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November 15, 2016 – From Journalist to Author: Creating Your Next (and Most Fun) Opportunity

Ever wish you could write something that is more creative? These journalists have done just that, and have published both fiction and nonfiction. Our panel members explain how they decided to write creatively, and explain what they did to get published.

Find out the secrets to their success, as well as the pitfalls they encountered. Learn what you can do to create your next career opportunity.

Jan Alexander

  • Ms. Ming’s Guide to Civilization, was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest and appeared in weekly installments on earlier this year.
  • Her first novel, Getting to Lamma, was published by Asia 2000 in Hong Kong in 1997.
  • She co-authored a non-fiction book, Bad Girls of the Silver Screen (Carroll & Graf, 1989), a survey of Hollywood’s depiction of prostitutes through the decades. Film critic Elvis Mitchell called it “the definitive book on bad girls” in an article in the New York Times Magazine, Feb. 24, 2002.

Jan Alexander is a senior editor at Strategy+Business magazine and a former writer for Institutional Investor and Institutional Investor’s Alpha.

In addition to her job as a business editor, she is the fiction editor of Neworld Review (

Her own short stories have also appeared in 34th Parallel, Everyday Fiction ( and Silver Birch Press.

She is a mentor with Girls Write Now, a program that matches gifted high school girls from New York’s inner city with women writers and produces several public readings each year.

Joe Finora

  • Red Like Wine, The North Fork Harbor Vineyard Murders, self-published in 2013

Joseph Finora lives on eastern Long Island in the tiny, barely pulsating hamlet of Laurel, in the heart of Long Island’s so-called wine country. A native New Yorker, he remains appalled that he has to walk each morning to the gas station to buy a newspaper. Nevertheless, Long Island wine country is the setting for his murder/mystery/love story.

A graduate of Fordham University and Hunter College, Joe has nearly 30 years of varied reporting and editorial experience. In addition to his financial writing, Joe had a career in “ethnic journalism.” He was editor of the Albanian-American newspaper, and has written for The Irish Echo, The Jewish Week, The Macedonian Tribune, The Haitian Times, The Irish-American, The Greek-American, The Turkish American and The Southampton Press.

He’s also a former United Nations correspondent, former punk-rock guitarist, the author of an Off-Off-Broadway comedy and an amateur wine maker. He is currently at work on the sequel to Red Like Wine.

Richard J. Koreto

  • Death on the Sapphire: A Lady Frances Ffolkes Mystery
  • Death Among Rubies: A Lady Frances Ffolkes Mystery

Two mystery novels about an extraordinary woman living in extraordinary times -- Lady Frances Ffolkes is an Edwardian-era suffragette who has an uncanny ability to attract danger and romance.

  • Run It Like a Business: Top Financial Planners Weigh In on Practice Management

Rich has worked as a business and financial journalist, editing such publications as "Financial Planning Magazine" and "Wealth Manager."

Richard is a past president of the NYFWA and member of the Mystery Writers of America. With his wife and daughters, he divides his time between Rockland County, NY and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Clarissa McNair

  • Kiss The Risk, a novel, was published in April 2013
  • Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts, a memoir, was published by Hachette in September 2009
  • Never Flirt with a Femme Fatale, 2011, is a true crime story

Previous novels were published by St. Martin’s Press and New American Library in the United States, by Century-Hutchinson and Grenada in the UK, and by Martinez-Roca in Spain.

“My literary agent in London told me I could write a novel. Her saying that made all the difference. I wrote it and she sold it…”

Clarissa (Cici) McNair worked in Toronto as a researcher for CBC TV's documentary on organized crime called CONNECTIONS , and then later as the only Protestant at la Radio Vaticana in Rome as a news writer, on-air newsreader and producer of documentaries. She left the Vatican to write a book, which was a study of contemporary celibacy in the Catholic Church. This entailed a year of interviewing nuns and priests about their sex lives.

Clarissa is also a licensed private detective. Before moving to Paris in December of 2011, she was working on death-penalty cases in Philadelphia. McNair has worked undercover with the FBI, the Joint Terrorist Task Force and the Organized Crime Intelligence Division of the NYPD. She has experience in cases of stolen art recovery, money laundering, corporate fraud, missing persons, rape and homicide. 

Join your fellow NYFWA members to learn more about ways to pursue getting your own novel published, along with the opportunity to network and socializing.

As always, the evening will feature light appetizers and NYFWA members’ first two drinks are on us.

This event is only open to members in good standing. Guests of the NYFWA are welcome to attend for $15, which must be paid in advance through the special event option of the following link:

When: Tuesday, November 15th, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Social Bar & Grill 195 8th Ave, 2nd floor (between 48th/49th streets)