Conferences are not only the best way to meet agents, get tips from other writers, and learn about the publishing industry, they make you feel like a writer. We all need community, and this is how we, as writers, get the necessary incentive to keep writing.
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.
For a month-by-month list of conferences throughout the year see: Writing Conferences. (You will also find links to resources that can help you find conferences in your area on that page.)
San Francisco Writers Conference, February 13 -16, 2020, San Francisco, CA. Attendees will join with 100+ presenters and fellow writers from across the country and around the world at this year’s event. The SFWC events are consistently rated among the top writer’s conferences anywhere. “Our goal is to help writers become published authors as we help them become better at the craft and business of writing. The SFWC is also one of the friendliest conferences. Presenters this year will include bestselling authors, literary agents, editors, and publishers from major publishing houses. There will be experts on self-publishing, book promotion, platform building, social media, and author websites. The San Francisco Writers Conference has one of the largest faculties of any writer’s conference to ensure the best networking with the people who can help you get published.”
Southern California Writers’ Conference (and Retreat). February 14–16, 2020: San Diego, CA. Faculty: 60+ working, professional authors of fiction, nonfiction & screen, editors & agents. “Founded and run by professional writers the SCWC provides veteran and emerging talent with authoritative guidance to help distinguish those manuscripts that are ready for market consideration.” Cost: $350-$425. Manuscript critique & one-on-one consultation additional. Limited to 175 conferees.
Futurescapes. February 16–18, 2020:: Salt Lake City, Utah. Futurescapes Workshop of Utah Valley University, is an intensive, exclusive workshop, offering writers an unparalleled chance to work with top authors and agents in speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, fantasy, paranormal). Each participant will work with three workshop faculty mentors on the first 3,000 words of their manuscript, while receiving substantive feedback on the overall structure of their work in progress and query letters.
Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference. February 20–22, 2020: St. Augustine, Florida. Since 2008, The Florida Heritage Book Festival and Writers Conference has brought more than 200 nationally known authors and writers to teach, network, and enjoy time in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida. Thousands of Festival attendees have participated in author presentations, panel discussions, book signings, and a Writers Conference focusing on both the craft and the business of writing.
Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference. February 21–22, 2020: Tempe, AZ. “The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference creates a unique and intimate creative writing experience where writers of all backgrounds, genres, and skill levels gather together and connect through the celebration and study of literary craft, culture, and community. Featuring over 25 faculty members teaching more than 50 sessions, we seek to create a warm and welcoming environment that meets people wherever they are, where writers can learn from and support each other as they work toward their goals. Beyond regular programming, we also feature advanced pre-conference workshops, an exhibitor fair, scholarships, and fellowships. We also offer opportunities to advertise with or sponsor the conference as well.”
The Writers Studio, sponsored by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, February 27 — March 1, 2020, Los Angeles, CA. The conference offers workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as writing for television and film. Offered by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, the Writers Studio brings together a community of writing students to workshop with some of Southern California’s most accomplished writers and teachers. From among the 10 offered, participants choose one workshop in which they work closely with a professional writer in classes limited to no more than 15 people.
St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Workshop, Feb 27 — March 1, 2020, St. Augustine, Florida. “The St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Workshop creates an intimate and professional environment that combines private meetings with small-group workshops, thus enabling aspiring authors to wisely approach the writing and publication of their novel. At the St. Augustine event, aspiring authors will:
1) Work one-on-one with top authors and savvy market professionals.
2) Apply advanced story and narrative technique to their novel-in-progress.
3) Hone and improve their writer voice and style.
4) Learn the necessary inside mechanics of the publishing business.
5) Leave the workshop with a detailed plan to work towards publication of their novel.
Group workshop sessions will be interspersed with agent and author consultations, workshop assignments, as well as consults with workshop leaders.”
California Creative Writers Conference. February 28 — March 1, 2020: Los Angeles, CA. Educational and inspirational guidance from more than 40 literary agents, veteran educators, industry professionals, professional editors, and publishers in the craft and business of writing fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting taught by Hollywood veterans. Over three days, you can learn how to take your writing to the next level and what it takes get published.
Like this article? For more articles about the publishing world, useful tips on how to get an agent, agents who are looking for clients, how to market and promote your work, building your online platform, how to get reviews, self-publishing, as well as publishers accepting manuscripts directly from writers (no agent required) visit Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity.