Networking Events for Writers in the Twin Cities

Posted on Tue, Jun 18 2013 2:24 pm by Emily Mininsohn


The career of a writer is based on the creative process, so usually we picture the key to success as time spent alone with our notebooks or computers, brainstorming, writing, and editing. Yes, many writers turn to other people during their process, but it’s not to network as much as to improve the writings itself, through research or feedback. Success, be it publication or a different goal, is thought to reflect the result of the mostly solitary creative process. In today’s varied and competitive literary world however, getting published usually requires professional skills beyond those needed to create a manuscript, including the skills to market one’s own writing and build a community network.

This week, the Loft will participate in two events geared toward helping writers learn about the practical side of writing.

Tonight, (Tuesday, June 18) at The Secret Sauce of Book Marketing panel, writers will have the chance to learn about what goes into promoting a book and gain insights on how to help their own writing reach an audience. Publicity and marketing professionals, Erin Kotkke and Marisa Atkinson (Graywolf Press), Matt Rasmussen (Birds, LLC.), and Rebecca Schultz (Milkweed Editions) and author Maggie Ryan Sandford, will discuss the lessons they’ve learned through their careers on how to get the word out about newly published books, and how to get readers excited about them. By bringing together writers who hope to reach audiences, the event will also provide a chance for attendees to share their own perspectives and maybe even open up avenues for collaboration.  

The Twin Cities LitPunch Mixer will be held tomorrow (Wednesday, June 19) and will provide writers with an opportunity to meet people who represent all aspects of the Twin Cities literary community and learn about what they do. It can be hard to know who to talk to in such a broad group, and many people (not just writers!) find networking events daunting. To ease the stress of meeting people at LitPunch, organizers devised a game.  Every attendee will be given a “dance card” for the evening, and be challenged to get signatures from area editors, designers, writers, book reviewers, intern and volunteer coordinators, publicists, event coordinators, fundraisers, and others. That way, everyone will get a chance both to pursue their specific networking goals and to learn about completely unexpected sides of the Twin Cities’ literary community.

Networking is an often ignored and sometimes daunting task for writers, because the writing process itself is often solitary. However, reaching out at events like LitPunch and The Secret Sauce of Book Marketing may result in connections that help individuals to reach their writing and publishing goals. At very least, writers, editors, and others will find themselves discussing a shared love for books with other people who are passionate about reading and writing.

Emily Mininsohn is a marketing and communications intern at The Loft Literary Center.