Thursday, January 25, 2018

8 Writing Conferences in February 2018

February is brutal little month punctuated by a groundhog, chocolates, and valentines. Winter is still with us, but by now the snow has lost its charm. That makes February a good month to turn to writing.

There are eight writing conferences and workshops this month. Notably, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program is sponsoring a series of workshops on fiction, screenplay writing, and creative nonfiction. If you live near Los Angeles, this conference is worth attending. Ditto for San Francisco and San Diego, both of which feature a host of agents, editors, and professional writers to guide you on your way to publication.

Attending a conference is one of the best things you can do for your writing career. Conferences offer a unique opportunity to network with other writers, meet agents and pitch your book, and learn how the publishing industry works from editors and professionals.

I strongly urge you to plan ahead if you are thinking of attending a writing conference. Many offer scholarships that can significantly reduce the cost. And all of the intensive writing workshops have application deadlines. 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.) If you miss your ideal conference this year, plan for next year.
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The Writers Studio, sponsored by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, February 8- 11, 2018, Los Angeles, CA. The conference offers workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as writing for television and film. Offered by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, the Writers Studio brings together a community of writing students to workshop with some of Southern California’s most accomplished writers and teachers. From among the 10 offered, participants choose one workshop in which they work closely with a professional writer in classes limited to no more than 15 people.

San Francisco Writers Conference, Feb. 15-18, 2018, San Francisco, CA. Attendees will join with 100+ presenters and fellow writers from across the country and around the world at this year’s event. The SFWC events are consistently rated among the top writer’s conferences anywhere. Our goal is to help writers become published authors as we help them become better at the craft and business of writing. The SFWC is also one of the friendliest conferences. Presenters this year will include bestselling authors, literary agents, editors, and publishers from major publishing houses.  There will be experts on self-publishing, book promotion, platform building, social media, and author websites. The San Francisco Writers Conference has one of the largest faculties of any writer’s conference to ensure the best networking with the people who can help you get published.

South Coast Writers Conference, Feb 16 - 17, 2018, Gold Beach, Oregon. "The South Coast Writers Conference is an eclectic gathering of writers of various genres, novice and published authors, returning and first-time attendees. It is our goal that participants and presenters leave the conference inspired and renewed, with new insights and skills, and better connected to fellow writers and resources. Participation in workshops is limited to 30 students or fewer, so register early to secure a seat in the workshops you want."

31st Annual Southern California Writers’ Conference (and Retreat). February 16 - 18, 2018, San Diego, CA. Faculty: 60+ working, professional authors of fiction, nonfiction & screen, editors & agents. "Founded and run by professional writers the SCWC provides veteran and emerging talent with authoritative guidance to help distinguish those manuscripts that are ready for market consideration." Cost: $350-$425. Manuscript critique & one-on-one consultation additional. Limited to 175 conferees.

Minnesota Writers Workshop.  February 17, 2018, St. Paul, MN. A full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. "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." Attending Agents: Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), Michelle Grajkowski (3 Seas Literary), Lauren Jablonski (St. Martin’s Press), Mary Cummings (Betsy Amster Literary), Kelly Van Sant (D4EO Literary), Mari Kesselring (Flux and Jolly Fish Press), Cynthia Ruchti (Books & Such Literary),  Laura Zats (Red Sofa Literary), Jennie Goloboy (Donald Maass Literary), Erik Hane (Red Sofa Literary), Lynnette Novak (The Seymour Agency), Yana Makuwa (Graywolf Press), Raela Schoenherr (Bethany House Publishers) and more.

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference, February 22 - 24, 2018, Tempe, AZ. "The conference features lectures, panel discussions, readings, and craft classes in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and publishing. The faculty includes: Kaveh Akbar, Charlie Jane Anders, Andrea Avery, Emily Bell, Matt Bell, Cecil Castellucci, Natalie Diaz, Rosemarie Dombrowski and more. The cost of the conference is $350 until December 31 and $400 thereafter. Boxed lunches are available for an additional $14.99 per day. Registration is first come, first served.

St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Workshop, Feb 26 - March 1, 2018, St. Augustine, Florida. "The St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Workshop creates an intimate and professional environment that combines private meetings with small-group workshops, thus enabling aspiring authors to wisely approach the writing and publication of their novel. At the St. Augustine event, aspiring authors will:
1) Work one-on-one with top authors and savvy market professionals.
2) Apply advanced story and narrative technique to their novel-in-progress.
3) Hone and improve their writer voice and style.
4) Learn the necessary inside mechanics of the publishing business.
5) Leave the workshop with a detailed plan to work towards publication of their novel.
Group workshop sessions will be interspersed with agent and author consultations, workshop assignments, as well as consults with workshop leaders."

Pele's Fire: Write to the Core. February 28 - March 6, 2018, Big Island, HI. Writers' retreat in a breathtaking, in Hawaii. Three teachers, small groups, 1-on-1 consultations, readings. Faculty: Elena Georgiou, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto.

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