The Authors Guild Foundation conducts programs that educate writers and the general public about current issues in publishing, free speech, and copyright.
Strange Bedfellows: The Rewards and Pitfalls of Collaboration
How collaborative projects are born, thrive, and sometimes unravel, was the subject of an Authors Guild and Authors Guild Foundation-sponsored discussion at Scandinavia House in New York November 11, 2004. The panelists were Lawrence Malkin, a former foreign correspondent who has collaborated on books with Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Anatoly Dobrynin, former Soviet ambassador to Wash¬ington, Markus Wolf, former East German spymaster, and Stuart Eizenstat, U.S. Undersecretary of State in the Clinton Administration; Laura Morton, who has written 18 books with celebrities, including Joan Lunden, Diahann Carroll, Melissa Etheridge, Jerry Springer and most recently, with Ed and Lois Smart, the parents of Elizabeth Smart, Bringing Elizabeth Home. Peter Petre, a senior editor at large at Fortune, who was co-author with former IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson of Father Son and Company: My Life at IBM and Beyond, and with General H. Norman Schwarzkopf of It Doesn’t Take a Hero, and Sarah Wernick, who specializes in medical collaborations, and has had three bestsellers: Strong Women Stay Young, Strong Women Say Slim, and Strong Women, Strong Bones. The evening was moderated by Guild President Nick Taylor, co-author with John Glenn of John Glenn: A Memoir.
Standing Above the Crowd:
Platforms and Publicity in a Crowded Marketplace
The newest and, for many, the most unnerving job of the writer—to pitch one’s self along with one’s work—was the subject of an Authors Guild and Authors Guild Foundation-sponsored discussion at Scandinavia House in New York in January. The panelists were Beth Dickey, associate director of publicity at Hyperion Books, where she has worked with a number of bestselling authors, including David Halberstam, Candace Bushnell, Steve Martin and George Carlin; Nelson George, author of eight nonfiction books and five novels, winner of a Grammy and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for Elevating the Game and Hip-hop America, and E. Jean Carroll, whose “Ask E. Jean” column in Elle magazine reaches almost five million readers a month, and who is the author of Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, Mr. Right Right Now and two collections. The evening was moderated by Guild President Nick Taylor.
Nonfiction Page Turners
How to shape a compelling story from a surfeit of real-life characters and facts was the subject of an Authors Guild and Authors Guild Foundation-sponsored panel discussion held at the Society for Ethical Culture in New York in April. The panelists were Melissa Fay Greene, author of Praying for Sheetrock, The Temple Bombing and Last Man Out; Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm and Fire; Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers, and Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter. The evening was moderated by Guild President Nick Taylor.
Leaving the Staff: Freelancing Without Freefalling
The high-wire life of the freelance writer was the subject of a panel discussion sponsored by the Authors Guild Foundation at Scandinavia House in New York in January. The panelists were Susan Dominus, a former editor at New York Magazine, the American Lawyer and Glamour and the founding editor of the short-lived Electric Nerve Magazine, currently a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and Glamour; Meryl Gordon, a former newspaper writer and TV journalist, and since 1985, a prolific and widely published freelancer who has written profiles of, among others, Kofi Annan, Tipper Gore and Ted Koppel; William Georgiades, a former editor in chief at Black Book Magazine and Perkins Press, and former editor at Esquire, who has written for Vanity Fair, GQ and Talk, and regularly contributes to the London Times and the New York Post; Michael Greenberg, the only panelist who has never held a straight job, writes a freelance column for the Times Literary Supplement of London; his memoir about the mysteries of madness will be published by Other Press in 2007. The discussion was moderated by Nick Taylor, the Guild’s outgoing president, and a successful freelancer for many years.