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.
Note: For a month-by-month listing of conferences, see Writing Conferences.
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.
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.
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.