August, a month when people kick back and writing conferences kick in, is nearly here. (You’ll notice that quite a few of these upcoming conferences are held near beaches, in mountains, or in other scenic locales.)
Writers have a lot to gain and nothing to lose from attending a conference. There are opportunities to talk to authors, pitch sessions with agents, as well as workshops covering every aspect of writing and publishing. In addition, you get to share experiences with other writers. I encourage you to attend one!
Note: For a monthly listing of conferences, as well as how to find upcoming conferences, see Writing Conferences. Many of these are offered annually, so if you missed a conference you’d like to attend, you can always plan to attend next year.
Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. August 4–7, Fort Bragg, California. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panels and workshops with editors and agents, craft lectures, readings, and discussion forums on publishing and marketing. The faculty includes poet Jessica Piazza; fiction writers Laura Atkins, James W. Hall, Lori Ostlund, and Les Standiford; and creative nonfiction writers Jordan Rosenfeld, and Reyna Grande. Participating publishing professionals include agents Lisa Abellera (Kimberly Cameron & Associates) and Andy Ross (Andy Ross Agency); editors Grant Faulkner and Brooke Warner; and publisher Shirin Yim Bridges (Goosebottom Books).
Cape Cod Writers Center Conference. August 4–7, 2016, Hyannis, Massachusetts. Workshops and craft classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as manuscript consultations and mentoring sessions with editors and agents. The faculty includes poet William Wenthe; fiction writers Ron MacLean, Jonathan Papernick, and Adam Sexton; nonfiction writers Phoebe Baker Hyde and Mindy Lewis; and agents Michael Carr (Veritas Literary), Alia Hanna Habib (McCormick Literary), Amaryah Orenstein (GO Literary), Ammi-Joan Paquette (Erin Murphy Literary), and Katie Shea Boutillier (Donald Maass Literary). Tuition is $135 for a three-session course, $100 for a two-session course, or $65 for a single workshop. One-on-one manuscript consultations are available for an additional $75 to $150; query consultations with agents are available for an additional $25. Application Deadline: July 22, 2016.
Florida Authors and Publishers Association Annual Conference. August 5–6, 2016, Orlando, Florida. Professional development sessions designed to provide authors and publishers with up-to-date publishing resources. Faculty: Ava K. Doppelt (intellectual property lawyer), Nancy Morgan Stosik (Ingram Content Group), Shannon Bell (author), Eddie Price (author), and many more.
Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. August 5–7, 2016, New Brunswick, New Jersey. 12 workshops, 2-tracks for writers and fans. Guest of Honor: Reed Farrel Coleman, Toastmaster: Hilary Davidson, Fan Guest of Honor: Rebecca Russell Mears. Other authors: S.W. Hubbard, Jeff Markowitz, Jane Cleland, Steven Rigolosi, Roberta Rogow, S.A. Solomon, Annamaria Alfieri, Richard Belsky, and many more.
Whole Novel Workshop. August 7–13, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. The Whole Novel Workshop is specifically designed for writers of middle-grade and young adult novels. This unique program offers the one-on-one attention found in degree programs, but without additional academic requirements, lengthy time commitments, or prohibitive financial investments. Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress. Waitlisted.
Elk River Writer’s Workshop. August 8–11, 2016, Paradise Valley, Montana. Workshops, seminars, lectures, and readings for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. The conference features workshops, seminars, lectures, and readings for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. The faculty includes poet, fiction writer, and nonfiction writer Linda Hogan; fiction writers Jamie Ford and Nina McConigley; and fiction and nonfiction writer Craig Lesley. The cost of the workshop is $1,000; meals are available for an additional $200. Lodging is available at the conference hotel for discounted rates. Using the online submission system, submit a writing sample of up to 1,000 words and a letter of intent of up to 250 words with a $15 application fee. Registration deadline: July 1.
Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. August 8–14, 2016, Montpelier, Vermont. The conference is designed for writers with graduate degrees or equivalent experience. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, craft classes, and individual consultations with faculty members. Each workshop is limited to five or six participants. Faculty includes poets Eduardo C. Corral, Kathleen Graber, Patricia Smith, David Wojahn, and Kevin Young; fiction writers Steve Almond, Andre Dubus III, Ann Hood, Ellen Lesser, and Lee Martin; and creative nonfiction writers Richard McCann, Sue William Silverman, Anthony Swofford, and Joan Wickersham. Tuition is $985 for all workshops except for the poetry manuscript workshop, which is $1,125.
Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. August 11–14, 2016, Corte Madera, Calif. Writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more.
HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. August 11–14, 2016, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Craft and query workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Faculty: Mary Karr, Ashley C. Ford, Sarah Einstein, Ken Budd, Jim Warner, Lisa Romeo, Wendy Fontaine, Jenna McGuiggan, Jesse Waters, Lisa Jakub, Ilana Garon, Amye Archer, Lynn Hall, Jamie Brickhouse, Veronica Park, Jeff Kleinman, Eric Smith, Nicole Frail and more.
Mid-Atlantic Fiction Writers Institute. August 12–13, 2016, Hagerstown, Maryland. The annual MAFWI summer conference offers workshops and breakout sessions by bestselling authors, college faculty, and experienced public relations professionals. From story fundamentals like plot and point of view to seasoned advice on how to market your work, there is something for writers of every genre.
Writer’s Digest Conference. August 12–14, 2016, New York. Annual Writer’s Digest Conference featuring: Pitch Slam, with more than fifty agents and editors in attendance, educational tracks devoted to publishing and self-publishing, platform and promotion, and the craft of writing, speakers and instructors.
Willamette Writers Conference. August 12–14, 2016, Portland, Oregon. 100 workshops conducted by more than 50 seasoned pros in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, manuscript editing, publishing, self-publishing and promotion, pitching, entering writing contests, research and business. Whether you write self-help books, historic fiction, blockbuster Hollywood screenplays, mysteries, romance, magazine articles, sci-fi, plays, children’s books, humor, self publish or simply need help marketing yourself as a professional, you’ll find helpful guidance and keen insights. Other conference features include advance manuscript critiques, filmlab, silent auction, awards banquet, and group and one-on-one pitch sessions with New York literary agents and editors and Hollywood film agents, managers, and producers.
Revision Retreat. August 13–17, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. In this working retreat, Harold Underdown and editor Eileen Robinson will teach proven techniques for self-editing and revising and help writers try them out on their manuscripts. Mornings will be dedicated to revision techniques and afternoons to model critique groups, individual meetings, and writing time.
Iota Short Prose Conference. August 16–26, 2016, Lubec, Maine. Workshops, craft discussions, readings, open mics, one-on-one meetings with faculty, and field trips to nearby locations for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Faculty includes poet and prose writer Richard Hoffman and nonfiction writer Sarah Einstein.
Historical Writers of America. August 19–21, 2016, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Workshops for fiction and nonfiction, research, the submission process, the road to publication, and the life of a historical writer; networking opportunities including keynote luncheon and dinner, theme receptions, and collaboration and brain-storming sessions.
How Do Poets Get Published? Learning What It Takes. August 21–24, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. Two weeks prior to the workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to submit a maximum of three poems that will be critiqued in writing. You can also submit questions that will be answered by guest speakers, including a poetry editor, story editor (rhyming picture books), magazine editor, and art director. You’ll also have the chance to speak with them personally. Mornings will be devoted to presentations, prompts, and one-on-one consultations. Afternoons will include guest speaker presentations, writing time, and additional one-on-ones.
Whole Novel Workshop: Middle Grade and Young Adult. August 21–27, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. The Whole Novel Workshop offers participating writers the opportunity to have full drafts of their novels read and critiqued prior to the workshop. You’ll get a detailed editorial letter from your faculty mentor along with a marked-up manuscript. You’ll also have two one-on-one meetings with your mentor to further discuss your manuscript — one at the start of the week and another at the end — to map out plans for revision.
Peripatetic Writing Workshop and Retreat. August 22 — September 5, 2016, Woodstock, NY. The first week of the conference features daily workshops, discussions, readings, and time to write. The second week of the conference features writing time, discussions, readings, and individual manuscript tutorials. The faculty includes fiction and nonfiction writers Maureen Brady, Martha E. Hughes, and Aaron Hamburger. Writers may participate in one or both weeks. The cost of the conference is $1,495 per week, which includes workshops, a single room with a shared bath (the cost of a double room with a shared bath is $1195), daily breakfasts, and some dinners. Application deadline: July 15.
Originally published at publishedtodeath.blogspot.com on July 21, 2016.
About the author: Erica Verrillo has published five books, four with major publishers and one on her own. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on how to get an agent, lists agents who are looking for clients as well as publishers accepting manuscripts directly from writers, explains how to market and promote your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews, how to self-publish, and where to find markets for your work on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity.