Writers’ Conferences

Conference on Jewish Story

Learn, schmooze, connect

The first The Whole Megillah Conference on Jewish Story, together with the Association of Jewish Libraries, is planned for Sunday, May 18, 2014 at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. The full-day event features several panels:


  • Peninnah Schram, Storyteller, Professor of Speech and Drama, Yeshiva University’s Stern College

Children’s books:

  • Deborah Heiligman, author of Intentions, winner of the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers
  • Susan Lynn Meyer, author of Black Radishes, a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor recipient for Older Readers
  • Rebecca Short, Assistant Editor, Delacorte Press/Random House
  • April Halprin Wayland, author of New Year at the Pier, a 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers.


  • Ellen Cassedy, author of We Are Here, winner of the Grub Street National Book Prize for Nonfiction
  • Joy Ladin, author of Through The Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between the Genders, 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist
  • Nancy K. Miller, author of What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past and other memoirs
  • Tahneer Oksman, Jewish women in comics


  • Michal Mahgerefteh, Editor, Poetica Magazine
  • Joy Ladin
  • Elana Bell, author of Eyes, Stones, winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award


Special features—docent-led tour and hands-on writing inspired by Jewish art

On Monday, May 19, interested attendees are welcome to visit the Jewish Museum for special events:

  • A special docent-led tour of the museum
  • A hands-on writing session, inspired by the museum’s art

Extra fees apply.

14 Responses to Writers’ Conferences

  1. Ann Ingalls says:

    Just browsing. Fantastic site!! Love the most recent interview. Have thought about sending something to Eerdmans. Thanks for doing this.


  2. Sheila Baslaw says:

    Hi, my name is Sheila Baslaw, I live in Ottawa Canada and I write Jewish themed children’s stories.
    I was thrilled to read about a conference for Jewish Children’s Book Writers. Are there plans to hold a conference this year? Please send me any information available.
    I await your reply with eager anticipation and thanks.

    • Sheila,
      The 14th Annual Jewish Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference, sponsored by the Jewish Book Council, was recently advertised in Jewish Book World with a date of November 18, 2012. There is also the possibility of a multi-day workshop sponsored by the Highlights Foundation in June 2013. Stay tuned!

  3. Sheila Baslaw says:

    I will stay tuned for sure!!!!
    I await further details as I plan to attend the conference on Nov.18.
    With thanks
    Sheila B

  4. Barbara: Hope this reaches you. The May 2014 conference looks amazing. All THAT and Elinor Lipman too??! Beautiful. I’m there.

    A question re: the 11/10/13 conference. Have they announced what agents have been added to the conference for mss consultation ? If the information is out there, I haven’t found it yet. Sorry to bother you but if you have any light to shed,,.

    Thank you!

    -Pamela Ross
    Rossword at optonline dot net

    • Pamela,
      About the Jewish Story conference – thanks.
      About the Jewish Children’s Book Writers conference – I have no more information than what the Jewish Book Council has posted.

  5. Hi Barbara: Thank you for getting back to me tonight. I guess a phone call tomorrow will help solve the mystery. I’m supposed to be going away for 2 nites next weekend– Sunday to Tuesday– for our wedding anniversary. I have a book event on Saturday the 9th. Conference overload?! :;

    But your May 2014 conference is perfect in all aspects and I’m asking you now to save me a seat! (G) Please keep my name on the mailing list. I don’t want to miss that one.

    Hope you’re well!

    • More good news about the Jewish Story conference – we’ve just added special guest Sam Norich to the agenda. He’s the publisher of the Forward. So many Jewish stories got their start in that newspaper.

  6. Hi – I’m thinking of attending the conference in May. Can you provide some additional details about the program and the Monday Jewish Museum event? Thanks!

    • Hi, Helaine,
      The event line-up is at http://www.thewholemegillahllc.com/conferences-for-jewish-story/ and I’m running a $99 special for the day. We’ll be meeting from 9:30 to about 5. The Monday morning event will consist of a specially-led tour of the museum and then we’ll huddle in a room there and respond to some artwork. You can write in any genre that suits you. We’ll be using the artwork as prompts to generate new writing. Please let me know what other questions you have.

  7. Thanks, Barbara for your reply. I’m looking for a few more deets about the topics the speakers will be covering. FYI I’m based in Canada, with 50+ books under my belt. My latest is a YA novel with a Jewish theme – I hope to have my advance copies in May.

  8. I will be moderating the panels. Each panelist will have about 10 minutes to speak. Were there specific topics you were looking for?

  9. Toby Zipper says:

    Any conferences coming up in 2020?

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