Tuesday, July 23, 2019

34 Great Writing Conferences in August 2019

Summer is the perfect time for writing conferences. This August there are conferences, intensive workshops, retreats and book fairs from coast to coast. You will also have a chance to pitch your work to agents, meet editors, and get to know your fellow writers. Conferences provide great opportunities to network, so make the most of your experience!

I strongly recommend that you plan ahead for next year if you miss your perfect conference or workshop. Many of these conferences offer scholarships, but you have to apply early.

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.)


Fine Arts Work Center Summer Workshops (poetry, fiction, art, and creative nonfiction). June 9 - August 23, 2019, Provincetown, Massachusetts. The faculty and presenters include poets David Baker, Samiya Bashir, Jill Bialosky, Sophie Cabot Black, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Martha Collins, Kate Daniels, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Gabriel Fried, Jorie Graham, Marie Howe, Major Jackson, Fred Marchant, Gail Mazur, Jane Mead, John Murillo, Eileen Myles, Matthew Olzmann, Gregory Pardlo, Carl Phillips, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Victoria Redel, Martha Rhodes, Brenda Shaughnessy, Nicole Sealey, Alan Shapiro, Carmen Gim√©nez Smith, Craig Morgan Teicher, Brian Turner, Monica Youn, and Javier Zamora; fiction writers Joseph Cassara, Alexander Chee, Andre Dubus III, Julia Glass, Marcie Hershman, Pam Houston, Greg Jackson, Reif Larsen, Richard McCann, Ivy Pochoda, Sarah Schulman, Justin Torres, Laura van den Berg, Joan Wickersham, and Paul Yoon; and nonfiction writers Alysia Abbott, Hanif Abdurraqib, Elissa Altman, Garrard Conley, Melissa Febos, Tessa Fontaine, Paul Lisicky, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Ander Monson, Wendy C. Ortiz, Sarah Ruhl, Dani Shapiro, Susanna Sonnenberg, and Marion Winik. Tuition ranges from $650 to $750.

Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. August 1 - 3, 2019: Mendocino, California. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft talks, readings, manuscript consultations, open mics, and pitch sessions with agents and editors. The faculty includes poet Victoria Chang; fiction writers Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Charlotte Gullick, Mitali Perkins, Shobha Rao, and Scott Sigler; and nonfiction writers Myriam Gurba, Ismail Muhammad, and Jeannie Vanasco. Participating publishing professionals include agents Sarah Bowlin (Aevitas) and Rayhan√© Sanders (Massie & McQuilkin) and editors Andrew Karre (Dutton Books) and Philip Marino (Little, Brown). An optional post-conference daylong Publishing Boot Camp taught by Marino will be held on August 4. The registration fee, which includes most meals, is $575. One-on-one manuscript consultations are available for an additional $60. The Publishing Boot Camp is $150. Register by June 30.

The 2019 Writers' Police Academy: Mudercon. August 1 - 4, 2019: Raleigh, NC. MurderCon is a rare opportunity for writers to participate in hands-on “for law enforcement eyes only” training, using modern testing and evidence collection tools and equipment, in workshops taught by some of the world’s leading homicide investigation experts. This incredibly detailed, cutting-edge instruction has never before been available to writers, anywhere."

Your Guide to Graphic Novels 2019. August 1–4, 2019: Honesdale, PA. Learn about the narrative style of this highly engaging format. Writers and writer/illustrators at any level welcome.

Cape Cod Writers Center Conference. August 1 - 4, 2019: Hyannis, Massachusetts. The conference features workshops and craft classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as mentoring sessions with agents. Fiction writer Richard Russo will deliver the keynote. The faculty includes poet Enzo Silon Surin and fiction writers M. William Phelps, Marcella Pixley, and Tim Weed. Participating publishing professionals include editor Christina M. Frey (Editorial Freelancers Association), social media expert Bobbie Carlton, and agents Lori Galvin (Aevitas Creative Management), Steven Hutson (WordWise Literary), and Linda Konner (Linda Konner Agency). Tuition is $150 for a three-session course, $120 for a two-session course, or $70 for a single workshop. Manuscript consultations are available for an additional $150; query consultations with agents are available for an additional $25. General registration is $80.

Taylor's Professional Writers Conference. August 2 - 3, 2019: Upland, Indiana. 35 seminars covering General & First-timers, Fiction, Nonfiction, Platform & Marketing and Specialty Writing.

Florida Authors and Publishers Association Annual Conference. August 2 - 4, 2019: Orlando, Florida. "Our theme this year is Charting Your Course and our agenda includes speakers who will help you travel along the many paths you’ll take on your publishing journey. These “tour guides” will share the latest marketing trends, explore legal issues, translate printing and distribution challenges, help you discover the importance of making timely connections, and identify your destination by publishing with a purpose."

Willamette Writers Conference. August 2 - 4, 2019: 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.

Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. August 2 - 4, 2019: Rockaway, New Jersey. Guest of Honor: Wendy Corsi Staub, Toastmaster: R.G. Belsky, Fan Guest of Honor: Nikki Bonanni. Other authors: Eileen Watkins, Kate Gallison, Roberta Rogow, Vicki Weiseld, Carol Gyzander, Teal James Glen...and more...and more. Cost ranges from $75.00 to $250.00.

The 2019 Tennessee Writing Workshop. August 3, 2019, Nashville, TN. A full-day “How to Get Published” event. "This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more."

Hurston/Wright Summer Writers Workshop. August 3 - 9, 2019: 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.

The Ins and Outs of a Picture Book and Its Many Forms 2019. August 4 -7, 2019: Honesdale, PA. Let three celebrated picture book authors help you navigate the ins and outs of the picture book form. The word count may be short, but the work is long. This hands-on workshop with Bethany Hegedus, Carmen Oliver & Salina Yoon will help you discover what you must write and how to get that work ready for submission to editors and agents.

Catamaran Writing Conference. August 4 - 8, 2019: Pebble Beach, CA. This poetry conference will be held on the campus of the Robert Louis Stevenson school. Spend each morning workshop with Dorianne Laux or Michelle Bitting (9:30-12:30), working on your poetry. The workshop meets four mornings (Monday-Thursday) and each participant will receive focused feedback from the group on their poems.  Workshop packets with group submissions will be available after July 15th.  You'll be invited to submit a writing sample for group feedback. Optional participant readings will be held. During registration you will be invited to indicate your poetry workshop instructor preference.

Haiku North America Conference. August 7 - 11, 2019, Winston Salem, NC. Conference devoted to haiku as a literary art. Includes presentations, readings, panels, bookfair, exhibits, banquet, anthology. ​Haiku North America is designed for, and open to, everyone—beginners and seasoned specialists alike.  We are expecting participants from Japan, Australia, Europe, and of course, Canada, Mexico, and the United States.  Workshops, performances, as well as readings, panels, and presentations for all levels of accomplishment will fill the four days, in addition to a very full Tanka Sunday plus for those interested.  HNA 2017 saw over 220 attendees.

Novel Beginnings: Building Strong Foundations ForYour Novel And Your Career 2019. August 8–11, 2019: Honesdale, PA. Get feedback on your novel AND guidance about your writing career from two experienced authors with great teaching and editing experience. Nothing is more important than laying strong foundations for both your novel and your writing career. Just as the choices you make at the start of your novel will have ripple effects throughout the entire book, the time you invest in establishing what’s important to you as an author will resonate throughout your entire writing journey. Our faculty will help you on your road to discovery as you lay down the cornerstones of your novel and your career.

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. August 8–11, 2019: 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.

The 2019 Sacramento Writing Workshop. August 9, 2019: Sacramento, CA. A full-day “How to Get Published” event. "This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more."

Colrain Intensive. August 9 - 12, 2019: Greenfield, MA. The Colrain Manuscript Intensive is a small, select, highly focused, 3-day conference designed for the evaluation and discussion of book-length manuscripts by editors and publishers. The intensive is open only to those who have attended a previous Colrain conference and/or those whose manuscript is close to publication (semi-finalist, finalist or publisher feedback), and/or those with previous book publication.

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Annual Conference. August 9 - 12, 2019: Los Angeles, California. More than 100 writers, editors, illustrators, & agents. Workshops, breakout sessions, manuscript and portfolio consultations, panels, discussions.

Whole Novel Workshop. August 11 - 17, 2019: 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 12 - 18, 2019: 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."

Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. August 14- 24, 2019: 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.

Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference. August 15 - 17, 2019: 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 15th year, includes a diverse array of workshops, panels, keynote speakers, networking events, and literary readings. Learn how to escalate your plot, write a gut wrenching story, motivate your characters, and turn your nonfiction into narrative. Hear keynote presentations from award-winning authors, including Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers). Get advice from publishers, agents, literary editors, critics, and published authors in all genres. 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."

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, August 16 - 19, 2019: West Coast Writers Conferences presents a full weekend of panels, workshops and presentations by educators, noted speakers, and industry professionals focused on the craft and business of writing.

Iota Short Prose Conference. August 16 - 19, 2019: 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.

Murphy Writing of Stockton University: Live Free and Write. August 18 - 23, 2019: 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." Current and past faculty includes Stephen Dunn, Sharon Olds, Gregory Pardlo, Barbara Hurd, Kathleen Graber, Carol Plum-Ucci, James Richardson, Mimi Schwartz, Peter E. Murphy and more.

Mystery Writers Conference. August 22 - 25, 2019: Corte Madera, CA. In this conference, mystery writers learn the clues to a successful writing career. Editors, agents, and publishers tell participants what they need to know to get published. Authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense, point of view, and openings. They tell how to write about private eyes, amateur sleuths, and police protagonists, and how to create thrillers and historical mysteries. Panels of detectives, forensic experts, police, and other crime-fighting professionals provide information that allows crime fiction writers to put realism in their work.

Writer’s Digest Conference. August 22 - 25, 2019: 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.

Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. August 22 - 25, 2019: 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 23 - 25, 2019: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This three-day creative writing conference in PA features 50+ notable speakers, engaging sessions in four tracks, interactive panels, readings, social activities, networking opps and optional, intimate pre-conference workshops.

DragonCon. August 29 - September 2, 2019: 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.)

WriterCon. August 30 - September 1, 2019: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "Discover if self-publishing is the best option for your book–and how to self-publish easily. See what techniques and tools you need to be your own best editor. Find out how to pitch to an agent–by email and in person. Go over the 7 steps to creating your fiction novel, so it’s ROCK SOLID every time. Learn about ghostwriting, which can be a lucrative market for authors. Dive deeper into children’s writing, writing for computer games, poetry, screenplays, songs, cookbooks and more. Witness how to publish on Kindle step-by-step. Uncover the latest tips, tricks and tools for marketing your book–and yourself–effectively. Talk to top agents, editors, publishers and publicists, and MORE."

49 Writers Tutka Bay Retreat. August 30 - September 1, 2019: Tutka Bay, Alaska. Guest Instructor: Paul Lisicky.

CreativeNonfiction Crash Course: A Generative WeekendAugust 30 - September 1: Austerlitz, NY. Instructor: Chloe Caldwell. "There isn’t only one way to write creative nonfiction, personal essay, or memoir. In this three-day course we will explore the variety of structures this genre offers. Students will read and discuss contemporary and classic authors. Chloe will engage with students about their goals and specific writing needs."

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