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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So many conferences, so little time and money

Spring 2008 is ripe with some great writing conferences. I have planned all along to attend the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conference in NYC in April, especially since I'll be able to take advantage of the member-only opportunities for the first time.

But there's also the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard, which takes place in Boston in March. This event used to take place in the fall, but with a change of directors it was pushed off until spring.

NYC or Boston? Hmmmm. Tough decisions. I've been to NYC three times in the past three years, but never to Boston. Though honestly, can you ever get enough of New York?

Given the expense of the cities involved, attending both is out of the question.

So do I go for the business of freelancing or the soul of writing?

My head tells me to go for the business, my heart wants the soulful stuff.

Do I want to network with people doing the kind of writing I most enjoy (narrative) or the people engaged in the kind of business model I most enjoy (freelance)?

I've been to ASJA before so I know generally what to expect from that experience. The work I got as a result of contacts made there in 2005 carries on today. I've heard mixed reviews about Nieman in the recent years, but it's also under new management this year.

I've also applied for a fellowship with the Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution, run by the National Constitution Center. Given that I'm a freelancer without a beat I doubt I'll get the fellowship, but if I do that involves a trip to Philly in early March.

What to do, what to do...


Dawn said...

I would LOVE to do the Nieman conference again but I have a conference at the end of March and no way could I swing both. I'm leaning towards the ASJA one but it depends on what my career is doing then I guess. Rats.

Wendy Hoke said...

Hi Dawn!
Thanks for visiting and commenting. I'm leaning toward ASJA because I think I need more of a business boost than a creative one. I'd LOVE to do both!

Amy Green said...

Hi Wendy,

I lived in Boston for a month last fall while working as an editor at The Christian Science Monitor. I think I like Boston better than New York. And, wow, Harvard! So much cooler than the Grand Central Hyatt.

For what it's worth I'll be at the ASJA conference next year.



Michelle O'Neil said...

There is no wrong choice. Either one will bring you great gifts. Go with your gut and have fun!

Wendy Hoke said...

Hi Amy,
It would be great to reconnect at ASJA!

Wendy Hoke said...

Good advice, Michelle. Thanks!