Monday, July 27, 2020

16 Writing Conferences in August 2020 - Most held online

While a good number of summer writing conferences have been rescheduled, many are going ahead as planned via online formats. You can still attend workshops, presentations, readings, discussions, lectures, and critiques via Zoom.

Plan ahead! Conferences often offer scholarships, but these have deadlines. If one of these conferences interests you, put the scholarship deadline date on your calendar for next year, or for whenever the conference rolls around again.

For a full list of conferences, organized by month, see Writing Conferences. While nearly all of these are in the United States, you can find links on that page that will take you to world-wide conference lists.


Fine Arts Work Center Summer Workshops (poetry, fiction, art, and creative nonfiction). June 7 - August 21, 2020, Provincetown, Massachusetts. The faculty and presenters include poets Erin Belieu, Traci Brimhall, Mahogany L. Browne, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Peter Campion, Tina Chang, Michael Collier, Mark Conway, Vievee Francis, Kimiko Hahn, Terrance Hayes, Marie Howe, Major Jackson, Ada Limón, John Murillo, Eileen Myles, Porsha Olayiwola, Matthew Olzmann, Gregory Orr, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Martha Rhodes, and Nicole Sealey; fiction writers Kristen Arnett, Andre Dubus III, Aja Gabel, Pam Houston, Reif Larsen, Wendy C. Ortiz, Shobha Rao, Victoria Redel, Sarah Schulman, Justin Torres, and Joan Wickersham; nonfiction writers Alysia Abbott, Elissa Altman, Jill Bialosky, Garrard Conley, Nick Flynn, Ann Hood, Paul Lisicky, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, T Kira Madden, Gregory Pardlo, Dani Shapiro, Susanna Sonnenberg, Brian Turner, and Marion Winik; and graphic memoirist Nicole J. Georges. Tuition ranges from $650 to $750. The deadline for scholarship applications is April 10. General registration is first come, first served.  (See individual workshops for dates.)

Hurston/Wright Summer Writers Week. August 1 - 7, 2020: 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. Will be held virtually.

The 2020 Writers' Police Academy: MuderconAugust 6–9, 2020: 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."

Cape Cod Writers Center Conference. August 6 - 9, 2020: Hyannis, Massachusetts. Supporting published and aspiring writers. Featuring distinguished authors, editors and agents in workshops on fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, poetry, mysteries and thrillers, social media, promotion and more!

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, August 7 - 9, 2020: 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.

Colrain Classic. August 7 - 10, 2020. "A select group of poets will work with nationally known poets, publishers, and editors Joan Houlihan (Conference Founder / Lesley University MFA Program); Rusty Morrison (Co-founder/Publisher Omnidawn Press); Hilda Raz (Editor/Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series, University of New Mexico Press); and Ellen Dore Watson (Smith College/Editor of Massachusetts Review). All poets with an in-progress book-length or chapbook-length manuscript are welcome to apply." Will be conducted online.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. August 7 - 10, 2020: Truchas, New Mexico. The conference features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The cost of the conference is $1,400, which includes lodging and meals. Using the online submission system, submit a brief bio and three to four poems.

Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. August 10 - 16, 2020: 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." Will be held online.

Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. August 12- 22, 2020: 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. Will be rescheduled for Fall 2020.

Writer’s Digest Conference. August 13 - 16, 2020: 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.

The Whole Novel Online Workshop 2020. August 16, 2020 - August 22, 2020. "This is a seven-day online workshop that features a full manuscript critique, evening “live” lectures and discussions, daily writing prompts, one-to-one mentorship, faculty Q&A, optional open mic readings and more! Online Workshop Participant Cap: 20 students. Join Us To: Have the entire draft of your novel read and critiqued." Will be held online.

Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. August 20 - 23, 2020: 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."

North Words Writers Symposium. August 27 - 30, 2019: Skagway, Alaska. Faculty: Bill Streever, Caroline Van Hemert, Heather Lende, Eva Holland, M. Jackson, Bryan Fierro, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell. Special Theme: Writing at a time of a threatened natural world.

Romance Writers of America. August 28 - 30, 2020: San Francisco, CA. The RWA Conference is the place where career-focused romance writers meet, mingle, and get down to the business of being an author. Conference highlights include the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing; the Keynote speech; hearing from great speakers; book signings; and the Awards Ceremony. At the conference, career-focused romance writers can anticipate: education and information, networking with fellow writers, interaction with editors, agents, publishers, booksellers, and other romance publishing industry professionals. Will be held online.

49 Writers Tutka Bay Retreat. August 28 - 30, 2020: Tutka Bay, Alaska. Guest Instructor: Elena Passarello.

Developing a Series in Chapter Books Online Workshop 2020. August 30, 2020 - September 02, 2020. "This is a four-day online workshop that features evening “live” lectures, discussions, online Q&A sessions in addition to a revision roundtable, office hours for informal discussion, hands-on sessions and an optional open mic. There will be one-to-one sessions with faculty on your series overview and first chapter. Online Workshop Participant Cap: 16." Will be held online.

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