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SIG A: Planting the Seed: How to Write About Gardening
It is said that gardeners gain experience by killing plants. Good garden writing informs, expands knowledge, and helps to prevent plant genocide. In America, most gardening is regional. This SIG shows how to find your region, to learn about the plants and soils of that region, the local weather and rainfall patterns and how to find gardening topics that your readers might be interested in. We’ll look at how to get the best from visiting gardens and parks, organic growing, GMO plantings, gardening terminology, gardening for exercise, fertilizers, and regional trends. We will also look at new trends in growing, how COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders have affected gardeners, .
Roger Marshall has killed more plants than he cares to imagine. He now grows vegetables, flowers, fruit, and orchids first in England and now in Rhode Island. In 1989 he legalized his gardening obsession and obtained Master Gardener certification from the University of Rhode Island Extension Service. He has written hundreds of articles and three books on gardening; The Greenhouse Gardener’s Manual, How-to Build Your Own Greenhouse, and Garden Projects. All his gardening has been organic long before it was popular to do so. He now writes a monthly blog for Hartley-Botanic (https://hartley-botanic.com/magazine/author/rogermarshall/), a regular garden column for his local newspaper, as well as spending far too much time in his garden.
SIG B: Getting Your Nonfiction Book Published - FULL
Traditional book publishing has one major advantage: The publisher pays you, instead of you paying all the expenses to get your book into print. Breaking into traditional publishing remains a tricky process, however, especially if you’re trying it for the first time. Let’s have a frank conversation about what publishers expect from authors, how to write a book proposal, how to build a platform, and all of the ins and outs of attracting a publisher’s interest—including what you can expect to be paid.
Randi Minetor has had more than 60 nonfiction books published on America’s national parks, hiking, nature, historic cities, business topics, essential oils, psychology, medicine, and more. Her books are published by a range of companies including Falcon Guides, Globe Pequot Press, Down East Books, Lyons Press, Greenwood Books, Quick Reference Publishing, Althea Press, Sonoma Press, New Horizon Press, and others. She will lead a lively, no-holds-barred discussion about the realities of publishing for any author, wherever you are in your writing career.
SIG C: Living the Dream: Full-Time Travel and Food Writing
Leader: Jennifer Billock
One thing we travel and food writers hear constantly from others is that we're living the dream, doing exactly what they wish they could be doing. But in reality, it's hard and nuanced work. In this SIG, we'll discuss the realities of the job - including how physically taxing it can be to travel for two weeks every month or eat 12 burgers in one day. We'll also look into making travel and food pitches shine, how to resurrect old journeys for new story ideas, and the logistics of press trips. Also in discussion will be ways to pivot these topics during the ongoing pandemic.
Jennifer Billock (@jenniferbillock on Twitter) is a Chicago-based travel and food writer, author, writing coach, and editor of the Kitchen Witch Newsletter. When there's not a pandemic raging, she travels about 60 percent of the time and eats even more often. Her stories get to the heart of a location, usually focusing on a combination of history, culture, and interesting people. She's currently dreaming of an around-the-world trip with her Boston terrier. Find out more about her at jenniferbillock.com.