Frustrated by the writing life? The women of Bindercon are here to help

Dina Belenko Photography / Getty Images

Unlike the classic idea of the writer — in an ivory tower, scrawling away using an ink and quill — modern times make it much easier to type something up in an excited frenzy, hit publish, and send it out quickly into the world. The internet has changed the way we read, but it certainly hasn’t reshaped writing as a form of passion. We still want to tell stories, to reach others. And we still need a community to do that.

Enter Bindercon: A conference dedicated to supporting women and non-gender-binary writers through networking, workshops, panels, and more.

Rebecca Aranda / Courtesy of Jack Jones Literary Art

At this year’s L.A. iteration of the two-day conference, attendees gathered to learn more about their craft, but also discussed how to navigate the internet, amplify diverse voices, and how to deal with sexism in the workplace.

These are just a few of the lessons we took away from a weekend at UCLA with so many talented writers.

Rebecca Aranda / Courtesy of Jack Jones Literary Art

Things won’t always work out the way you want, but that doesn’t mean a project wasn’t important.


Take it from Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg of the now-defunct but now-iconic The Toast — things don’t always work out as planned. Their hilarious site shuttered after Cliffe and Ortberg realized they couldn’t make it viable. But one thing they will always appreciate, as they shared, is the community that came from the site.

Rebecca Aranda / Courtesy of Jack Jones Literary Art

Write down a list of your goals so you can visualize them — and help them become reality.


This might sound cheesy, but when you’re thinking about your career goals, it can be helpful to write down a list of goals. That can mean anything from specific bylines to projects to meetings. Writers in the “Rumbling Stomachs and Itchy Feet” panel on food and travel writing strongly recommended this. Writer Mona Gable once made a list that included taking a trip to Antartica – and the opportunity happened to come up not too long after. Get to list-making!
Rebecca Aranda / Courtesy of Jack Jones Literary Art
Gloria Calderón Kellett and Tanya Saracho

Keep hustling — even when it feels futile.

“You have to catch fire,” says TV writer Tanya Saracho, known for her writing in shows like Girls, Looking, and How to Get Away with Murder.

No matter your craft, you have to make yourself “undeniable” because there are now so many people out there blogging, writing, and becoming influencers. Saracho’s own story – and that of One Day at a Time co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett – is inspiration enough. The two successful figures didn’t always have it figured out; but one of the biggest lessons they’ve learned along the way is that there’s value in hitting the pavement and working hard.

So here’s to the writers, the dreamers, the creators. Start that next project — you never know where it might take you.

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