2018 Conference: Keynote Speakers


9 – 10 a.m.

Why and How to Green-Light Your Creative Life

Brooke Warner will speak about the importance of claiming your own legitimacy as an artist and creative being in a culture where merit and worth are being conflated with brand and fame. Brooke's personal mission is to break down the barriers of book publishing, giving equal access to all writers. She calls upon the industry to judge a book as a reader would—for its content rather than the celebrity of its author. Though she'll dole out criticism for an industry that places too much value on image and author platform, Warner's message is ultimately an empowering one: you can and should publish your book, put your content out there, and join ranks of authorship on your own terms. More than ever before, those artists Brooke calls “green-lighters” are the ones influencing what gets consumed and read, shaping our cultural values, and creating a paradigm shift in the arts.



Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-light Your Book, What's Your Book?, How to Sell Your Memoir, and the co-author of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing. She is the former Executive Editor of Seal Press and currently sits on the boards of the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers. She writes a monthly column for Publishers Weekly and blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and SheWrites.com. She lives and works in Berkeley, California.




TV Writer/Producer Ellen Sandler received an Emmy nomination for her work as a Co-Executive Producer of the CBS hit series, "Everybody Loves Raymond." She has had a long career as a writer/producer on staff of many* prime time half hours, and she has pitched, sold, and developed more than a dozen pilots for all the major networks. 

Ellen is an internationally recognized speaker and teacher on television writing and series development and she is the current President of the Entertainment Industry Assoc. of Consultants & Educators.

Her consulting company, Sandler Ink, provides script and career development strategies for professionals and those wanting to break into the television industry. Her clients include staff writers and creators of current network and cable series, screenwriters, studio executives, actors, stand-up comics, playwrights, journalists, as well as TV production companies in Canada, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Israel, Japan, and China. 

She is the author of The TV Writers Workbook, a top-selling handbook for writers which is used as a text in screenwriting programs at UCLA, USC, NYU, Stanford, Columbia, Northwestern, and many other film schools both in the US and abroad. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West and holds a BS from Syracuse Univ. and an MFA from The American Film Institute. 

*Complete credit listing at IMDB

1:40 – 2:40 p.m.

To TV or Not TV

Ellen will be talking about her experiences as a writer and producer of half-hour network television and sharing her thoughts on how the world of scripted television is changing; where new opportunities are now, and how writers from various disciplines may use their writing to open doors.

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