Tuesday, February 20, 2018

28 Awesome Writing Conferences in March 2018

Jonathan Wolstenholme
March is officially the beginning of spring, and time for writers to come out of hibernation and congregate!

There are some great conferences this month. If your manuscript is complete, you can pitch it to agents at several conferences, including Sleuthfest in Florida (for mystery writers), Write Stuff in Pennsylvania, and the big New York Pitch Fest. There are also retreats and workshops for writers who just need to get away for awhile to get the creative juices flowing.

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.) If you miss your ideal conference this year, plan for next year.

Sleuthfest. March 1 - 4, 2018, 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

Winter Writers' Weekend. March 2 - 4, 2018, Princeton, New Jersey. Workshops on self-publishing, book covers, getting book reviews, How to Sell 10,000 Books, The Editor/Author Relationship: What You Can Expect and more. Cost $200.

A One Day Retreat for Poets and Writers. March 3, 2018, Princeton, NJ. "Do you want to publish your writing but struggle with a lack of know-how and fear of rejection? Join us for this hands-on workshop where we will guide you through the process from blank page to published piece. If you are an aspiring author you will learn how and where to submit your work. If you are experienced you will discover new markets and resources to expand your readership. Whether you are working on a novel, memoir, short stories, personal essays or poetry, you will go home with an action plan and the tools to carry it out."

Redrock Creative Writing Seminar, St. George, Utah, March 3, 2018. Classes and readings in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The faculty includes poet Jim Barton, Dr. Cindy King, and Lara Candland.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference. March 7 - 10, 2018, Tampa, FL. "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."

Algonkian Novel Retreat, Sterling, Virginia, March 7 - 11, 2018. "In keeping with the spirit of this place and the goals of this retreat, you can be as goal-oriented or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, clear your head, have your work read by our writer mentors, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and discover your vision as a writer. You discuss with us ahead of time via the Algonkian Writer Retreat Application the goals you wish to accomplish, and we'll work with you to make it happen. Do you desire a review of your short stories or flash fiction? A line edit? Do you wish to discuss the reality of the current fiction market, your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a few sample chapters? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer?"  Registration is first come, first served.

Writer’s High Retreat. March 9 - 11, 2018, Dawsonville, Georgia. The retreat features workshops for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, as well as readings, talks, and open mics. Featured speakers include fiction writer Patti Callahan Henry and agent, fiction writer, and nonfiction writer Nick Chiles. The cost of the retreat, which includes lodging and all meals, is $733 for a single room and $579 for a double room. Space is limited; Registration is first come, first served. The registration deadline is February 23.

Atlanta Writing Workshop, March 10, 2018, Atlanta, GA. A full-day of “How to Get Published.” Attending literary agents and editors: Ali Herring (Spencerhill Associates), Cherry Weiner (Weiner Literary), Sally Apokedak (Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency), Latoya C. Smith (L. Perkins Agency), Kristy Hunter (The Knight Agency), Samantha Fountain (Corvisiero Agency), Lauren Jablonski (St. Martin’s Press), Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency) and more to come.

Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. Wye Mills, Maryland, March 10, 2018. Sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. "The BTO conference features workshops, presentations, and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics pertaining to the craft of writing, publishing, marketing, the Internet, and the intricacies of particular genres. It is an opportunity to meet with many writing peers in the region. Speakers include accomplished authors, poets, film writers, writing instructors, editors, and publishers. BTO also offers one-on-one manuscript reviews with experienced writing instructors and editors for registered attendees for a fee."

Wik '18. Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators. Hoover, Alabama, March 10-11, 2018. Conference for children's book writers and illustrators. Faculty includes writers, illustrators, agents, editors, and publishers.

Moravian College Writers' Conference. March 16 - 17, 2018, Bethlehem, PA. Workshops, craft talks, and more on the theme of Writing & Health. Writers of all genres & at all career stages welcome! Keynote speaker Marie Myung-Ok Lee and special guest faculty including Nina Angela McKissock, Gillian Pidcock , Mary Heather Noble, and Fran Quigley. 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.

Colrain One-Day Retreat: What is a Poetry Manuscript? March  17, 2018, Barred Owl Retreat, Leicester, Massachusetts.The Colrain One-Day Informational Retreat is designed for poets who wish to learn the basics of a poetry manuscript before submitting to presses and/or applying to the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference.  In a small group (8-10 poets) team-led by two seasoned Colrain Poetry Manuscript facilitators.

Beall Poetry Festival. March 21 - 23, 2018, Waco, TX. The festival features readings, panel discussions, and the Virginia Beall Ball Lecture on Contemporary Poetry. Participating poets include Kwame Dawes, Dania Gioia, Mark Jarman, and Lisa Russ Spaar. All events are free and open to the public.

University of North Dakota Writers Conference. March 21 - 23, 2018, Grand Forks, North Dakota. Theme: Truth and Lies. This year's authors/artists include Molly McCully Brown, Nicholas Galanin, David Grann, Marlon James, Lauren Markham, and Ocean Vuong. FREE and open to the public.

Virginia Festival of the Book, March 21 - 25, 2018. "The Festival is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region and has attracted audiences of more than 20,000 for each of the past thirteen years. We have presented a captivating list of authors, ranging from international bestsellers to topical specialists to debut authors." Book exhibits, talks by authors, readings, workshops on book promotion, finding an agent, poetry, publishing, agents roundtable - you name it, this conference has it.

Write Stuff Writers Conference. March 22 - 24, 2018, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Workshops, sessions on craft and business of writing. Meetings with agents, editors, and book coaches, book fair, and more. Keynote Speaker: Bob Mayer. Pre-conference workshops: Bob Mayer, Jane Cleland. Additionally on Saturday will be the above plus Ben Sobieck, Matt Betts, Tabitha Jorgensen, Richard White, and Dan Krippene.

The Furious Flower Poetry Center Collegiate Summit. March 22-24, 2018. Harrisonburg, VA. Open to undergraduate and graduate students from any college or university program, this three-day summit invites participants to explore how poetry reaches across geographical borders and beyond conventional literary and ideological boundaries. The program includes in-depth workshops facilitated by distinguished poets Brenda Marie Osbey and Anastacia Reneè, a reading and presentation by the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Tyehimba Jess, roundtable discussions, a day-trip to Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book, and a closing open mic session for participating student poets. The registration fee is $50 per person. Registration is open until full.

Algonkian Writers New York Pitch Conference, March 22 - 25, 2018, NY, NY. "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. More importantly though, it is also a diagnostic method for workshopping the plot, premise, and other elements of the story to determine quality and marketability. Simply put, you cannot successfully pitch a viable commercial novel if you don't have a viable commercial novel. Our goal, therefore, is to set you on a realistic path to publication."

Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Book Publishing A Crash Course. Honesdale, PA. March 22 -25, 2018. Sponsored by Highlights for children, this is an intensive workshop covering  every aspect of publishing children's books.

14th National Black Writers Conference, "Gathering at the Waters: Healing, Legacy, and Activism in Black Literature." March 22 -25, 2018, Brooklyn, NY. Award-winning writers Colson Whitehead, Kwame Dawes, David Levering Lewis, Susan L. Taylor, speculative fiction writers Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, and cultural historian Eugene B. Redmond are 2018 National Black Writers Conference Honorees.

Mountain Valley Writers Conference. March 23 - 24, 2018, Guntersville, Alabama. Author signings, giveaways, workshops, learning sessions, and networking opportunities. An introducing Word War,  a community-wide event featuring panel discussions, author readings, contest winners, word war competitions, and an after party!

The Work Conference. March 23 - 25, 2018, New York City. "The Work is a boutique writers’ conference, meaning it’s purposefully small, highly personalized, and focused on bringing 30 hard-working authors together for an unforgettable weekend." Faculty: Leon Husock, Sarah Levitt, Daniel Kirschen, Heather Flaherty, Natalie Halla, Kerin Wicks, Adriann Ranta Zurhellen, Jennifer Udden, Alex Arnold, Monica Odom, Stephanie Delman, Annie Hwang, Tiffany Liao, Laura Chasen, Katie Grimm.

WonderCon, March 23 - March 25, 2018, Anaheim, CA. HUGE comic book convention.

Authors' Salon at Clockwork Alchemy. March 23 - 25, 2018, Burlingame, California, Faculty Harry Turtledove, Kirsten Weiss, TE MacArthur, AJ Sikes, BJ Sikes, Anthony Francis, David Drake, Katherine Morse, Dover Whitecliff, Mike Tierney, Lillian Csernica, Sumiko Saulson, Kale Lawrence.

Great Plains Writers Conference. March 23 - 25, 2018, South Dakota State University. "Intimate conversations about the writing craft."

Antioch Writers' Workshop. March 24, 2018, Yellow Springs, Ohio. "Explore all the elements, from start to finish, that you'll need to master to tell YOUR story, whether in the form of fiction (novel, short story) or creative nonfiction (memoir, personal essay, or narrative.) We'll start with generating ideas, move on to drafting, revising and editing techniques, and finish up with submitting your work. After a full day chock-full of helpful and inspirational tips and techniques, you'll go home with a tool-kit to help you on every step of the way to telling your story!" The cost for the full-day program is $150.00

Create Something Magical Conference. March 24 - 25, 2018, Woodbridge, New Jersey and Edison, New Jersey. Workshops and panels. Faculty: J. Kenner, Dee Davis, Chris Redding and more.

33rd Annual National Undergraduate Literature Conference, March 29 - March 31, 2018, Weber State University, Ogden, UT. "Each year, nearly 200 undergraduate writers and poets throughout North America, and sometimes beyond, come to Weber State University to present their work and learn from some of the most important writers in contemporary literature."

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