Suggest questions for Portland’s Blog to Book panel

Do you ever dream of publishing a book? If so, you’re not alone — getting published is a dream shared by a lot of bloggers (including me!). So I’m especially jazzed to be moderating the From Blog to Book panel discussion planned for Press Publish Portland, considering how many of our featured bloggers either have already published books or have books coming out this year.

Jerry Mahoney, ready to sign his book
Here’s Jerry Mahoney, signing his book Mommy Man: How I Went From Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad.

Mary Laura Philpott, Cecilia Gunther, Jerry Mahoney, Christine Lee, and Ananda Leeke will join me on stage in Portland on Saturday, March 28 to talk about how each of them came to publish a book (or books) and how blogging influenced their journey to publication. From self-publishing to multiple book deals with major publishing labels, these bloggers will share about a lot of the ways books are born in this new age of print media.

I know I’m dying to ask these folks a bunch of things, but I want to know what you’re curious about, too! If you would like to suggest questions for the panel, please leave them in the comments — note that we won’t answer them here, we’ll save it for the panel discussion at the Portland event.

By the way, if you’re in or near Portland, tickets are still available for Press Publish, and they come with a Premium upgrade or VaultPress Backup Bundle — a $99 value!

Get your ticket!

And don’t forget to RSVP for the free Longreads Story Mixer on March 27, so we can make sure to have enough snacks and libations for everyone.

RSVP for the free mixer!

We can’t wait to see you soon at Press Publish!

Join us for a Longreads Story Mixer in Portland on March 27

We are very proud to host a Longreads story mixer in Portland!

Photo by Johannes Jansson/ [CC BY 2.5 dk]
Photo by Johannes Jansson/ [CC BY 2.5 dk]
In the evening of Friday, March 27, please join Press Publish and Longreads at the Embassy Suites for a free mixer, featuring stories from some of our favorite writers:

nathaniel-friedmanNathaniel Friedman (“Bethlehem Shoals”) is a writer living in Portland. He’s a founder of, the co-author of The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac and The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History, and a regular contributor to

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meaghanMeaghan O’Connell (author, “A Birth Story”) is a freelance writer and a columnist for New York Magazine’s The Cut. She just moved to Portland from Brooklyn, New York, and is working on a book of essays about new motherhood.

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author photoNancy Rommelmann writes for The Wall Street Journal, the LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times and other publications. She is the author of The Bad Mother, a novel, The Queens of Montague Street, a digital memoir of growing up in 1970s Brooklyn that was chosen as a Top 10 Longreads in 2012 and excerpted in The New York Times Magazine, and the story collection, Transportation. Destination Gacy, about her trip to interview serial killer John Wayne Gacy, was released as an ebook in 2014. She is currently at work on To the Bridge, the story of Amanda Stott-Smith, who threw her two young children from a bridge in Portland, Oregon. Her website is

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aaron_scottAaron Scott recently started producing Oregon Public Broadcasting’s weekly arts and culture show, State of Wonder. Before joining OPB, he was a senior editor at Portland Monthly, orchestrating the magazine’s arts coverage and reporting narrative features. He has also filed award-winning stories for Out Magazine, Radiolab and This American Life. He has only told one story before a live audience, about his first relationship, which lasted a whole weekend in a D.C. hotel during a youth activism conference. Somehow, Ani DiFranco lyrics were involved.

The Longreads Story Mixer will be held on March 27 at the Embassy Suites in downtown Portland, OR at 319 SW Pine Street.

The event will open at 5:30 with snacks and libations, the storytelling will begin at 6:30pm, and the event will close at 8pm.

This mixer is free, but please RSVP so we’ll have enough libations and snacks for everyone.

RSVP for this free event!

Phoenix sessions announced

I’m excited to announce that today we published 13 sessions to Press Publish Phoenix’s schedule!

When you buy your ticket for Press Publish Phoenix, you’re signing up for useful tutorials on tools like widgets and themes, tips and tricks from SEO and marketing experts, and a panel of successful bloggers discussing the many different financial opportunities that have come to them through blogging.

Successful bloggers of many stripes — humor, food, parenting, and crafting — are represented in our lineup, and they’ll each be talking about how they made their mark using WordPress. Plus, the Happiness Lounge will be staffed all day with experts, available to give you one-on-one help with your website.

Tickets are available now, and come with a one-year Premium upgrade or a one-year subscription to the VaultPress Backup Bundle ($99/yr plan).

Don’t miss out on any of these great sessions or the other fun stuff in store for you on April 18 at Press Publish Phoenix — get your ticket today!


Poetry in Motion

Are you a poet who doesn’t know it?’s Blogging U begins its Writing 201: Poetry class tomorrow. Lasting 2 weeks (with weekends off), each day the course will provide a prompt for a poetic experiment that you can share with other class members via your blog and discuss on the private course site, the Commons. Despite the 201 label, you don’t need any specific writing experience, just an interest in trying poetry for yourself in a no-pressure environment. If you miss a day, nothing bad happens. 🙂

To prove how painless it is to try out a Blogging U course, I’m signing up myself. Will it be potentially embarrassing to share poetry on my personal blog? Yes, possibly. I’m not a poet by any stretch, as evidenced by the Doctor Who-themed song I posted once that was a result of a Coursera songwriting course.

Based on what I’ve seen in the Blogging U Commons from past courses — I’ve not taken one myself yet, I’ll be a newbie just like you! — I have a feeling that it will be a lot more fun than the student assignment forums in that Coursera songrwriting course, where people seemed to be really anxious about “getting it right” and tended to sound really stressed out. In the Blogging U Commons, everyone is there to have fun, learn a little something, and create blog posts in the process.

Who’s up for 2 weeks of writing poems? Silly or serious, anything goes. Will you take the challenge and join me in Writing 201: Poetry for the next two weeks?

I leave you with a poem that was written by a trumpet player in my high school band that has stuck with me for going on 30 years now:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
You think this will rhyme
But it won’t

Blogging U logo 
Sign up for Writing 201: Poetry

(And tell me in the comments on this post so I can keep an eye out for you in the Commons!)