The "Publish Now!" annual seminar is designed to give all writers the latest information they need to publish their work in print or e-book format in the digital age. “Self-publishing stands on its own feet and competes head-to-head with traditional publishing,” says Wilson Wyatt, a conference organizer and presenter. “Writers can now take control of their own publishing experience.” Seasoned and budding writers alike will learn, from an independent source, how to get on the right track and avoid many of the common pitfalls of self-publishing. 

Phil Sexton, the opening speaker, will address the most current trends in publishing, from the writer’s perspective. Sexton has worked with Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million and many other major book retailers and wholesalers in the country. He is also the author of A Picture is Worth 1000 Words, Legends of Literature and The Writer’s Lab.

Sessions will cover: preparing and editing your manuscript, alternative publishing techniques, self-publishing choices and costs, business and legal issues and proven marketing strategies. In addition to novels and nonfiction, specialized breakout sessions will be devoted to publishing children’s and young adult, memoir, art and photography, travel and interactive books.

This conference is now sold out. Please contact Laura Spencer with any questions or concerns.


8 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Latest Trends in Self-Publishing – Writer’s Digest Publisher Phil Sexton
Preparing and Editing your Manuscript for Publication
Establishing a Publishing House: a Different Approach to Self-Publishing
The Self-Publishing Experience: Choices and Costs
Establishing a Publishing House, a Different Approach to Self-Publishing
12:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15-2:50 p.m. Writing & Publishing Break-Out Sessions (genre specific)
1:15 p.m.
Children & Young Adult
2:05 p.m.
Art & Photography
Travel & Interactive
2:50 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Business and Legal Issues
Your Marketing Plan and Proven Techniques
4:45-5:30 p.m. Reception


AMY ABRAMS, Co-Fiction editor, is a novelist and journalist, as well as former publishing executive at national art magazines including Art & Antiques and more recently, in Washington, D.C., associate publisher of Museum & Arts Washington magazine. Her short stories have been published in Denver Quarterly and Hobart. She is fiction co-editor of The Delmarva Review. Her book about a nationally renowned Pop artist, Bill Schenck, was published in 2013. Her first novel, The Cage and the Key, was published in June.

KEN ACKERMAN, a writer and attorney in Washington, D.C., is the author of four books and dozens of articles. His titles include: The Gold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould and Black Friday, 1869; Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield; Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York and Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties.

LAURA AMBLER is an international award winning author, published illustrator, produced playwright, and multiply optioned (Warner Bros. and Village Road Show) and produced screenwriter. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Dramatists Guild. Ambler is also president of the Telly Award winning marketing, design and creative services agency, The Ambler Company, Inc.

AUSTIN S. CAMACHO has written five detective novels about private eye Hannibal Jones and four international adventure thrillers.  He is also a co-founder of Intrigue Publishing.  He’s been active in several writers’ organizations and teaches writing at Anne Arundel Community College. By day he answers media queries for the Defense Department. Camacho lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.

BARBARA ESSTMAN, M.F.A., is a National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Virginia Commission for the Arts fellow, and a Redbook fiction award winner, among other distinctions. Her two novels, The Other Anna and Night Ride Home, are in numerous foreign editions; both were adapted for television by Hallmark Productions. She co-edited an anthology, A More Perfect Union: Poems and Stories about the Modern Wedding, and has taught extensively in universities.

NEAL GILLEN has self-published eight novels and a memoir. Born and raised in New York City, Gillen received his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University. Gillen serves on the board of The Writer’s Center and the American Independent Writers. His titles include Kitty’s Rules, The Night Clerks, Altar Boy and Lonely No More.

C.M. MAYO is the author of the novel The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, which was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2009. She is also the author of Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles Through Baja California, the Other Mexico, a travel memoir of Mexico's Baja California peninsula; and Sky over El Nido, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is the editor of a collection of Mexican literature in translation, Mexico: A Traveler's Literary


MARGARET MEACHAM is the award-winning author of 14 novels for children and young adults, with two new titles: The Ghosts of Laurelforda historical mystery for young adults, and The Survival of Sarah Landing, her first novel for “grown-ups.” Meacham teaches writing and children’s literature at Goucher College and Gotham Writer’s Workshops in New York City. She holds degrees from Trinity College and University of Maryland.


JENNIFER MILLER is the author of The Year of the Gadfly, chosen as a 2012 Best Book by Kirkus Reviews and Self Magazine. Her first book, Inheriting the Holy Land, won Moment Magazine's Non-Fiction Award for Young Writers. Miller’s journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Fast Company and The Daily Beast. A native of Washington, D.C., she now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with all the other writers.

PHIL SEXTON is the publisher of Writer’s Digest, overseeing the production of the magazine, as well as the WD book line, conferences, online education and competitions. For nearly 25 years, he’s worked in the book business, serving in numerous capacities, including vice president of sales for F+W Media, sales director of Adams Media, and – most proudly – independent bookseller. He has worked with Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million and most every other major book retailer and wholesaler in the country. He is also the author of A Picture is Worth 1000 Words, Legends of Literature and The Writer’s Lab.

WILSON WYATT is a writer and photographer who leads several writing initiatives on the Delmarva Peninsula. He is executive editor and a founder of The Delmarva Review and was president of the Eastern Shore Writers Association. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He has published two books of photography, Yosemite-Catching the Light, in 2011, and Chesapeake Views-Catching the Light, in 2013.

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