40 Writing Conferences You Should Attend this Year
Writing conferences are a great event to attend whether you are thinking about writing, a new writer, or an experienced one. They are a great way to learn, network, make writing friends, and even pitch to literary agents.
I attended my first writing conference (the Philadelphia Writer's Conference) two years ago and it was the pivotal moment in my writing career. I thought I knew a lot about writing befoe attending. At least, I thought I knew enough to get me where I wanted to be: published. After attending the conference, I learned that my previous knowledge was only a small slither in such a big-big writing world.
The whole time I was there, I was on this writing high. Everything just felt, well, right. I made an amazing group of friends, found a mentor in an author who was teaching one of the workshops, pitched to a literary agent for the first time (I was so nervous), and truly felt like I belonged.
This and many reasons is why we decided to create a post about all the amazing writer's conferences this year. We have hopes that you will take that leap and attend your very first conference! We have 40 listed from all around the country. Let us help you decide which conference will be your very own dream come true.
Located at the Southwestern Community College in Oregon, the South Coast Writer's Conference is a two-day conference held every year during President's Day weekend, February 17th-18th. This conference is open to all types of writers and hopes that the attendees will leave feeling inspired and renewed with a set of new skills. Workshops allow a maximum of 30 students which allows for a more intimate setting. You can attend both days or just choose one, the price for Friday is $55 and the price for Saturday is $70.
The Southern California Writer's Conference is held in San Diego, California. Also during President's Day Weekend, February 17th-20th, the SCWC aims to empower writers with the tools they need to sell their work through networking and industry prowess. Registration for this conference starts at $375.
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Writer's Conference is one of the oldest writing conferences in the country. Three days long, the conference features workshops, master classes, pitching to literary agents and editors, and even a banquet and buffet. The conference is held during the second week of June and registration starts at a minimum of $200.
This event is held over the course of four days and is jam packed with 100+ sessions for writers ranging from the craft side of writing to the businness side of writing. Located in the historic Mark Hopkins Hotel, the conference registration fee is $750. Although it is pricey, it is well worth it. There are a ton of opportunities like "speed dating with agents" and in-depth writing classes. The San Francisco Writer's Conference is held from February 16th through 19th.
The New York Pitch Conference happens four times a year and features major publishing houses like St. Martins Press and HarperCollins. The next event is held from March 16th to the 19th. How the conference works is attendees will attend small intimate classes and will be given the tools to succeed in this tough market. You will learn how to properly pitch, have your novel examined, and networking opportunities with industry professionals. The fee for this conference is $795.
Held June 3rd and June 4th, the Rutgers Writer's Conference takes place at Rutgers Continuing Education Center in Somerset, New Jersey. Writer's will be able to take six different tracks and individual meetings of with agents, editors, and publishers. Topics about publishing will be discussed and a reading held by famous authors. The registration fee is $299.
The Unicorn Writers Conference is a one-day conference held at the Reid Castle at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. This year the conference is on March 25th. There are many special features provided by this conference including speakers and a manuscript review. Registration is $338.
Held March 24th-26th in Brea, California, The California Dreamin' Writer's Conference is the perfect getaway. You can register for just the Friday session ($99) or for the entire conference ($399). There are workshops about editing, characters, and how to seduce editors and agents. There is even registration for pitching and critiques on your work.
Located at the Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Las Vegas Writers Conference runs from April 20th-22nd. During this conference, you will be able to network and pitch to both agents and editors. There is even a "first page read" where if you spend $5 you will be entered into a drawing to have your first page read by agents, publishers, and editor. Registration is $500.
The ASJA is one of the most prestigious associations in the country representing authors, nonfiction writer, and journalists. Every year they hold a writers conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The conference runs from May 5th to 6th and registration starts $299 for one day sessions and $399 for the whole conference. This year's motto is "pivot, publish, prosper."
The Seaside Writers Conference takes place in the town of Seaside, Florida right by Panama City. This relaxing conference by the beach will take you through workshops on publishing, writing techniques, and opportunities to network. This conference is from May 14th-20th and registration starts at $1550, but writers are open to apply for scholarships.
Located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Jackson Hole Writers Conference is in a beautiful mountain setting providing an intimate place for all kinds of writers. People travel from all around the country to experience the tradition that is this conference. It is held from June 22-24th, and offers writers manuscript critiques and workshops, as well as networking opportunities. Full registration cost is $410.
The Writers Digest Annual Conference takes place every year in New York City. From August 18th-20th, this conference is crafted to teach you both the business and fundamental side of being a writer. You may have read a Writers Digest magazine before, or maybe you read them religiously. Either way, this conference is jam-packed with informational workshops, panels, and a pitch slam. Registration runs at $469 after April 17th.
The longest running literary festival of women in the country, the Women's Writers Conference is from September 15th-16. Famous authors like Joyce Carol Oates and Alice Walker lead writing panels and workshops for all kinds of writers. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, writers can find that the registration fee of $200 covers workshops, panels, discussions, and readings.
The Chicago Writers Conference works to connect writers with publishing professionals. They offer workshops, panels, and literary events. This conference takes place in Chicago, Illinois. A non-profit organization, they work to bring in professionals to help all kinds of writers. Dates and registration have yet to be posted.
Napa Valley, California is known for its vineyards, gorgeous hills, and a great escape for writers. The Napa Valley Writers Conference works to provide a fellowship for all of its attendees. The conference is held from July 23rd-28th and covers both fiction and poetry. Financial aid is available and the registration rate is at $975.
An odd name and a super fun time, the Bread Loaf Conferences take place at the Bread Loaf Inn in Vermont. Writers come from all over to build communities with diverse voices in a beautiful setting.
The Association of Writers and Writing programs has a conference every year called the AWP Writing Conference. Each year writers, teachers, editors, and publishers attend for dialogue, workshops, and access to many different organizations. This conference is held at the Washington Convention Center from February 8th-11th. The registration fee is $240.
The UNM Writer's Conference brings in agents and editors from New York City along with authors and publishers to talk about the latest trends in publishing at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a one-day conference, April 8th, and the cost is only $150.
July 18th-30th at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee will host the annual Sewanee Writers Conference. Registration is at $1500 but there are scholarships available. Writers will be able to attend workshops in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and more. There will also be discussions on publishing from agents and editors as well as networking opportunities.
The Northern Colorado Writers Conference takes place May 5th-6th at the Fort Collins Marriot. There will be keynote speakers, inspiring workshops, and a chance to pitch your work to agents or editors. This conference also offers critique sessions. The registration fee is $389.
Thriller writers and authors all across the country gather in New York City for the annual Thrillerfest. This year it is from July 11th-15th at the Grand Hyatt. There will be workshops, special guest, and presentations about characters, plotting, and more. Registration is $448.
For all of you writers who don't want to go the traditional publishing route or are curious about self-publishing, this is the conference for you. Located in New York City, the Self-Publishing Book Expo focuses on marketing and publishing your own work. There are panels and workshops as well as networking opportunities.
Calling all Indie authors out there this is a FREE online conference that happens three times a year. The Indie Author Fringe takes place March 18th, June 3rd, and October 14th. You can sign up for an email alert by following the link.
The Write Stuff Conference is from March 23rd-25th at the Hotel and Conference Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Registration is $120 for non-members and $110 for members. The conference offers workshops, critiques, and even a "lunch with the experts."
At the Auburn University Student Center, October 16-17, the Auburn Writers Conference takes place in Alabama. This year's conference will be celebrating "literary harvests: creativity and sustainability." There will be poets, authors, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers all uprooting the fundamentals of writing.
The White County Creative Writers Writing Conference is September 6th at Harding University in Searcy, AR. This one day conference has a registration fee of $25 and offers both luncheons and workshops for writers.
From Thursday, February 16th to Saturday, February 18th, the Desert Night, Rising Stars Writers Conference takes place at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The conference registration fee is $400 and offers three days of instruction from writing professionals. There are scholarships available as well.
Florida State University will host the Tallahassee Writers Conference on Saturday, April 22nd. This conference is run by the Tallahassee Writers Association. Some of the workshops provided are "Writing the Young Adult Novel" and "Using Scrivener Effectively." The registration fee is $140 for a non-member and $115 for a TWA member.
The Sun Valley Writers Conference uses hiking and writing to reach that writer's imagination in sunny Idaho. The conference is from June 30-July 3. There will be pavilion presentations and intimate breakout sessions. Registration is $950 but scholarships and financial aid is offered.
Literary agents are a vital key when it comes to the route of traditional publishing. They are your friends, guidance, guru, mentor through getting your book published.
Writing conferences are the best way to get face-to-face and pitch your story!
Believe it or not, this conference is free and open to the public! Best-selling authors and educators gather for 75-minute presentations at the Kentucky Writers Conference and SOKY Book Fest. This one day conference is on April 21st. Although it is free, they recommend you register in advance to reserve your spot.
This one-day writers conference is located in Wye Mills, Maryland at Chesapeake College. The Eastern Shore Writers Association hosts the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference annually. On March 11th writers with gather to attend workshops, presentations, and panels on publishing, writing, marketing, and the internet. Registration is $120.
The Power of Words Conference is from August 18th-20th at Ferry Beach, Maine. Registration cost is $250. Writers will see keynote performances, workshops, networking opportunities, and talking circles. What makes this conference special is that this conference isn't just for writers, but for musicians, artists, and performers too.
Located at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Bear River Writers Conference offers writers a scenic environment to get together and develop the craft of writing. This conference runs from June 1st-5th.
From June 19-25, the Minnesota Northwood Writers Conference has a lakeside view for writers all over the country to gather. Topics of poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction will be covered through various workshops and presentations. This conference is being held at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota. Registration starts at $550.
The Mississippi Writers Guild Writer's Conference is from August 5-6 in Natchez, Mississippi. This conference is jam-packed with workshops, book signings, presentations, and luncheons. Held at the Vue Hotel and Conference Center, the registration fee is $150.
Located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the All Write Now! Writer's Conference features pitches, critiques, workshops, and conferences. There is even a buffet lunch for all attendees. The registration fee is $87 and the conference takes place on July 15th.
The Pennwriters Conference is May 19-21 at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Well-known writer and editor Chuck Sambuchino will serve as the keynote speaker for this event. Writers will participate in workshops, panels, and lunches. The registration cost is $320.
From July 14th to July 16th in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Writing in Place Conference has a basic registration of $275. The conference will offer intensive workshops, challenging exercises, and feedback opportunities. This is a writing expected conference.
Located at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas Texas, from May 6-7, the Dallas-Fort Worth Writers Conference will offer pitch sessions, workshops, speakers, and more. Registration for this event is $359.