Writers Conferences and Book Festivals

There are many excellent conferences for writers seeking to expand their writing skills, learn more about the business of publishing, connect with an agent or publisher, or just get inspiration and encouragement from published authors. These vary from large writers conferences with thousands of attendees to small, intimate writing retreats. The conferences and retreats offer a variety of training and opportunities for the attendees.  You can click on the name of the conference to go to their website for more detailed information, but we have indicated some of the key types of content.

Writers - Conferences and retreats that provided training on the art of writing. Conferences which only have this indicator will have the strongest focus on helping you to be a better writer.

Publishing - These conferences will have classes in the business of publishing, especially on self-publishing. These classes often focus on ways to market your book.

Agents - Agents and acquisition editors from traditional publishers attend some conferences looking for excellent manuscripts. If it is indicated that there are agents at the conference, there will usually be some structured way for an author to pitch their manuscript to the agents and editors. These sessions fill up quickly so apply early. The quality of the agents and editors that attend the conferences will vary.

Festivals - A book festival is more of a celebration of books, but some may have writing conferences associated with them. Often there are opportunities for authors to do readings and/or sell their books at festivals.

Specialty - Unless otherwise indicated, the conferences and festivals listed here are for all genres of books. We do not list conferences that specialize in poetry.

Top Conferences - Conferences that we know to provide excellent curriculum and exceptional faculty are noted by the Thumbs up 50 symbol.

Special Trade Shows - We have included some large book industry trade shows bookexpo3 that may be useful to some authors and independent publishers. The primary purpose of these shows is to facilitate introducing new books to book retailers and libraries. These shows are becoming more open to small, independent publishers, including self-publishing authors.

Additions, corrections, or questions about the list? Use our Feedback Form.

So which one is correct?

Is it Writers, Writer's or Writers'?

We follow the AWP and use Writers, but we leave each conference's listing as they use it.

TopNameStart Date*DaysCityStateCountryWritersPublishingAgentsFestivalSpecialty
North Carolina Christian Writers Conference9/6/20183LibertyNCU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Bouchercon World Mystery Convention9/6/20184St. PetersburgFLU.S.WritersMystery
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers - Colorado Gold Conf.9/6/20184DenverCOU.S.WritersAgentsFiction
Kerrytown Book Festival9/9/20181Ann ArborMIU.S.Festival
Brooklyn Book Festival9/10/20188BrooklynNYU.S.Festival
bookexpo3Southern Independent Booksellers Association9/13/20183TampaFLU.S.Regional ABA
Kentucky Women Writers Conference9/13/20184LexingtonKYU.S.Writers
PNWA Summer Conference9/13/20184SeattleWAU.S.WritersAgents
Unicorn Writers' Conference9/15/20181PurchaseNYU.S.Writers
Penned Con9/20/20183St. LouisMOU.S.WritersFestival
American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference9/20/20184NashvilleTNU.S.WritersChristian
South Dakota Festival of Books9/20/20184Rapid CitySDU.S.WritersFestival
Alaska Writers Guild Annual Conference (SCBWI & RWA)9/21/20182AnchorageAKU.S.WritersAgents
Southern California Writers' Conference9/21/20183IrvineCAU.S.WritersAgents
Florida Heritage Book Festival9/22/20181St. AugustineFLU.S.WritersPublishingAgentsFestival
Toronto Book & Magazine Festival9/23/20181TorontoONCanadaFestival
Bread Loaf in Sicily9/23/20187EriceSicilyItalyWriters
WORD Vancouver9/24/20187VancouverBCCanadaFestival
bookexpo3New England Independent Booksellers Association9/25/20183ProvidenceRIU.S.Regional ABA
Novelists Inc. (NINC) Conference9/26/20185St. PetersburgFLU.S.WritersAgentsFiction
New York Pitch Conference9/27/20184New YorkNYU.S.WritersAgents
Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference9/27/20184Corte MaderaCAU.S.WritersMystery
Montana Book Festival9/27/20184MissoulaMTU.S.Festival
Harbor Springs Festival of the Book9/28/20183Harbor SpringsMIU.S.Festival
Baltimore Book Festival9/28/20183BaltimoreMDU.S.Festival
bookexpo3Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association9/28/20183TacomaWAU.S.Regional ABA
Chattahoochee Valley Writers Authorpreneurship9/29/20181ColumbusGAU.S.Writers
Digital Book World10/2/20183NashvilleTNU.S.Publishing
bookexpo3Heartland Fall Forum10/3/20183MinneapolisMNU.S.Regional ABA
bookexpo3Northern California Independent Booksellers Association10/3/20183OaklandCAU.S.Regional ABA
Declare Conference10/4/20183DallasTXU.S.WritersChristian
Moonlight & Magnolias Writers' Conference10/4/20184AtlantaGAU.S.WritersAgentsRomance
InD'Scribe Indie Author and Reader Conference10/4/20184BurbankCAU.S.WritersPublishingRomance
Creatures, Crimes & Creativity10/5/20183ColumbiaMDU.S.FestivalGenre Fiction
Write on the Sound Writers' Conference10/5/20183EdmondsWAU.S.Writers
bookexpo3New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association10/6/20183BaltimoreMDU.S.Regional ABA
Wordfest10/8/20187CalgaryABCanadaFestival
bookexpo3Frankfurt Book Fair10/10/20185FranfortGermanyPublishing
Ozark Creative Writers' Conference10/11/20183Eureka SpringsARU.S.WritersPublishing
bookexpo3Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association10/11/20183DenverCOU.S.Regional ABA
Whistler Writers Festival10/11/20184WhistlerBCCanadaWritersPublishingAgents
Brattleboro Literary Festival10/11/20184BrattleboroVTU.S.Festival
Litquake10/11/201810San FranciscoCAU.S.Festival
Burlington Book Festival10/12/20183BurlingtonVTU.S.Festival
The Southern Festival of Books10/12/20183NashvilleTNU.S.Festival
Great Valley Bookfest10/13/20181MantecaCAU.S.Festival
Twin Cities Book Festival10/13/20181MinneapolisMNU.S.Festival
Boston Book Festival10/13/20181BostonMAU.S.Festival
The Vancouver Writers Fest10/15/20188VancouverBCCanadaFestival
Writing by Writers Tomales Bay Workshop10/17/20185MarshallCAU.S.Writers
Florida Writers Assoc. Annual Conference10/18/20184Altamonte SpringsFLU.S.WritersAgents
International Festival of Authors10/18/201811TorontoONCanadaFestival
New Jersey Romance Writers Conference10/19/20182IselinNJU.S.WritersRomance
Surrey International Writers Conference10/19/20183SurreyBCCanadaWritersAgents
Books by the Banks Book Festival10/20/20181CincinnatiOHU.S.Festival
Read Up, Greenville10/20/20181GreenvilleSCU.S.Festival
bookexpo3Southern California Independent Booksellers Association10/20/20182San GabrielCAU.S.Regional ABA
Women Writing the West Conference10/25/20184Walla WallaWAU.S.WritersAgents
Emerald City Writers' Conference 10/26/20183BellevueWAU.S.WritersRomance
Texas Book Festival 10/27/20182AustinTXU.S.Festival
Ohio Christian Writers Conference11/1/20183MasonOHU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Historical Writers of America Conference11/1/20184ProvidenceRIU.S.WritersHistory
Kauai Writers Conference11/5/20187KauaiHIU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
ECPA PUBu11/6/20182NashvilleTNU.S.PublishingCBA - Christian
Nonfiction Writers Conference11/8/20182onlineU.S.WritersPublishingNonfiction
Sanibel Island Writers Conference11/8/20184Sanibel IslandFLU.S.Writers
New England Crime Bake11/9/20183WoburnMAU.S.WritersAgentsMystery
Louisiana Book Festival 11/10/20181Baton RougeLAU.S.Festival
Wordstock 11/10/20181PortlandORU.S.Festival
Miami Book Fair11/16/20183MiamiFLU.S.Festival
Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway1/18/20194Atlantic CityNJU.S.Writers
Writers in Paradise Conference1/19/20198St. PetersburgFLU.S.Writers
bookexpo3ABA Winter Institute1/22/20194AlbuquerqueNMU.S.ALA
Tin House Winter Workshop (Nonfiction)1/25/20195NewportORU.S.Writers
bookexpo3American Library Association Midwinter Meeting1/25/20195SeattleWAU.S.ALA
SDSU Writers' Conference1/31/20193San DiegoCAU.S.Writers
Todos Santos Writers Workshop2/2/20198Todos SantosBajaMexicoWriters
PubWest2/7/20193Santa FeNMU.S.Publishing
SCBWI Winter Conference2/8/20193New YorkNYU.S.WritersPublishingChildren
Tin House Winter Workshop (Novel)2/8/20195NewportORU.S.Writers
International Writers' Conference & Literary Festival2/13/20195San Miguel de AllendeGTOMexicoWriters
Amelia Island Book Festival2/14/20193Amelia IsalndFLU.S.Festival
Savannah Book Festival2/14/20194SavannahGAU.S.Festival
San Francisco Writers Conference2/14/20195San FranciscoCAU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Southern California Writers' Conference2/16/20193San DiegoCAU.S.WritersAgents
The Dahlonega Book Festival3/1/20192DahlonegaGAU.S.Festival
The Augusta Literary Festival3/2/20191AugustaGAU.S.Festival
The Tucson Festival of Books3/2/20192TucsonAZU.S.Festival
bookexpo3London Book Fair3/12/20193LondonU.K.PublishingFestival
SleuthFest3/14/20194Boca RatonFLU.S.WritersPublishingAgentsMystery
Writing by Writers Workshop at Boulder3/15/20193BoulderCOU.S.Writers
UND Writers Conference3/20/20193Grand ForksNDU.S.Writers
Virginia Festival of the Book3/24/20195CharlottesvilleVAU.S.Festival
AWP Writers' Conference and Bookfair3/27/20194PortlandORU.S.Writers
Tennessee Williams - New Orleans Literary Festival3/27/20195New OrleansLAU.S.Festival
Left Coast Crime's Annual Mystery Convention3/28/20194VancouverBCCanadaWritersPublishingAgentsCrime
Creative Ink Festival for Writers, Readers, and Artist3/29/20193BurnabyBCCanadaWritersPublishing
Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference3/30/20192IselinNJU.S.Writers
Write Stuff Writers Conference 3/31/2019Not SetBethlehemPAU.S.Writers
PubTechConnect3/31/2019Not SetNew YorkNYU.S.Publishing
UW-Madison's Writer's Institute4/4/20194MadisonWIU.S.WritersPublishing
IBPA Publishing University4/5/20192ChicagoILU.S.WritersPublishing
Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace Conference4/5/20193BostonMAU.S.WritersPublishing
Writing by Writers Manuscript Boot Camp4/5/20194Tahoe CityCAU.S.Writers
San Antonio Book Festival4/6/20191San AntonioTXU.S.Festival
North Texas Book Festival4/6/20191DentonTXU.S.Festival
International Book Fair of Quebec4/10/20195Quebec CityQCCanadaFestivalFrench
Word of South Festival of Literature and Music4/12/20193TallahasseeFLU.S.Festival
Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference4/12/20195Mount HermonCAU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Los Angeles Festival of Books4/13/20192Los AngelesCAU.S.Festival
Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival4/15/20193VictoriaBCCanadaFestival
Norwescon4/18/20194SeaTacWAU.S.WritersFestivalScience Fiction
Unbound Book Festival 4/18/20193ColumbiaMOU.S.Festival
Southern Kentucky Writers' Conference and Bookfest4/26/20192Bowling GreenKYU.S.WritersFestival
Chanticleer Authors Conference4/26/20193BellinghamWAU.S.WritersPublishingFestival
Writefest4/30/2019Not SetHoustonTXU.S.Writers
Midwest Literary Walk4/30/2019Not SetChelseaMIU.S.Festival
Michigan Christian Writers Conference4/30/2019Not SetLansingMIU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Palm Beach Book Festival4/30/2019Not SetPalm BeachFLU.S.Festival
PEN World Voices Festival 4/30/2019Not SetNew YorkNYU.S.Festival
Alabama Book Festival4/30/2019Not SetMontgomeryALU.S.Festival
Arkansas Literary Festival4/30/2019Not SetLittle RockARU.S.Festival
North East Texas Writers' Organization Writers Conference4/30/2019Not SetPittsburghTXU.S.WritersPublishing
Las Vegas Writers Conference5/2/20193Las VegasNVU.S.WritersPublishing
Northern Colorado Writers Conference 5/3/20192Fort CollinsCOU.S.WritersAgents
Oklahoma Writers Conference5/3/20192Oklahoma CityOKU.S.Writers
Pikes Peak Writers' Conference5/3/20193Colorado SpringsCOU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Bay Area Book Festival5/4/20192BerkeleyCAU.S.Festival
ASJA's Annual Writers Conference5/5/20192New YorkNYU.S.WritersNonfiction
StokerCon Horror Writers Conference5/9/20194Grand RapidsMIU.S.WritersHorror
LDStorymakers Writers Conference5/9/20193ProvoUTU.S.WritersPublishingLDS
Word Play5/11/20192MinneapolisMNU.S.Festival
Colorado Christian Writers Conference5/15/20194Estes ParkCOU.S.WritersChristian
Missouri Writers' Guild Annual Conference5/17/20193Cape GirardeauMOU.S.Writers
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference5/19/20195AshevilleNCU.S.WritersPublishingAgentsChristian
Creative Nonfiction Writers' Conference5/23/20193PittsburghPAU.S.WritersAgentsNonfiction
bookexpo3BEA - BookExpo America5/29/20193New YorkNYU.S.Publishing
bookexpo3New York Book Rights Fair5/29/20193New YorkNYU.S.Publishing
Bear River Writers' Conference5/30/20195Walloon LakeMIU.S.Writers
Maine Crime Wave5/31/20192PortlandMEU.S.WritersCrime
Hawai'i Book & Music Festival5/31/2019Not SetHonoluluHIU.S.Festival
Literary Hill Bookfest5/31/2019Not SetWashingtonDCU.S.Festival
Word on the Lake Writers' Festival5/31/2019Not SetSalmon ArmBCCanadaWriters
Lakefly Writers Conference5/31/2019Not SetOshkoshWIU.S.WritersAgents
Pennwriters Conference5/31/2019Not SetLancasterPAU.S.WritersAgents
Gaithersburg Book Festival5/31/2019Not SetGaithersburgMDU.S.Festival
Northwest Georgia Writers Conference5/31/2019Not SetCalhounGAU.S.Writers
Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference5/31/2019Not SetRiptonVTU.S.WritersEnvironment
BookCon At BEA6/1/20192New YorkNYU.S.Festival
Iowa Summer Writing Festival6/1/201961Iowa CityIAU.S.WritersFestival
Nantucket Book Festival6/4/20193NantucketMAU.S.Festival
The Writer's Hotel Master Class6/5/20197New YorkNYU.S.Writers
Southeastern Writers Workshop6/7/20195St. Simons IslandGAU.S.Writers
Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference6/14/20195HomerAKU.S.WritersAgents
Santa Barbara Writers Conference6/16/20196Santa BarbaraCAU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Write-by-the-Lake Writer's Workshop and Retreat6/17/20195MadisonWIU.S.Writers
Write-to-Publish Conference6/19/20194WheatonILU.S.WritersChristian
Western Writers of America Convention6/19/20194TucsonAZU.S.WritersAgentsWesterns
bookexpo3American Library Association Annual Conference6/20/20196WashingtonDCU.S.ALA
Chuckanut Writers Conference6/21/20192BellinghamWAU.S.Writers
DFW Writers Conference6/22/20192HurstTXU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
bookexpo3CBA's International Christian Retail Show6/25/20194NashvilleTNU.S.CBA - Christian
Jackson Hole Writers Conference6/27/20193Jackson HoleWYU.S.Writers
Printers Row Lit Fest6/30/2019Not SetChicagoILU.S.Festival
Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Conference6/30/2019Not SetCorte MaderaCAU.S.WritersChildren
Memphis Literary Arts Festival6/30/2019Not SetMemphisTNU.S.Festival
Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference6/30/2019Not SetBemidjiMNU.S.Writers
bookexpo3ABA Children’s Institute6/30/2019Not SetNew OrleansLAU.S.Children
Chautauqua Writers' Festival6/30/2019Not SetChautauquaNYU.S.Writers
SoCal Christian Writers' Conference6/30/2019Not SetLa MiradaCAU.S.WritersChristian
Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference6/30/2019Not SetLos AngelesCAU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Campbell Conference6/30/2019Not SetKansas CityMOU.S.WritersScience Fiction
Writers' League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference6/30/2019Not SetAustinTXU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Arkansas Writers' Conference6/30/2019Not SetLittle RockARU.S.WritersAgents
West Texas Writers' Academy6/30/2019Not SetCanyonTXU.S.Writers
Sun Valley Writers' Conference7/20/20194Sun ValleyIDU.S.Writers
Detroit Festival of Books7/21/20191DetroitMIU.S.Festival
Romance Writers of America Annual Conference7/24/20194New YorkNYU.S.WritersAgentsRomance
Tin House Summer Workshop7/31/2019Not SetPortlandORU.S.Writers
Antioch Writers' Summer Workshop7/31/2019Not SetYellow SpringsOHU.S.Writers
Thrillerfest7/31/2019Not SetNew YorkNYU.S.WritersAgentsFestivalThrillers
Elephant Mountain Literary Festival7/31/2019Not SetNelsonBCCanadaWritersFestival
Southampton Writers Conference7/31/2019Not SetSouthamptonNYU.S.WritersMFA
Northwestern Christian Writers Conference7/31/2019Not SetSaint PaulMNU.S.WritersChristian
Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival7/31/2019Not SetDenman IslandBCCanadaWritersFestival
West Virginia Writers' Workshop7/31/2019Not SetMorgantownWVU.S.Writers
Saskatchewan Festival of Words7/31/2019Not SetMoose JawSKCanadaWritersFestival
Midwest Writers Workshop7/31/2019Not SetMuncieINU.S.WritersAgents
She Speaks Conference7/31/2019Not SetConcordNCU.S.WritersChristian
Bookstock Literary Festival7/31/2019Not SetWoodstockVTU.S.Festival
When Words Collide8/9/20193CalgaryABCanadaWritersFestival
Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts8/15/20194SecheltBCCanadaWritersFestival
Mississippi Book Festival8/17/20191JacksonMSU.S.Festival
10 Min Con - Small Things Brought Together8/31/2019Not SetCincinnatiOHU.S.Writers
Book Passages Travel Writers & Photographers Conference8/31/2019Not SetCorte MaderaCAU.S.WritersTravel
Writers' Police Academy8/31/2019Not SetGreen BayWIU.S.Writers
Writer's Digest Annual Conference8/31/2019Not SetNew YorkNYU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Writers at Woody Point8/31/2019Not SetNorris PointNLCanadaWritersFestival
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference8/31/2019Not SetRiptonVTU.S.Writers
Oregon Christian Writers Conference8/31/2019Not SetJantzen BeachORU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Killer Nashville Writers' Conference8/31/2019Not SetNashvilleTNU.S.WritersAgentsMystery
HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers8/31/2019Not SetLancasterPAU.S.WritersNonfiction
Decatur Book Festival8/31/2019Not SetDecaturGAU.S.WritersFestival
Cape Cod Writers Center Conference8/31/2019Not SetHyannisMAU.S.Writers
Pennsylvania Writers Conference8/31/2019Not SetWilkes-BarrePAU.S.Writers
Florida Authors & Publishers Annual Conference8/31/2019Not SetOrlandoFLU.S.WritersPublishing
Willamette Writers Conference8/31/2019Not SetPortlandORU.S.WritersAgents
SCBWI Summer Conference8/31/2019Not SetLos AngelesCAU.S.WritersPublishingChildren
New England Romance Reader-Writer Conference10/18/20192ManchesterNHU.S.Writers
Left Coast Crime's Annual Mystery Convention3/11/20206San DiegoCAU.S.WritersPublishingAgentsCrime
Okanagan Valley Writers' Festival4/30/2020Not SetPentictonBCCanadaWritersPublishingAgents
bookexpo3American Library Association Annual Conference6/25/20206ChicagoILU.S.ALA

*Always check the conference website for the latest information and to confirm the dates. Some of the dates we have listed are placeholders (indicated by "Not Set") if the conference has not announced the dates for next year's sessions. This list is updated monthly.