Molly Barton ’00, global digital director of Penguin Random House, was on campus in November to participate in the Narrative in the Age of Distraction, a conference held on campus to examine the role and importance of long-form storytelling in the age of increasing technological and attentional distractions.
Sponsored by The Connection Institute for Innovative Practice, Wesleyan Writing Programs, the College of Letters (COL), the Science in Society Program (SISP), Lisa Weinert Consulting, and Narrative.ly, the conference sponsored two “tracks”—one devoted to “Healing Letters,” which discussed the physical and psychological benefits for patients and clients to share life narratives with their health care providers, and “Narrative in the Age of Twitter,” which examined the craft of long form narrative in a marketplace that has become increasingly enamored of short bursts of information, such as tweets.
Barton, who will be on campus next spring, co-teaching the writing certificate senior seminar with Director of Writing Programs Anne Greene, co-moderated a panel with Lisa Weinert ’01, on Narrative in the Digital Marketplace. Discussants were John McElwee, fiction coordinator at The New Yorker; Uzoamaka Maduka, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The American Reader; and Noah Rosenberg, the founder, editor, and CEO of Narrative.ly, a platform devoted to original and in-depth stories. Weinert is the founder of Lisa Weinert Consulting. Both publisher and publicist, Weinert offers a new and integrated approach to marketing books to prospective readers.
Barton has recently spoken on NPR about Book Country, an online initiative through Penguin Random House, which gives amateur writers the opportunity to exchange manuscripts with other readers—a virtual writers’ group. To hear about this, go here.
An English major at Wesleyan, Barton spent a post-graduate year on campus as a Ford Writing Fellow.