Tuesday, July 24, 2018

32 Writing Conferences in August 2018

Photo credit: Laura Hoffmann, Flickr, www.bbx.de
This month there are nearly three dozen writing conferences spanning the country from one coast to the other. There are conferences that focus on the craft of writing, pitch conferences with agents and editors, and retreats for those who just need to get away.

Attending a conference is the best thing you can do for your writing career. Nothing is a better use of your time and money than meeting writers, industry professionals, and agents.

Conferences that include intimate coaching sessions tend to fill up quickly. I have included these, even if they are full, so you can plan ahead for next year. Planning ahead also gives you an opportunity to apply for the scholarships offered by some of these conferences. You can find a comprehensive list of conferences throughout the year here: Writing Conferences.
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Fine Arts Work Center Summer Workshops (poetry, fiction, art, and creative nonfiction). June 17 - August 24, 2018, Provincetown, Massachusetts. The faculty includes Marisa Silver, Ariel Levy, Julia Glass, Henri Cole, Marie Howe, Marie Ponsot, Vijay Seshadri, Dean Albarelli, Kimiko Hahn, David Updikel, Pam Houston, Julia Glass, Alice Mattison. Tuition ranges from $600 to $725.

Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. August 2 - 4, 2018: Fort Bragg, California. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panels and workshops with editors and agents, craft lectures, readings, and discussion forums on publishing and marketing. The faculty includes poet Indigo Moor; fiction writers Vanessa Hua, Elizabeth McKenzie, Jason S. Ridler, and Shanthi Sekaran; and nonfiction writer Linda Joy Myers. Participating publishing professionals include agent Duvall Osteen (Aragi Inc.) and editors Susan Chang (Tor Books) and Summer Dawn Laurie (Tricycle Press). Fiction writer Elizabeth Rosner will deliver the keynote. CLOSED

Cape Cod Writers Center Conference. August 2 - 5, 2018: Hyannis, Massachusetts. Workshops and craft classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as manuscript consultations and mentoring sessions with editors and agents. The faculty includes poet David Surette, fiction writer C. E. Lawrence, and nonfiction writer Judah Leblang. Participating publishing professionals include agents Noah Ballard (Curtis Brown, Ltd.), Eric Myers (Myers Literary Management), Monica Odom (Liza Dawson Associates), and Monika Woods (Curtis Brown); and editor Diane O’Connell (Write to Sell Your Book). Tuition is $150 for a three-session course, $120 for a two-session course, or $70 for a single workshop.

Taylor's Professional Writers Conference. August 3 - 4, 2018: Upland, Indiana. 35 seminars covering General & First-timers, Fiction, Nonfiction, Platform & Marketing and Specialty Writing.

Florida Authors and Publishers Association Annual Conference. August 3 - 4, 2018: Orlando, Florida. Professional development sessions designed to provide authors and publishers with up-to-date publishing resources. This networking and educational event will offer two days of sessions with a focus on The Business of Publishing.  Industry leaders, including NYT best-selling authors Charles Todd and Lisa Black, will share their expertise and a variety of tools needed to flourish in this evolving publishing environment.

Willamette Writers Conference. August 3 - 5, 2018: Portland, Oregon. This year the conference will feature Celebrating Diverse Voices in Writing with three full days of classes, workshops, keynotes, critiques, and events. There are also Master Classes with industry professionals in which you can learn from top instructors in a small group setting and many options for one on one critique, including On the Spot Critiques and Advance Manuscript Critique. As always, they will have a roster of agents, editors and film executives ready to hear about your project.

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Annual Conference. August 3 - 6, 2018: Los Angeles, California. More than 100 writers, editors, illustrators, & agents. Workshops, breakout sessions, manuscript and portfolio consultations, panels, discussions.

Revision Retreat. August 3 – 7, 2018: Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. In this working retreat, Harold Underdown and editor Eileen Robinson will teach proven techniques for self-editing and revising and help writers try them out on their manuscripts. Mornings will be dedicated to revision techniques and afternoons to model critique groups, individual meetings, and writing time.

Hurston/Wright Summer Writers Workshop. August 4 - 10, 2018: Washington, DC. For more than 20 years, the Hurston/Wright Summer Writers Workshop has offered a safe space for black writers in intensive workshop sessions and master classes. Workshops are led by award-winning writers who are influencing today’s literature. The program features critiques, craft talks, writing time and public readings. Hurston/Wright workshops serve emerging and experienced writers who are starting projects, developing projects or seeking to polish projects. More than a thousand writers have participated in workshops since the first session in 1996.

Nature Retreat for ALL Writers & Artists 2018. August 5 - 9, 2018: Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. Let your art and mind be inspired at this retreat: enjoy time to write or sketch plus fun and relaxing activities in beautiful surroundings. At this retreat, there will be plenty of time to create–but we’re also planning a few fun and relaxing activities to give you some natural inspiration: Hiking on their 1,400-acre property; Kayaking on the Delaware River with NorthEast Wilderness Experience; Enjoy a farm & flower outing to Fox Hill Farm; Visit Calkins Creamery for a cheese-making demonstration; Bird-watching; Nature journaling, and more.

Catamaran Writing Conference. August 5 - 9, 2018: Pebble Beach, CA. The conference will be held on the campus of the Robert Louis Stevenson school, and attendees will meet in the elegant Stevenson classrooms, commons, theater, and chapel for workshops, lectures, and presentations. Also available are optional daily literary themed excursions, daily craft talks, nightly special guest readings, and student readings. For their 2018 Summer Conference, they are asking participants to submit a manuscript of their preferred genre for review and approval.  Fiction and nonfiction pieces may be short stories or novel excerpts of up to twenty pages.  Poetry submissions may include up to five poems, not to exceed a complete page count of ten pages. You will receive submission instructions after registering.

10 Min Con. August 9 - 11, 2018: Cincinnati, Ohio. Speakers: Donald Maas, James Scott Bell, Janice Hardy.

Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. August 10 - 12, 2018: Rockaway, New Jersey. Guest of Honor: Meg Gardiner, Toastmaster: Roberta Rogow, Fan Guests of Honor: Bill and Carol Aronoff. Other authors: Eileen Watkins, Kate Gallison, Ilene Schneider, R. G. Belsky, Peggy Ehrhart, Jeff Markowitz, James McCrone, Rebecca Mears...and more. Cost ranges from $75.00 to $250.00.

Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing is sponsored by Highlights. August 8 - 10, 2018. Honesdale, PA. "You love science and our world—and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. How do you accomplish it? Learn the dynamics of engaging science-based writing for children and teens—whether you’re published already or just beginning. Faculty will demonstrate how to energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction writing that shines the light on exciting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Through presentations, hands-on workshops, one-to-one manuscript critiques, ample writing time, and sessions with acquiring editors, this workshop will give you the tools and insights you need to advance on your path to success."

Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference. August 9 - 11, 2018: Chicago, Illinois. "Join a community of writers at Northwestern University for a three-day institute on writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The program, which is now in its 14th year, includes a diverse array of workshops, panels, keynote speakers, networking events, and literary readings. Learn how to structure your novel with Christine Sneed, write without fear with Amin Ahmad, and make a scene with Rebecca Makkai. Hear from publishers, agents, literary editors, and critics, and enjoy a keynote on the uses of memory from award-winning poet Roger Reeves. You can also schedule an individual manuscript consultation with conference faculty. Writers at all levels of experience are welcome, as are writers of all genres and backgrounds. Come seek a fuller understanding of the craft—and business—of writing." Registration ends on August 5.

The 2018 Writers' Police Academy. August 9–12, 2017: Green Bay, WI. The annual Writers’ Police Academy offers an exciting interactive and educational hands-on experience for writers to enhance their understanding of all aspects of law enforcement, firefighting, EMS, and forensics.

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. August 9–12, 2018: Corte Madera, Calif. Writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restaurateurs, guidebook writers, and more.

Writer’s Digest Conference. August 10 - 12, 2018: New York City. Annual Writer's Digest Conference featuring: Pitch Slam, with more than fifty agents and editors in attendance, educational tracks devoted to publishing and self-publishing, platform and promotion, and the craft of writing,  speakers and instructors.

Murphy Writing of Stockton University: Live Free and Write. August 12 - 17, 2018: Sunapee, NH. "Combine an extended writing retreat with a relaxing summer vacation in the picturesque mountains of New Hampshire. This getaway blends our trademark challenging and supportive workshop experience with plenty of free time for you to write and bask in the refreshing New England summer." 2017/2018 faculty includes Stephen Dunn, Sharon Olds, Gregory Pardlo, Barbara Hurd, Carol Plum-Ucci, James Richardson, Peter E. Murphy and more.

Whole Novel Workshop. August 12 - 18, 2018: Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. The Whole Novel Workshop is specifically designed for writers of middle-grade and young adult novels. This unique program offers the one-on-one attention found in degree programs, but without additional academic requirements, lengthy time commitments, or prohibitive financial investments. Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress.

Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. August 13 - 19, 2018: Montpelier, Vermont. The conference is designed for writers with graduate degrees or equivalent experience. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, craft classes, and individual consultations with faculty members. "At the heart of the Postgraduate Writers' Conference's unique model is the small workshop size, with groups led by acclaimed faculty limited to five or six writers. The intimate format allows for an extraordinarily in-depth, far-reaching discussion of participants’ work. Beyond the daily group sessions, each member has an individual consultation with the workshop instructor. The schedule also features a rich menu of readings by faculty and participants, craft talks, generative writing sessions and social events that galvanize our vibrant, inclusive community."

Iota Short Prose Conference. August 15 - 18, 2018: Lubec, Maine. Workshops, craft discussions, readings, open mics, one-on-one meetings with faculty, and field trips to nearby locations for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Faculty includes Beth Ann Fennelly and Sven Birkerts.

Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. August 15- 25, 2018: Ripton, VT. Workshops in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction are at the core of the conference. Each faculty member conducts a workshop that meets for five two-hour sessions over the course of the 10 days. Groups are kept small to facilitate discussion, and all participants meet individually with their faculty leaders to elaborate on workshop comments. Faculty members also offer lectures on issues around literary writing and one-hour classes on specific aspects of the craft. Readings by the faculty, conference participants, and guests take place throughout the day and into the night. Participants meet with visiting editors, literary agents, and publishers who provide information and answer questions, individually or in small groups.  Applications are due by February 15, 2018.

SFWA @ Worldcon. Aug. 16-20, 2018: San Jose, CA. Worldcon (the World Science Fiction Convention) is the annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans, writers, artists, musicians and other creators, first held in New York City in 1939. Worldcon is held in a different city and organized by a different volunteer organization each year. "If you’re an aspiring writer, consider participating in the Writers’ Workshop. This is an opportunity to have both new and experienced authors critique your work.  Many well known writers got their feet wet at a Worldcon Writers’ Workshop. Not sure you’re ready for that? Consider participating in a Deep Dive, where discussion focuses around how to write a particular type of scene or develop a character. Need to develop your artist’s portfolio?  That is another Deep Dive topic, along with other tools to advance your career."

Responsible Representation: Writing Diverse Commercial Fiction for Middle-Grade and Young Adult Readers 2018. August 18 - 21, 2018: Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. "Instead of the old writing adage–write what you know–learn how to know what to write. Whether you’re drawing from your own experience or outside of it, writing diversely demands research, empathy, attention to detail, an interrogation of one’s own place in this world, and a willingness to be open-minded. In this workshop, the emphasis will be on respectful and responsible representation and craft.

The Emotional Craft of Fiction with Donald Maass. August 20, 2018: Portland, OR. 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. Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 1980. His agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas. He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996), Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009), Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012), and The Emotional Craft of Fiction (2016). He is a past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc.

Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. August 23 - 26, 2018: Nashville, TN. The Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference was created in 2006 by author/filmmaker Clay Stafford in an effort to bring together forensic experts, writers, and fans of crime and thriller literature. "At the conference, we try diligently to ensure that the weekend has something for every writer and lover of literature, and our sessions are structured to assist writers on multiple career levels. Our learning tracks tackle the craft of writing, business of writing, marketing, and forensics. Killer Nashville features nine breakout sessions for intense smaller group interaction, an authors’ bar (free for hotel guests), a moonshine and wine tasting, free agent/editor roundtable pitch sessions, a mock crime scene designed by special agents and other law enforcement professionals, cocktail receptions, the Guest of Honor Dinner and Awards Banquet, film previews, live music performances and—of course—all the great activities one can enjoy in downtown Nashville."

HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. August 24 - 26, 2018: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Craft and query workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Faculty: TBA.

Santa Barbara Summer Poetry Workshop. August 25, 2018: Santa Barbara, CA. "Time will be spent on all aspects of the practice of poetry: crafting, writing exercises, discussion, publication advice and the art of reading your poems.This workshop is an opportunity for you to grow your poems with thoughtful attention from experienced poets who combine their approaches for you to hone your skills and go deeper into your own creative process."

STORY 360 with Lorin Oberweger. August 25 - 26, 2018: Houston, TX. "From premise to publication, the Story 360 workshop offers a hands-on course on the craft and business of writing. Expect to be engaged, to dig into your work, and to come away with a toolbox of techniques that will propel your writing to new heights."

The Ins and Outs of a Picture Book and Its Many Forms 2018. August 26 - 29, 2018: Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. "This hands-on workshop will help you discover what you must write and how to get that work ready for submission to editors and agents. Along with one-on-one critique sessions and opportunities for critical feedback, Bethany, Carmen, and Salina will cover: The Picture Book Biography Only You Can Write; Creating Compelling Characters Readers Care About; From Submission to School Visits, and Everything in Between; Scene and Structure in Picture Books; How to Keep “I Think I Can” Alive on the Path to Publication ; Writing by Storyboard: A Good Story is Like a Rollercoaster; Revising: If You Love the Work, It Will Love You Back; SOS: Stand-Out Submissions.

DragonCon. August 30 - September 3, 2018: 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.)

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