Chicago Literary Events: Find ‘Em at CBR

This old CPN blog keeps attracting readers, and for that we’re truly grateful. But if you’re really looking for information about Chicago’s publishing scene, check out Chicago Book Review.

CBR_Logo2In addition to extensive links to the area’s publishers and bookstores, CBR is home to a great events page, which lists dozens of author signings, readings, and other book-related special events at libraries and bookstores throughout Chicagoland. In fact, we don’t think we’re boasting when we say that Chicago Book Review might very well host one of the best events calendars around (and it’s updated daily!).

Chicago is home to a number of great publishers, bookstores, writing groups, and other literary-minded organizations. Check out Chicago Book Review for news about various literary goings-on as well as features about authors, articles about special events, guest blogs about publishing-related topics, and, of course, book reviews of new fiction and nonfiction titles from local authors and publishers.

And, if you’re interested in connecting with like-minded individuals from Chicago and the Midwest who are lucky enough to call publishing their profession, check out Chicago Publishing Network on LinkedIn, where we host more than 1,700 members. Chicago Publishing Network welcomes professionals from the area who work in publishing and related fields. Join the conversation there!

Read Local!


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Chicago Publishing: Find It at CBR

Although we’ve long since moved the Chicago Publishing Network conversation to LinkedIn, this little blog continues to reach more than just a handful of curious visitors every day. Most of those visitors are searching similar terms. “Chicago publishing,” “publishing houses Chicago,” and “publishing companies Chicago”or some similar iterationshow up frequently as the key search terms that send readers to the CPN blog.

CPN does, indeed, have a list of publishers on the blogroll, but an even more extensive list appears at Chicago Book Review. In addition, CBR highlights various segments of the area’s publishing industry in occasional features. Recently, CBR has looked at religious publishing, education publishing, children’s publishing, university presses, and association publishing. Together, the blogroll, links, and features provide a nice introduction to some of the publishing that takes place in Chicago. In fact, CBR provides links to more than 75 local publishers as well as scores of Chicago-area bookstores, local writing and publishing organizations, and related blogs.

If you’re a publishing professional based in Chicago or the Midwest, I encourage you to join the CPN discussion at LinkedIn. And, check out Chicago Book Review for a look at Chicago’s publishing houses, local authors, and various literary events taking place in the city and suburbs.

Thanks for visiting!


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Turn to “Chicago Book Review” for All Things Chicago Publishing

Still amazed at how many people continue to land on this blog every week, which I update rarely these days. Why’s that? Because the conversation has moved to LinkedIn, where Chicago Publishing Network is home to more than 1,630 members. At LinkedIn, we’re talking about Chicago publishing events, jobs, and issues.

So, aside from the occasional post here to remind readers that we’ve moved, little is updated here.

Instead, we’re focusing on Chicago Book Review, which is all about Chicago’s publishing industry. There, you’ll find book reviews that focus on books written by Chicago-area authors; issued by publishers based in Chicago and the Midwest; or agented, designed, and/or edited by Chicago-area publishing pros, as well as reviews of books that examine Chicago, Illinois, and the Midwest. We’re reviewing books from such publishers as Academy Chicago, Agate Publishing, Allium Press, Chicago Review Press, University of Chicago Press, University of Illinois Press, Sourcebooks … the list goes on and on.

Chicago Book Review also features links to related publishing organizations and associations, local publishers, local bookstores, and other blogs that are discussing Chicago’s literary scene.

So if you’re looking for information about Chicago’s publishing scene, turn to Chicago Book Review. New reviews and features are posted every week, and you’ll find links to other sources of information about all things Chicago literary.


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I’m surprised and delighted to see that people are still finding the Chicago Publishing Network blog, even though we’ve moved our discussions to our LinkedIn group. That group has nearly 1,600 members, including publishing types from all corners of the industry: writers, editors, designers, publicists, agents, and even some students.

That young people are still keen on entering the field of publishing is a positive sign for an industry that so many have proclaimed is in its twilight. Smart, young people, so savvy with technology, so progressive in their thinking still wish to be part of an industry that is in a constant state of change.

I like to think that Chicago is a big part of all that change. With 125 publishers in the city and suburbs, Chicago is home to a lot of publishing, from micro presses to large indie houses. Those of you who follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and at Chicago Book Review have heard this from me countless times before. I sound like a broken record, I know (she wrote, anachronistically).

Chicago Publishing Network is just one of the forums for sharing news about what’s happening in our little corner of the publishing world. At our LinkedIn group, you’ll find information about publishing industry news, local events, jobs, and all sorts of other fun stuff. I encourage publishing professionals in Chicago and the Midwest to join us at LinkedIn. It’s free, and you don’t have to drag yourself to any meetings. You can contribute as much or as little as you like. But I hope you will contribute as much as you can. The more you share, the better the conversation.

Of course, Chicago is home to a number of publishing-related groups, associations, blogs, and the like. We’ve added some links here, so be sure to check out theses sources so you can join the great conversations that are happening around town.


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Join the Conversation on LinkedIn

Chicago Publishing Network, now a group on LinkedIn, has more than 1,400 members. That gives publishing professionals in Chicago and the Midwest literally hundreds of networking opportunities. That means hundreds of opportunities to talk about what’s going on in Chicago’s publishing scene, what kind of jobs are open, what kind of events are happening … and on and on. The mission of the Chicago Publishing Network is to connect publishing professionals across Chicagoland and the Midwest so they can learn about job openings, other publishing companies, and different types of publishing. Join the conversation at

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Networking Through Unusual Avenues

Things are looking up!

Publishing jobs are popping up here and there throughout Chicagoland. Every week, a few more jobs are posted on Bookjobs, Craigslist, Mediabistro, and other job boards. But it still can be tough to break through the HR wall, what with hundreds — if not thousands — of applicants knocking at the door at the same time.

Networking can help get a foot in the door — and that’s part of the reason Chicago Publishing Network is here. With nearly 400 members through LinkedIn, there are scores of opportunities to ping colleagues at a variety of publishing outlets.

But what do you do if that full-time dream job — or, heck, just any full-time job — remains elusive? Freelancing immediately springs to mind, and today with outlets like and other repositories for journalism, there are scores of opportunities for independent-minded folks to keep on writing. Another option is to align yourself with one or more creative service agencies.

Creative service agencies — and there are several in Chicago — are like temp agencies for creative types: editors, writers, designers, etc. Typically, prospects interview with a recruiter, similar to a job applicant interviewing with HR for a “normal” job. Sometimes a skills test is involved (e.g., a copy-editing test, proofreading test). Sometimes portfolios are requested. For applicants who make the grade, agencies can place you in temporary, part-time, or even full-time positions. Some of are off-site, some on-site. Some are long-term gigs, some short-term. Some come with plenty of notice, some gigs start right away (as in the next day or even later the same day). Applicants can toss their hats into the rings for gigs in which they’re interested and skip the ones that don’t appeal.

Of course, every agency works differently. Not every agency will be a fit for every job-seeker. But, they do offer opportunities that might otherwise be difficult to find. And, assignments often offer enough flexibility to keep looking for that full-time gig (dreamy or not) as well as to take on assignments you drum up yourself. One caveat, though: Oftentimes, agencies require applicants to sign non-compete contracts, which means that if you get an assignment with one of their clients, you can’t then go ahead and get side work from the same client for a specified amount of time (sometimes a couple of years).

Working with creative service agencies is another avenue job seekers can use to network. New assignments means meeting new people, which can lead to other assignments. Every assignment might not be perfect. Some assignments might be a drag. But if they pay the bills and help you stay active in your chosen profession, perhaps it’s worth a shot.

Chicagoland is home to several creative service agencies, including:

Networking often means putting yourself out there in ways you might not have expected. Searching for that new job might mean taking that other fork in the road. Creative service agencies are just one of the avenues available for publishing folks looking for the next big gig.

Good luck!

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Have You Networked Today?

Chicago Publishing Network just keeps on growing (join us on LinkedIn:, with new members joining just about every day. We now have more than 350 members. That means there are literally hundreds of opportunities to connect with like-minded publishing professionals throughout Chicago and the Midwest. Who have you connected with?

Whether “publishing” means books, magazines, newspapers, e-media, or something else to you, there are plenty of opportunities to network with peers who can help you learn about other facets of publishing, new jobs, interesting events, or thought-provoking articles. When was the last time you reached out to someone to share news about your chosen industry?

Chicago’s publishing world is a little disjointed, and that’s one of the reasons CPN exists: to help colleagues find each other and learn about the various goings-on in the area. In the past, we’ve listed events, news, and jobs, and we’ll continue to do so here and at our LinkedIn spot. How many industry events have you been to in the past few months?

It can be difficult to find the time to connect with peers, attend events, or even read an entire article, regardless of how helpful or interesting the information. With all the silly tweets and goofy questions flying around on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, it can be a challenge to separate the wheat from the chaff. What kind of news of value can you share that might help your career or the career of an industry peer?

Chicago’s publishing world remains strong, despite the still-stumbling economy. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with like-minded publishing professionals, whether through networking, attending events, sharing information, or posting job information. When was the last time you shared some publishing scoop?

There are plenty of ways to boost your involvement, which not only can help your career, but may serve to help someone else (good karma!). Opportunities abound through local organizations, events, news sources, etc., such as:

Chicago Book Clinic:
Chicago Creative Coalition:
Chicago Headline Club:
Chicago Literary Alliance:
Chicago Women in Publishing:
Chicago Writers Association:
Independent Writers of Chicago:
International Association of Business Communicators: Chicago:

Share some news! Spread the word! If your firm is looking to fill a position, post it (for free!) at our LinkedIn spot. If your organization has an event, share the details. If you’ve read something interesting, post the link. You never know what good could come out of it!

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