30 Writing Conferences in April 2016

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Spring has sprung, and writers are thawing out!

There are conferences springing up all over the country in April. Topics range from the nuts and bolts of how to get published, to how to write fight scenes, to how to write science for children. There are workshops with authors and industry professionals, as well as critique groups, pitch sessions, and informal schmoozing.

For writers, who spend so much time in solitary pursuits, writers’ conferences are exciting and rewarding experiences. I encourage you to attend one. Even if it’s a one-day workshop, you will be invigorated.


University of North Dakota Writers Conference. April 6–8, 2016. Grand Forks, North Dakota. This year’s theme is “The Art of Science.” The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panel discussions and readings. Participating authors include poet Katharine Coles; fiction writers Frank Huyler, Tania James, and Kim Stanley Robinson; and nonfiction writer Brian Greene.

Tennessee Mountain Writers Annual Conference, Apr 7–9, 2016, Oak Ridge, TN. Speakers and session leaders include Sonja Livingston, Michael Knight, Jesse Graves, Courtney Stevens, Denton Loving, Beverly Connor, Judy DiGregorio, Robert Gipe, Saundra Kelly, Cathy Kodra, and Bob Mayer.

Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Apr 7–9, 2016, Bethlehem PA. Keynote Speaker: Robert Liparulo. Pre-conference workshops: Robert Liparulo, Suzy Kuhn, Bonnie Calhoun, Catherine McLean. Additionally on Saturday will be the above plus Shawn Smucker, Ramona D. Long, Hana H. Caye, Jon Gibbs, and Kelly Simmons.

Authors Combat Academy. April 8–10, 2016, Nashville TN. Writers, Authors, pre-published or published who want to learn how to write better fight scenes. Special guests, lectures, group participation, banquet. Presenters: Liliana Hart, CJ Lyons, Jack Dagger, and more! Fighting experts from all different styles (martial arts, military, boxing, MMA, space battles, lovers quarrels, fantasy, and more) as well as writing experts and industry experts.

New York Writers Workshop Fiction Pitch Conference, April 8–10, 2016, Ripley-Grier Studios (NY Spaces) 520 Eighth Ave (36th/37th), 16th Fl. Participants polish their pitches with the help of conference leaders who are members of the New York Writers Workshop faculty, then they present them to three different editors from major New York publishing houses. Editors provide feedback and may request proposals and manuscripts after the conference. Cost: $450 for 3-day Fiction Pitch Conference, including Agents Panel.

Writing By Writers Workshop. April 8–10, 2016, Boulder, Colorado. Faculty: Craig Childs, Pam Houston and Luis Alberto Urrea. “Each day will start with a craft talk by one of our faculty members and then participants will split into small groups where they will dissect the art and craft of writing through lectures, writing exercises and class discussions. We won’t be reading and critiquing manuscripts, but rather closely examining elements of craft with the intention of allowing participants to see their work with deeper insight while also generating new material. Each participant will have the opportunity to work in a small group setting with all three faculty members.”

Rally of Writers Conference. April 9, 2016. Lansing, Michigan. Features workshops, craft talks, and author readings in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Participants include poet Michael Lauchlan and Rosalie Petrouske; fiction writers Bonnie Jo Campbell, Susan Froetschel, Jim Hines, and Lev Raphael; and nonfiction writers Rosa Morales, Robin Silbergleid and Bob Tarte. Cost: $85 ($60 for students) in advance, and $100 ($70 for students) on-site.

The Philadelphia Writing Workshop. Saturday, April 9, 2016, at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, in downtown Philadelphia. “This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.” Thirteen agents will be attending. Cost: $129 — final registration pricing. This is the complete base price for registration and access to all workshops, all day. Add $29 to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of the literary agents in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.)

Antioch Writers’ Workshop “The Writing Life,” April 9, 2016, Yellow Springs, Ohio. “From finding the inspiration and time to write, to crafting outstanding query letters, to managing finances… how can you make everything happen that you need to as a writer and balance it all with the rest of your life?” Cost: $150.00.

Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing 2016 is sponsored by Highlights. April 10–14, 2016. Honesdale, PA. Workshop Faculty: Jennifer Swanson, Miranda Paul, Emily Feinberg, Paige Hazzan. “You love science and our world — and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. How do you accomplish it? Learn the dynamics of engaging science-based writing for children and teens — whether you’re published already or just beginning. Faculty will demonstrate how to energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction writing that shines the light on exciting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Through presentations, hands-on workshops, one-to-one manuscript critiques, ample writing time, and sessions with acquiring editors, this workshop will give you the tools and insights you need to advance on your path to success.”

Arkansas Literary Festival. Apr 14–17, 2016, Little Rock, Arkansas. “Prestigious award-winners, screenwriters, comedians, an expert witness, artists, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions.” Free.

The Pikes Peak Writers Conference, April 15–17, 2016. Colorado Springs, Colorado. “The three-day conference is full of topical, in-depth workshops, dynamic keynote speakers, opportunities for one-on-one time with agents and editors, the chance to read your work aloud for constructive critique, plus time to socialize with fellow writers.”

Poetry at Round Top Festival. April 15–17, 2016. Round Top, Texas. Features readings, lectures, craft talks, panel discussions, and workshops with poets Rosemary Catacalos, Robert Hass, Terrance Hayes, Dorianne Laux, Maurice Manning, Dunya Mikhail, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Carmen Tafolla, and Sasha West. Cost: $100 ($50 for students) or $75 for Saturday only. Workshops are an additional $35. Private manuscript consultations are available for an additional $60.

Stories From the Heart Women Writers’ Conference. April 15–17, 2016. Austin, Texas.Features workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction for women writers, as well as panel discussions, publishing seminars, and readings. The faculty includes poet Jan Seale; fiction writers Susan Wittig Albert and Noelle Sickels; and creative nonfiction writers Ruth W. Crocker, Cindy Eastman, and Linda Joy Myers. Cost: $405 for Story Circle members, and $460 for non-members.

Duck River Writers’ Conference. April 16, 2016. Columbia, Tennessee. Features workshops, craft talks, manuscript consultations, and a featured reading. The faculty includes poets Joseph Cook, Jeff Hardin, and Carrie Jerrell; fiction writers Adria Bernardi and Dana Carpenter; and nonfiction writer and translator Beverly Mitchell. Poet Mark Jarman will give a featured reading. Cost: $10 (free for Columbia State students with a valid I.D.) before February 29, and $15 on-site. To enroll in a workshop, e-mail three to five poems, or 10 pages of fiction, by March 18. An additional reading fee of $15 is required to attend a workshop.

Honolulu Writers’ Conference 2016 — NLAPW. Apr 22–23, 2016, Honolulu HI. Features a dozen presenters and workshop sessions on every aspect of writing.

Northeast Texas Writers Organization. Apr 22–23, 2016, Mt. Pleasant, TX. Workshop sessions, breakouts, Q&A sessions, personal interaction with authors. Cost: $125.00.

Northern Colorado Writers Conference. Apr 22–23, 2016, Fort Collins CO. Faculty: Todd Mitchell, Laura Resau, and Kerrie Flanagan, Melanie Crowder, Judith Briles, and Shane Kuhn, Grant Blackwood, #1 NYT Bestselling author of the Briggs Tanner series, and co-writer with Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. Agents: Paula Munier, Jody Rein, Stacey Graham, Jennifer March Soloway.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference. April 23, 2016. Newport, Rhode Island. Greensboro, North Carolina. Features intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as publisher exhibits, on-site “lunch with an author” readings, and an open mic. The faculty includes poets Vievee Francis, Matthew Olzmann, and Jennifer Whitaker; fiction writers Quinn Dalton and Travis Mulhauser; and creative nonfiction writers Jim Minick and Mylene Dressler. The keynote speaker is fiction writer Michael Parker. Cost: $150 ($99 for members) until April 17 and $165 ($135 for members) thereafter and on-site.

Rochester Writers’ Spring Conference. Apr 23 2016, Rochester Hills, 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.

DFW Writers Conference. Apr 23–24, 2016, Fort Worth TX. Featuring pitch sessions with literary agents, advanced classes, engaging panels, interactive workshops.

Writers’ Day, April 23, 2016. Hooksett, NH. Workshops and seminars led by professional writers, editors, agents, and publishers. The conference includes the option of face-to-face manuscript critiques and agent/publisher one-on-one pitch sessions.

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Edgar Week Symposium. Apr 27, 2015, New York City, NY. Panels, discussions. Cost: $95 members, $125 non-members — with a $10 retroactive discount for those who join Mystery Writers of America within 30 days after Symposium.

Las Vegas Writer’s Conference sponsored by the Henderson Writers’ Group, Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada. April 28–30, 2016. Join writing professionals, agents publishers and marketing experts for a weekend of workshops and enlightening discussions about the publishing industry. A chance to pitch your manuscript and ideas to agents.

Grub Street Muse and the Marketplace Conference. April 29 — May 1, 2016. Boston, Massachusetts. Features craft classes, interactive discussions, and meetings with agents and editors. Participants include fiction and nonfiction writers Charles Baxter, Robin Black, Alexander Chee, Angela Flournoy, Garth Greenwell, Jennifer Haigh, Ann Hood, and Pagan Kennedy; agents Regina Brooks (Serendipity), Robert Guinsler (Sterling Lord Literistic), Gail Hochman (Brandt & Hochman), and Kathleen Nishimoto (William Morris Endeavor); and editors Emi Ikkanda (Holt), Jenna Johnson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Fiona McCrae (Graywolf Press), and Tracy Sherrod (Amistad). Cost: $295 for a single day, $500 for the full conference. For a one-on-one manuscript consultation with an agent or editor, submit up to 20 pages of prose with a $195 registration fee by April 6. Registration deadline is April 25.

Chanticleer Authors Conference. April 29 -May 1, 2016. Bellingham, Washington. Sessions with a special focus on the business of being a working writer on topics such as marketing, publicity, platform, sales tools & strategies, publishing, production, distribution, organization, storycraft, editing, and more. Faculty: Robert Dugoni, Kathy L. Murphy, Diane Isaacs, Toby Neal, Kiffer Brown, Pamela Beason, Sara Stamey, Chris Humphries, James R Wells,and Shari Stauch.

Monadnock Pastoral Poetry Retreat. Apr 29 — May 1, 2016. Greenfield, NH. Includes workshops, individual conferences, participant & mentor readings; hiking & kayaking (weather permitting). Each workshop uses dual mentors.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. April 29 to May 2, 2016. Naples, Maine. Features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The faculty includes editor Jeff Shotts (Graywolf Press) and poets and editors Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison, Hilda Raz, Martha Rhodes, and Ellen Doré Watson. Cost: $1,375, which includes lodging and meals.

Write Now! Apr 30, 2016, Raleigh NC. One day writing conference hosted by Triangle Association of Freelancers.Sessions include screenwriting, financial tips for writers, pillars of freelance success, copyediting, trade pubs, column writing, publishing tips and more. Faculty: Brian Klems, Linda Formichelli, Mark Cantrell, Donald Vaughan, Laura Poole, Connie Gentry, Frank Hyman, Tom Welch, Scott Myers. Cost: $69; $59 for students with ID and seniors 65+; $80 at the door.

Ontario Writers’ Conference. April 30 to May 1, 2016. Ajax, Canada. Features workshops, craft talks, master classes, readings, and meetings with agents and editors. The theme of this year’s conference is Diversity in Publishing. Participants include fiction writers Wayson Choy, Donna Morrissey, Alison Pick, and Amanda Sun; agents Sam Hiyate and Alison MacDonald, both of the Rights Factory; and editors Allyson Latta and Ruth E. Walker. Cost: $260 Canadian (approximately $215). The fee for a master class is $99 Canadian (approximately $82), and a one-on-one meeting with an agent or editor is $35 Canadian (approximately $29). Registration deadline is March 31.

Originally published at publishedtodeath.blogspot.com on March 24, 2016.

Erica Verrillo has published five books. 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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