Writing Conferences: The List

We promised to talk about writing conferences and here it is. Typically a really professional conference has a good ROI for indie and traditionally published authors. The information feast and networking is important no matter which career route you take. But finding the right conference can be overwhelming in terms of concerns over time, fuel, and cash investment. Because advancing your publishing career in any way takes serious time and effort, we’ve decided to save you a lot of legwork on this one.

 

Today’s blog is a list of done-for-you resources to grow your career—whether for finding agents, editors, publishers, writing partners, ghostwriters, critique partners, people with promotion secrets, or anyone else who can help your writing career take off.

Writers’ conferences are a career must  for most writers. We can’t recommend them enough. They provide:

  • Premier opportunities for you to meet agents and editors (who are far more likely to give your manuscript a chance after having met you).
  • Chances to network with and learn from other authors—who can introduce you to their agents or publishers; help you get farther along the publishing path by sharing their experiences; or who can even end up being part of that much-needed support and/or critique group.
  • Help getting a grip on how the publishing industry works and what’s most likely to sell (or how to make your own story more marketable if it’s already written).
  • Insights on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing.
  • Great classes and panels that can help improve your craft.
  • A reminder about why you’re excited about writing!

The conferences listed below are obviously just a sampling of what’s out there. Many are sponsored by national organizations and “tour” different cities annually, and some are annual conferences held locally. If you can’t find a conference for your genre (categorized by genre/type), simply do an Internet search to see what you can find—though most conferences have classes that will help improve your craft and industry savvy no matter your genre.

General Writing/Publishing

Timpanogos Storytelling Conference
Usually at the end of August or beginning of September

League of Utah Writers Conference
Annual Fall Conference in usually in September; annual Spring Conference usually in April; local to Utah

UVU Book Academy
Usually in September, local to Utah

American Night Writers Association (ANWA) Writers Conference
Usually in September

LDS Publishing Professionals Association Conference
Usually in September, local to Utah

Write Here in Ephraim
Usually in October, local to Utah

LDStoryMakers Conference
Usually in May, local to Utah

Writing for Charity
Usually in March, local to Utah

Book Expo America
Held in June

Midwest Writers Workshop
Usually in September

Writers Digest Annual Conference
Held in August

Aspiring Authors Summit
Held in August

Kanab Writers Conference
Held in October, local to Utah’s beautiful red rock

Teen Writers Conference
Usually in June, local to Utah

Inspired Writer Retreats with Bridget Cook Burch
Held at various times during the year

Business Aspects of Writing and Publishing

Writing Superstars
Usually in February

Book Marketing Conference
Usually in March

Thriller

International Thriller Writer’s Conference “ThrillerFest
Usually in July

Romance

Romance Writers of America Conferences
Usually in July

Heart of the West—Romance Writers of America Utah Chapter
Usually in October

Children’s

Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers Conference
Usually in June

BYU Symposium on Books for Young Readers
Usually in July

Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators Conference
Annual Winter Conference in February; annual Summer Conference in July

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Salt Lake Comic Con
Usually in September; FanX™ in March

Sirens Conference (Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy)
Usually in October

Life, the Universe, & Everything Writer’s Conference —“LTUE”
Usually in February, local to Utah

Worldcon (More fan-based because it usually hosts the Hugo Awards. But there are many good panels and most major science fiction/fantasy publishing houses attend)
Usually in August

Dragon Con (Largest sci-fi/fantasy multimedia and pop culture convention; includes gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film)
Usually in August

World Fantasy Convention
Usually October/November

Westercon 
Usually in the summer

Mystery

Bouchercon World Mystery Convention
Usually in September

Local History, Religious, and Academic Writing and Networking

Family History and Genealogy Conference
Usually in July

BYU Campus Education Week
Usually in August

For the Love of Reading—UVU Forum on Engaged Reading
Usually in September

Sidney B. Sperry Symposium (religious education/academic)
Usually in October

BYU Church History Symposium (religious/academic
Usually in March

BYU Women’s Conference
Usually in May

One More Tip

Local libraries also host writers or publishing panels (publishers, editors, etc.), so add a few of those to your own list of resources. And if you live on a raft in the middle of the ocean and can’t get anywhere, there are writing and publishing blogs aplenty (which you obviously have access to if you’re reading this post)!

Coming Up Next

Stay tuned for our next post to learn how in the world to pitch to an agent—because we’re assuming you’ve taken our advice and signed up for a conference.

Chime in! We know there are a lot of fantasy/sci-fi options above, but speculative fiction is really big right now, so that’s our excuse. If you think we’ve left a genre underrepresented or ignored a critical conference, tells us your most favorite conference and why. Please share!

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this list, Angela. I have been looking into conferences lately in an attempt to expand my horizons a little bit 🙂

  2. Sabine Berlin says:

    I love Writing for Charity and LTUE. Both are inexpensive and have a great atmosphere about them! I went to WorldCon a few years ago and would love to go again! Hmmmmmm maybe London 2014? No matter what, conferences are great! Thanks for the list.

  3. Wow, I had no idea that there were so many conferences. Thanks for the list!

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