Tag Archives: Writers Conferences and Workshops

How To Get the Most Out of a Writer’s Conference II

Now that you have set your goals and decided on which conference to attend, You need to get your hands on a brochure. Most conferences will have this information on their website. It will list all of the workshops and programs.

  • Keep your goals in mind and choose workshops that are relevant.
  • Most are Q&A sessions or panels but some conferences will have hourly workshops to help with craft or the business of writing. Should be able to find something for whatever level you are with your work.
  • If you plan to pitch to an agent or editor, try to attend their panels to get to know them better before you meet.
  • At night they sometimes have sessions that are a little more laid back. I attended ‘Love is Murder’ one year and got to listen to true ghost stories from the authors. One of them was Charlaine Harris. Now how awesome is that?
  • If you catch yourself wanting to attend sessions that are scheduled at the same time – pick the one you want to see the most and purchase the recorded sessions, if they are available. Most conferences have started doing this.

Next post we’ll get into what to do before your one-on-one session with an editor or agent.

Hope you are working on something – happy writing.




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How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Writers Conference

Before you do anything, take a few minutes to think about what you want to accomplish by attending a writers conference.

  • Do you want to learn more about the business of writing?
  • Are you wanting to become a better writer?
  • Is networking of interest?
  • Are you published and want to promote your work?
  • Do you just want to have some fun?

Any of these are legitimate reasons to think about attending a conference. But as you know if you have done any research, conferences are not cheap. You have your registration fees, travel and hotel expenses, meals, and who can go to a conference without buying some books? So to save yourself from signing up for the wrong conference, you will need to do some research.

Before you do that though, sit down and make some goals for what you want to get out of a conference. What are you looking for? Put it down on paper and be specific. When you get home afterwards what do you want to have achieved?

And then look for a conference that fits your needs. You might start your search online, get recommendations from friends, and if you belong to any national writer’s organizations – check those resources, also magazines like ‘Writer’s Digest’ or ‘Writer’ list information about upcoming workshops and conferences.

If this is your first conference would you feel more comfortable in a smaller more intimate setting or are you ready to jump into one of the mega conferences like RWA’s National or the mystery writer’s Bouchercon.

Just wanted to give you something to think about. I will post later this week about the next step in preparing for a writers conference.

Until then, what do you do specifically to prepare or do you just pack a bag and go? Hopefully I can give you some suggestions that will help make your next conference experience more memorable.

Happy writing,



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Upcoming Conferences and Workshops




Wrangling with Writing – Sept 26 – 27

Casa Libre en la Solana – Year Round



Fisherman’s Wharf Writers Conference – Oct 21 -25

The Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop – Aug 21 -23

Women Writing the West Annual Conference – Sept 11-13

Southern California Writers Conference – L.A. – Sept 25 -27

Central Coast Writers’ Conference – Oct 2,3

Central Coast Book & Author Festival – Oct 4

Litquake – Oct 9-17

Jack London Writers Conference – Oct 10,11

Tomales Bay Writers’ Workshop – Oct 21 – 25

The Creativity Workshop – Carmel – Nov 6-9




Washington D.C.

The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival – Oct 18-28



Atlantic Center for the Arts – Year Round

The Studios of Key West – Year Round

Sanabel Island Writers Conference – Nov 5-8

Other Words – Nov 6-8

Miami Book Fail International – Nov 8-15




Southern Women Writers Conference – Sept 24-26

Chattahoochee Valley Writers’ Conference – Sept 25, 26

Georgia Literary Festival – Oct 16 -18

Dahlonega Literary Festival & Writer’s Conference – Nov 7-8



Hawaii Writers Conference & Retreat – Aug 28 – Sept 3, Sept 4 -7



Sun Valley Writers Conference – Aug 21 -24



Writers in the Heartland – Sept – Oct

The Ragdale Foundation – Year Round

Writer’s Studio – Year Round



The Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave – Oct 30 – Nov 1



Writers Retreat Workshop – Aug 21 -30

Kentucky Women Writers Conference – Sept 10 -12

Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning – Year Round


Fall in Love with Romance Readers Luncheon 2009 – – Oct 3


The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies – Sept – Dec

MWPA Fall Writing Retreat – Sept 11 -13

Main Literary Festival – Nov 6-8



Baltimore Book Festival – Sept 25 -27

F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference – Oct 17

The Writer’s Center – Year Round



Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference – Aug 14 -17, Sept 18-21, Oct 23-26

Cape Cod Writers’ Center- Annual Summer Writers’ Conference & Young Writers Workshop – Aug 15-22

Patchwork Farm Retreat – Stump Sprouts – Oct 1-4

Massachusetts Poetry Festival – Oct 15-18

Amherst Writers & Artists – Year Round

New England Crime Bake – Nov 13-15

Somerville News Writers Festival – Nov 14


Ludington Writers Conference – Sept 17-19

Springfed Arts – Writers’ Retreat – Oct 8-11

The Box Factory for the Arts – Year Round

Springfed Arts – Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters – Nov 5-8, 12-15



The Loft Literary Center – Year Round

Fall Harves Workshop – Midwest Fiction Writers – Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bloomington – – Sept 26



Flathead River Writers Conference – Oct 1-5

Montana Festival of the Book – Oct 22-24



Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts Residencies – Year Round


New Hampshire

Star Island Retreat – Aug 31 – Sept 4


New Jersey

The Poetry Center – Year Round

NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference – – Oct 23-24


New Mexico


New York

Millay colony for the Arts – Apr – Dec

The Edward F. Albee Foundation – May – Oct

Fort Green Park Summer Literary Festival – Jul 11- Aug 15 (workshops) Aug 22 (festival)

STARt Your Engines: Rev Up Your Writing Career – Owego Treadway Inn – – Sept 12

Brooklyn Book Festival – Sept 13

Writing By Degrees – Sept 24-26

&Now Festival of Innovative Writing & the Literary Arts – Oct 14-17

The Downtown Writer’s Center – Year Round

Gotham Writers’ Workshop – Year Round

Writer’s Seminar in New York – Nov 18-21



North Carolina

Carolina Mountains Literary Festival – Sept 11,12

The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville – Year Round

Fearless Writing Retreat – Lake Logan – Nov 9-15


Readers and Writers Holiday – Columbus –– Sept 18-19

Novelist’s Boot Camp – – Nov 14


The Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency – Apr – Oct

Wordstock – Oct 8-11

Fishtrap, Inc. – Year Round

The Nature of Words – Nov 4-8



Stillwater Poetry and Music Festival – Sept 12

Founders Workshops – Year Round



Rhode Island

Star Island Writing Retreat – Aug 31 – Sept 4


South Dakota

John R. Milton Writers’ Conference – Oct 29-31



Writing the Breakout Novel with Donald Maass – Sept 21 -27

Gemini Ink – Year Round

SMU Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program – Year Round


NTRWA Writers Roundup – – Nov 6-7


Heart of the West – Romance in the Mountains – – Oct 9-10


Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference – Aug 12 -23

Burlington Book Festival – Sept 24-27

Brattleboro Literary Festival – Oct 2 -4

Great Rivers Arts Institute – Literary Arts Programs – Year Round



Fall for the Book – Sept 21-26

James River Writers – Oct 9-10

Emory & Henry College Literary Festival – Oct 29,30

The Porches Writing Retreat – Year Round



Orca Island Writers Festival – Sept 17-20

Write on the Sound – Oct 2 -4

 20th Anniversary Emerald city Writers Conference – – Oct 9-11

West Virginia

West Virginia Book Festival – Oct 10,11



Spring Green Literary Festival – Sept 11,12

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Posted by on August 20, 2009 in Conferences and workshops



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