VP Message: Join us at the TAA conference, where everybody knows your name

Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan, TAA Vice President

Have you ever been to an academic conference that was so big that you scurried from session to session without talking to a soul, and you had to eat a lonely room-service dinner every night? Wouldn’t you want to be at a conference where everybody knows your name, to paraphrase the theme song of the late, great Cheers TV show? If so, TAA’s June 2014 Textbook and Academic Authoring Conference in Baltimore is just for you!

This year’s conference is located near the scenic Baltimore harbor, with a wonderful selection of restaurants, shops, and museums. And even more importantly, the conference will feature an outstanding selection of sessions, workshops, and just plain camaraderie. In a small, congenial setting, you will hear veteran authors of textbooks, monographs, journal articles, and other academic writing talk about the rewards and challenges of their writing craft, and you will hear much good advice for your own writing projects. You will hear about the latest developments in the publishing industry, including digital technologies and self-publishing. You can attend several sessions about how to thrive in the world of journal articles and other scholarly publishing and about how to connect students with their scholarly reading in today’s digital age. Concerned about the effect of publisher bankruptcies on authors? Then come hear a panel of industry experts offer advice on how to minimize the negative consequences of publishers’ business downturns. You can also attend roundtable discussions on writing books without losing your sanity, on what to know before and after writing your first textbook, on publishing books via Amazon’s CreateSpace, and on instructors’ teaching strategies for writing.

To top it all off, you will also hear a keynote address from Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor for The New Yorker, and an informative and highly entertaining “geo primer” on Baltimore by famed geography author Robert Christopherson.

The bottom line? You get to enjoy the sights of Baltimore, meet new people who share your love of writing and learning, and hear all kinds of things about text and scholarly writing. To paraphrase the Gershwins’ “I Got Rhythm,” who could ask for anything more?

Steven Barkan, Ph.D.