If you have never been to a writers’ conference, I encourage you to attend one. Conferences are the best way to meet agents, get tips from other writers, and learn about the publishing industry. In addition to providing valuable professional contacts, nothing will make you feel more like a writer.
Many conferences are offered annually, so if you miss a conference in your area this year, you can always catch it next year. For a full month-by-month list of conferences, as well as resources to find financial assistance deadlines, go here: Writing Conferences.
All of these conferences and workshops charge tuition, but some offer financial assistance. There are deadlines for applying for aid, so make sure you plan ahead.
Redrock Creative Writing Seminar, St. George, Utah, March 4, 2017. Classes and readings in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The faculty includes poets Joel Long, Tanya Parker Mills and Colorado Western Slope Poet Laureate Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.
Tucson Self-Publishing Expo. March 4, 2017, Tucson, AZ. Five workshops and a display area for vendors to present products and services as well as answer questions related to self-publishing and book marketing. KEYNOTES: Mark Coker of Smashwords and Robin Cutler of Ingram Spark.
Writing By Degrees. March 10–11, 2017, Binghamton, NY. Event is organized by Binghamton University graduate students, and designed to create a community of creative writing graduate students. The conference will feature panels, readings, and presentations by accomplished keynote speakers as well as other events and informal gatherings. There will be representatives from journals to discuss their periodicals. They will also be holding a writing contest this year
Springmingle. Decatur, Georgia, March 10–12, 2017. Conference for children’s book writers and illustrators. Faculty includes writers, illustrators, agents, editors, and publishers.
Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. Greenfield, MA, March 10–13, 2017. The conference features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length poetry manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The faculty includes poets and editors Joan Houlihan and Martha Rhodes. The cost of the conference is $1,675, which includes tuition, a private room, meals, and a pre-conference manuscript reading by Joan Houlihan.
Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. Wye Mills, Maryland, March 11, 2017. Sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. “The BTO conference features workshops, presentations, and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics pertaining to the craft of writing, publishing, marketing, the Internet, and the intricacies of particular genres. It is an opportunity to meet with many writing peers in the region. Speakers include accomplished authors, poets, film writers, writing instructors, editors, and publishers. BTO also offers one-on-one manuscript reviews with experienced writing instructors and editors for registered attendees for a fee.”
Algonkian Writers New York Pitch Conference, March 16–19, 2017, NY, NY. “The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals. More importantly though, it is also a diagnostic method for workshopping the plot, premise, and other elements of the story to determine quality and marketability. Simply put, you cannot successfully pitch a viable commercial novel if you don’t have a viable commercial novel. Our goal, therefore, is to set you on a realistic path to publication.”
Writer’s High Retreat. March 17–19, 2017, Dawsonville, Georgia. The retreat features workshops for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, as well as readings, talks, and open mics. Participating writers include poet Megan Sexton; fiction writers Susan Crawford and George Weinstein; and nonfiction writers Jeanne Hewell-Chambers and Jedwin Smith. The cost of the retreat, which includes lodging and all meals, is $733 for a single room and $579 for a double room. Space is limited; Registration is first come, first served. The registration deadline is March 1.
Create Something Magical Conference. March 18–19, 2017, Woodbridge, New Jersey and Edison, New Jersey. Workshops and panels. Keynote Speakers are Jennifer L. Armentrout and Virginia Kantra.
Pele’s Fire: Write to the Core. March 21–27, 2017, Big Island, HI. Writers’ retreat in a breathtaking, in Hawaii. Three teachers, small groups, 1-on-1 consultations, readings. Faculty: Bhanu Kapil, Elena Georgiou, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto.
University of North Dakota Writers Conference. March 22–24, 2017, Grand Forks, North Dakota. This year’s authors/artists include Viet Thanh Nguyen, NoViolet Bulawayo, Layli Long Soldier, Jeff Shotts, Mai Der Vang, and Mario Ybarra, Jr. FREE and open to the public.
Algonkian Novel Retreat, Sterling, Virginia, March 22–26, 2017. “In keeping with the spirit of this place and the goals of this retreat, you can be as goal-oriented or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, clear your head, have your work read by our writer mentors, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and discover your vision as a writer. You discuss with us ahead of time via the Algonkian Writer Retreat Application the goals you wish to accomplish, and we’ll work with you to make it happen. Do you desire a review of your short stories or flash fiction? A line edit? Do you wish to discuss the reality of the current fiction market, your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a few sample chapters? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer?” Registration is first come, first served.
Virginia Festival of the Book, March 22–26, 2017. “The Festival is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region and has attracted audiences of more than 20,000 for each of the past thirteen years. We have presented a captivating list of authors, ranging from international bestsellers to topical specialists to debut authors.” Book exhibits, talks by authors, readings, workshops on book promotion, finding an agent, poetry, publishing, agents roundtable — you name it, this conference has it.
Mountain Valley Writers Conference. March 23–25, 2017, Guntersville, Alabama. Author signings, giveaways, workshops, learning sessions, and networking opportunities. Faculty: Mitzi Jane Media, Bridgette Hester, Jonathan Tripp, Katharine Grubb, Cheryl Wray Sloan, Constance Smith, Natalie Cone, Cindy Jones, William Thorton, Lawayne Orlando Childrey, Julie Ryan, Gary Gabelhouse, Tommy Blaze, Gene Hendrix, Denise Oakley.
Write Stuff Writers Conference. March 23–25, 2017, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Workshops, sessions on craft and business of writing. Meetings with agents, editors, and book coaches, book fair, and more. Keynote Speaker: Michael Hauge. Pre-conference workshops: Michael Hauge, Kathryn Craft, Jamie Saloff, Deborah Riley-Magnus, Victoria Selvaggio Additionally on Saturday will be the above plus Jennifer Lader, Jordy Alberts, and Gregory Frost.
Writing on the Door: A Poetry Conference. March 24–25, 2017, Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Workshop topics include writing poetry for children; travel poetry; writing the poetic sequence and more. Instructors include: Sharon Auberle, Kimberly Blaeser, Katie Dahl, Alice D’Alessio, Albert DeGenova, Max Garland, Margaret Hasse, Dion Kempthorne, Estella Lauter, Laurie MacDiarmid, June Nirschl, Miranda Paul, Judy Roy.
California Dreamin’ Conference for Writers. March 24–26, 2017, Brea, CA. Workshops, pitch sessions, critiques for romance writers.
Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Book Publishing A Crash Course. Honesdale, PA. March 24 -26, 2017. Sponsored by Highlights for children, this is an intensive workshop covering every aspect of publishing children’s books.
Unicorn Writers’ Conference, March 25, 2017, Purchase, NY. Make connections and get feedback with dozens of opportunities for one-on-one face time with industry insiders, including: One-on-one manuscript reading and feed-back sessions with agents and editors, Networking breakfast, lunch and dinner, After-conference networking party. Perfect Your Craft with a choice of seven workshops to attend from over thirty different sessions offered in: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Mystery, Poetry, Screenwriting, Children’s Literature, Romance, Horror/Sci-Fi. Get the insider’s edge with a vast selection of rare, how-to tutorials from every department within a publishing company, including: Marketing/Publicity, Art/Production, Contracts, Special sales, Media training, Pitching Your Work, How to appeal to agents and editors, Various writing workshops, Literary agents and editors — discussion panels.
Michigan Writers Conference, March 25, 2017, Detroit, MI. A full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. Attending Agents: Elana Roth Parker (Laura Dail Literary Agency), Paul Stevens (Donald Maass Literary). Sara Megibow (KT Literary), Jennifer Wills (The Seymour Agency), Janna Bonikowski (The Knight Agency), Kirsten Carleton (Prospect Agency), Elizabeth May (Kensington Publishing), Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary), Michael Caligaris (Holloway Literary Agency), Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency).
2017 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium “Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration.” Brooklyn, NY, March 25, 2017. The “Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration” program will include reflections on Brooks’ life, a discussion of the impact and significance of her literary works, and dramatic presentations from and inspired by her passionate and vigorous works. Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, author, poet, and publisher, will be the keynote speaker. Poets and educators Cheryl Clarke, Marilyn Nelson, and Nicole Sealey are among the participants featured on the program.
Kansas Writing Workshop, March 25, 2017, Kansas City, KS. A full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. Attending Agents: Rebecca Bugger (Serendipity Literary Agency), Justin Wells (Corvisiero Literary Agency), Reiko Davis (DeFiore & Company), Stephanie Hansen (Metamorphosis Literary), Whitley Abell (Inklings Literary), Tricia Skinner (Fuse Literary).
32nd Annual National Undergraduate Literature Conference, March 30 — April 1, 2017, Weber State University, Ogden, UT. “Each year, nearly 200 undergraduate writers and poets throughout North America, and sometimes beyond, come to Weber State University to present their work and learn from some of the most important writers in contemporary literature.”
Originally published at publishedtodeath.blogspot.com on February 21, 2017.
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.