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Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars

Conferences offer intimate access to editors and agents as well as panel discussions on the publishing industry, market trends, and submission Q & A’s—all good opportunities to network and form valuable leads. Manuscript evaluations are beneficial if they allow participants to submit their work in advance for a one-on-one consultation session with a notable editor or agent.

So are conferences worth a couple hundred bucks in registration fees and travel expenses? Depends. We recommend reviewing a conference’s guest list before deciding if it’s worth it. Who's attending? Who are the panelists, key note speakers, and visiting agents and editors? With the right conference, your gut will say “Yes,” even if your pocket book screams “No!”

In our opinion, all aspiring writers should attend at least one conference a year. Doctor’s orders. After all, you’re a writer. It’s a lonely, maddening, isolated hobby. Get out, get some fresh air, and meet some literary folk like yourself. Spend a few hundred bucks, travel somewhere fun and fabulous, and make a weekend vacation of it. At the very least, it will make you feel more like a serious writer, and who knows, you might even meet your future agent.

Algonkian Writer Conferences
Upcoming Algonkian Writer Conferences, including the NYC Pitch, the San Francisco Write to Market, Fisherman's Wharf, and Algonkian Park, will be held throughout the coming year. The Algonkian Writer Conferences meld their faculty, connections and expertise to produce conference that not only provides writers with sufficient time to properly pitch top editors from major publishers, but also intensive workshops designed to teach participants structure, craft, and the art of the pitch.

American Christian Fiction Writers Conference
The American Christian Fiction Writers Conference will in be held September 2014 in St. Louis, MO. Enjoy four days of intense learning and exceptional networking with authors, agents, editors and friends from all areas of the industry as they celebrated the annual conference, and the new beginnings that God has inspired in ACFW.

Arizona State University Writers Conference
The Annual Arizona State University Writers Conference will be held on the Arizona State University main campus in February 2015. For the past seven years the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference has brought writers of all levels together for four exhilarating days in sunny Arizona. Participants get the chance to hone their craft in the classroom and also "rub elbows" with distinguished writers, sharing dialogue during classes, workshops, readings, and other events. By keeping the number of participants small, we are able to offer an experience that is both intimate and affordable, all while maintaining our commitment to be the premier writers conference in the West.

Aspen Summer Words
The Annual Aspen Summer Words Writing Retreat and Literary Festival will be held June 2015 in Aspen, Colorado. The writing retreat offers workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. This year's faculty includes high caliber workshops taught by well-known authors. In addition, the literary festival features lectures, readings, panel discussions, and the opportunity to meet with agents and editors.

2015 AWP Annual Conference
The next conference will be held April 2015 in Minneapolis, MN. This conference features meetings and caucuses for writers, publishers, teachers, and arts administrators as well as a book fair, readings, panel discussions on a wide range of issues, and forums on the teaching of creative writing. The AWP Conference and Bookfair brings together thousands of students, writers, educators, editors, publishers, and patrons of the literary arts under one roof, making AWP’s Conference one of the largest annual literary gatherings in North America.

Bear River Writers Conference
The annual Bear River Writers' Conference, sponsored by the University of Michigan, will be held May - June, 2015 at Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan. The conference offers workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, discussions, nature walks, and time for writing.

Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival
The next Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival will take place in downtown Montreal April 2015. Blue Metropolis is one of Canada's premier literary events, with 230 writers featured in over 100 appearances over a five-day period. Some 11,000 people attend Festival events, which range from on-stage interviews and readings to panel discussions and a Translation Slam. Blue Metropolis is an extraordinary meeting point for writers with their readers, other writers, publishers, literary translators, and journalists. The Festival is unique as Montreal is singularly unique, with some events being held in English, some in French, and others including writers who work in Spanish and other languages.

Book Expo America Writer's Conference
The Book Expo America Writer's Conference will take place in May 2015 in New York City. BookExpo America is one of the largest, most exptensive industry event where you can experience the entire scope of book publishing from the U.S. and the world - all in one place, all at one time. With more than 2,000 exhibits, 500 authors, over 80 conference sessions as well as a special area for rights business, you'll see all the latest titles across genres, uncover hidden gems, network, and meet the industry contacts to put you instantly on top of what you need to know for your business, job, and writing career.

Bouchercon 2015, World Mystery Convention
Bouchercon 2012, World Mystery Convention will take place in October 2015, in Raleigh, NC. The World Mystery Convention, Bouchercon®, is a convention run by fans for fans from all over the globe. It is not a writers' convention though many authors attend since they, too, are fans of the genre. Together, fans, authors, editors, literary agents, booksellers, publicists and publishers honor the late author, editor, critic (and fan), Anthony Boucher - and celebrate their mutual passion for the mystery genre.

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
The next Bread Loaf Conference will take place August 2015 with admission deadline of March 2015. The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is one of America's most valuable literary institutions. For more than 75 years, the workshops, lectures, and classes in the shadow of the Green Mountains in Middlebury, Vermont. It provides a stimulating community of diverse voices in which we test our own assumptions regarding literature and seek advice about our progress as writers.

Carolinas Writers Conference
The annual Carolinas Writers Conference will be held on April 2015 at the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro, North Carolina.. Supported by The Anson County Writers' Club, this conference promotes the art of writing in Anson County through support, awareness and recognition of all writers -- from the beginner to the published author.

Chicago Humanities Festival
The next Festival will be held in October - November, 2015 in Chicago. A Fesival of Ideas. Since 1990, world-renowned authors, scholars, poets, policy-makers, artists, and performers have gathered each November at Chicago's many cultural institutions to celebrate the power of ideas in human culture. Each year, tens of thousands of enthusiastic audience participants rediscover the rich and vital role the Humanities play in their daily lives.

Chicago-North Chapter Romance Writers of America Spring Fling
The next Chicago North chapter RWA Spring Fling conference will be held April 2016 in Chicago, IL. Spring Fling is a biennial conference that will offer writers a stellar lineup of speakers and workshops. Our conference will give writers the opportunity to participate in hands on workshops that focus on the craft, creative and business side of writing led by bestselling and award winning authors. Sign up for pitch sessions with editors and agents or attend one of our publishing spotlights. Join fellow writers and publishing professionals at our chocolate reception or our closing gala event showcasing the magic of romance.

Community of Writers at Squaw Valley
The next fiction conference will be held June - July, 2015 in Squaw Valley, California. Every summer since 1969 the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshops has brought together poets and prose writers for separate weeks of workshops, individual conferences, lectures, panels, readings and discussions of the craft and the business of writing. Their goal is to assist serious writers to improve their craft and thus move them closer to publication.

Christian Market's "Write-to-Publish" Writers' Conference
The next conference will be held June 2015 in Niles, IL, just outside Chicago. Join us for instruction, encouragement, networking, and fellowship with other writers, agents, and editors. Our conference offers classes for beginning through career writers, meetings with editors and agents, and manuscript evaluations. For almost 40 years, Write-to-Publish has been training writers and connecting them with editors and agents working within the Christian publishing market. Editors from Christian publishing houses will tell what they’re looking for and meet with you one-on-one to discuss your ideas and manuscripts. Editors and well-published freelance writers will teach you how to write a variety of publishable manuscripts, improve your writing skills, find appropriate markets for your ideas, and deal with the spiritual and business sides of writing. Details can be found at,

DFW Writers' Conference
The next DFW Writers Conference will take place in Fort Worth, Texas on May 2015 This annual conference offers writers, at all stages of their careers, the opportunity to hone their craft, network with fellow writers, and meet literary agents, published authors, editors, and other industry professionals. All of the classes are taught by industry professionals, many of whom have years of experience in their subject matter. They are published authors, literary agents, publicists, editors, or specialists in their field, such as criminology, medicine, or law. In addition, we will have a higher ratio of agents and editors to attendees than ever before. Be sure to check out our list of announced agents and editors!

Historical Novel Society Conference
The next conference will be held June 2015 in Denver, CO. This weekend-long conference will feature workshops, panels and keynote addresses on various aspects of fiction set in the past, and will present authors, readers, industry professionals and other historical fiction enthusiasts with a unique opportunity to celebrate the genre. Registration fees include entrance to all daytime panels and workshops. Registration fees also include an appointment with an editor or agent, if desired.

Indiana University Writers’ Conference
The next conference will be held June 2015 on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University. The Indiana University Writers' Conference (IUWC) annually attracts a staff of nationally prominent writers who are equally skilled and involved teachers. Participants in the week-long conference join faculty-led workshops in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, take classes on various aspects of writing, engage in one-on-one consultation with faculty members, and attend a variety of readings and social events.

Annual International Women's Writing Guild Summer Conference
The next Summer Conference will be held in August 2014 in Connecticut and the Spring Big Apple Conference will be in April 2015. Since 1976, the IWWG's Women's Writing conferences have been responsible for the publication of hundreds of books with major publishers. Open to all professional women, regardless of your experience level or portfolio! Join us for full days of writing, crafting, and connecting. Over 15 workshops to explore the spiritual, emotional, creative, and technical side of writing. An experience that will inspire you throughout the year. The conference strives to provide an atmosphere in which each participant will learn to use writing as a daily practice as well as a tool for personal growth. Come celebrate the feeling of being alive in the company of kindred spirits!

Iowa Summer Writing Festival
The next festival will be held June 2015 in Iowa City. The Iowa Summer Festival offers weekly sessions with daily 3-hours workshops with a leader and other writers as well as other activities. Week-long workshops are designed to give you plenty of time to write, revise, read and critique in the mornings and evenings. Participants have several opportunities to meet other workshop members and enjoy the energy and ambiance of summer in Iowa City.

James River Writers Conference
The James River Writers Conference will be held October 2014 in Richmond, VA. An exciting, entertaining, educational and intimate two-day conference brings writers, editors, and agents together for an insider's look at the art and the business of the writing life. What are publishers looking for? How do you write a query letter? How do you grab a reader's attention, write a sex scene, find your voice, find time to write? JRW Conference explores these questions and more, with seasoned authors, experienced editors, and always lively discussions.

Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Juniper Summer Writing Institue will be held June 2015 in Amherst, MA. Juniper Institute's participants form a community of writers committed to exploring issues of craft and imagination essential to the creative process. At the heart of the Institute are intensive workshops in poetry and fiction. Specializing in one genre and working closely with a core group of readers, participants generate new work and revise work in progress. Enrollment in each workshop is limited so that every writer has multiple opportunities to present his or her work.

The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop
The next conference will be held June 2015 in Gambier, Ohio. The editors of The Kenyon Review present the Writers Workshop, offering the time, setting, and community for serious writers to practice and develop their art. The Writers Workshop invites poets, fiction writers, and literary nonfiction writers to spend eight days in the wooded village of Gambier, Ohio, working together and independently, exploring their own work, sharing their words and thoughts.

Las Vegas Writers Conference sponsored by Henderson Writers’ Group.
The next conference will be held April 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. Join writing professionals, agents, industry experts and your colleagues for three days in Las Vegas, Nevada, as they share their knowledge on all aspects of the writers craft. One of the great charms of the Las Vegas Writers Conference is its intimacy. Registration is limited to 150 attendees so theres always plenty of one-on-one time with the faculty. While there are formal pitch sessions, panels, workshops, and seminars, the faculty is also available throughout the conference for informal discussions and advice. Plus, youre bound to meet a few new friends. Workshops, seminars, and expert panels will take you through writing in many genres including fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, poetry, journalism, and business writing. There will be many Q&A panels for you to ask the experts all your questions.

Litquake - San Francisco's Literary Festival
Litquake will be held in San Francisco between October 2014. Now grown to the largest independent literary festival on the West Coast, Litquake continues its mission as a week-long literary spectacle for booklovers, complete with cutting-edge panel discussions, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. Litquake seeks to foster interest in literature for people of all ages, perpetuate a sense of literary community, and provide a vibrant forum for Bay Area writing as a complement to the city’s music, film, and cultural festivals.

Mendocino Coast Writers Conference
The annual Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, sponsored by the College of the Redwoods, will be held July - August 2014 in Fort Bragg, California. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as discussion forums on publishing and editing. Here on the rugged cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, join professionals from the writing world for three days of stimulating instruction and fellowship.

Midwest Writers Workshop
The next workshop will be held July 2015 at Ball State University, Indiana. The Workshop offers notable speakers and faculty as well as manuscript evaluation, intensive workshops instructional classes, and special events over the course of a weekend.

The Muse and the Marketplace Conference
The annual Muse and the Marketplace Conference will be held in May 2015 in Boston. The Muse and the Marketplace is a two-day literary conference designed to give aspiring writers a better understanding about the craft of writing fiction and non-fiction, inside information about the world of publishing, and thoughtful networking opportunities. On both days, prominent and nationally-recognized authors lead sessions on the craft of writing, while editors, literary agents, and publicists lead sessions on the business or "marketplace" for one's work. Grub Street also offers an annual Manuscript Mart, in which, for an additional fee, an attendee can meet one-on-one with an established literary agent or editor who has read his or her work in advance and provides direct feedback.

New York Writers Workshop Pitch Conferences for Fiction and Non-Fiction
The New York Writers Workshop Pitch Conferences are held every Spring and Fall in New York City. New York Writers Workshop hosts three-day pitch conferences in New York for writers of fiction and non-fiction. Participants polish their pitches with the help of conference leaders, then they present them to three different editors from major New York publishing houses. Editors from major NYC publishing houses provide feedback and may request to see proposals or manuscripts after the conference. For more information regarding the participating editors, be sure to check out their website.

Pacific Coast Children's Writers Whole Novel Workshop
The seminar will be held October 2014 in Santa Cruz, California. Are you a skilled writer, published or aspiring, looking for something “different” in a fiction workshop? Our intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Or maybe you’re ready for editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Whichever stage you’re at, here’s how we assist goal-oriented writers like you.

Pacific Northwest Writers Association
The next conference will be held July 2015 in Seattle, Washington. This conference offers four days of intensive instruction tailored for beginning, intermediate and advanced writers, including more than 50 workshops and panels with experts in the industry as well as face-to-face meetings with top agents & editors.

Paris Writers Workshop
Various creative writing & literature courses will be held through the year in Paris, France. WICE, a nonprofit anglophone volunteer-based association, provides cultural and educational programs and services to the international community in Paris. Today, WICE has over 1,000 members-- English-speaking women and men from over 35 countries--and it offers hundreds of courses a year. Within the Paris Writers Workshop, each writers chooses to participate in one workshop section—Poetry, Short Story, Creative Nonfiction, or Developing the Novel—which meets for a total of 15 classroom hours. Enrollment is limited to 12 students per section.

Romance Writers of America Annual National Conference
The next conference will be held July 2015.
The RWA Conference is the place where career-focused romance writers meet, mingle, and get down to the business of being an author. Every year, writers and industry professionals come from all over the world to attend Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference. Schedule a one-on-one pitch meeting with an acquiring editor or literary agent, and network with the stars of romance fiction.

San Diego State University Writers Conference
The conference will be held January 2015 in San Diego, CA. For more than two decades, this writers' conference has helped writers at every level. Improve your writing skills, develop your marketing awareness, and meet the writing professionals who can facilitate the next step in your publishing career. Network with established editors, agents and writers who will explore in-depth tips on how to write successful novels, nonfiction, and screenplays and how to publish them in the traditional manner or on the Internet.

San Francisco Writers Conference
The next conference will be held February 2015 in San Francisco, CA. This annual event balances the craft of writing and principles of publishing in an information-packed weekend in the heart of San Francisco. The conference boasts an outstanding faculty bursting with best selling authors, respected literary agents, and top publishing professionals.

Santa Barbara Writers Conference
The next annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference will be held in June 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. The program offers lectures and panel discussions, including 30 different instructional workshops offered each day on everything from fiction (all genre) to non-fiction, to screenwriting, poetry, chick lit, biography, autobiography and memoir, children's lit and young adult, marketing and ways to get those creative juices flowing. Major agents & editors are also in attendance to participate in one-on-one "Advance Submission" critiques of manuscripts ready for the professional world of publishing.

Sewanee Writers Conference
The next conference will be held July - August 5, 2015 on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Every July, a group of more than 100 students of writing gathers on the idyllic mountaintop campus of the University of the South. During a whirlwind two-week period, these participants talk about the craft of writing with some of this country’s finest novelists, poets, playwrights, and professionals in the publishing field.

The next conference will be held in February 2015 in Deerfield Beach, FL. Everything a mystery writer could ever want, packed into a three day extravaganza event—from "Forensic Fair" which offers crime scene investigation and law enforcement exhibits & demos—to panel discussions and cocktail parties with big name agents and editors.

Surrey International Writers' Conference
The next conference will be held October 2014 in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. A three-day conference that features over 70 workshops conducted by over 40 presenters including best-selling authors, literary agents, and editors. The conference offers on-on-one appointments with agents and editors, as well as master classes and workshops and offer "connection corners" to help writers meet like-minded participants.

Southern California Writers’ Conference
Conferences are held throughout the year in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs. Founded and run by professional writers, the SCWC provides veteran and emerging talent with authoritative critique to help prepare writers’ manuscripts for market consideration as well as facilitate many first-time author book sales to publishers. With extended one-on-one evaluation of advance submissions and dozens of Q&A workshops, the SCWC is specifically tailored to provide comprehensive feedback on writers’ work.

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Annual Conference
There are two major conferences held in different cities throughout the year: Summer Conference will be held August 2015 and Winter Conference will be held February 2015. The SCBWI's Annual Conference features an expanded program for published authors and illustrators, including a complete professional workshop track, the opportunity for individual marketing consultations, and a VIP reception for published authors and illustrators to show their work.

Thriller Fest
The next conference will be held July 2015 at New York City's The Grand Hyatt. ThrillerFest is the most spine-tingling and exciting event of the year for fiction's most popular genre. It brings more than 200 of the best loved and bestselling authors to for an unprecedented four-day extravaganza to mix and mingle with authors, aspiring writers, and fans.

Viable Paradise: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop
The Annual Viable Paradise Workshop with be held in Oct 2014 in Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Viable Paradise is a unique one-week residential workshop in writing and selling commercial science fiction and fantasy. The workshop is intimate, intense, and features extensive time spent with best-selling and award-winning authors and professional editors currently working in the field. VP concentrates on the art of writing fiction people want to read, and this concentration is reflected in post-workshop professional sales by their alumni

Virgina Festival of the Book
The Annual Virginia Festival of the Book will be held in March 2015 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Five days of free literary events open to the public to honor book culture and promote reading and literacy, featuring readings, panels, and discussions with authors, illustrators and publishing professionals.

The Voices Summer Writing Workshop for Writers of Color
The Voices Writing Workshop will be held in June 2015 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Deadline for applications is March 2015. The Voices Writing Workshop is a special gathering of writers of color who spend 1-2 weeks working with well known authors and performers. Held on the campus of University of San Francisco, the Voices Workshop creates an intimate and interactive community with an atmosphere of sharing and engaging.

Wesleyan Writers Conference
The annual Wesleyan Writers Conference will be held in June 2015 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. The program includes seminars, readings, workshops, publishing advice, and optional manuscript consultations, all designed to offer you new perspectives on your work and the company of other writers who share your interests.

Willamette Writers Conference
The Willamette Writers Conference will be held August 2015 in Portland, OR. Every summer for some 35 years, writers have gathered in Portland to hone their craft and market their work--many of them launching their careers through connections made at the Willamette Writers Conference. With its new venue offering spacious meeting rooms and relaxed atrium, the Embassy Suites Portland Airport Hotel promises more comfort, more room, and more fun for the estimated 500 conference-goers and 100-plus agents, editors, managers and producers.

Women Writing West Conference
The next confernece with be held October 2014 in Golden, CO. Join Women Writing the West for four days of jam packed presentations from authors, editors, agents, publishers, and bookstore owners. WWW is an independent, non-profit group of writers of works set in the American West. For this gathering of members from all facets of the writing community, our annual program seeks to offer workshops and presentations on the creative side of writing as well as discussion of publishing trends and changes which impact all writers.

Write On the Sound Writers Conference
The next conference will be held October 2014, nestled in Washington’s Puget Sound. Writers of all levels interested in the craft of writing will enjoy Write on the Sound, a conference limited to 200 participants that was first developed by the Edmonds Arts Commission in 1985 to support the literary arts. The two-day annual event features over 30 presenters, a literary contest, manuscript critiques, reception and book signing, onsite bookstore, and a variety of evening activities.

Writers League in Texas' Annual Agents Conference
The next conference will be held June 2015 in Austin, Texas. Meet and socialize with prominent agents, editors, and writers in the laid-back atmosphere of downtown Austin, hosted by the Writer's League in Texas. Whether your interests include fiction, nonfiction, traditional publishing, or self-publishing, you'll find valuable information, advice, and inspiration from experienced professionals in the publishing industry at this conference. Benefit from the expertise of published authors during panel discussions and breakout sessions.

"Writers in Paradise" Eckerd College Writer's Conference
The next conference will be held January 2015 on the Eckerd College campus in St. Petersburg, Florida. This intensive, eight-day experience of intimate workshop classes, panel discussions, readings, book signings, cocktail receptions and dinners is designed for those who are passionate about writing. They are proud to announce our award-winning faculty and guest speakers: Beth Ann Fennelly, Tom Franklin, Laura Lippman, Peter Meinke, Roland Merullo, Thisbe Nissen, David Hale Smith, Les Standiford and Sterling Watson, among others. The tranquil seaside landscape sets the tone for this informal gathering of writers, teachers, editors and agents all working side-by-side.

Whidbey Island Writers Conference
The next conference will be held on October 2014 on Whidbey Island, nestled in Washington’s Puget Sound. Located in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountains, Whidbey Island provides spectacular ocean and mountain views. Immerse yourself in learning and nurture your talent at a variety of informative classes and hands-on intensive writing workshops. Join a small group in a friendly home setting for their Fireside Chats. Interact with three published authors, or spend the day in an intensive workshop with one presenter. Attend an expert panel discussion, where agents and editors will share inside details, divulge what they are looking for.

World Fantasy Convention
The next convention will be held November 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. Hosted by The Fandom Association of Central Texas, The World Fantasy Convention is an annual gathering (almost a reunion) of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of Light and Dark Fantasy art and literature. The main features of the convention are the World Fantasy Awards, and the convention program features many of the attending professionals. Convention attendees often include over 200 published authors, 80 artists, 35 editors, and rare book dealers in the field.

Unicorn Writers' Conference
The next conference will be held March 2015 at Saint Clement's Castle in Stratford, CT. Unicorn Writers’ Conference is uniquely designed to arm visionary writers with the practical know-how they need to get their manuscripts through – or around – the gatekeepers to the publishing world. In addition to holding workshops on publishing essentials like writing and editing, Unicorn Writers’ Conference will bring together industry insiders to offer rare tutorials on what publishers really care about – including how to market a book, how to generate publicity, how to select artwork and how to negotiate a book deal. Not only will guests make connections with established editors and get one-on-one feedback from published fiction, nonfiction, screenplay, mystery and children’s writers, but there will be leading publicists, marketers and executives to tell you exactly what they expect from you before they buy your manuscript.

If you are hosting a writer’s conference or seminar, and would like to be included on this weblist, please email us information about your conference to