23 Writing Conferences in October 2016

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Soon the weather will turn chilly, the leaves will fall off the trees, and your thoughts will once again turn to indoor pursuits.

Luckily, there are nearly two dozen writing conferences this October to keep you warm and inspired.

Writing conferences are a wonderful experience. Nothing motivates writers more than a meeting of the minds. And if you are ready to publish, attending a conference is the best way to meet agents.

Many of the conferences listed below are annual events, so if you can’t make your ideal conference this year, you may be able to attend it next year. If you want to get a jump on conferences, there is a month-by-month list of conferences here: Writing Conferences.


2016 Flathead River Writers Conference, Oct 1–2, Kalispell, MT. One day of presentations by agents and authors — One day of workshop topics by eight presenters — Opportunity for “First Impression” 1 page submissions — One-on-one manuscript critiques with either of two agents for the first 24 2-day paid submitters. (A double-spaced 10 page manuscript sample plus a 2 page synopsis must be submitted in Word format electronically 4 weeks prior to the conference. Details on website.)

Perfecting the Picture Book Text. October 5–9, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Golden Kite winner Kristy Dempsey (A Dance Like Starlight, Me With You, Surfer Chick, and the forthcoming Superhero Instruction Manual) and National Book Award-winner Kathryn Erskine (Mockingbird, Mama Africa,) will give you the tools you need to write your first ever picture book, or to perfect the picture books you’ve already written. Expect to meet a few surprise guests (and experienced picture book creators) via Skype as well!

Ozark Creative Writers Conference. Oct 6–8, 2016, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Workshops by published authors, editors and agents; Publishers Row, independent publishers available to hear about your next project; Writing contests available to all participants.

American Medical Writers Association Annual Conference. Oct 6–8, 2016, Denver, CO. Workshops in medical writing, designing materials for patients, analysis, clinical reports, and more.

American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) Conference. October 6–9, 2016, Oakland, California. Panels, workshops, readings, a book fair, and opportunities to meet with editors for translators. The 2016 theme is “Translation and Crossings.” Poet and translator Don Mee Choi will deliver the keynote.

New York Comicon. October 6–9, 2016, New York, New York. New York Comic Con is the East Coast’s biggest popular culture convention: Show Floor plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and television; Panels and Autograph Sessions give Fans a chance to interact with their favorite Creators; Screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit big and small screens.

Quit Whining Start Writing 2016 Writers’ Conference. Oct 7–8, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 15 workshops encompassing writing fiction, for children, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, for the screen, and more; using social media effectively; and creating and maintaining effective websites.

Imaginarium. Oct 7–9, 2016, Louisville KY. A three day annual event held in Louisville, Kentucky centered entirely around creative writing, including the worlds of books, movies, gaming, music, and comics/graphic novels. Imaginarium Convention features extensive programming content, with panels and workshops presented by over 150 professional guests covering everything from the craft of writing to various genres, industry-specific topics, publishing, and social media/publicity. The convention features a film festival with a full array of awards, a masquerade/costume contest, live music, gaming, an expo open to the general public, an awards banquet, a series of literary awards called the Imadjinns, and many more activities, creating a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere that is content-rich and ideal for networking, promotion and personal development.

The Eighth Annual Rochester Writers’ Conference, October 8, 2016, Rochester, Michigan. Lectures, Workshops and Panel Discussions in fiction, non-fiction and business of writing presentations. Open to new, working and published writers of all genres. Attendees select four presentations from a dozen to tailor fit their needs.

Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers. October 14–15, 2016, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, master classes, panel discussions, and individual manuscript consultations with faculty. Participants include poets Robin Coste Lewis and Chloe Honum, fiction writers Angela Flournoy and Toni Jensen, memoirist Beth Kephart, young adult fantasy author Brenna Yovanoff, mystery writer Will Thomas, and romance author Sherry Thomas. The cost of the conference is $60, but scholarships are also available, especially for students and teachers, which lower the cost to $10.

James River Writers Conference. October 14–16, 2016, Richmond, Virginia. features master classes, meetings with agents, panel discussions, and pitch sessions for fiction writers and creative nonfiction writers. Participants include fiction writers Lamar Giles, Gini Koch, Sarah MacLean, and Padma Venkatraman; nonfiction writers Josh Funk and Jessica Lahey; and literary agents Linda Camacho (Prospect Agency), Gemma Cooper (Bent Agency), Moe Ferrara (BookEnds Literary), Katie Kotchman (Don Congdon), and Christopher Rhodes (The Stuart Agency). The cost of the conference is $325, or $195 for a single day. The cost of a master class is an additional $65.

Magic of Memoir: A Weekend of Craft, Process, and Publishing. October 15–16, 2016, Oakland, CA. Expert panelists • Opportunity to engage with teachers and panelists, and to win one-on-one consultations • Time to write • What makes a successful memoir? • What agents are looking for • Raffle with excellent prizes!

Viable Paradise Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop. Oct 16–21, 2016, Martha’s Vineyard, MA. One-on-one & workshop critiques, participation in student group critiques, writing sessions, daily readings. Instructors include Scott Lynch, Debra Doyle, Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Sherwood Smith, James D. Macdonald,and Steven Brust, with Elizabeth Bear and Laura Mixon as writers in residence. Applications close June 15.

Books with Bite Workshop and Retreat: Writing Horror and Haunted Novels. October 19–23, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. “If you’re writing a young adult or middle-grade novel that touches on any frightening or chilling subject matter, either realistic or fantastical, we can help you shape it into something un-put-down-able.” In this unique four-day workshop, you will have your work critiqued, produce new pages, and come away with solid direction for your novel. Application Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Writing By Writers Workshop @ Tomales Bay. October 19–23, 2016, Tomales Bay, California. Manuscript and poetry workshops are limited to 12 participants and generative workshops are limited to 15 to ensure an intimate setting.

15th Annual Florida Writers Conference, October 20–23, 2016. Lake Mary, Florida. Four workshops and panels dedicated to help you learn how to pitch your story, and more than fifty acclaimed authors, poets, and publishing industry experts for three days of networking opportunities.

DAWG Writing Workshop, Write to Publish: Climbing Toward Success!
Oct 22, 2016, DeSoto, TX. Faculty: D. D. Ayres, Kendel Lynn, Michelle Stimpson, Taylor Stevens.

Creating Page-Turning Nonfiction for Middle Grade Readers and Up. October 23–26, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Returning Highlights Foundation faculty members Deborah Hopkinson and Pamela S. Turner team up to share their expertise in writing biography, history, and science in this fast-paced workshop focused on creating exciting and compelling nonfiction for middle grade readers and up.

APH Conference. October 23–27, 2016, Fort Worth, TX. Sponsored by the Association of Personal Historians (APH). Speakers: John Colletta, Ph.D. — Author and Lecturer in Genealogy , Max Krochmal, Ph.D. — Assistant Professor of History at Texas Christian University , John Centrone — Movie Soundtrack Composer and Musician.

Be a Better Freelancer — Take it to the 10th! Oct 28–29, 2016, Rochester NY. Annual conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, website managers and developers, etc., with presenters offering guidance and tips on marketing, promotions, new skills and other business aspects of freelancing. Focus: Nonfiction.

Magna cum Murder XXII. Oct 28–30, 2016, Indianapolis, IN. 45+ authors of crime writing fiction Guest of Honor: Maureen Jennings International Guest of Honor: Natasha Cooper.

2016 Ossabaw Weekend Writer’s Retreat. Oct 28–30, 2016, Ossabaw Island, GA. Workshops and seminars led by nationally recognized faculty, and evening readings (special emphasis on ghost stories) by faculty and participants. Application deadline: September 25.

WriteAngles. October 29, 2016, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Panels and workshops, with two keynoters, a limited number of agent meetings. Continental breakfast, and buffet lunch included. Agents: Danielle Barthel (New Leaf Literary), Kirsten Carleton (Prospect Agency), Jackie Lindert (New Leaf Literary), Gina Panettieri (founder and president of Milford, Connecticut-based Talcott Notch Literary) and John Rudolph (Dystel and Goderich Literary Management).

Originally published at publishedtodeath.blogspot.com on September 22, 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.

Helping writers get published and bolstering their flagging spirits at http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/

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