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
Ohio Christian Writers Conference11/1/20183MasonOHU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Historical Writers of America Conference11/1/20184ProvidenceRIU.S.WritersHistory
Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Booksl11/2/20182WaukeshaWIU.S.Festival
Wild Writers Literary Festival11/2/20183WaterlooONCanadaWriters
Olympic Peninsula Christian Writers Conference11/3/20181SequimWAU.S.WritersChristian
Jewish Book Fair11/3/201812DetroitMIU.S.FestivalJewish
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
C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference11/9/20182ConwayARU.S.Writers
New England Crime Bake11/9/20183WoburnMAU.S.WritersAgentsMystery
Louisiana Book Festival 11/10/20181Baton RougeLAU.S.Festival
Red Clay Writers Conference11/10/20181KennesawGAU.S.Writers
Portland Book Festival (formerly Wordstock)11/10/20181PortlandORU.S.Festival
Miami Book Fair11/16/20183MiamiFLU.S.Festival
Kentucky Book Festival11/17/20186LexingtonKYU.S.Festival
New York Pitch Conference12/13/20184New YorkNYU.S.WritersAgents
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
Bay to Ocean Writers Conference3/9/20191Wye MillsMDU.S.Writers
bookexpo3London Book Fair3/12/20193LondonU.K.PublishingFestival
Palm Beach Book Festival3/14/20193Palm BeachFLU.S.Festival
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 Book3/20/20195CharlottesvilleVAU.S.Festival
Write Stuff Writers Conference 3/21/20193BethlehemPAU.S.Writers
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
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
North Texas Book Festival4/6/20191DentonTXU.S.Festival
San Antonio Book Festival4/6/20191San AntonioTXU.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
Unbound Book Festival 4/18/20193ColumbiaMOU.S.Festival
Norwescon4/18/20194SeaTacWAU.S.WritersFestivalScience Fiction
Arkansas Literary Festival4/25/20194Little RockARU.S.Festival
Southern Kentucky Writers' Conference and Bookfest4/26/20192Bowling GreenKYU.S.WritersFestival
Chanticleer Authors Conference4/26/20193BellinghamWAU.S.WritersPublishingFestival
Midwest Literary Walk4/30/2019Not SetChelseaMIU.S.Festival
Michigan Christian Writers Conference4/30/2019Not SetLansingMIU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Alabama Book Festival4/30/2019Not SetMontgomeryALU.S.Festival
PEN World Voices Festival 4/30/2019Not SetNew YorkNYU.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
LDStorymakers Writers Conference5/9/20193ProvoUTU.S.WritersPublishingLDS
StokerCon Horror Writers Conference5/9/20194Grand RapidsMIU.S.WritersHorror
Lakefly Writers Conference5/10/20192OshkoshWIU.S.WritersAgents
Word on the Lake Writers' Festival5/10/20193Salmon ArmBCCanadaWriters
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
Pennwriters Conference5/17/20193PittsburghPAU.S.WritersAgents
Gaithersburg Book Festival5/18/20191GaithersburgMDU.S.Festival
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference5/19/20195AshevilleNCU.S.WritersPublishingAgentsChristian
Creative Nonfiction Writers' Conference5/23/20193PittsburghPAU.S.WritersAgentsNonfiction
Writefest5/27/20197HoustonTXU.S.Writers
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
Bronx Book Festival5/31/20191BronxNYU.S.Festival
Bronx Book Fair5/31/20191BronxNYU.S.Festival
Maine Crime Wave5/31/20192PortlandMEU.S.WritersCrime
Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference5/31/20197RiptonVTU.S.WritersEnvironment
Northwest Georgia Writers Conference5/31/2019Not SetCalhounGAU.S.Writers
Hawai'i Book & Music Festival5/31/2019Not SetHonoluluHIU.S.Festival
Literary Hill Bookfest5/31/2019Not SetWashingtonDCU.S.Festival
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
West Texas Writers' Academy6/10/20195CanyonTXU.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
Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference6/17/20197BemidjiMNU.S.Writers
Western Writers of America Convention6/19/20194TucsonAZU.S.WritersAgentsWesterns
Write-to-Publish Conference6/19/20194WheatonILU.S.WritersChristian
SoCal Christian Writers' Conference6/20/20193FullertonCAU.S.WritersChristian
bookexpo3American Library Association Annual Conference6/20/20196WashingtonDCU.S.ALA
Chuckanut Writers Conference6/21/20192BellinghamWAU.S.Writers
Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference6/21/20193Los AngelesCAU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
DFW Writers Conference6/22/20192HurstTXU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
bookexpo3CBA's International Christian Retail Show6/25/20194NashvilleTNU.S.CBA - Christian
bookexpo3ABA Children’s Institute6/26/20193PittsburghPAU.S.Children
Jackson Hole Writers Conference6/27/20193Jackson HoleWYU.S.Writers
Writers' League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference6/28/20193AustinTXU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Chautauqua Writers' Festival6/30/2019Not SetChautauquaNYU.S.Writers
Printers Row Lit Fest6/30/2019Not SetChicagoILU.S.Festival
Campbell Conference6/30/2019Not SetKansas CityMOU.S.WritersScience Fiction
Arkansas Writers' Conference6/30/2019Not SetLittle RockARU.S.WritersAgents
Memphis Literary Arts Festival6/30/2019Not SetMemphisTNU.S.Festival
Tin House Summer Workshop7/7/20198PortlandORU.S.Writers
Thrillerfest7/9/20195New YorkNYU.S.WritersAgentsFestivalThrillers
Southampton Writers Conference7/10/201912SouthamptonNYU.S.WritersMFA
Elephant Mountain Literary Festival7/11/20195NelsonBCCanadaWritersFestival
Northwestern Christian Writers Conference7/12/20192Saint PaulMNU.S.WritersChristian
Saskatchewan Festival of Words7/18/20194Moose JawSKCanadaWritersFestival
West Virginia Writers' Workshop7/18/20194MorgantownWVU.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
She Speaks Conference7/25/20193ConcordNCU.S.WritersChristian
Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival7/31/2019Not SetDenman IslandBCCanadaWritersFestival
Bookstock Literary Festival7/31/2019Not SetWoodstockVTU.S.Festival
Antioch Writers' Summer Workshop7/31/2019Not SetYellow SpringsOHU.S.Writers
Florida Authors & Publishers Annual Conference8/2/20192OrlandoFLU.S.WritersPublishing
North Carolina Christian Writers Conference8/8/20193LibertyNCU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Book Passages Travel Writers & Photographers Conference8/8/20194Corte MaderaCAU.S.WritersTravel
When Words Collide8/9/20193CalgaryABCanadaWritersFestival
Oregon Christian Writers Conference8/12/20194PortlandORU.S.WritersAgentsChristian
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference8/14/201911RiptonVTU.S.Writers
Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts8/15/20194SecheltBCCanadaWritersFestival
Mississippi Book Festival8/17/20191JacksonMSU.S.Festival
Killer Nashville Writers' Conference8/22/20194NashvilleTNU.S.WritersAgentsMystery
HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers8/23/20193LancasterPAU.S.WritersNonfiction
Decatur Book Festival8/30/20193DecaturGAU.S.WritersFestival
Library of Congress National Book Festival8/31/20191WashingtonDCU.S.Festival
10 Min Con - Small Things Brought Together8/31/2019Not SetCincinnatiOHU.S.Writers
Writers' Police Academy8/31/2019Not SetGreen BayWIU.S.Writers
Cape Cod Writers Center Conference8/31/2019Not SetHyannisMAU.S.Writers
SCBWI Summer Conference8/31/2019Not SetLos AngelesCAU.S.WritersPublishingChildren
Writer's Digest Annual Conference8/31/2019Not SetNew YorkNYU.S.WritersPublishingAgents
Writers at Woody Point8/31/2019Not SetNorris PointNLCanadaWritersFestival
Willamette Writers Conference8/31/2019Not SetPortlandORU.S.WritersAgents
Pennsylvania Writers Conference8/31/2019Not SetWilkes-BarrePAU.S.Writers
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers - Colorado Gold Conf.9/6/20193DenverCOU.S.WritersAgentsFiction
Kerrytown Book Festival9/8/20191Ann ArborMIU.S.Festival
Digital Book World9/10/20193NashvilleTNU.S.Publishing
PNWA Summer Conference9/12/20194SeattleWAU.S.WritersAgents
Creatures, Crimes & Creativity9/13/20193ColumbiaMDU.S.FestivalGenre Fiction
Alaska Writers Guild Annual Conference (SCBWI & RWA)9/20/20192AnchorageAKU.S.WritersAgents
Southern California Writers' Conference9/20/20193IrvineCAU.S.WritersAgents
Bread Loaf in Sicily9/22/20197EriceSicilyItalyWriters
WORD Vancouver9/25/20195VancouverBCCanadaFestival
Harbor Springs Festival of the Book9/27/20193Harbor SpringsMIU.S.Festival
Baltimore Book Festival9/30/2019Not SetBaltimoreMDU.S.Festival
Brooklyn Book Festival9/30/2019Not SetBrooklynNYU.S.Festival
Chattahoochee Valley Writers Authorpreneurship9/30/2019Not SetColumbusGAU.S.Writers
Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference9/30/2019Not SetCorte MaderaCAU.S.WritersMystery
Florence Festival of Books9/30/2019Not SetFlorenceORU.S.Festival
History Book Festival9/30/2019Not SetLewesDEU.S.FestivalHistory
Kentucky Women Writers Conference9/30/2019Not SetLexingtonKYU.S.Writers
Montana Book Festival9/30/2019Not SetMissoulaMTU.S.Festival
American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference9/30/2019Not SetNashvilleTNU.S.WritersChristian
Unicorn Writers' Conference9/30/2019Not SetPurchaseNYU.S.Writers
Central Coast Writers Conference9/30/2019Not SetSan Luis ObispoCAU.S.Writers
Florida Heritage Book Festival9/30/2019Not SetSt. AugustineFLU.S.WritersPublishingAgentsFestival
Penned Con9/30/2019Not SetSt. LouisMOU.S.WritersFestival
Bookfest St. Louis9/30/2019Not SetSt. LouisMOU.S.Festival
Novelists Inc. (NINC) Conference9/30/2019Not SetSt. PetersburgFLU.S.WritersAgentsFiction
bookexpo3Southern Independent Booksellers Association9/30/2019Not SetTampaFLU.S.Regional ABA
Toronto Book & Magazine Festival9/30/2019Not SetTorontoONCanadaFestival
bookexpo3New England Independent Booksellers Association10/2/20193ProvidenceRIU.S.Regional ABA
bookexpo3Heartland Fall Forum10/2/20193ClevelandOHU.S.Regional ABA
South Dakota Festival of Books10/3/20194Rapid CitySDU.S.WritersFestival
Fall Literary Festival10/4/20192YoungstownOHU.S.WritersFestival
Write on the Sound Writers' Conference10/4/20193EdmondsWAU.S.Writers
bookexpo3Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association10/6/20193PortlandORU.S.Regional ABA
Morristown Festival of Books10/11/20192MorristownNJU.S.Festival
bookexpo3New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association10/15/20193Cherry HillNJU.S.Regional ABA
bookexpo3Frankfurt Book Fair10/16/20195FranfortGermanyPublishing
Brattleboro Literary Festival10/17/20194BrattleboroVTU.S.Festival
Whistler Writers Festival10/17/20194WhistlerBCCanadaWritersPublishingAgents
New Jersey Romance Writers Conference10/18/20192IselinNJU.S.WritersRomance
New England Romance Reader-Writer Conference10/18/20192ManchesterNHU.S.Writers
Las Vegas Book Festival10/19/20191Las VegasNVU.S.Festival
Bouchercon World Mystery Convention10/31/20194DallasTXU.S.WritersMystery
Iowa City Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetIowa CityIAU.S.FestivalHistory
bookexpo3Northern California Independent Booksellers Association10/31/2019Not SetOaklandCAU.S.Regional ABA
Declare Conference10/31/2019Not SetDallasTXU.S.WritersChristian
Moonlight & Magnolias Writers' Conference10/31/2019Not SetAtlantaGAU.S.WritersAgentsRomance
InD'Scribe Indie Author and Reader Conference10/31/2019Not SetBurbankCAU.S.WritersPublishingRomance
Wordfest10/31/2019Not SetCalgaryABCanadaFestivalNonfiction
Fall for the Book10/31/2019Not SetFairfaxVAU.S.Festival
bookexpo3Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association10/31/2019Not SetDenverCOU.S.Regional ABA
Ozark Creative Writers' Conference10/31/2019Not SetEureka SpringsARU.S.WritersPublishing
Kanab Writers Conference10/31/2019Not SetKanabUTU.S.Writers
Harrisburg Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetHarrisburgPAU.S.Festival
Wisconsin Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetMadisonWIU.S.Festival
Litquake10/31/2019Not SetSan FranciscoCAU.S.Festival
LitFest Alberta (Edmonton)10/31/2019Not SetEdmontonABCanadaFestival
Burlington Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetBurlingtonVTU.S.Festival
The Southern Festival of Books10/31/2019Not SetNashvilleTNU.S.Festival
Boston Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetBostonMAU.S.Festival
Deep Valley Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetMankatoMNU.S.Festival
Great Valley Bookfest10/31/2019Not SetMantecaCAU.S.Festival
Twin Cities Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetMinneapolisMNU.S.Festival
Williamsburg Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetWilliamsburgVAU.S.Festival
Buck county Book Fest10/31/2019Not SetDoylestownPAU.S.Festival
The Vancouver Writers Fest10/31/2019Not SetVancouverBCCanadaFestival
Chippewa Valley Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetEau ClaireWIU.S.Festival
Writing by Writers Tomales Bay Workshop10/31/2019Not SetMarshallCAU.S.Writers
West Texas Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetAbileneTXU.S.Festival
Florida Writers Assoc. Annual Conference10/31/2019Not SetAltamonte SpringsFLU.S.WritersAgents
Toronto International Festival of Authors10/31/2019Not SetTorontoONCanadaFestival
Fort Collins Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetFort CollinsCOU.S.Festival
Surrey International Writers Conference10/31/2019Not SetSurreyBCCanadaWritersAgents
Books by the Banks Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetCincinnatiOHU.S.Festival
Read Up, Greenville10/31/2019Not SetGreenvilleSCU.S.Festival
Oklahoma Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetOklahoma CityOKU.S.Festival
bookexpo3Southern California Independent Booksellers Association10/31/2019Not SetSan GabrielCAU.S.Regional ABA
Jewish Book Festival10/31/2019Not SetRochesterNYU.S.FestivalJewish
Women Writing the West Conference10/31/2019Not SetWalla WallaWAU.S.WritersAgents
West Virginia Book Festival 10/31/2019Not SetCharlestonWVU.S.Festival
La Jolla Writer's Conference 10/31/2019Not SetLa JollaCAU.S.Writers
Emerald City Writers' Conference 10/31/2019Not SetBellevueWAU.S.WritersRomance
Pawleys Island Writers’ Conference10/31/2019Not SetPawleys IslandSCU.S.Writers
Texas Book Festival 10/31/2019Not SetAustinTXU.S.Festival
Left Coast Crime's Annual Mystery Convention3/11/20206San DiegoCAU.S.WritersPublishingAgentsCrime
bookexpo3American Library Association Annual Conference6/25/20206ChicagoILU.S.ALA
Bouchercon World Mystery Convention10/15/20204SacramentoCAU.S.WritersMystery

*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.