Why CWIP’s Publishing Fair Is a Must-Attend Event: An Interview with Meghann Workman

By Mary Cecilia Nolan on Monday, April 24, 2017
Children’s author Caroline Lee exhibiting at CWIP’s Publishing Fair

Created as a way for Chicago-based publishing professionals to connect with one another, CWIP’s third annual Publishing Fair is fast approaching on Wednesday, May 17. Admission is free for CWIP professional members, only $10 for students and senior CWIP members, and just $25 for nonmembers. Plus, don’t forget from now until May 5, you have a chance to win one FREE admission to the Publishing Fair and one CWIP notebook by subscribing to CWIP’s blog. For more information on how to enter the contest, click here.

The Publishing Fair is Chicago Women in Publishing’s biggest event each year and I was able to get the inside scoop from CWIP’s Membership Director, Meghann Workman, on why this is a can’t-miss event for anyone who wants to network and learn about opportunities in the Chicago publishing community.

At the Publishing Fair, what should I check out if:

  • I’m an author?
    Meghann: Walk around to meet local Chicago publishers, find out what their frontlist looks like, and how you fit into the Chicago market.
  • I’m an editor?
    Meghann: If you’re a freelance editor, check out some of the great freelance companies that have booths. You can network with them and get some ideas for how to get clients. If you work in-house, I would suggest connecting with the other presses or university-run organizations to share tips and tricks!
  • I’m a student?
    Meghann: Anything and everything! Get a sense of what you like to do and how you can develop your career here in Chicago.

Tell me more about the publishers, service providers, and allied organizations exhibiting at the event.
Meghann: I can honestly say that every exhibitor offers something different, which is why the fair is so great. We focus on all aspects of publishing, and every year we have new exhibitors to highlight the diversity of our publishing landscape.

What kind of feedback have you received from attendees in the past?
Meghann: They have loved the fair. It’s a laid-back atmosphere where they get to connect with other publishing professionals, and not necessarily have to worry about formally networking.

What are some advantages for exhibitors to attend the publishing fair?
Meghann: Exposure! That’s the biggest advantage. They get to meet their target audience face-to-face, and I think that’s invaluable. Sometimes connecting with your audience can be hard to do over social media, or a traditional webpage.

What should an exhibitor expect at the fair?
Meghann: Exhibitors should expect great conversation and relationship building.

What are some networking tips you would recommend for before, during, and after the publishing fair?

Meghann: Before the fair: I say follow CWIP on social media and follow our newsletter – eCWIP for more information on the exhibitors attending. This way you can do your research beforehand!

Day of the fair: Definitely bring business cards!

Afterwards: Sign up for exhibitor’s newsletters/mailing lists. Follow up with exhibitors after the fair via email, LinkedIn, social media (Twitter, Facebook), and other outlets.

How do you see the fair evolving in the future?
Meghann: We just moved to a new space at Roosevelt University, so I’m excited to see what the attendees think of the space and how we can add to it for next year.

Do you have the inside scoop on this year’s swag?
Meghann: You’ll have to show up and find out!


Don’t miss Chicago Women in Publishing’s biggest event of the year! If you have any questions about the Publishing Fair, be sure to contact Meghann here for more information.

Who: Anyone interested in Chicago’s publishing scene, both as attendees or exhibitors.
When: Wednesday, May 17, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Congress Lounge at Roosevelt University (second floor): 430 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, 60605.

Attendees: Register Online Here

Exhibitors: Register Online Here
Reasonably priced tables are limited on a first-come basis and include two free attendees to work your table. You’ll also be featured in CWIP’s e-newsletter and online.

This year’s exhibitors include, but are not limited to:


Subscribe to CWIP’s blog for a chance to win one FREE admission to the Publishing Fair and one CWIP notebook!

To Subscribe and Enter:

  • Visit cwip.org
  • Subscribe in the box to the lower right of the web page
  • Select “Confirm Follow” in the confirmation email you will receive
  • You’ve entered into the raffle!
  • A winner will be chosen from all subscribers on Saturday 5/6

Rules: Contest ends 5/5 at Midnight CT. One entry per person. Winner will be chosen from ALL subscribers (including existing subscribers). Members may gift their free entry to a friend, but CWIP must be notified of recipient 1 week before the event. Prizes must be collected at the event and will not be shipped.

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