Open House at Random House

Time for more weekend posts!

So after seeing The Heiress on Broadway Thursday night, my mom and I headed back to my apartment and went right to bed; we had a busy day ahead of us—the Open House at Random House.

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Originally scheduled for Nov. 2, the event was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.  They say good things come to those to wait, and boy, did Random House have an exciting day planned for the 200-plus attendees.

9:15 a.m. – My mom arrived at Random House, got our nametags, and picked up our two complimentary books.

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The day’s speakers included Marcus Samuelsson (Yes, Chef), Anna Quindlen (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake), Lucy Danziger (Editor-in-Chief of SELF magazine and author of The Drop 10 Diet), and Kurt Anderson (True Believers), so each attendee got to select two of these titles.

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Does it surprise you I went for the food (Yes, Chef) and nutrition (The Drop 10 Diet) ones?

10-10:15 a.m. – The event kicked off with a short welcome from Random House Publicity Director Theresa Zoro.

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How cool is this live Twitter feed on the left?

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So many attendees—including me—live-tweeted the conference.  These short, 140-character text bursts succinctly sum up what each speaker said, so I’ll share some of my favorites.

10:15-11 a.m. – The publishing team behind The Passage trilogy talked about what went into acquiring, editing, and publicizing Justin Cronin’s bestseller.

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Before their talk, they shared a video about the novel’s back-story.  Did you know Cronin conceptualized the idea with his daughter?  She wanted him to write a book about a girl who saves the world.  So cool!  Two noteworthy tweets:

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11-11:15 a.m. – Short break and Samuelsson book signing.

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11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. – Samuelsson, his editor Andy Ward, and Huffington Post Food Editor Carey Polis discussed the memoir-writing process.

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12-1 p.m. – Obviously, I was pumped for lunch, and it turned out to be a nice surprise.  There were four boxed choices available, and each was inspired by a Random House cookbook.

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I chose the Thanksgiving one, which included a turkey-cranberry sandwich, apple, quinoa, and a cookie.

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As we ate, a panel discussed the best books to give for the holidays.

1-1:15 p.m. – Quindlen book signing.

1:15-2 p.m. – Quindlen and her editor Kate Medina discussed their unique publishing relationship.  As a Writing and Rhetoric major, I love hearing about an author’s brainstorming, writing, and editing process.  Plus, since I was also a Writing Colleague—basically a peer editor who helped other students with their papers—I also enjoy hearing how other editors work.

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2-2:45 p.m. – Although I enjoyed the Quindlen-Medina panel, Lucy Danziger’s discussion was my favorite of the day.

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Immediately, she reminded me of my triathloning cousin MB—animated, passionate, and super knowledgeable.  Oh, and Danziger is also a triathlete and a two-time Ironman.  No big deal.  I bet going for a ride or run with her would be so much fun!  She discussed “the social diet,” and how you can diet and exercise without sacrificing any of the fun stuff.

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I loved her concept of “happy calories,” which lets you incorporate splurges into your daily eats.  Hello, red wine and dark chocolate!

2:45-3 p.m. – Danziger book signing, aka me being totally starstuck.  Yeah, she has my dream job, does triathlons, and she’s just such a boss in general.

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3-3:45 p.m. – Anderson and New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg joined Slate.com editor Emily Bazelon to discuss current affairs.  Honestly, I was totally hyped up from Danziger’s talk, so I started reading The Drop 10 Diet.

3:45 p.m. – Anderson book signing and wine tasting.

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Don’t worry—there was white, too!

Jam-packed with ideas and inspiration, Open House at Random House was a great event; I hope to go again next year!

Have you ever been to a conference?

29 responses to “Open House at Random House

  1. What a random post…ha! Couldn’t help myself…I thought I would open with that..Ha! Again!

  2. This looks like such a fun event! I’m so proud of you for really striking out in your field – you’re doing a really amazing job 😀

  3. This looks like such a great event, so inspiring to hear all those people speak! That book sounds pretty intriguing too, you’ll have to let us know how it is!

  4. What a lovely event! And I totally agree… red wine and chocolate are my splurges and I seriously have a little piece of dark chocolate almost every day! It keeps me sane 🙂

  5. Hooray for books! Great event.

  6. That looks like an amazing conference. I’ve been to some before, but nothing like what you’re describing…very high tech!

    • The live-tweeting surprised me, but I hopped on board. I didn’t tweet the entire day, but it was fun to share what I was learning in real-time. Very cool. 🙂

  7. This looks amazing. I wish I’d been there!

  8. what an awesome event, the opportunities you have had in NYC are so remarkable

  9. That looks like a lot of fun! I haven’t attended a conference as a participant but I have interpreted at a few.

  10. Sounds like a great event!! You’ll have to do a book review on those two books you picked up! 🙂

  11. I hope you write a book someday of all your NYC experiences. One things, for sure, it would be a good read!

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  13. Marcus Samuelsson is my FAVOURITE Chopped judge!!! I can’t believe you went to his book signing!! SO jealous!

  14. oh wow I would love to go to this!! How do you sign up ?? Such a fun event!

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