Tuesday, September 26, 2017

37 Great Writing Conferences in October 2017

Attending a conference one of the best things 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 more than three dozen exciting conferences in October. 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! (I include conferences that are sold out so you can 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.)


Books with Bite Workshop and Retreat: Writing Horror and Haunted Novels. October 4 - 8, 2017, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. "If you’re writing a young adult or middle-grade novel that touches on any frightening or chilling subject matter, either realistic or fantastical, we can help you shape it into something un-put-down-able." In this unique four-day workshop, you will have your work critiqued, produce new pages, and come away with solid direction for your novel. Application Deadline: August 15, 2017.

American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) Conference. October 5 - 8, 2017, Minneapolis, MN. Panels, workshops, readings, a book fair, and opportunities to meet with editors for translators. The 2017 theme is “Reflections/Refractions.”

New York Comicon. October 5 - 8, 2017, New York, New York. New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest popular culture convention: Show Floor plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and television; Panels and Autograph Sessions give Fans a chance to interact with their favorite Creators; Screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit big and small screens.

Write on the Sound Writers' Conference and Pre-Conference. Oct 6 - 8, 2017, Edmonds, WA. WOTS offers the opportunity to explore various writing craft techniques with nationally recognized industry professionals in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  SOLD OUT.

Imaginarium. Oct 6 - 8, 2017, Louisville KY. A three day annual event held in Louisville, Kentucky centered entirely around creative writing, including the worlds of books, movies, gaming, music, and comics/graphic novels. Imaginarium Convention features extensive programming content, with panels and workshops presented by over 150 professional guests covering everything from the craft of writing to various genres, industry-specific topics, publishing, and social media/publicity. The convention features a film festival with a full array of awards, a masquerade/costume contest, live music, gaming, an expo open to the general public, an awards banquet, a series of literary awards called the Imadjinns, and many more activities, creating a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere that is content-rich and ideal for networking, promotion and personal development.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. October 6 - 9, 2017, Whidbey Island, WA. Evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. will meet and work with nationally known poets, publishers, and editors. Faculty includes: Rusty Morrison (Co-founder/Publisher Omnidawn Press); Fred Marchant (Professor Emeritus, Suffolk University); Martha Rhodes (director of Four Way Books, a literary press in New York City, and author of five poetry collections); and Joan Houlihan (Conference Founder / Lesley University).

Picture Book Summit. Oct 7, 2017, Online. An online, one day live event for picture book writers including author keynotes, interviews, workshops and agent & editor panels. Recordings provided for attendees for four months post-conference. Faculty: Tomie dePaola, Adam Rex, Carole Boston Weatherford, Brenda Bowen, Steve Swinburne, Laura Backes, Julie Hedlund.

Letters & Lines Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference. October 7 - 8, 2017, Golden, CO. Conference focus: children's and young adult books. Faculty: Matt Ringler, Emily Feinberg, Sean McCarthy, Shannon Hassan, Matt De la Peña, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Melanie Crowder, Dian Curtis Regan, Luke Flowers, Denise Vega, Tim McCanna, Fleur Bradly, Suzanne Morgan Williams, Laura Perdew, Dow Phumi.

Discover nature and stories through guided observations, research, and mentoring. This workshop for nature writers and illustrators offers four days of immersion in the art and craft of writing and illustrating about the natural world. Through nature-journaling workshops, lectures, one-on-one manuscript critiques, and ample writing time, this workshop will give you the tools and insights you need to create engaging children’s books.

Ozark Creative Writers Conference. Oct 12 - 14, 2017, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Workshops by published authors, editors and agents; Publishers Row, independent publishers available to hear about your next project; Writing contests available to all participants.

Other Words Literary Conference. Oct 12 -14, 2017, Saint Augustine, Florida. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panels and readings. Their goal is "to bring together writers, editors, agents, publishers, book sellers, grant administrators, directors of writers' colonies and retreats, and other interested folk in one place. We'll be talking about the how to of the literary arts: how to write it, make it, sell it, fund it, and nurture it."

The Joke’s On You! The Scoop OnHumor, Middle Grade Through YA 2017. Oct 12 – 15, 2017, Honesdale, PA. Learn to manipulate humor in your writing, grow your characters, enliven your setting, and add momentum and energy to your story. In this hands-on workshop designed for intermediate-level writers of middle grade through young adult, participants will use a range of classic and contemporary published work as well as workshop manuscripts to study the many ways in which humor operates in the form of the novel. Learn to manipulate humor in your writing to grow your characters, enliven your setting, and add momentum and energy to your story. You’ll be required to send in your opening 10 novel pages as well as 5 pages each from the middle and the (projected) ending of your work.

Quit Whining Start Writing 2017 Writers' Conference. Oct 13 - 14, 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 15 workshops encompassing writing fiction, for children, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, for the screen, and more; using social media effectively; and creating and maintaining effective websites.

State Writing Conference & Convention, sponsored by The Kansas Authors Club, Oct 13 -15, 2017, Topeka, Kansas. Writing workshops, panels, and presentations by Kevin Olson and Michael Frizell.

Emerald City Writers' Conference. Oct 13 -15, 2017, Bellevue, WA. Local Romance Writers of America conference, featuring film and television scouts, who will be taking pitches along with editors and agents, keynote speakers, workshops, and a master class. Registration deadline: October 1. 

James River Writers Conference. October 13 - 15, 2017, Richmond, Virginia. features master classes, meetings with agents, panel discussions, and pitch sessions for fiction writers and creative nonfiction writers. Participants include fiction writers David Baldacci and Meg Medina; nonfiction writers Beth Macy and Margot Lee Shetterly; literary agents Erica Bauman (Aevitas Creative Management), John Bowers (Bent Agency), Ben Grange 
(L. Perkins Agency), Annie Hwang (Folio Literary Management), and Cherise Fisher (Wendy Sherman Associates); and editors Jaime Coyne (St. Martin’s Press) and Esi Sogah (Kensington Books). The cost of the conference, which includes some meals and a one-on-one meeting with an agent or editor, is $335, or $195 for a single day. The cost of a master class is an additional $65.

Creative Nonfiction Craft Intensive Workshop. October 14 - 15, 2017, Washington, DC. This intensive weekend workshop, led by Lee Gutkind, author and editor of Creative Nonfiction Magazine and Dinty W. Moore, editor of Brevity, a Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction will delve into the craft of creative nonfiction. Cost: $149.

The Craft And Heart Of Writing Poetry For Children 2017. October 15 – 19, 2017, Honesdale, PA. If you have a passion for writing children’s poetry, then please join us. Beginning poets, seasoned writers, teachers, and dreamers are all welcome. This workshop will offer plenty of interaction, direction, and free creative writing time. “We’ll focus on all elements of poetry, from the importance of word choice to surprising metaphors. There will be plenty of writing exercises to inspire new poems followed by group discussions. As a group, we’ll brainstorm ideas, share our writing process, and generate original poems. You’ll be inspired to create new poems or bring works in progress to polish.”

Viable Paradise Science Fiction Writers' Workshop. Oct 15 - 20, 2017, Martha’s Vineyard, MA. One-on-one & workshop critiques, participation in student group critiques, writing sessions, daily readings. Instructors include Scott Lynch, Debra Doyle, Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Sherwood Smith, James D. Macdonald and Daryl Gregory, with Elizabeth Bear and Laura Mixon as writers in residence. Applications close June 15.

Wake Up and Write Writer's Retreat Workshop. October 16 - 23, 2017, Haverford, PA. This is a craft-oriented workshop with the focus squarely on your work-in-progress. The workshop will be limited to 25 students in order to provide each student an opportunity for several one-on-one consultations with our staff. In addition, there are classes for all students, optional informal sessions on a variety of topics, and diagnostic sessions in small groups, plus plenty of writing time.

Writing By Writers Workshop @ Tomales Bay. October 18 - 22, 2017, Tomales Bay, California. Manuscript and poetry workshops are limited to 12 participants and generative workshops are limited to 15 to ensure an intimate setting.

The Fundamentals Of Writing Biography2017. October 19 – 22, 2017, Honesdale, PA. Engage children in the lives of others through captivating events and compelling narrative threads. Now is the time to capture stories that reflect the human experience. What better way to engage a reader than to show them real history shapers, makers, and changers in biographies? Join Bethany Hegedus and Cynthia Levinson as they explore the fundamentals of writing biographies for children. A good biography fuels a story with research. It brings subjects to life through accuracy and authenticity. Bethany and Cynthia will cover ways to select biography topics, find narrative voice in biography, use the narrative thread to bring nonfiction to life, and incorporate the Hero’s Journey into biographical story structure. In addition you’ll hear from special guest editor Kandace Coston of Lee & Low Books. Attendees will submit a picture book biography, the first chapter of a longer biography (2,000 words max), or a book proposal. (Note: book proposals must include sample writing.) Space is limited to eight students.

16th Annual Florida Writers Conference, October 19 - 22, 2016. Lake Mary, Florida. Four workshops and panels dedicated to help you learn how to pitch your story, and more than fifty acclaimed authors, poets, and publishing industry experts for three days of networking opportunities.

Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers. October 20 - 21, 2017, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, master classes, panel discussions, and individual manuscript consultations with faculty. Participants include poet Jericho Brown; fiction writers Deborah Crombie, Keija Parssinen, and Laura van den Berg; creative nonfiction writer Sasha Martin; agent Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group); and recent winners of the Nimrod Literary Awards. The cost of the conference is $60, which includes lunch. Scholarships are available. The deadline to register for a one-on-one manuscript consultation with an editor is October 13; general registration is first come, first served. Lodging is available at the nearby Hyatt Regency hotel for a discounted rate of $89 per night.

Write Well, Sell Well. October 20 - 21, 2017, Oklahoma City, OK. A writer's conference focused on both writing well and selling well. Covers traditional publishing, self-publishing, epublishing & speaking. Faculty: Melanie Hemry, Cheri Fuller, Rene Gutteridge, Christy Johnson, Christopher Maselli, Gina Conroy, Robin Patchen, Shel Harrington, Jim Hinch, Alice Crider, Debb Hackett, Lisa Camomile, Gena Maselli.

Northern Woodlands Writers & Readers Conference. Oct 20 - 22, 2017, Fairlee, Vermont. Sponsored by The Trust for Public Land, the conference explores how writers, artists and educators express the rich forest heritage of the Northeast: both the natural history of our region, and the interactions of people and place. The event will include writing workshops, readings, a nature illustration class, special workshops for educators, woods walks, fun talks on forest topics, and plenty of time for informal conversations over meals and around the campfire.

Magna cum Murder XXIII. Oct 20  - 22, 2017, Indianapolis, IN. 45+ authors of crime writing fiction Guest of Honor: Terence Faherty; International Guest of Honor: Andrew Taylor.

The Eighth Annual Rochester Writers’ Conference, October 21, 2017, Rochester, 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.

DAWG Writing Workshop, Write to Publish: Climbing Toward Success!  Oct 21, 2017, DeSoto, TX. Faculty: Lynn Gentry, Blake Kimzey, Becky Wade, Monica Odom (agent).

Digital Storytelling: Techniques ForCreating Engaging Experiences On Screens 2017. October 22 – 24, 2017, Honesdale, PA. This is a workshop of interest to anyone curious about telling stories on screens. Built from the ground up around current products and the latest research, our agenda will be a “stone soup” of stories, knowledge, apps and research over the three days. The broad category of children’s literacy in the digital age will be approached from four points of view: reviewers, publishers, policy and research. There will be workshops and demos of the latest apps with an emphasis on language, literacy, and digital storytelling.

Getting Your Middle Grade Novel Unstuck2017. October 25 – 29, 2017, Honesdale, PA. An intimate workshop for middle grade authors looking to explore or revise and polish a work in progress. Whether you’ve jotted down ideas for a novel but can’t get your story off the ground, you’re stuck in the middle of a draft with no idea of where to go next, or you’ve written most of the book but can’t figure out the ending, this workshop is designed to help. Two award-winning, New York Times best-selling authors and their guest, Aubrey Poole, editor of Jimmy Patterson Books/Hachette, will share their writers’ toolbox for getting unstuck, with a focus on research, character development, plotting and outlining, revision, and improvisation/play. Participants will receive an initial one-on-one critique plus a follow-up session at the end of the workshop, with time for revision and additional writing in between. Before the workshop, you will be asked to submit 10-12 pages from a work in progress and a brief synopsis or story description for critique.

DIY Repair Kit For Writers: Get YourFixer-Upper Ready To Sell 2017. October 26 – 29, 2017, Honesdale, PA. For published and pre-published authors who have a novel that needs to be renovated for sale. Have a fixer-upper manuscript? One with good bones but in need of some TLC? Then this workshop is for you! Join authors Mitali Perkins and Susan Campbell Bartoletti as they guide you through renovation boot camp. Each morning will begin with craft lessons focused on the foundational elements of your novel, like dialogue, character, and setting. Follow your craft sessions with mentor-directed evaluations of your work, turning from fundamental elements to big-picture questions. After muddling through the big questions, you will get to work, dividing your story scene by scene and starting your repair. You will have feedback from your mentors and peers at every step of the way at this hands-on workshop for novelists ready to deconstruct and rebuild their manuscripts.

Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference, Oct. 27 - 29, 2017, Pasadena, CA. Experienced authors, editors, agents and publishing experts will be on hand, ready to help you develop your own craft and position yourself for success.

2017 Ossabaw Weekend Writer’s Retreat. Oct 27 - 29, 2017, Ossabaw Island, GA. Workshops and seminars led by nationally recognized faculty, and evening readings (special emphasis on ghost stories) by faculty and participants. Application deadline: September 15.

Autumn Writing Getaway. October 28, 2017, Galloway NJ. "Join us for this mid-autumn Getaway to give your creative spirit a much needed boost. No need to stay the night. No distractions. Just a day of writing. Choose from workshops in memoir, fiction or poetry."

Steel Pen Conference. October 28, 2017, Fair Oaks, IN. Featured speakers and experts in the field provide workshops, and authors can showcase books, or receive direct critiques on their work from experienced writers and network with fellow writers. Catherine Lanigan will present the keynote speech. This is an annual conference.

ShowMe Writers Masterclass, Oct 28 - 29, 2017, Columbia, MO. There will be a multitude of opportunities to engage with fellow writers throughout both days of the ShowMe Writers Masterclass. Through networking socials, book signings, pitch fest and more, you will have the opportunity to connect with many literary agents and writers.


  1. I would like to add one more to that great list! RRBC Writers' Conference and Book Expo Oct 22-28 https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo17.wordpress.com/

  2. What about 2018? I plan to visit the US in 2018.

  3. Blast! forgot to tick the notify me box. Ticked!

  4. Go to the tab labeled "Writing Conferences" https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/p/writers-conferences.html Then scroll down to the month that you will be here. (Most conferences are annual.) There are also links on that page to resources for finding conferences. In addition, I publish a list of upcoming conferences as a blog post on the last Tuesday of every month.


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