Blogger: Mary Keeley
As promised last week, I compiled a list of 2013 writers conferences for you today. I tried to find a variety in as many states as possible and included dates and locations. Why go to all the trouble? Because attending a writers conference will be one of the best boosts to your craft and career you can give yourself this year.
I want to stress this isn’t an exhaustive list. Most of the conferences have a Christian orientation, although I have included some for the general market. But the list is a good sampling of the many possibilities you can pursue within budget and time constraints. This list begins with March for obvious reasons, which means February conferences like the Writing for the Soul Conference, the Florida Christian Writers Conference, and others aren’t represented. But keep them in mind for next year.
American Christian Writers (Mentoring) Dallas, TX, March 15–16 www.acwriters.com
American Christian Writers (Conference) Oklahoma City, OK, March 22 -23 www.acwriters.com
National Christian Writers Conference, San Diego, CA, March 23 www.ncwcfr.com
Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Mount Hermon, CA, March 20–26 http://mounthermon.org/event/122
Write2ignite! Conference for Christian Writers of Literature for Children and Young Adults, North Greenville University, Tigerville, SC, March 15–16 http://write2ignite.com/
Minnesota Christian Writers Guild Spring Seminar, Edina, MN, April 13 www.mnchristianwriters.org
American Christian Writers (Mentoring), Nashville, TN, April 12–13 www.acwriters.com
Called to Write Conference, Pittsburg, KS, April 4–6 www.christianwritersgirard.org
Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Spartanburg, SC, April 19–20 http://www.fbs.org/ministries/education/carolina-christian-writers-conference/
Writing for Excellence Seminar, Fort Worth, TX, April 20 http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4370283636#
Writing Success One Day Conference, Stoneboro, PA, April 27 http://writingsuccess.info
Colorado Christian Writers Conference, Estes Park, CO, May 15–18 http://colorado.writehisanswer.com/
American Christian Writers (Mentoring), Charlotte, NC, May 17–18 www.acwriters.com
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Ridgecrest Conference Center, Asheville, NC area, May 19–23 http://ridgecrestconferencecenter.org/event/blueridgemountainchristianwritersconference
Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp, West Bend, WI area, May 26–June 1 http://nipbookcamp.wordpress.com/about/
Write to Publish, Wheaton, IL, June 5–8 http://www.writetopublish.com/
Santa Barbara Christian Writers Conference, Santa Barbara, CA, June 8–13 http://www.sbwriters.com/
American Christian Writers (Mentoring), Grand Rapids, MI, June 7–8 www.acwriters.com
Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop and Retreat, U of Wisconsin, Madison, June 17–21 http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/lsa/writing/wbtl/
Arkansas Writers Conference, Little Rock, AR, June 7–8 http://www.arkansas.com/events/details.aspx?id=86161
Southern Christian Writers Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL, June 7–8 http://www.scwconference.com/SCWConference.com/Registration_form.html
Wesleyan Writers Conference, Middleton, CT, June 12–16 http://www.wesleyan.edu/writing/conference/
Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, Elizabethtown, KY, June 20–22 www.kychristianwriters.com
Faithwriters.com Writing Conference, Portland, OR June 28–29 www.faithwriters.com/conference.php (details not posted yet)
Fiction Intensive, Tehachapi, CA, Date TBA www.laurainesnelling.net
American Christian Writers (Mentoring), Atlanta, GA, July 12–13 www.acwriters.com
Montrose Christian Writers Conference, Montrose, PA, July 21–26 http://www.montrosebible.org/writers.htm(These dates are correct, but website isn’t updated as of 2/28/13.)
Midwest Writers Conference, Muncie, IN, July 25–27 www.midwestwriters.org
SCBWI Annual Summer Conference for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Los Angeles, CA August 2–5 http://www.scbwi.org/Pages.aspx/International-Conferences (details not posted yet)
Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, Lansdale, PA, July 31-August 3 http://www.writehisanswer.com/philadelphia/ (These dates are correct, but website isn’t updated as of 2/28/13.)
American Christian Writers (Mentoring), Minneapolis, MN August 2–3 www.acwriters.com
Oregon Christians Writers Conference, Portland, OR, August 12–15 http://oregonchristianwriters.org/about-us/upcoming-events-2012/ocw-summer-conference-2013/
State of Maine Writers Conference, Ocean Park, ME, August 14–24 http://writing.shawguides.com/StateofMaineWritersConference Jim Brosnan, Jim.Brosnan@jwu.edu
Green Lake Christian Writers Conference, Green Lake, WI, August 18–23 http://www.glcc.org/Files/Conferences/Writers%202013.pdf
Southwest Writers Mini Conference, Albuquerque, NM, Date TBA www.southwestwriters.org
Catch The Wave Writers Conference (Christian Authors Guild), Peachtree Corners area of Norcross, GA, August 22–24 http://www.christianauthorsguild.org/2013-writers-conference/
American Christian Fiction Writers, Indianapolis, IN, September 13–15 http://www.acfw.com/conference/
Maranatha Christian Writers Conference, Muskegon, MI, September 24–28 http://www.maranatha-bmc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=44
American Christian Writers (Mentoring), Spokane, WA, September 27–28 www.acwriters.com
East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers Conference, Covington, GA, October 11-12 www.emacw.org
San Diego Christian Writers Guild Fall Conference, San Diego, CA, October 18–19 http://www.sandiegocwg.org/?p=6
Ozark Creative Writers Conference, Eureka Springs, AR, October 10–12 www.ozarkcreativewriters.org
Antelope Valley Christian Writers’ Conference, Lake Hughes, CA, October 10–12 http://www.avwriters.com/
Breathe Christian Writers Conference, Dutton, MI, October 18–19 www.breatheconference.com
East Texas Christian Writers Conference, East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, TX October 25–26. For current information as of 2/28/13: http://writing.shawguides.com/EastTexasChristianWritersConference
American Christian Writers (Conference), Phoenix, AZ, November 1–2 www.acwriters.com
American Christian Writers (Mentoring), Orlando, FL, November 22–23 www.acwriters.com
I hope this list provides enough information to inspire you to realize that a writers conference is within your reach this year. What conferences can you add to this list? If you’ve attended a writers conference or seminar in the past, which ones have benefited you most, and why?
Carol McAdams Moore
The first writers conference I attended was Write to Publish. Although I have added several others over time, I still attend Write to Publish every year.
I love attending a familiar conference. Since I am familiar with the basic set up (location, schedule, etc.), I can concentrate on the new information that speakers are presenting and on re-establishing contacts with writers and editors.
This year at Write to Publish, Rob Eagar is offering a boot camp for book marketing.
Write to Publish, Wheaton, IL, June 5–8 http://www.writetopublish.com/
Good point, Carol. Thanks.
Thank you, Mary. What a great list!! We need a reference like that.
You’re welcome, Sue. I’m sure there will be more to add from commenters.
Great list, thank you so much.
Every two years the Festival of Faith and Writing occurs at Calvin College in GR, MI. It will happen again in 2014.
Thanks, Lisa. That’s a good conference to add to next year’s list.
This is a comprehensive list, Mary. Thanks for sharing it! I can probably only do one bit conference for you this year, so I’m going to look at this list to choose wisely.
I had no idea there were so many conferences, Mary. I’m attending ACFW for the first time this year. I’m so excited I’m ready to start one of those count-down-the-days calendars, except that I have a lot to do between now and then.
I would add to your list the Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference, put on by Wesleyan Publishing House at their headquarters in November. It’s small enough that it’s not too intimidating for newbies but has great sessions for both fiction and nonfiction.
I feel like I’m live-streaming here, and this is a bummer! I just went to their website to get the URL and found out that the conference is postponed this year because of renovations. Perhaps that’s why it isn’t on your list. 🙂 Hopefully they’ll get it going again soon. Here’s the link anyway — http://www.indychristianwritersconf.com/.
Thanks, Meghan. Yes, I found out it was postponed the same way you just did.
Great list, Mary! I’ll be at ACFW this year. Last year was my first time to attend and it was an experience I hope to have every year. It was just so inspiring to be among people whot totally get me. I’ve said this before, but it truly was like coming home. My soul finally felt connected to others in a way it hadn’t before. God certainly used that conference in my life and I’m praying for the same this year!
Lindsay, thanks for your feedback about ACFW. You may have convinced some novelists to set a goal for this conference.
Thank you for an amazing list! And thanks for categorizing them by month. Now we plan. Drooling here…so many, many choices!
The Oregon Christian Writers Conference in August was a life-changing experience for me. I’m planning to attend this summer. Of course, it helps that I have a new grandchild only thirty minutes from Portland, Oregon!!
I’ll see you there! I’m so thankful for all the training and support OCW has provided over the years.
Kathryn, ah, to combine two wonderful events into one trip. Nice. OCW is known as a great teaching conference. I’ll see you there.
I have yet to go to a writer’s conference. I wish I could attend the April “Writing Success One Day Conference” in Stoneboro, PA which is not too far from my mother’s. However, I see they are sponsored by the “St Davids Christion Writers’ Conference” in Grove City PA that will be July which I may be able to attend.
Something to strive for.
Lori, I hope you can make one of these. You won’t regret it.
Wow! This is a great resource, Mary. The closest to me is in CT, but I would really like a Christian writers conference. I’ve always wanted to attend the CCWC in CO, but it haven’t made it yet. It’s on my goals list. Would also love to attend ACFW one year. Distance, cost, and lack of support from the hubby are obstacles, but I’m trying to work around them.
Thanks for sharing these. Hope you have a great weekend.
Cheryl, the Philly Conference in Lansdale, PA is similar to CCWC. Both are run by Marlene Bagnull. Is that closer to you?
I’m in Mass, so it’s definitely closer. It will take some rearranging either way, but I’m determined to find a way to make it happen.
Great list, Mary! Thank you!
I was a presenter at the 2012 East Texas Christian Writer’s Conference in October at East Texas Baptist University. It is a great conference. It is well-priced and ever-growing. 🙂
I have also attended a very nice conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in June of last year. It’s the Southern Christian Writers Conference. This year it is set for June 7-8.
More info here:
Morgan, thanks for your helpful recommendations.
I’m surprised at the cost of this conference. I’m going to pray about this. It’s inside my affordability range. Thank you, Morgan!
Kid…Candy Store…Ugg!! How to decide? Thanks for the great list, Mary.
You’re welcome, Kathryn. Check out websites of those you’re interested in. As faculty lists, general sessions, and workshops are posted, you might have an easier decision, based on what you’re hoping to get out of a conference this year.
Excellent list, Mary.
I’ll be attending the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference March 15-16 in Spokane, WA.
I went last year and found it very motivating. I’ll also be attending ACFW in Indy in September. I ADORE Mount Hermon . . . maybe next year.
Thanks, Jenny. Great suggestions from a seasoned conference goer. I’ll see you at ACFW.
What a wonderful list. It reads like a banquet!
I have attended Write to Publish several time and plan to this year too.
Also end of end of Feb into March each year is the Florida Christian Writers Conference. I sometime go to that, yes for the learning but also to get out of Ohio in dreary winter!
The Midwest Writers Conf in Muncie is also very good
Thanks for your input, Jean. I’ll see you at Write to Publish.
Thank you for all this research! I attend a great conference each year in Kansas City, and the group offers monthly meetings and critique groups all year. Great speakers, lots of editors and agents, but a relaxed atmosphere. HACWN.org.
Kathy, thanks for another conference recommendation. It might be the perfect choice for someone viewing this blog.
I’ll be attending Oregon Christian Writer’s week-long Summer Conference in August. I’ve attended many of the one day conferences, but this will be my first week long OCW conference and I’m looking forward to hearing from Liz Curtis Higgs & Georgene Rice. And getting another hug from an editor at Harvest House who has turned out to be one of my biggest encourager/cheerleaders. AND meeting Mary Keely in person, hopefully. 🙂
Keeley, my apologies!
Are you kidding? How have we not gotten you for the week before this??? 🙂 See you there!
Camille, you are in for a treat. The Summer OCW will not disappoint you. I’ll see you there.
Excellent list to have.
I’m so thankful to live down the mountain from Mount Hermon, and I look forward to attending again this year.
Jenni, you are blessed.
Mary, perhaps people would like to know which conferences you will be attending this year. I know you’ll be at Oregon Christian Writers in Portland August 12-15. You also mentioned attending ACFW in Indianapolis. Are there any others?
Marilyn, thanks for asking. In addition to OCW and ACFW, I’ll be at Write-to-Publish in June.
Great list, Mary! I’ve been to Mount Hermon several times and it’s a definite favorite of mine. As a 5-day conference, you have time to go around and meet almost all of the publishers, agents, and authors. And I’m always impressed how friendly and encouraging everyone is.
I’ve been to ACFW twice and have been amazed at the number of companies that are represented. The sheer number of editors, agents, and multi-published authors you can meet is stunning. This conference has a much more professional feel to it.
I always thought you had to attend the big national conferences to get anywhere in the writing business, but I met my editor at a regional conference–Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference. Not only do they have the summer conference, but they have several one-day conferences scattered through the year which are perfect for beginners.
Karen, thanks for the input from an experienced attendee perspective. I’ll see you at ACFW.
It was so kind of you to do this. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Patrice. I hope there is one on the list or in one of the comments that will work for you.
Last year I attended the ACFW Conference and it was a life changing experience. I cried tears of joy and amazement during each of the worship times, because I was in awe of being in a room of like-minded people who spoke the same heart language as me. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else. I plan to attend this year, as well and can’t wait. I’ve also been blessed by attending the My Book Therapy retreats and seminars offered by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. Learning from industry experts is vital, in my opinion. I know there is also a retreat/seminar in June hosted by the Minnesota Nice ACFW Chapter in Duluth each year. Thank you for this list.
You’re welcome, Gabrielle. And thank you for your great suggestions!
Once again, a very helpful post! Thank you, Mary.
I’ve known about ACFW for a few years now, but since my MSS weren’t ready to see the light of day, I felt like a nobody.
But after reading several agent/author blogs, I realized that I could have benefited in some way, even if I’m unpublished. So I’m signing up this year to see what I missed.
I can’t afford to attend the ACFW conference yet, but I hope I’ll be able to in the next couple of years. But I’ll get last year’s conference CDs to catch up.
Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about regional conferences because they are indeed more affordable, so I appreciate the suggestions.
Have a pleasant weekend!
Jan, I think it’s smart to attend a smaller conference the first time. It isn’t as intimidating, and you can acclimate to the general dynamics of a writers conference to prepare for maximum benefit from a large conference in the future. Smaller conferences usually are more relaxed with the possibility of more one-on-one time with editors and agents.
Donna Clark Goodrich
I’ll be teaching at the Inspirational Writers Alive conference in Amarillo, Texas, April 12-13. Email: Jerry McClenagan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Great to know. Thanks, Donna.
This is a great list; thank you! I’ve added a couple list to keep an eye on. (My dance card is already filled out for this year.)
You’re welcome, Peter.
As soon as I can covert the cost of the conference into “doggie dollars” I’m going to sign up for the Blue Ridge Mountains conference. It’s on my birthday. I’ll be 9 years old.
Two reasons to celebrate, Donnie. Enjoy the conference and your birthday.
Janet Ann Collins
You only included the Christian ones but I’ll be attending a local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators) weekend one in the Sacramento, CA area soon and that organization has lots of conferences in many locations. And I’m sure there are many other secular conferences that can be helpful, too. But nothing can compare to the Christian ones where we all share two of the most important things in our lives.
Janet, thanks for mentioning this conference in Sacramento, CA.
The SCBWI Summer Conference (August) is on the list. But the list was getting so long I had to leave other conferences off the list.
I’ll never stop singing the praises of writing conferences. I was intimidated leading up to my first (Writing for the Soul 2011) but I left with my feet 8 feet off the ground with multiple agents and publishers requesting my book proposal.
Later that year I attended the Indy Christian Writers Conference, which I was going to list here until seeing Meghan already had, along with the crushing news that 2013 was postponed.
At the 2011 Indy conference I signed with an agent I’d met at WFTS, along with continued VERY encouraging discussions with editors.
This year I’m *finally* planning on hitting Write to Publish. Bummed about no 2013 Indy Writers Conference.
My first two went from a large (WFTS) to small (Indy) and they were both GREAT, in different ways.
I’ve told people who asked that if they are ready to shop around, seriously pitch, or just get an idea if their idea has merit, take the plunge and go to a “big” one because there are more agents, editors, and others to talk to.
If they’re not quite to that point, and just want to talk nuts and bolts about writing (or budget is very tight) go to a smaller conference.
The basic information shared about the writing craft isn’t that different, so why not save the funds while getting started, and then invest more as you get to where it’s ready to send out.
I NEVER intended to be at WFTS for my first conference, but having corresponded with, met, and even begun a friendship with at least four of the faculty at the 2011 event (including Janet), I couldn’t pass it up, and will never forget that magical week!
Rich, thanks for sharing your experience and compelling words of encouragement and advice about attending conferences. I’m glad they worked out so well for you.
Thank you for the great detailed list of conferences nation wide, Mary.
You’re welcome, Carolyn. As I said, these are by no means all of them. To find more in your area, try Googling “writers conferences in [state]” or “Christian writers conferences in [state].
I’m hoping (saving) to go to ACFW in September. It will be my first conference, and I’m excited.
Thanks for the list!
Check out the 2013 Authors Networking Summit on October 5, 2013 in Houston, TX.
Thanks for helping us get the word out.
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Could you please add to your conference list the Spirit of Naples (SON) Storytellers Conference for Christian writers, screenwriters and filmmakers that will be held Oct. 3-7, 2013 in Naples, FL. We have an outstanding faculty lined up and more to come. For more information please visit http://www.sonfilmfest.com.