The third day of the conference started with a great panel of writers of narrative non-fiction. Although this genre never did top my list of reads, these writers' passion for non-fiction is contagious. As a lover of academia, I appreciate and am impressed by the rigor of research that goes into this type of writing; Research is an extreme sport. Often, one interesting fact can send these authors out on the chase for their new stories. Deborah Heiligman was fascinated when she heard that Emma Darwin was an extremely religious woman and was afraid that her husband Charles would not go to heaven, thereby separating them forever. This tidbit became the seed for her book Charles and Emma.
As the day progressed, an issue emerged as increasingly pressing. It is the issue of multi-media and e-rights. The publishing world has been thrust into the uncharted and murky territories where e-platforms are commanding new and wide audiences to itself. Publishers know that they need to get involved but has yet to figure out exactly how. Writers and illustrators also have the brave new option of bypassing traditional publishing and marketing for e-publishing and online marketing. Rubin Pfeffer addressed this issue in his compelling keynote and recommended a great article on the issue. I was impressed with how forward thinking these giants in the industry are compared to myself. What I take away is that we must not be so afraid of change that we fail to stay relevant. Just as music can take form from a vinyl record to an mp3, so we must discover how story-telling can be done on the printed page as well as the iPad.