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...