The Washington Writers Conference Presents Laura Hazan
- February 9, 2022
Meet our intrepid chair!
A librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and a novelist, Laura Hazan is also chair of the 2022 Washington Writers Conference, which takes place May 13-14 in Rockville, MD. Here are some of her thoughts on this year’s event.
How long have you been involved with the conference?
This is my first year as chair. I first attended in 2017, then volunteered to recruit agents for several years. Thanks to the Washington Writers Conference, I find myself less intimidated by literary agents now. There’s nothing like asking Stephen Graham Jones’ agent to pass you a napkin as you grab a cookie during a coffee break.
What is the importance of writers gathering together?
Personally, attending writers’ conferences reminds me I’m not alone. The struggle is real, whether it’s finding an agent, getting published, figuring out social media, or other tasks we tackle while launching or maintaining our careers. It’s oddly comforting to know others are struggling and have solutions.
What’s your favorite part of the conference?
Rubbing shoulders with writers and agents I see in the press, online, and on my library bookshelves. In 2018, I sat down with my boxed lunch at a random table and found myself eating with Judith Viorst, the award-winning children’s book author. What a surprise when she stood and took the podium as the keynote speaker!
How can attendees best use their time at the conference?
Check out the panels ahead of time, prioritize, and make sure you attend [the ones you’re most interested in]. There’s only so much you can do in one day, and there are excellent panels this year. These range from the “Writing Your Life” craft workshop with Marita Golden to “What Editors are Looking For.” Also, keep in mind that you have to work around your agent-pitch schedule, which you’ll receive several days before the conference. Make sure to research these agents. Also, agents love [hearing you mention] a good comp, especially when it’s a client’s book. And socialize! Get to know the other writers in attendance. You never know when you’ll strike up a friendship or find a new colleague.
Don’t miss your chance to meet Laura and dozens of other writers during this year’s conference! Attendance is capped at 150, and we’re 75 percent sold out, so register NOW! (Note: Proof of vaccination against covid-19 is required to attend.)