin, the Director of the MS in Publishing Program and the Pace University Press, started the night off by sharing his pride in the program and the community created and fostered through it.

Established publishing industry professional and advisory board member Frank Gatti, the first guest speaker of the night, followed Professor Raskin’s lead by speaking about the talented staff and students of the program. Gatti also spoke about the unique education the program provides future publishing professionals, and how important their education from Pace is in contributing to their success in the industry.

Denolyn Carroll, who is both an alumni of the program and a former professor, was the second guest speaker of the night. Carroll spoke warmly about how Pace influenced her academic, professional, and personal journeys. She spoke about how she left Jamaica to move to New York to work in magazine publishing after she completed her undergraduate education, and how Pace helped her accomplish her goals by providing well-taught, relevant courses. Carroll also reflected on how Professor Raskin awarded her the Times Mirror Scholarship, making her the first recipient of the award at Pace. This recognition for her work in graduate school was important and meaningful for her. For her, one of the greatest strengths of the program is that the professors genuinely care about their students and do everything they can to help students succeed. As she spoke about her lengthy career in magazine editing, earning the title of Editorial Operations Director at Essence among many other achievements, Carroll still had plenty of positive memories about her time teaching at Pace to share.

The final speaker of the night was the Graduate Assistant of the Multimedia Lab, Kevin Mercado. Mercado told the dinner’s attendants how he found out about the program after attending an information session Professor Raskin hosted at his undergraduate school, SUNY Albany. Mercado considered himself “recruited” at this event, and he said he’s come a long way from when he first entered the program. From narrowing down his interests and defining his career path, to connecting with other Pace alumni and students, Mercado expressed gratitude to Professor Raskin and the program for all of the opportunities he’s had.

The talking didn’t stop after the speeches were over—everyone present spent the night networking and exchanging stories about their time at Pace while they ate. It was amazing to see how many friendly and successful people are connected to Pace, and how willing everyone was to connect with each other. The event definitely celebrated its students, but it also was a celebration of how important the program has been and is, in launching successful publishing careers.