Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FYE Conference in Orlando

I just got back from Orlando, Florida—home to Mickey Mouse, perpetual warm-weather, and, this weekend, the Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience. FYE is our biggest conference on the Academic Marketing side, so I was excited to attend it for the first time, and meet many of the college administrators and professors who choose the Common Read books for their incoming classes.
Freshman Common Read programs have been steadily gaining converts in colleges all across the US, providing students from all walks of life with a shared reading experience as they enter college for the first time. The conference-attendees I met were all so enthusiastic about their own programs, and have such a wide-range of interests, so it was really fun to get to speak with them and try to direct them to a book suited to their needs.
Aside from meeting all the great decision makers, HarperCollins hosted two author events. The first, in conjunction with Macmillian, Penguin, and Knopf, featured Tina Seelig, author of inGenius. Our lunch, hosted with Penguin, featured Loung Ung, author of First They Killed My Father, and Andrew Blum, author of Tubes, along with three Penguin authors (pictured above). I had never met any of the authors before, so it was a real treat to meet them and listen to them speak about their inspirational books. Tina, Loung, and Andrew are such incredible speakers, and while their books vary widely in content and scope, it was clear that they all made a significant impression on the FYE directors who we spoke with afterwards.
It was a great working-weekend, and I’m definitely looking forward to staying in contact with a number of people I met at the conference. Also, I may be missing the weather in Orlando…  


  1. Hi Louisa, I was in Orlando for the first day of the conference (sponsored by John Gardner, but missed you and the other publishers. I am the Director of the FYE at a small college (in sunny Florida), and we are interested in adopting a work by Zora Neale Hurston but we have not decided. I was trying to find a way to talk with someone at Harper about how best to proceed, but I was having trouble finding a way to contact you directly. Suggestions?

  2. Hello! That's great news--she has so many wonderful works to choose from. To discuss more, email me at Louisa.Hager@harpercollins.com. Thanks!