Nurturing the Conversation: The Care & Management of Reading & Writing Communities

Moderated by:
Sophie Rochester (The Literary Platform)
Liz Edelstein (Macmillan Publishing | Digital Marketing), Jacob Lewis (Figment ), Colleen Lindsay (Penguin Group (USA))
Manage Broadway South
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Start with a website. Add forums, blogs, live chats, ways to share, discover and discuss new content. Sounds like a simple enough recipe – but there’s a whole lot more to creating and maintaining successful writing and reading communities. What does it really take to make communities of writers and readers work?

Join moderator Sophie Rochester as she sits down to chat with three veterans of the literary “community” culture to explore how communities come together, and what makes the best communities thrive.

Photo of Sophie Rochester

Sophie Rochester

The Literary Platform

Sophie Rochester worked for publishers 4th Estate and Jonathan Cape (Random House) before moving to the digital agency GT London in 2000. She then moved to Colman Getty working on the Man Booker Prizes and the Hay Festival, before setting up her own consultancy in 2007. She founded The Literary Platform in 2010, a website dedicated to exploring new platforms for literature, which now offers consultancy services for publishers, literary organisations and digital agencies. She is also Director for Fiction Uncovered, a government-backed initiative which helps UK fiction writers find wider audiences.

Photo of Liz Edelstein

Liz Edelstein

Macmillan Publishing | Digital Marketing

Liz Edelstein is the senior manager and editor of, Macmillan Publishing’s romance community. Liz is responsible for editorial direction, SEO strategies, marketing and list growth, social media, and e-book acquisitions for the site.

Prior to launching Heroes and Heartbreakers, Liz started her career in high-tech as a product manager at Netscape Communications and wrote thirteen romance novels published under the pseudonym Liz Maverick (which she is now self-publishing as e-books). She is currently writing the interactive e-book YA fantasy series Arcania for Coliloquy using Amazon’s Kindle Active Content platform.

Photo of Jacob Lewis

Jacob Lewis


Jacob Lewis is the co-founder and CEO of Figment, an online community for teens and young adults to create, discover, and share new reading and writing. Figment enables it’s users to read amateur and professional content and generate their own unfiltered creative writing to share with peers on web and mobile networks. Jacob is the former Managing Editor of The New Yorker magazine, where he worked for more than twelve years, and of Conde Nast Portfolio.

Photo of Colleen Lindsay

Colleen Lindsay

Penguin Group (USA)

Colleen Lindsay is part of the business development team at Penguin
Group (USA), where she is community manager of, a new
online workshopping community where genre fiction writers (science
fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller and romance) can upload original
work for critique by their fellow writers. Launched in May of 2011,
the site has already resulted in a success story for
member Kerry Schafer, whose community-workshopped book BETWEEN was
acquired in a two-book deal by Berkley this past January. Colleen
served as the director of publicity for Random House’s Del Rey Books
for five years, where she specialized in the creative promotion of
SF/F, licensed media, pop culture non-fiction, and graphic novels;
most recently she worked as a literary agent focused on debut genre
fiction writers. Colleen has called the book industry home since 1984.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Dave Pawson
11/11/2011 12:10am EST

Valentines Day, next year, 13:40 …. in NY city. Ah well. Any IRC? Will it be video’d? H2 access content please?

Dave Pawson
11/11/2011 12:06am EST

And the tour starts… Or is this an eSpecial?

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Ingram Content Group
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Blackboard
  • Bowker
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Innodata
  • Jouve North America
  • MarkLogic
  • Newgen KnowledgeWorks
  • Océ North America
  • Temis
  • Aptara
  • Atex
  • LibreDigital
  • Media Services Group
  • MarkLogic
  • Smashwords, Inc.

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

View a complete list of TOC contacts