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  • NYS Writers Institute

Albany Book Festival online workshops open for registration

Registration is open for online workshops to take place next week in advance of our Albany Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the University at Albany.

  • Each workshop will run for one hour.

  • Registration is required.

  • There is no charge for these Albany Book Festival workshops thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, listed below.

  • Visit www.albanybookfestival.com to find more event information.


Jodé Millman

The Writer’s Law School: Protecting your artistic rights with Jodé Millman

7 p.m. Monday, September 18

About the workshop:

For writers, it’s difficult to obtain information about protecting your rights in your creative projects. And if you do, it’s difficult to decipher the “legalese.” In this workshop designed for writers, we’ll cover the basics of copyrights, trademarks, and key provisions of publishing contracts so that you’ll understand the fine print without having a law degree.


Jodé Millman is the author of the award-winning thriller novel, The Midnight Call. She has been an attorney for more than 40 years with practical experience in intellectual property law. She is a contributing editor of The Kaminstein Legislative History Project: A Compendium and Analytical Index of Materials Leading to the Copyright Act of 1976, holds a MA in English Literature specializing in Law and Literature, the author of the best-selling Broadway guidebook “Seats: New York,” a producer/host of a popular podcast, and a book reviewer for Booktrib.com. Jodé's newest thriller in the Queen City Crime Series, The Empty Kayak, was published in May 2023.


From book idea to published book: A special behind-the-scenes literary event with Allison Gilbert and Laura Mazer

7 p.m. Wednesday, September 20

About the workshop:

Author Allison Gilbert (photo left) and literary agent Laura Mazer will discuss each step of the publication process for Listen, World!, the first biography of American writer Elsie Robinson. Topics will include acquisition, editorial, marketing, and more. Learn how to find an agent, how the marketplace has shifted for writers in the last few years, and how aspiring authors might best approach their projects to get positive responses from editors.


Allison Gilbert is an Emmy award-winning journalist and co-author of Listen, World!, the first biography of American writer Elsie Robinson, a newspaper columnist who became the most-read columnist in the country and highest-paid woman writer in the William Randolph Hearst media empire. The New York Times raves “One does not tire of spending time with Elsie Robinson” and the Wall Street Journal proclaims the book “an important contribution to women’s history.” Gilbert has published four other books and writes regularly for the New York Times and other publications.


Laura Mazer is a literary agent at Wendy Sherman Associates and a longtime publishing advocate, drawing from her background as an accomplished acquisitions and developmental editor with 20 years of experience crafting bestselling, diverse, prize-winning, and culturally relevant nonfiction books for Big Five and indie publishers. Before joining Wendy Sherman Associates, Laura was executive editor of Seal Press, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group, where she edited bold voices in adult nonfiction. Her New York Times bestselling books include So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars by Virginia Grohl.


Incorporating nature writing into your nonfiction with Ellyn Gaydos

7 p.m. Thursday, September 21

About the workshop:

The natural world plays a crucial role in the human narrative but is often underutilized or only cursorily mentioned in writing. In this class we will find examples from wide-ranging texts (true crime, reportage, essay, memoir, and historical nonfiction) that explore ways reflecting on nature can enhance a piece's breadth and depth. Whether the catalyst for a thought, the site of a past event, current habitat, or record of geologic time engaging with place can help to propel a narrative to other times and perspectives. In addition to looking at exemplary writing we will do a short exercise together to attune our powers of observation and free thought in whatever environment we happen to be in.


Ellyn Gaydos is the author of Pig Years (2022), her memoir of a farmer’s life in Upstate New York and Vermont. She shares her precarious world, conjuring with simplicity the lifeblood of the farm: its livestock and stark full moons, the sharp cold days lives near to the land where joy and tragedy are frequent bedfellows. Her debut book was praised by Anthony Doerr, best-selling author of All the Light We Cannot See, as a “startling testimony to the glories and sorrows of raising and harvesting plants and animals.” Gaydos received an M.F.A. in nonfiction from Columbia University and lives in New Lebanon, New York.

(Photo credit: Shane Lavalette)


A special thank you to our sponsors.

Through their generosity, the Albany Book Festival and online workshops are offered free of charge.

Presenting sponsors:

Discover Albany

The Opalka Endowed Directorship

Bruce Piasecki & The Creative Force Fund

Renaissance Corporation of Albany

Times Union

University Auxiliary Services


Supporting sponsors:

Pernille Ægidius Dake

Hank Greenberg, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

The Foy Fund

Carol Hansen

Ellen Jabbur

The Lee Thaw Charitable Trust, Richard J. Miller Jr., Trustee

The Swyer Family Foundation


Visit www.albanybookfestival.com for more information.


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