Tuesday, January 24, 2017

13 Writing Conferences in February 2017

UCLA Writers Studio
February, a month best known for being "short and brutal," doesn't lack for writing conferences, some of which are large annual events featuring speakers, workshops, readings, and ample opportunity to mingle. Several of these conferences focus specifically on getting published, so if that is your goal, these are worth checking out.

If you have never been to a writers' conference, I encourage you to attend one. 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 go here: Writing Conferences.


Moravian College Writers' Conference. February 3 - 4,2017, Bethlehem, PA. Workshops, craft talks, and more on the theme of Writing & Sustainability. Writers of all genres & at all career stages welcome! Keynote speaker Alison Hawthorne Deming and special guest faculty including Julia Kasdorf, Paul Acampora, Mary Heather Noble, and Chuck Wendig. Fiction, memoir, poetry, documentary studies, children's/YA writing, and more. Costs: $125. Includes workshop, craft talk, and faculty roundtable; faculty readings and book signings; Fri. welcome reception and Sat. lunch. Hotel discounts in historic Bethlehem, PA. 

Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference. February 8 to February 11, 2017, Washington, DC. "The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature. The 2016 conference featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The bookfair hosted over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. AWP’s is now the largest literary conference in North America."

The Writers Studio, sponsored by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, February 9- 12, 2017, 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.

Minnesota Writers Workshop.  February 11, 2017, St. Paul, MN. A full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. "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." Attending Agents: Laura Zats (Red Sofa Literary), Gemma Cooper (The Bent Agency), Kaylee Davis (Dee Mura Literary), Mary Cummings (Betsy Amster Literary), Jennie Goloboy (Red Sofa Literary), Abby Saul (The Lark Group), Samantha Fountain (Corvisiero Literary), Dawn Frederick (Red Sofa Literary), Lauren Kukla (editor Mighty Media Press Children's Books), Kimiko Nakamura (Dee Mura Literary), Erik Hane (Red Sofa Literary), and more.

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference, February 16 - 18, 2017, Tempe, AZ. "The conference features lectures, panel discussions, readings, and craft classes in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and publishing. The faculty includes poets Matthew Olzmann and Eric Wetheimer; fiction writers Paolo Bacigalupi, Dean Bakopoulos, Kate Bernheimer, Adrienne Celt, Elizabeth Evans, Sanderia Faye, Benjamin Percy, and Dominic Smith; and nonfiction writers Paul Morris and Virgil Renzulli. The cost of the conference is $350 until December 31 and $400 thereafter. Boxed lunches are available for an additional $14.99 per day. Registration is first come, first served; the deadline is February 9.

San Francisco Writers Conference, Feb. 16-19, 2017, San Francisco, CA. The SFWC presenters list includes 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. Attending Agents: Peter Beren (Peter Beren Literary), Jennifer Chen Tran (Fuse Literary), Amy Cloughley (Kimberley Cameron & Assoc), Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Sarah Levitt (Zachary Shuster Harmsworth), Laurie McLean (Fuse Literary), Paula Munier (Talcott Notch), Andy Ross (Andy Ross Literary), and more.

South Coast Writers Conference, Feb 17 - 18, 2017, Gold Beach, Oregon. "The South Coast Writers Conference is an eclectic gathering of writers of various genres, novice and published authors, returning and first-time attendees. It is our goal that participants and presenters leave the conference inspired and renewed, with new insights and skills, and better connected to fellow writers and resources. Participation in workshops is limited to 30 students or fewer, so register early to secure a seat in the workshops you want."

31st Annual Southern California Writers’ Conference (and Retreat). February 17-20, 2017, 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.

Sleuthfest. February 23 - 26, 2017, Boca Raton, FL. Sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America a conference for writers and fans. Features writing workshops, social events, and pitch sessions, including:
* Agent Appointments to pitch your finished work
* Critiques of your 10 page manuscript submission
* Forensic track with current forensic techniques & hands-on workshops
* Social events to mingle with agents, editors and your favorite authors
* Auction to purchase critiques of your work by bestselling authors
* Sessions on the craft of writing
* Sessions on marketing and promoting your work
* Practice your Pitch sessions with experienced authors

Alabama Writers Conference. February 24, 2017, Birmingham, AL. A full-day of “How to Get Published.” Attending literary agents Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary), Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Latoya C. Smith (L. Perkins Agency), Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), (Corvisiero Literary). Kensington Publishing) and more agents & editors to be announced soon.

4th Short Story America Festival and ConferenceFebruary 24 - 25, 2017, Beaufort, South Carolina. Featured presenters and panelists at the 2017 SHORT STORY AMERICA FESTIVAL AND CONFERENCE include acclaimed storytellers Mathieu Cailler, Gregg Cusick, John Engell, Tim Johnston, Douglas Campbell, Katherine Tandy Brown, Cora McCaston Newcomb, Niles Reddick, Atwood Boyd, and many others. The weekend begins Friday evening with a catered reception at the historic Lewis Reeve Sams House overlooking the water, followed on Saturday by all-day presentations, readings and book signings at Old Bay Marketplace Loft, a beautiful rooftop facility in downtown Beaufort overlooking one of America's oldest towns and the Beaufort River. The celebration of short fiction continues with a Saturday night pub crawl through Bay Street, and then a Sunday daytime gathering at the home of Short Story America editor and publisher Tim Johnston. Price: $40.

Atlanta Writing Workshop, February 25, 2017, Atlanta, GA. A full-day of “How to Get Published.” Attending literary agents: Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Cherry Weiner (Weiner Literary), Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary), Janell Walden Agyeman (Marie Brown Associates), Sally Apokedak (Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency), Latoya C. Smith (L. Perkins Agency), Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), Elizabeth Copps (Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.),Vanessa Eccles (Golden Wheat Literary), editor Elizabeth May (Kensington Publishing), Kristy Hunter (The Knight Agency), and more to come.

St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Workshop, Feb 25 - 28, 2017, 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."

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