Wednesday, September 23, 2020

33 Writing Conferences in October 2020 - Most held online


While many fall writing conferences have been rescheduled, most 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.


Write on the Sound Writers' Conference and Pre-Conference. Oct 1 - 4, 2020: Edmonds, WA. WOTS offers the opportunity to explore various writing craft techniques with nationally recognized industry professionals in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Will be held online.

The Loft's Wordsmith Conference. October 1 -  4, 2020, Minneapolis MN. "The conference is intended for those ready to pitch their work, those already with a book out or with an agent, and those who want to get more prepared to publish their work. It's intended for prose writers and poets, genre and literary writers, beginning and advanced. In short, we are working hard to pull together a gathering that will feature meaningful sessions, workshops, one-on-one pitch and craft meetings, and networking opportunities for writers of all levels and genres." Will be held online.

The Craft of Writing Series: Memoir. October 1 - 15, 2020. The Craft of Writing Series is a three-week program that takes place virtually the first through third Thursdays of each month. Each month focuses on a different genre or form of writing. Instructors: Denise Low and Thomas Pecore Weso. Will be held online.

The 2020 Sacramento Writing Workshop. October 2, 2020: 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."

State Writing Conference & Convention, sponsored by The Kansas Authors Club, Oct 2 - 3, 2020, Wichita, Kansas. Writing workshops, panels, and presentations by Kevin Willmott, Huascar Medina and more.

Be a Better Freelancer October 2 - 4, 2020: Baltimore, MD. Annual conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, website managers and developers, etc., with presenters offering guidance and tips on marketing, promotions, new skills and other business aspects of freelancing. Focus: Nonfiction. Will be held virtually.

The Pacific Coast Children's Novel Workshop & Retreat. October 2 - 4 and 16 -18, 2020: Santa Cruz, CA. Intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Faculty includes Laurel Symonds of The Bent Agency, Hannah Mann of Writers House, and Kathleen (Kat) Dougherty. Will be held online.

Picture Book Summit. Oct 3, 2020, Online. An online, one day live event for picture book writers including author keynotes, interviews, workshops and agent & editor panels. Recordings provided for attendees for four months post-conference.

Orion Poetry Workshop. October 6 - November 9, 2020. Six consecutive Saturday afternoons from 3-6pm EDT. Instructor:  Elizabeth Bradfield. Each six-session Zoom workshop is available for $500. Payment within five days of acceptance will guarantee your spot. Cancellations up until a week before the start of the course will result in a full refund. After that, refunds will be conditional on our ability to fill your spot before the course begins. Application deadline: September 10.

Kaz Conference Keep Writing Virtual Nonfiction Cohort. Oct 7 - Nov 11, 2020. Workshops include developmental workshops as well as talks on the practical training of writers with input from editors, publicists, agents, social media experts and productivity coaches. Because reading and reviewing other work helps to strengthen ones own writing, peer review is a requirement of all sessions. Just 10 to 16 writers are accepted for each cohort. Will be held online.

Kaz Conference Keep Writing: Playwriting Intensive for Women Writers. Oct 7 - Nov 11, 2020. Workshops include developmental workshops as well as talks on the practical training of writers with input from editors, publicists, agents, social media experts and productivity coaches. Because reading and reviewing other work helps to strengthen ones own writing, peer review is a requirement of all sessions. Just 10 to 16 writers are accepted for each cohort. Will be held online

John R. Milton Writers' Conference. Oct 8 - 10, 2020: Vermillion, South Dakota. The conference theme is “Prospecting: Uncovering New Veins and Voices in Identity, Genre, and Place.” Mary Gaitskill is keynote author, and Brandon Hobson, Steven Dunn, Karen Salyer McElmurray, and Christine Stewart are featured authors; in addition, the conference will feature readings by USD’s Department of English faculty duncan b. barlow, Leah McCormack, and Lee Ann Roripaugh, and USD Writer in Residence Residence Pete Dexter.

New York Comicon. October 8 - 11, 2020. On Youtube. New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest popular culture convention: Show Floor plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and television; Panels and Autograph Sessions give Fans a chance to interact with their favorite Creators; Screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit big and small screens. Online format.

James River Writers Conference. October 9 - 11, 2020: Richmond, Virginia. TThe conference will feature pitch sessions with agents and panel discussions for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The conference will also offer pre-conference master classes on October 9. The keynote features fiction writers Linda Sue Park and Meg Medina in conversation. Participants include poets Athena Dixon and Porsha Olayiwola; fiction writers Heath Hardage Lee, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Ran Walker; nonfiction writer Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan; and literary agents Lauren Bieker (FinePrint Literary), Michael Carr (Veritas), April Eberhardt (April Eberhardt Literary), Cherise Fisher (Wendy Sherman Associates), Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency), Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), and Saba Sulaiman (Talcott Notch Literary Services). The cost of the conference, which includes a virtual one-on-one meeting with an agent, is $295. Single-day tickets are also available starting at $145. The cost of a master class is an additional $65. Will be held online.

Colrain Classic. October 9 - 12, 2020. "A select group of poets will work with nationally known poets, publishers, and editors Gabriel Fried (Persea Press); Joan Houlihan (Conference Founder / Lesley University MFA Program); Kevin Prufer (Former editor Pleadies Press/University of Houston); and Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books). All poets with an in-progress book-length or chapbook-length manuscript are welcome to apply." Will be conducted online.

WriteAngles. October 10, 2020: South Hadley, Massachusetts. Panels and workshops, with two keynoters, a limited number of agent meetings. Continental breakfast, and buffet lunch included. Will be held online.

Kentucky State Poetry Society. October 10 - 11, 2020. Readings, workshops, panels, and keynote. "The Kentucky State Poetry Society seeks to inspire, encourage, and develop Kentucky’s poets through a wide variety of workshops, lectures, and publishing opportunities. The Kentucky State Poetry Society publishes the biannual literary journal Pegasus, offers a student and adult poetry contest, and hosts an annual poetry conference." Note: Membership not limited to Kentucky residents. Registration: $15. Will be conducted via Zoom.

The Writer's Hotel. October 14 - 20, 2020: NYC. To apply, send the first 5000 words of a prose manuscript or the first 15 poems of a poetry manuscript. We work with writers of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. We do not work on scripts. International applications are welcome. It is $30 to apply. The fee for the 2018 conference is $3,000 and includes the pre-conference TWH Team Reading and NYC in-town events. Early acceptance not only reserves a writer's spot at an intimate conference, it means writers will have ample time to revise before the NYC pitch meetings. 

Annual Florida Writers Conference. October 15 - 18, 2020: Altamonte Springs, Florida. Four workshops and panels dedicated to help you learn how to pitch your story, and more than fifty acclaimed authors, poets, and publishing industry experts for three days of networking opportunities. Will be held online.

Women Writing the West 2020 Conference. October 15 - 18, 2020. "Women Writing the West resonates the inspiration of Colorado Springs for its 2020 Virtual Conference. Just as mountain climbers find the niches necessary to scale vast heights, so we, too, will discover our own niches in craft, identity, and platforms. We’ll tackle methods to mount our own walls and climb to our summits. We’ll discover endless vistas of possibilities and create our personal visions, as endless as the views around us." Will be held online

Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. October 16 - 18, 2020, Grapevine, Texas. The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference is a forum for journalists, writers, readers, students, educators and the general public to listen to, be inspired by and practice their craft at the highest possible level. Every year, the Mayborn Conference gathers some of the most talented storytellers in the country to share their stories, life-changing experiences and expertise with aspiring writers through three days of lectures, panels, one-on-one sessions, and student classes. In addition, the conference includes a variety of writing contests for anyone from high school students to Pulitzer prize winning professionals, who receive hand-made trophies, more than $26,000 in cash awards and have their work published in Mayborn's journal, Ten Spurs, or anthology, Best American Newspaper Narratives.

Gotham Writers Conference. October 16 - 18, 2020: NY, NY. A writing conference built by agents, for writers, with a faculty of some of the top agents in New York City. Receive focused attention within your genre from some of the best in the business. Will be held on Zoom.

Emerald City Writers' Conference. Oct 16 - 18, 2020, Bellevue, WA. Local Romance Writers of America conference, featuring film and television scouts, who will be taking pitches along with editors and agents, keynote speakers, workshops, and a master class. Will be held online.

Annual Rochester Writers’ Conference, October 17, 2020: Rochester, Michigan. Lectures, Workshops and Panel Discussions in fiction, non-fiction and business of writing presentations. Open to new, working and published writers of all genres. Attendees select four presentations from a dozen to tailor fit their needs.

5th Annual Broadleaf Writers Conference. October 17 - 18, 2020: Atlanta, GA. Headlined by #1 NYT bestseller Karen Abbott, bestselling writers, literary agents, and sessions packed with insightful information and experience, our conference offers what you need to improve your craft and get you on the road toward publication!

Medical Writing and Communication Conference. Ocotber 20 - 22, 2020: San Diego, CA. Workshops in medical writing, designing materials for patients, analysis, clinical reports, and more. Will be held virtually.

Writing By Writers Workshop @ Tomales Bay. October 21 - 25, 2020: Tomales Bay, California. Manuscript and poetry workshops are limited to 12 participants and generative workshops are limited to 15 to ensure an intimate setting. Will be held online.

Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference. October 22 - 25, 2020: Pasadena, CA. Experienced authors, editors, agents and publishing experts will be on hand, ready to help you develop your own craft and position yourself for success.

The Writer's Hotel 2020 Virtual Poetry Weekend. October 22 - 25, 2020. Attendance is capped at 40 poets. Apply today to reserve your spot. 2020 Poetry Faculty: Joy Harjo, Marie Howe, Heather McHugh, Terrance Hayes, Mark Doty, Cornelius Eady, Deborah Landau, Tim Seibles, Valzhya Mort, Pádraig Ó Tuama, Camille Dungy, Javier Zamora, Alexandra Oliver, Kevin Larimer, Jenny Xie, TWH Directors Shanna McNair and Scott Wolven. CLOSED.

Magna cum Murder. Oct 23 - 25, 2020: Indianapolis, IN. 45+ authors of crime writing fiction.

Creating an Image System That Works for Your Verse Novel Online Course + Optional Onsite Retreat 2020. October 28, 2020 - November 25, 2020. Optional Onsite Retreat: December 3-6, 2020. Register here. Join Us To: Learn how to use image systems to improve your novel in verse. An image system is a series of images (can be a symbol or a metaphor or a simile) strung together in a narrative that, as they build." Will be held online.

Ossabaw Weekend Writer’s Retreat. October 30  - November 1, 2020: Ossabaw Island, GA. Workshops and seminars led by nationally recognized faculty, and evening readings (special emphasis on ghost stories) by faculty and participants. Application deadline: October 4.

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