Monday, February 22, 2021

17 Great Writing Conferences in March 2021

Writing conferences usually start to pick up in March. This year the vast majority of them will be held online. Virtual events still offer everything a writer might want: intensive workshops, pitch sessions with agents, to how to market yourself and your books, discussions - there is something for everyone.

For a full list of conferences held throughout the year see Writing Conferences. During the pandemic most of these are being held virtually at reduced rates. Quite a few offer scholarships, so apply early.

Photo credit: Wikimedia


Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference. March 3 - 7, 2021: San Antonio, TX. "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." Will be held virtually.

Futurescapes. March 11 - 13, 2021: Salt Lake City, Utah. Futurescapes Workshop of Utah Valley University, is an intensive, exclusive workshop, offering writers an unparalleled chance to work with top authors and agents in speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, fantasy, paranormal). Each participant will work with three workshop faculty mentors on the first 3,000 words of their manuscript, while receiving substantive feedback on the overall structure of their work in progress and query letters. Will be held virtually.

Southern Breeze Critique Fest 2021. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. March 12-13, 2021. "Have you ever gotten a manuscript critique, but wanted more insight on how to use those notes to take your book to the next level? Or wished you could have a professional’s eyes on your manuscript, but you weren’t sure it was ready for the world? Critique Fest 2021 goes beyond a paid critique experience, providing writers an immediate opportunity to see growth! Early Registration Opens January 2, 2021. Basic registration includes fun and informative online seminars the weekend of March 12-13, including a live Pitch Panel!  Bonus seminar included on Saturday, April 17 at 11:00 EST with author Melissa Stewart." Seminars only tickets are $40 for SCBWI members and $45 for non members. 

Atlanta Writing Workshop, March 13, 2021, Atlanta, GA. "This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome." Will be held virtually.

Virginia Festival of the Book, March 13 - 26, 2021. "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. Will be held virtually.

Spring Writers' Night - Narrative Medicine: Trauma, Illness, and Writing to Heal. March 18, 2021. Online format. During this extended period of extreme social isolation, many of us turn to the power of stories to remind us we are not alone. Narrative Medicine, or writing about the medical or trauma journey, takes that power one step further, using writing as a way to tell the deeper stories that help us heal. Hear a panel of three celebrated writers and Bay Path MFA faculty in Narrative Medicine--Charles Coe, Áine Greaney, and Allan Hunter--read intimate selections from recent work; share their wisdom about writing and healing; and answer questions about how to tell your own medical, grief, or trauma story. Free and open to the public. Pre-registration required.

Algonkian Writers New York Pitch Conference, March 18 - 21, 2021: 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." Will be held online.

Power of Narrative. March 19, 2021: Boston, MA. Over 30 journalists, directors, producers and editors lead three days of lively discussions geared to advance the knowledge of narrative storytellers. Approximately 500 persons attend. Early registration is encouraged. Will be held online.

Sleuthfest. March 19 - 21, 2021: 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
Will be held virtually.

Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. Wye Mills, Maryland, March 20, 2021. 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."

Beall Poetry Festival. March 24 - 26, 2021, Waco, TX. The festival features readings, panel discussions, and the Virginia Beall Ball Lecture on Contemporary Poetry. Participating poets include Forrest Gander, Layli Long Soldier, Evie Shockley, Meghan O’Rourke, and a Poetry Panel. All events are free and open to the public.

University of North Dakota Writers Conference. March 24 - 26, 2021: Grand Forks, North Dakota. Founded in 1970 and held every year since, the UND Writers Conference is a three day event featuring six to eight authors annually. Authors ranging from Gwendolyn Brooks and August Wilson to Tommy Orange and Colson Whitehead, the UND Writers Conference is committed to community outreach, engagement, and finding ways to increase audience access to literature. The conference is free, but workshop space is limited to twenty participants; registration is first come, first served. Will be held online.

Algonkian Novel Retreat, Sterling. Virginia, March 24 - 28, 2021. "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.

36th Annual National Undergraduate Literature Conference. March 25, 2021: 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." Will be held online.

Write Stuff Writers Conference. March 25 - 28, 2021: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 20 workshops, Agent./Editor pitch sessions, marketing consults plus lunch and Keynote address, Book Fair, Flash Literature Writing Contest, Door Prizes. Featuring Jonathan Dylan Barker. Will be held virtually.

Writing Nature: Refuge or Threat? sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium’s Writers’ Community and the Moravian College Writers’ Conference. March 26 - 27, 2021 Bethlehem, PA. Keynote speakers: Camille Dungy and J. Drew Lanham. Plus additional workshops and a writers’ roundtable featuring area writers on Friday, March 27. Will be held virtuallyFREE

WonderCon. March 26 - 27, 2021, Anaheim, CA. HUGE comic book convention. Will be held virtually.

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