The organizers of the Japan Writers Conference, an annual English-language event held in a different Japanese city each year, have just circulated an e-mail announcing the basic details of the 2011 conference, to be held in Kobe in October.
I attended the two most recent conferences, in Kyoto and Tokyo, and found them very worthwhile. All sorts of writers attended – including poets, novelists, journalists and critics – and the dozens of presentations covered a wide range of topics related to the creative, technical and business aspects of writing.
You can read my recap of the 2010 event here, and you can watch video clips of my own presentation at that event here. My topic was “Interviewing Creative Subjects,” and I had a few more points to make on that topic in an earlier blog post.
And now, I’ll had the rest of the current post over to JWC coordinators John Gribble and Bern Mulvey:
This is to announce the Fifth Annual Japan Writers Conference. It will be in Kobe this year at Kobe Shoin Women’s University on October 15th and 16th. Please mark your calander and plan to join us.
This is also a call for presentation proposals. All published writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers who would like to lead a session are invited to submit proposals. Those who have presented at past conferences are (of course) welcome to submit new proposals. But we especially encourage proposals from new submitters. One of the strengths of the past Conferences has been variety, and the best way to foster variety is to feature new presenters each year.
Please forward this to any friend or colleague who would be interested. If you know someone the conference organizers might approach—either living in Japan or planning to visit Japan next fall—please send us your suggestion. If you have contact information, that would be a great help.
Detailed information follows, but briefly, a proposal needs to include a brief bio, including publication credits, the type of presentation you wish to make, a title, a summery of 50 words, a longer abstract (150 words) and any special requests you might have. Standard sessions are fifty minutes long, but if you have something special in mind, please let us know and we will accommodate if possible.
Presentations on all genres and all aspects of writing and publishing are welcome. The deadline for presentation proposals is June 1, 2011.
As in the past, the Conference will be free and open to all who wish to attend. This is possible because all the presenters and organizing staff volunteer their time and talent, and the use of the site is donated by the hosting institution. As a result, the Conference cannot offer any payment, reimbursement, lodging, or help in securing visas or travel permits. So please don’t ask.
When planning your proposal, keep your audience in mind. Your listeners will be writers and others, such as translators, editors, publishers, and agents, concerned with creating the published written word. While teaching, literary studies and private self-expression are certainly worthy activities, they are not the focus of this Conference. Ask yourself as a writer or other word professional these questions:
What information do you have which could be useful to others?
What writing, rewriting, editing, or marketing techniques have worked for you?
What topic would make for a lively and enlightening discussion?
What publishing or other professional opportunities do you know about?
What will an attendee take away from your fifty-minute session that he or she will find worthwhile?
You may submit more than one proposal.
The only qualification one needs to be a presenter is to have published. This does not mean that you need to have published a lot or in some high-profile journal. Your book (if you have a book) does not have to be on a best seller list. You do not have to have won any awards or to have appeared on TV. You simply need to have written, edited, translated, or otherwise worked on a piece of writing which has made it to the public eye. That is, published.
Proposal Deadline and Format
Using the following format, please send your ideas for a presentation by June 1, 2011. Send your proposal in the body of an email (no attachments) to both these addresses:
In your subject line give your name, “JWC,” and the date.
In the body of the email, give:
1. Your name (or names)
2. Contact information (email, telephone. These remain confidential.)
3. Your publications (Need not be complete, but give names of journals and genre for short pieces; title, publisher and date for books; venues and dates for plays, and so on)
4. Title of presentation. (20 words or less)
5. Type of presentation (short lecture with Q&A, craft workshop, panel discussion, reading with Q&A, etc.)
6. Short summary of the presentation (50 words or less)
7. Abstract of the presentation (150 words or less)
8. Personal and professional biography (50 words or less. Include mention of your publications, as this will be part of the Conference program)
9. Anything else, such as special equipment needs or questions.
Your proposal doesn’t have to be a “finished” document to submit. There will be time to shape and polish your ideas for a presentation. But there are a set number of session slots available and if you are interested in having one of them, please let us know soon. Again, the deadline is June 1, 2011.
Co Co-ordinators, 2011 Japan Writers Conference