The Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers 2016 welcomes
We’re excited that Linda Lowen returns for her second straight year at Festival of Women Writers. She has been a freelance writer for over two decades, Linda Lowen’s work has appeared in print and online. She is the editor of Hopeful, Grateful, Strong, an anthology of cancer survivor stories published in June 2015. Her essay “Hillary Clinton, Everymother,” is featured in the book Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, edited by Joanne Hamburger. Linda is a theater reviewer for the Syracuse Post-Standard / syracuse.com and also writes the award-winning “Storytime” column for Family Times, the Parenting Guide of Central New York. Her non-fiction story “Christmas Eve Service” is included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering and Giving Back. Linda is co-host/producer of Take Care, an award-winning health and wellness show that features the country’s leading experts on medicine, health, psychology and human behavior, on WRVO Public Media, an NPR affiliate serving Central and Northern New York. The program can be heard as a podcast through iTunes and is syndicated nationwide through PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.
For Festival 2016, Linda Lowen will once again present an absolutely essential workshop for writers, whether established or unpublished.
BLOGS, WEBSITES & SOCIAL MEDIA: Create, Curate, Relate
“What’s your platform?” is a typical question today. Writers are more likely to have their work published if they have a platform which can be a subscriber list for a blog, website or email newsletter, a following on Twitter, a large number of “Likes” on Facebook, or any social media presence with followers. Lowen brings her expert knowledge from covering tech, the internet, and social media trends for MSN, as well as establishing About.com Women’s Issues as the internet’s top-ranked site.
“A blog is very different because, in many cases, your reader may not be familiar with your work or even know who you are. They may have arrived on your site through various links, and once they land they judge you rather quickly, trying to decide whether it’s worth their time to read and stick around. There are many tips and tricks to optimizing your writing to be read online, and I’ll be going over those in my workshop.” Linda Lowen
Go to Festival 2016 for more information about all of our workshops and readings.
From Linda Lowen‘s Q&A with Stephanie Nikolopolous, also a returning participating author for Festival 2016 and also a blogger of books and literature, women’s concerns, and Greek-American identity. Visit Stephanie’s blog and subscribe at: Stephanie Nikolopoulos.com
Nikolopoulos: Much of your career has been focused on covering women’s issues, from politics to pop culture. How have women’s issues as a category changed in your two decades as a freelance writer? In what way would you like to see it change?
Lowen: We’ve seen a lot of shifts, both good and bad. Twenty years ago few of us could have envisioned a viable presidential candidate who was female, or a First Lady who was a woman of color. Back in 1995, those situations would have been characterized as pipe dreams rather than attainable outcomes. We also would not have foreseen a future in which two women could be legally married to each other–and have that union accepted in every state in the U.S.–or one in which a former male Olympic gold medalist would be accepted as a female and celebrated on the cover of a magazine like Vanity Fair.
But those are the headline-making stories, and they’re always going to be bigger and splashier than the quiet realities of women’s lives. And that’s the problem: many of those smaller, honest stories have been crowded out. These days, the conversation touches less on poverty, single mothers as heads of households, pay inequity, food insecurity, social issues that aren’t so sexy but that more accurately represent what ordinary women in this country face every single day.
Over the course of 15 years covering women’s issues, I’ve found that many of the voices raised against women have become downright vicious, and the vitriol is hard to stomach if you don’t have a thick skin. For a long time I was optimistic that the growth of the internet would level the playing field because words and thoughts in isolation don’t have gender; they simply exist at face value, and when access to a worldwide audience opened up for anyone who had an internet connection, I thought women could do at least as well as men. But from the technology industry to the gaming industry, we’ve seen how women have been shut out of many areas, or if they attempt to enter on equal footing, there are real threats made against them.
The greatest challenge most women’s issues-oriented sites face comes in the comments section. The internet is largely a place that protects anonymity, and when people can leave comments that they don’t have to personally be responsible and accountable for, the worst of human nature shows up.
For more information on Festival of Women Writers 2016, link here: Festival 2016
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