I've said it before, and I will say it again - attending a conference is 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.
I strongly urge you to plan ahead if you are thinking of attending a writing conference. Many offer scholarships that can significantly reduce the cost. And all of the intensive writing workshops have application deadlines. 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.)
The 2017 Mesa Book Festival. December 9, 2017, Mesa, Arizona. The festival features presentations, readings, visits with authors, and a poetry open mic. Participating authors include fiction writers Marcia Fine, Marsha Ward, Connie Wesala, and Natalie Wright; and creative nonfiction writers Bruce Davis, Jan Krulick-Belin, and Katrina Shawver. All events are free and open to the public.
The 2017 Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat. December 10-16, 2017, Puako, Hawai’i. Faculty: Sheila Bender; Brenda Miller. Mornings at the Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat feature intensive craft lectures, as well as generative-writing workshops.
New York Pitch Conference. Dec 14 - 17, 2017, NY, NY. The New York Pitch Conference and writers workshop is held four times a year and 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. The registration fee until December 5 is $795.00, and $895.00 after that date. This fee covers all conference pitch sessions and workshops.