Bestselling Author Elizabeth Gilbert is the CJU23 Guest Keynote

Jun 13, 2023
Written by CJ

Marketing is everywhere. So much so that it’s expected background noise. We mute the TV during a commercial break. In .02 seconds, our thumb catches the faintest hint of an ad and swipes left. We have 3,452 emails in an inbox we never check because it’s overflowing with fluff.

But! There’s always the option to create something real: A spark of magic. A moment of true connection that surprises and delights. It’s a joke that lands. A memorable experience. It’s fresh! It’s special! It makes our eyes well up with tears and compels us to hit that share button.

To unlock the full potential of our creativity, we must embrace our curiosity and uncover what bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert, calls the "strange jewels that are hidden within each of us”. These gems, unique to our own experiences and perspectives, hold the key to crafting truly remarkable marketing campaigns that capture hearts and minds.

In her critically acclaimed novels and immensely popular works of nonfiction, Gilbert expands our understanding of creativity, spirituality, and love. Whatever her subject—her own transformative experiences, the institution of marriage, or 1940’s showgirls—Gilbert writes with “a mix of intelligence, wit, and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible” (The New York Times Book Review). The woman Oprah Winfrey called a “rock star author” is among her generation’s most beloved and inspiring voices, with an avid international readership and devoted following.

Gilbert’s memoir, Eat Pray Love, exploded onto the scene in 2006. The #1 New York Times bestseller famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. Translated into more than 30 languages, it has sold over thirteen million copies and was adapted into a 2010 film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.

In the years since, people around the world have looked to Gilbert for guidance in leading brave, authentic, and creative lives. Gilbert’s bestselling nonfiction treatise, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, unpacks her own generative process and shares her wise, witty insights into the mysteries of curiosity and inspiration. “Part inspiration, part how-to,” wrote The Washington Post, “[Big Magic] offers up both a philosophy of creativity and advice for living a more creatively fulfilling life.” Written in Gilbert’s “charming, personable, self-aware, jokey, conversational” voice (The New York Times Book Review) and with over one million copies sold, Big Magic underscores Gilbert’s status as a mentor for spiritual seekers and introspective explorers.

Though best known for these works of nonfiction, Gilbert is at her heart, an inventive storyteller. She’s the author of The Signature of All Things, a sweeping story of botany, exploration, and desire that spans much of the nineteenth century. Her latest bestseller, the novel City of Girls, is the story of a young woman coming into her own in the theater world of 1940s New York. City of Girls debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list and has sold nearly one million copies.

In her lectures, Gilbert talks about her writing and seizing the opportunity to live a life guided by creativity rather than fear. Her TED Talk “Your Elusive Creative Genius”, is among the most popular of all time with over 21 million views.

Gilbert is also the founder and host of the Onward Book Club, which serves to spotlight, promote, celebrate, and uplift the work of Black female authors. She divides her time between New York City and New Jersey and is always working on something new.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Elizabeth Gilbert on the CJU23 stage to unpack her own generative process and share her wise, witty insights into the mysteries of curiosity and inspiration. Whether you’re looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in your work, or simply infuse your everyday life with more mindfulness and adventure, “Big Magic” will help you seize the opportunity to live a life guided by creativity rather than fear.

This is one session you won’t want to miss at CJU23 on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.

Learn more and register at

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