Speakers at various workshops discussed the wide span of media available today from thick paperbacks to Twitter.
Brian Stelter, the New York Times’ “poster boy for Twitter,” extolled the virtues of the micro-blogging site. Stelter cited the example of the outrage American viewers expressed against NBC last August when it scheduled the 2008 Olympics ceremony, 12 hours after the actual event in Beijing, to coincide with local prime-time programming hours.
“Through comments on Twitter from angry viewers here [at 8 am Eastern Time], I was able to see a story emerging and by blogging it, I was able to get comments,” he said. “By 4 p.m., I was a pitching a story about people’s outrage over NBC’s decision and it was a front page story the next day."
Just few rooms away, journalists-turned-authors Tom Zoellner and Minal Hajratwala (above) gave aspiring authors, tips on a more traditional medium. Hajratwalla, the author of "Leaving India", released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this year, spoke about what makes a successful narrative. “Character plus event plus theme equals narrative,” she said.
Zoellner, author of "Uranium" and "The Heartless Stone," outlined what goes into a book proposal.
“This is not the place for modesty,” he said.
Photo by Preston Merchant