Tuesday, August 29, 2017

35 Fabulous Writing Conferences in September 2017

If you have the time and the money, attending a conference is the best thing you can do for your writing career. Conferences offer a unique opportunity to network with other writers, meet agents and pitch your book, and learn how the publishing industry works from editors and professionals in the field.

There are nearly three dozen exciting conferences in September. Workshops, retreats, and festivals are held in locations that span the country. If you miss your perfect conference, don't worry. Many of these are annual events, so plan ahead for next year!

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.)


DragonCon. Sept. 1–4, 2017, Atlanta, Ga. HUGE sci-fi event, with parade, autograph sessions, live performances, readings, wrestling (!), workshops on belly dancing, writing (yes, there's even some writing), art show. (This conference sounds really wild.)

2017 LoonSong Retreat. September 7-11, 2017, Cook, Minnesota. Award winning writers and teachers: Gary Schmidt, MT Anderson, Candace Flemming, Eric Rohmann, Marion Dane Bauer and more in an intimate setting for those who write for Children and Young Adults.

HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. Sept 8 - 10, 2017: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Craft and query workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Faculty: TBA.

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, Denver, CO. Keynote Speakers: Diana Gabaldon, Sherry Thomas & Lori Rader-Day. Faculty includes a wide variety of published authors, marketers, editors, and agents. Opportunities to pitch projects to agents and editors.

Connecticut Fiction Fest. Sponsored by Connecticut Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, Norwalk, CT. Keynote Heather Graham, master class taught by Jane Friedman. 20+ workshops, suitable for all genres and skill levels, full suspense-mystery track, manuscript critiques, opportunities to pitch major agents and editors.

Poets on the Coast. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, La Conner, Washington. Workshop, one-on-one mentoring, craft classes, and yoga for women poets. The faculty includes poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich. Tuition, which does not include lodging or meals, is $395. Waitlisted.

49 Writers Tutka Bay Retreat. Sept. 8- 10, 2016, Tutka Bay, Alaska. Guest Instructor: Louise Erdrich.

Creatures, Crimes & Creativity. September 8 - 10, 2017, Columbia, MD. A writer's and fan's conference for genre fiction covering mystery, suspense, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk & horror.

San Francisco Writing for Change. Sept 9, 2017, San Francisco, CA. This event is for writers of nonfiction AND fiction who want to change the world for the better through their work.

Slice Literary Writers’ Conference. Sept 9 - 10, 2017, Brooklyn, NY. Craft workshops, panels, and one-on-one agent meetings for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Participating authors include fiction writers Julia Fierro, Angela Flournoy, Justin Taylor, and Hannah Tinti; and nonfiction writer Alison Kinney. Participating publishing professionals include Ibrahim Ahmad (Akashic Books), Helen Atsma (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Libby Flores (PEN USA), Margaux Weisman (Knopf); and agents Andrea Barzvi (Empire Literary), Michelle Brower (Aevitas Creative Management), Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Union Literary), Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Erin Harris (Folio Literary Management), Annie Hwang (Folio Literary Management), Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management), Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary), Christina Morgan (Serendipity Literary), Andrea Morrison (Writers House), Monica Odom (Bradfor Literary), Anjali Singh (Ayesha Pande Literary), Sarah Smith (David Black Literary), and Saba Sulaiman (Talcott Notch Literary).

UCLA Extension Writing Retreat at Lake Arrowhead. Sept 10 - 15, 2017, Lake Arrowhead, CA. Join a small group of committed writers for four full days of uninterrupted writing time at UCLA’s beautiful conference center at Lake Arrowhead. Participants will enjoy private bedrooms, private baths, and three gourmet meals each day, along with complimentary beverages all day long. The Writers’ Program will coordinate some structured activities, including pre-dinner social hours and nightly open mic events, but your time will ultimately be yours to accomplish your writing goals at your own pace.

Brooklyn Book Festival. September 11-17, 2017, Brooklyn, NY. Readings, panels, workshops, and a book fair. Participants include Karl Ove Knausgård, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud, Chris Hayes, Carolyn Forché, Sarah Dessen, Alexandra Bracken, Thi Bui, Lynn Nottage, Hisham Matar, Maira Kalman and hundreds more! All events are free and open to the public.

Haiku North America Conference. September 13 - 17, 2017, Santa Fe, NM. Conference devoted to haiku as a literary art. Includes presentations, readings, panels, bookfair, exhibits, banquet, anthology. Faculty: William Higginson, Jane Hirshfield, Jim Hackett, George Swede, Haruo Shirane, Sonia Sanchez, John Brandi, Michael Dylan Welch, Jim Kacian, Lee Gurga, Emiko Miyashita, Fay Aoyagi, Ce Rosenow, Lucien Stryk, Gerald Vizenor, Charles Trumbull, Richard Gilbert.

Algonkian Writer Retreat and Novel Workshop. September 13 - 17, 2017, Sterling,Virginia. This event is now enhanced with new pre-event studies and pre-event phone consultation, a broader range of faculty, an array of vital workshops, as well as extended personal time with business professionals. "You can be as goal-oriented or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, have your work read by our writer mentors, attend our workshops, pitch a literary agent or two, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and discover your vision as a writer.

Hampton Roads Writers Ninth Annual Writers' Conference. Sept 14 -16, 2017, Virginia Beach, Virginia. 1 evening plus 2 full days of workshops, 2 best-selling keynoters, 2 first ten-lines critique sessions, 50 workshops during 10 breakout sessions, ten-minute agent pitches, NO-FEE, cash-prize contests for short fiction, short non-fiction, and poetry, FREE 90-minute networking social with food and drink, and evening 2-hr open mic session. Optional conference features include: first 10-pages manuscript review. Workshops cover fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, screenwriting, and the business of getting published. A book shop, book signings, and many networking opportunities will be available.

Historical Realities In Fiction For Children 2017. Sept 14 – 17, 2017, Honesdale, PA. "Join professor, linguist, and author Donna Jo Napoli with her special guest, Professor of Latino/a Literature and Culture and Youth Literature and Media, Marilisa Jiménez García, as they work with you to build an understanding of the role of writing stories to process historical narratives. There will be daily lectures from the faculty paired with one-on-one feedback on your own writing. Build a deeper understanding of the role fiction plays in understanding our shared history."

Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Sept. 15–16, 2017, Lexington, KY. The Kentucky Women Writers Conference is the longest running literary festival of women in the nation. About 1,000 individuals attend the conference each year. Daytime sessions attract about 150 writers at all stages of development, and free evening events gather a lively community of readers. Most come seeking literary sisterhood, help with a manuscript, or practical advice about the publishing industry. Many are students or beginning writers.

2017 Free Expressions Seminars-Emotional Craft of Fiction. Sept. 15–16, 2017, Seattle, WA. Featuring Donald Maass. Based on psychological research and extensive study of what makes novels emotionally gripping, workshop participants will discover how to go beyond showing or telling to create an emotional journey for readers--one unseen but nevertheless deeply felt and ultimately unforgettable.

Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference. Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Columbus, GA, "Whether you write prose or poetry you can explore capturing thoughts, observations, and reflections with the written word. The sessions will be criticism free. You will be exposed to various writers and their styles, and work on editing, polishing and expanding writings into something that is reflective of your personality and talents. You should leave with a piece of original work and a sense of writing as an avenue to discovering self."

Be a Better Freelancer  Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Rochester NY. Annual conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, website managers and developers, etc., with presenters offering guidance and tips on marketing, promotions, new skills and other business aspects of freelancing. Focus: Nonfiction.

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival at Boulder. Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Boulder, CO. Presentations, panels, readings, and music performances. Themes at the 2017 festival include migration, U.S. gun culture, nature and the environment, Native American rights, and LGBT, Latino, African American, and Native American voices. Authors include fiction writers Anosh Irani, Alberto Ruy-Sánchez, Navtej Singh Sarna, and Akhil Sharma; and nonfiction writers Johanna Hanink, Paulo Lemos Horta, Erling Kagge, and Dan-el Padilla Peralta. The conference is free, but you have to register in advance.

Historical Writers of America. September 21 - 24, 2017: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Workshops for fiction and nonfiction, research, the submission process, the road to publication, and the life of a historical writer; networking opportunities including keynote luncheon and dinner, theme receptions, and collaboration and brain-storming sessions.

New York Pitch Conference. Sept 21 - 24, 2017, New York NY. Features publishing house editors from major houses such as Penguin, Random House, St. Martins, Harper Collins, Tor and Del Rey, Kensington Books and many more who are looking for new novels in a variety of genres, as well as narrative non-fiction. The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals.Workshops, homework & pitch training, agent/editor feedback, market study, publication plan.

North Coast Redwoods Writers' Conference. Sept 22 - 23, 2017, Crescent City, CA. Workshops on writing, poetry, memoir, editing, social media, marketing, fiction, submitting.

Ridgefield Writers Conference. Sept 22 - 23, 2017, Ridgefield, CT. Faculty-led workshops; agent, editor and publisher panels; networking; readings; and post-conference resources. Registration closes Sept 1.

Big Sur on Cape Cod. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, North Falmouth MA. Faculty: Andrea Brown and four of her agents, four editors and four authors.

A Weekend For Words. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, Irvine, CA. 60+ working, professional authors of fiction, nonfiction & screen, editors & agents. Costs $325-$425. Manuscript critique & one-on-one consultation additional.

LiTFUSE Poets’ Workshop. September 22 - 24, 2017, Tieton, WA. Faculty Paisley Rekdal, Tod Marshall, Nance Van Winckel, Joe Wilkins, Tim McNutly, Derek Sheffield, Michael Schmeltzer, Alexander Dang, Carolyne Wright, Christine Holbert, LaRae Wiley, and Shankar Narayan.

The Pacific Coast Children's Novel Workshop & Retreat. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, Santa Cruz, CA. Intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Faculty includes Katherine Harrison, Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers, Brianne Johnson, Senior Agent at Writers House, and Sarah Landis, Agent at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference. Sept 23, 2017, St. Augustine, Florida. Among this year's scheduled authors are Ann Taylor, Christopher Tozier, Andrew Nagorski, Rich Wickliffe, Elizabeth Randall, Marty Jourard, and many more.

Western Reserve Writers Conference. Sept 23, 2017, South Euclid, Ohio. This free one-day writing conference takes place at Cuyahoga County Public Library's William N. Skirball Writers' Center, located in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch library. It features a choice of breakout sessions, a keynote address, and private sessions with editors. It occurs annually on the 4th Saturday in September.

2017 Flathead River Writers Conference. Sept 23 - 24, 2017, Kalispell, MT. Writers help writers in this two day conference packed with energizing speakers and workshops. Features:Workshops on VOICE, HOOK, Your WORLD & TRIBE, MS preparation & submission, working with agents, movie deals, media use, & children's book publishing. Authors: Susan Adrian, Christine Carbo, Kathy Dunnehoff, Larry J. Martin, Jess Owen. Agents: Kate Testerman and Cindy Uh.

2nd Annual Broadleaf Writers Conference. Sept 23 - 24, 2017, Decatur, GA. In addition to attending sessions, you will have the opportunity to schedule a five-minute one-on-one session with an agent.

The Journey: Your Path To Publication 2017. Sept 24 – 27, 2017. In this workshop, you will learn more about some of the steps toward publication of your picture book and discover ways to set goals for yourself. Picture book author/illustrator Don Tate and picture book author Carmen Oliver will also give you information and tools "encouraging you to savor the process and to enjoy the journey."

2017 Free Expressions Seminars -Writing the Breakout Novel. Sept 25 - Oct 1, 2017, Tampa, FL. Featuring Donald Maass. Included are new or revised units on story discovery, strong voice, standout characters, the inner journey, compelling story worlds, beautiful writing, creating resonance and finding meaning in both story and process. Breakout fundamentals are also covered: strong characters, inner conflict, personal stakes, plot layers, powerful scenes, micro-tension, practical theme techniques and much more.


  1. Thanks for the list. I'm looking forward to attending the Rose State College Fall Seminar For Writers: http://www.prweb.com/releases/rosestatecollege/writingcourses/prweb12123758.htm, hosted by William Berhardt.

  2. Thanks so much for this list! I've gotten things published this year because of it.


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