A few of these conferences offer scholarships and financial aid. While conferences lasting several days can be expensive, one-day workshops are usually affordable. (The one-day workshop held in Ohio on May 2 is free.)
Gold Rush Writers Conference. May 1 - 3, 2015: Mokelumne Hill, CA. "Writing professionals will guide you to a publishing bonanza through a series of panels, specialty talks, workshops and celebrity lectures. Go one-on-one with successful poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists and short story writers." Writing workshops in Autobiography/Memoir, Children's, Fiction, Marketing, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Travel, Young Adult. Faculty: Alex Espinoza, Mary Volmer, Kevin Arnold, Gillian Bagwell, Helen Bonner, Kathy Boyd-Fellure, Lou Gonzalez, Luisa Giulianetti, Kathie Isaac-Luke, Indigo Moor, Monika Rose, Pam Mundale, Lucy Sanna, Amy Smith, Dawn Spinella, Sandy Towle, Jennifer Tristano.
Write Now! May 2, 2015: Raleigh, North Carolina. One-day writing conference sponsored by Triangle Area Freelancers featuring tracks devoted to fiction, nonfiction and technical writing. Open to writers of all skill levels.
Columbus State Community College Writers Conference. May 2, 2015: Columbus, Ohio. Workshops in Autobiography/Memoir, Business/Technical, Fiction, Journalism, Marketing, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting. This one-day conference is free of charge.
Lakefly Writers Conference. May 8 - 9: Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Workshops, talks, and a bookfair for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Participating writers include fiction writer Barry Wightman and nonfiction writers Kelli Dunham and Michael Perry. Admittance to the Author Showcase on May 9 is free and open to the public.
Idaho Writer & Readers Rendezvous. May 14 - 16, 2015: Boise, Idaho. Workshops in Autobiography/Memoir, Business/Technical, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screenwriting, Travel, Young Adult. Faculty Authors, agents, editors and publishing gurus including Katherine Neville, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Rusch, Robin O’Bryant, Jen Mann, and Danny Manus.
The Writer's Pen Weekend Workshop. May 15 - 16, 2015: Bel Air, Maryland. Book Fair with over 20 authors. Keynote presentation with author Kevin Cowherd; 36 workshops with 19 instructors in Fiction, Marketing, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing.
Pennwriters Conference, May 15-17, 2015, Pittsburgh, PA. Friday keynote Ridley Pearson is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 48 novels, divided almost equally between adult suspense and young adult adventure. Attending agents: Danielle Chiotti (Upstart Crow Literary); Uwe Stender (TriadaUS Literary); and June Clark (FinePrint Literary).
Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp. May 15-23, 2015: West Bend WI. 6-day, residential workshop-retreat for writers in all genres working on a novel or creative nonfiction book. Workshops in Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult. Registration is limited to 30 people.
Creative Nonfiction Writers' Conference. May 22 - 24: Wyndham University Center in Pittsburgh. Master classes, craft discussions, publishing talks, pitch sessions, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Participating writers include Jason Bittle, Maggie Jones, Jill Kandel, Marissa Landrigan, Dinty W. Moore, Leslie Rubinkowski, and Anjali Sachdeva. Participating publishing professionals include Stephanie Bane (Smith Brothers Agency), Torie Bosch (Future Tense Books), Rachel Ekstrom (Irene Goodman Literary Agency), Lee Gutkind and Hattie Fletcher (Creative Nonfiction), Saeed Jones (BuzzFeed), Adam Kushner (Washington Post), Emily Loose, and Alan Olifson (Moth StorySLAM).
Algonkian Retreat for Aspiring Commercial Novel Authors, Short Fiction Writers and Memoirists, May 27 - 31, 2015. Algonkian Park, Virginia. "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?"
Bear River Writers’ Conference. May 28 - June 1: Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, discussions, nature walks, and time to write. The faculty includes poets Stephen Dunn, Laura Kasischke, Jamaal May, and Richard Tillinghast; fiction writers Nami Mun, Antonya Nelson, and Thisbe Nissen; and creative nonfiction writers Jerry Dennis, Thomas Lynch, and Sue William Silverman.