TAF 2013Today we bring you Kristy Stevenson, a talented freelance writer and editor based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Kristy is an active member and volunteer of TAF (Triangle Area Freelancers) and can’t wait to share with you all of the details of this year’s Write Now! TAF Nonfiction Conference on Saturday, April 20th at Wake Technical Community College, Northern Campus on Louisburg Rd in Raleigh, Building D. At this conference I’ll be teaching a workshop on “Memoir 101: How to Write and Sell Your Life Story.” So if you’re on the fence about jumping in as a freelancer or if you’re a freelancer who needs extra inspiration, you can’t miss this content-loaded conference that’s worth every penny of your time. Thank you, Kristy, for spreading the good word!


Register for Write Now!  Fee: $69 in advance, $59 students with ID and seniors 65+

TAF conf photoSo you want to freelance. How do you get started? Can you make it on a stringer’s income? And what are the legal ramifications of running your own business? The news is good and accountability groups like Triangle Area Freelancers (TAF) are here to help. TAF offers information and support to both professional and aspiring writers in the Triangle area of North Carolina. And each spring, they host a nonfiction symposium called Write Now! that strives to answer your questions and introduce you to key players in the industry.


[Full disclosure: I have been a member of TAF since 2006. But more importantly, I have been a writer for years and am pitching stories, following up on leads, and getting paid to do what I love. Fellow writers in this group showed me how.]


What can a writing conference offer you? The kick in the pants to write, and write regularly. Consider it a training ground amid those who share your interest. It will also teach you to write for publication—to hone your skills and get paid for a job well done. Each year, TAF puts together a diverse array of presenters who strive to help you realize your dream of publishing.

“Nonfiction freelance writers are somewhat underserved at many regional conferences, which is why we started Write Now! in 2008,” said TAF founder Don Vaughan. “We see the conference as a great way for writers of all genres to get together and learn from each other as well as from the presenters we bring in. It’s all about networking.”


This year’s event—TAF’s sixth—will be held on Saturday, April 20 from 8am-4pm at Wake Technical Community College’s Northern Campus, Building D. And the best part: Zac Petit, senior managing editor of Writer’s Digest, will be delivering the keynote. His presentation of, “Santa Claus, Small-Town Murder and $10,000 Restaurant Tabs: 10 Stories That Taught Me (Almost) Everything I Know About Writing Nonfiction” aims to be both funny and inspiring.

Petit’s own freelance work has appeared in National Geographic, National Geographic Kids, Melissa Rossi’s What Every American Should Know book series, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. He’ll also be presenting, “The Good, The Bad and The Nightmare Query” as well as bringing door prizes. As a writer, can you seriously tell me you have something better than THIS planned for your Saturday?


If you go: select the programs you like best from two simultaneous tracks and soak up some literary know-how.


Session 1A: “Taxes and More: The Business of Freelance Writing” with Margo Bills

Session 2A: “Freelance Writing for Beginners” with Don Vaughan

Session 3A: “The Good, the Bad and the Nightmare Query” with Zac Petit

Session 4A: “Memoir 101: Writing Your Life Story” with Alice Osborn

Alice’s memoir classes are a hot commodity, and TAF’s got her!


Session 1B: “Strategies for Simplifying Your Writing” with Andrea Wenger

Session 2B: “Can They DO That?! Infringement, Fair Use, and Other Legal Questions Facing Freelancers” with Ed Timberlake

Session 3B: “Writing for Religious and Spiritual Markets” with Thomas Smith

Session 4B: “Write like a Renegade: Breaking the Rules for Freelance Success” with Linda Formichelli


End of the day wrap up:

“Ask The Freelancers! Roundtable” with Zac Petit, Mark Cantrell, and Linda Formichelli


As an added bonus, veteran literary agent Lisa Hagan will be accepting a limited number of book pitches for a nominal fee. A single page book synopsis is required in advance. Hagan and Paraview Literary Agency represent nonfiction books in the self-help, science, business, travel, memoir, current affairs and mind-body-spirit genres. “This is a great way for aspiring nonfiction authors to present their ideas to an agent with the connections to get them in front of the nation’s major publishers,” said TAF past-President Mark Cantrell.


Though a relatively small organization, TAF strives to deliver the very best presenters. “Where else are you going to have such amazing access to high-level industry professionals for a reasonable fee?” said Vaughan. “We’re in this for the betterment of the local writing community. TAF wants everyone to come away from the conference inspired to write. Anyone who makes their living with words—or would like to—is encouraged to attend.”


This is a great local opportunity to jump start your writing career. Be inspired to seek out other conferences through sources like the North Carolina Writers’ Network; book clubs, workshops and organizations; teachers and fellow students; as well as online and social media postings. Attend with a friend, or join an accountability group to help keep you moving forward. And don’t forget us little people when you make the best sellers list!


 Register for Write Now! 





kristyblue_smAbout Kristy

Kristy Stevenson is an independent contributing writer and editor in Raleigh. She is a graduate of NC State University and serves as a regular national and regional provider to the lifestyle, pop culture/entertainment, parenting and healthcare fields. You can find more of Kristy’s writing on her website, blog and LinkedIn profile.