February 2nd, 2007

Julia the Writer Girl

Ten years ago today, two very important things happened.

One: my dog was born.

Two: I joined a teen writing website hosted by Scholastic called Write It.

You could say that one of these things alone was the best thing to ever happen to me, because they’ve both shaped me and saved me in so many ways. But the combination of the two, by far, makes February 2nd, 2007 a particularly notable day for me. And now here we are, in 2017, ten years later, and so much of what has dominated my life the past ten years can be traced back to that day.

Of course I didn’t know anything particularly important was happening on February 2nd, 2007. I just happened to join a new website; a few months later I’d meet my best friend at my thirteenth birthday party and she’d just so happen…

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Ch1Con 2017: August 5!

Chapter One Conference

It’s official! The 2017 Chapter One Young Writers Conference will take place Saturday, August 5th at the SPACE by Doejo event center in downtown Chicago!! (And as an added bonus, our conference room is accessible through the After-Words bookshop, so this year will be extra bookish.)

Mark your calendars, because we are SO EXCITED to bring the 2017 conference to you! We’re thrilled about the move to downtown and hope you are too (we’re right by Navy Pier!). We can’t wait to share our speakers and other announcements with you, so stay tuned for lots more info, coming soon!


P.S. For those who’ll need a place to stay for the conference, hang tight! We’ll have info about a hotel with a special Ch1Con group discount coming to you soon.

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Twisted Blog Tour: Excerpt from Emma’s Story!

Julia the Writer Girl

Hey there! I’m back today with another stop on the Twisted Blog Tour.

As I mentioned on Monday, the Ch1Con team has spent this fall teaching two fantastic young writers about the publishing process in our inaugural mentorship program. The final step of this program is the release of an anthology featuring these up-and-coming young authors’ short stories (as well as some of our own). The anthology is called Twisted, because these stories all have some pretty killer plot twists (pun possibly intended).

The paperback and e-book editions of Twisted are available now for order on Blurb.com, and the e-book will be available soon on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

I’m absolutely in love with the short stories in this anthology, and am so proud of all of the talented young authors.

In honor of Twisted’s release, we’re…

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Twisted Blog Tour: Excerpt from Brett’s Story!

Julia the Writer Girl

I’M BAA-AACK. I’ll probably do a proper recap of my time away from the blog eventually (because it’s been a crazy few months), but for now I’m here for a kinda very exciting reason.

As you may know, the Ch1Con team has spent this fall teaching two fantastic young writers about the publishing process in our inaugural mentorship program. The final step of this program is the release of an anthology featuring these up-and-coming young authors’ short stories (as well as some of our own). The anthology is called Twisted, because these stories all have some pretty killer plot twists (pun possibly intended).

The paperback and e-book editions of Twisted are available now for order on Blurb.com, and the e-book will be available soon on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

I’m absolutely in love with the short stories in this…

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Public Policy and Public Health Informatics and Intelligence: An Innovative Lens for the Administration of Energy Security, and Environmental and Public Health Sustainability

The United States and European Union: How to Achieve a Collaborative Competitive Advantage in Energy Security without Undermining Environmental and Public Health Sustainability

Completed Masters Thesis

Michael H. Baron

Northwestern University, School of Professional Studies

Recipient of the 2015-2016 Distinguished Thesis Award in Public Policy and Administration from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies


Abstract from Masters Thesis

(as background information)

As oil and natural gas extraction technologies have advanced and globalization has evolved, energy security has become an increasing imperative for the United States and European Union. In spite of disparate domestic agendas and distinctive policymaking dynamics pertaining to socioeconomic development, collaboration between the US and EU is critical to the effective conceptualization and operational framework of energy security (Sovacool, 2012, 2014; Yergin, 2013).  Carefully implemented, cohesive objectives regarding strategic energy resources in areas such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East entail conjoint foreign policy among the US and numerous members of the EU. This includes a degree of diplomatic flexibility which is largely unprecedented in global history (Mix, 2015).  To ascertain the current and future impacts of the aforementioned relationships and commitments, additional research is needed, and specific examples of alignment and variation ought to be identified in relation to energy-oriented policies and objectives (Sovacool, 2012, 2014; Vig & Kraft, 2016).  The primary aim of this research is to conduct an in-depth analysis of current policies apropos of energy security in the US and EU, by focusing on policy initiatives and hydraulic fracturing, to discern whether this guidance and oversight has the potential to achieve security objectives, while concomitantly reinforcing economic growth, sustainable development, and overall public health. Through constraining this research to a specific policy-based initiative that is foundational to the future of domestic energy security, a comparative case study was able to extrapolate pivotal findings, thereby addressing the harmonization and convergence of policy agendas across international borders. These findings have direct implications for predicting, assessing, and modelling the future of policy-based guidelines, particularly when evaluating the transitional state of establishing priorities germane to energy security, national resiliency, and protectionist agenda setting.


The following section is a conceptual extension of analytical frameworks derived from my Master’s Thesis.


Public Policy and Public Health Informatics and Intelligence: An Innovative Lens for the Administration of Energy Security, and Environmental and Public Health Sustainability


This research focuses on the relationships among Energy Security, Environmental Sustainability, and Public Health Sustainability within the context of Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence.   Informatics refers to the science of garnering, “cleaning,” organizing, synthesizing, linking, managing, and analyzing data, including its complex, secure storage and retrieval (Magnuson & Fu, 2014).  However, this does not occur within a contextual vacuum. Contemplating myriad semantic frameworks of Public Policy and Public Health, informatics integrates salient and frequently influential factors, such as social networks, culture, politics, institutional priorities, budgeting, demographic considerations, environmental variables, and database infrastructures (Magnuson & Fu, 2014).


Public Policy and Public Health intelligence encompass the purview of qualitative and quantitative studies required to provide accurate analyses and facilitate cohesive, multiplatform (i.e., cross-systemic and varied protocol) decision-making and policy-making, as well as to observe and assess diverse Public Policy and Public Health initiatives (Regmi & Gee, 2016).  These endeavors involve, yet are not constrained by, obtaining data and evidence-based knowledge through carefully planned and implemented research methodologies, which emphasize empirical information and related analyses.  Such heterogeneous processes are strengthened by multifaceted evaluations and a collaborative alignment of perspectives and modelling, as part of establishing coherent intelligence (Regmi & Gee, 2016).  Public Policy and Public Health intelligence are often intricately associated with elucidating patterns of causation, subsequent purposeful actions, and the dissemination of information and insights (Regmi & Gee, 2016).  These objectives are designed to inform novel community-welfare-oriented and urban development programs, creative social equity initiatives, and unique governmental and institutional partnerships (Regmi & Gee, 2016).   Reflecting upon the aforementioned concepts, this research clarifies the modes in which Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence affect multi-agent systems and their coordination, reduce internal and external systemic and organizational uncertainty, and distribute knowledge to strengthen implicit and explicit social network structures, organizational functioning, and leadership dynamics (Regmi & Gee, 2016).


Future research on these topics will elucidate how Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence utilize an array of administrative strategies in conjunction with intellectual and social capital, as well as collective intelligence, to enhance the social equity and social welfare dimensions of energy security, improve healthcare access and quality of services (as salient aspects of Public Health sustainability), and refine numerous approaches to environmental sustainability (Miorandi et al., 2014).  These studies will also refer to how Public Policy and Public Health informatics and intelligence engender more agile, attuned decision-making processes for the benefit of social equity and welfare, inclusive development, and community and urban resilience strategies, underscoring innovative solutions for energy security (Hickey, Sen, and Bukenya, 2015; Teichman, 2016).  From a Global Policy perspective, such research fosters the successful attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the establishment of effective parameters for future socioeconomic development relationships between the United States and European nations, with a focus on various members of the European Union (Teichman, 2016).


Author Bio

Michael Baron is currently an Instructor for online courses and Content Expert in Data Analytics and Statistics at Cornell University.  He received a Bachelor of Arts (High Honors in Psychology) from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.  Michael Baron has also completed a Master of Arts in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (1994), a Master of Science in Health and Social Behavior from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (1995), a Master Certificate in System Design and Project Leadership from the Cornell University College of Engineering and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2014), and a Master degree in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Global Policy from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies (2016).



Article key words: Public Policy, Public Health, Administration, Informatics, Intelligence, Innovation, Energy Security, Environment, Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Public Health Sustainability, Communication, Sociology, Resilience, Intellectual Capital, Social Capital, Collective Intelligence, Social Equity, Social Welfare, Urban Planning, Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Collaboration, Community, City, Inclusive Development, Social Networks, Social Network Structures, Network Science, Public Private Partnerships, Government, Governance, United States, Europe, European Union, United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals



Hickey, S., Sen, K., & Bukenya, B. (Eds.). (2015). The politics of inclusive development: Interrogating the evidence. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Magnuson, J. A., & Fu, P. C., Jr. (Eds.). (2014). Public health informatics and information systems (2nd ed.). London, United Kingdom: Springer-Verlag.

McNeill, D. (Ed.). (2014). Analytics in healthcare and the life sciences: Strategies, implementation methods, and best practices. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Press, The International Institute for Analytics.

Miorandi, D., Vincenzo, M., Rovatsos, M., Nijholt, A., & Stewart, J. (Eds.). (2014). Social collective intelligence: Combining the powers of humans and machines to build a smarter society. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.

Mix, D. E. (2015). The United States and Europe: Current issues. fas.org. Retrieved from http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS22163.pdf

Regmi, K., & Gee, I. (Eds.). (2016). Public health intelligence: Issues of measure and method.

New York, NY: Springer Nature of Springer International Publishing.

Sovacool, B. K. (2012). Energy security: Challenges and needs. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, 1(1), 51-59.

Sovacool, B. K. (2014). The Routledge handbook of energy security (Reprint edition). New York, NY: Routledge.

Teichman, J. A. (2016). The politics of inclusive development: Policy, state capacity, and coalition building. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Vig, N. J., & Kraft, M. E. (Eds.). (2016). Environmental policy: New directions for the twenty-first century (9th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., CQ Press.

Yergin, D. (2013). Energy security and markets. In J. H. Kalicki & D. L. Goldwyn (Eds.), Energy and security: Strategies for a world in transition. (pp. 69-139). Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

Everything, All At Once

Julia the Writer Girl

So much has been happening lately.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had family pictures, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child midnight release party (and binge-read), kayaking, packing and moving out of my college apartment, packing for two months in the UK, doing the summer homework for the Columbia Publishing Course UK, finishing my internship, cutting and rewriting 6,000 words of my WiP, getting ready for Ch1Con, actually running Ch1Con (and the Ch1Con pizza party and team birthday party), trying to catch up with friends from home right before I leave again, prepping everything for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and and and–

Basically, I am currently exhausted. And I start the multi-day trip to reach Edinburgh either tomorrow or Monday.

I’m so happy about everything happening in my life right now. It’s so many good things. And so many people have worked so hard to make these things happen…

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Story Time: BEA and BookCon 2016

Julia the Writer Girl

Hey there! I’m back with another super belated (and super long) recap post.

This past May, I attended BookExpo America and BookCon again. This year they decided to try something different and host the two conventions in Chicago.

This made BEA and BookCon really different, feel-wise, from what they’ve been the past couple years. For one thing, Chicago’s so close that my mom and I drove (which meant no luggage restrictions or having to ship heavy boxes of books home). For another, it meant that we didn’t have to stay in a stupidly expensive hotel, because we have family in the area. (However, downside: this meant we had an hour+ drive to get to McCormick Place every morning. Also, it felt like less of a vacation.)

BookExpo America (Friday)

Getting Lost and Finding Food

Like last year, we forewent attending the whole week of BEA and just hit the last…

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Julia the Writer Girl

Well, this post is now three months overdue. (Sorry! I will eventually catch up. Hopefully.)

Anyway, THIS APRIL I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE. And it involved four ceremonies and a lot of picture taking and I maybe burst into tears in the middle of Pizza House at the end of it all. (Warning that this post is about to be a billion words long. And involves me being at my melodramatic height. I’m mostly putting this up for posterity’s sake, so totally don’t feel obligated to read it.)

I hit a couple rough patches during undergrad (who doesn’t), but overall I adored my time at U of M. And I am so desperately sad about leaving. (Although the Ann Arbor Art Fair began yesterday, and that’s basically hell on Earth, so my opinion could be different in a few days.)

Graduation Weekend began for me, really, Thursday night. This was because…

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T-Shirt and Book Order Deadlines

Chapter One Conference

Hey there, ya cool cats! We’ve had some questions recently about the deadlines to order t-shirts and books for the conference.

The deadline to order a Ch1Con 2016 t-shirt is 11:59 PM EDT on Wednesday, July 27.

Interested in getting a Ch1Con t-shirt? It’ll look like the one in the picture below (except the year on it will be 2016, of course). You can order a t-shirt either as part of the registration process or independent of a conference registration here. (Yes, you do not need to be a conference attendee to order one of these snazzy t-shirts.)

2015 t-shirt You too can sport a giant tomato on your chest.

The deadline to order any books you might need for the post-conference book signing with Susan Dennard and Francesca Zappia is Wednesday, July 27.

Need books? You can order any of Susan and Francesca’s novels through our official conference retailer, the…

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