Check here for the latest list of upcoming conferences and events of interest for writers and publishing professionals. The listing is in order of calendar date and is updated monthly.
The Humanities Council of South Carolina
The festival presents authors, poets, and scholars to the readers and writers of South Carolina free of charge. Workshops are also available for a fee.
Backspace presents three days of panel discussions, workshops, and one-on-one editorial critiques. The scheduled keynote speaker is young adult author A.S. King, and the scheduled workshop instructor is Donald Maass, of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.
The United Kingdom’s definitive conference on digital publishing features industry professionals, publishing executives, literary agents and booksellers. Topics include the all-important content strategies, discoverability and pricing, gamification, global distribution and more.
Wisconsin Romance Writers of America
WisRWA holds an annual conference where members learn, network, and meet with editors/agents. The scheduled keynote speaker is story and script consultant Michael Hauge.
Florida Institute of Technology
The Institute includes a variety of classes and one-time lectures for almost any interest and ability: beginning and advanced fiction; novel-writing; poetry; creative nonfiction; journalism; screenwriting; playwriting; science fiction; writing for children and adolescents; mystery writing; historical fiction; writing for independent film; fantasy and horror writing; and writing for comic books.
The Printers Row Book Fest is considered the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest, drawing 125,000 book lovers to the two-day showcase. More than 200 booksellers from across the country display new, used and antiquarian books, and more than 200 authors participate in panels, discussions and a variety of other programs.
Trista Ann Michaels
This is the second annual RomFest conference. The special guest this year is American forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass. Registration includes author panels, reader events, meals and evening parties.
Historical Novel Society
The society has over 900 members worldwide including authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians and general readers. The conference location alternates between the USA and England. (The 2012 event was held at the University of Westminster in central London.) Guests of Honor in 2013 will be Anne Perry and Steve Berry. Check the website soon for more information.
The Conference covers all aspects of writing and illustrating for children—from developing ideas to honing skills to finding a publisher. Participants will work closely with other writers and illustrators, as well as with agents, editors, and publishers.
RomCon – Where Romances Rules
RomCon is a conference for romance authors and readers and features over 80 events including opportunities for authors and readers to interact face-to-face.
When Words Collide
When Words Collide is a festival for readers, writers, artists and publishers of commercial and literary fiction, including genre, YA, Childrens books, and Poetry. A writers’ workshop is held just prior to the conference. Guests of Honor include Patricia Briggs (Historical Fantasy, Fantasy), Barbara Fradkin (Mystery), Michael Cassutt (Screenwriter, SF, non-fiction), D.B. Jackson (Historical Fantasy), David B. Coe (Epic Fantasy), Shirlee Smith Matheson (Children’s, YA, non-fiction), Jamis Paulson (Editor, Turnstone/Ravenstone Press).
International Thriller Writers
A celebration of thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them. The four-day event includes author panels, classes, workshops, the CraftFest and AgentFest. Special Guests include Anne Rice and R.L. Stine.
Readercon is an annual conference devoted to “imaginative literature” — literary science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the unclassifiable works often called “slipstream.” Although modeled on “science fiction conventions,” there is no art show, no costumes, no gaming, and almost no media. Instead, Readercon features a near-total focus on the written word.
Romantic Novelists’ Association
Romantic Novelists’ Association has over 800 members. Based in the United Kingdom, it is an advocate for romantic fiction. The event will take place at University of Sheffield. Watch the website for further details.
Romance Writers of America
Join more than 2,100 published and aspiring romance writers, editors, agents, and other industry professionals. Writers can choose from more than 100 workshops, panels and round-tables with publishing professionals or schedule a one-on-one pitch meeting with an editor or agent.
Editors, agents, and publishers share with participants what they need to know to get published, and authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense and point of view. Panels of detectives and forensic experts provide information to help writers put realism into fiction.
Digipalooza is a conference for partner libraries that offers education and networking geared toward increasing circulation of digital audiobooks, eBooks, music and video.
Jimmy Thomas – RNC
This is the first annual 5-day/4-night, All-Inclusive, (registration, hotel & meals) Reader/Writer (Indie & Traditionally Published) Romance Novel Convention. Some of the scheduled guests include NYTBS authors Jennifer Ashley, Lorraine Heath, Angela Knight, Courtney Milan, Bob Mayer and more, as well as cover model and celebrity Mike O’Hearn, Jimmy Thomas himself, and more.
This four-day Conference offers writing and photography workshops in the morning, afternoon panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area.
Authors After Dark
This is an event for readers featuring 100 authors with at least six parties, a Steampunk tea and other events. Registration is typically limited to 400 reader attendees. (YA day passes are also available.) Registration includes most meals. The Master of Ceremonies will be MaryJanice Davidson.
Romance Writers of Australia
The 22nd Conference of Romance Writers of Australia is themed “Riding the Waves: Writing Romance in Tempestuous Times.” The 2013 conference will be held for the first time in Western Australia and will feature authors Julia Quinn, Kim Hudson, Nina Bruhns and Sarah Wendell.
Decatur Book Festival is an annual, free book festival that takes place over Labor Day weekend in Decatur, Georgia at several venues located in and around the downtown Decatur Square. Authors give readings, talks, and panel discussions. The event is free and open to the public.
DragonCon is a multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Recent featured guests included authors Kevin J. Anderson and R.A. Salvatore plus actors Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek TNG. In 2012, the convention introduced the first ever Comic Book Babes Costume Contest. Watch the website for information on 2013.
The Writers’ Police Academy offers the hands-on, interactive and educational experience for writers to enhance their understanding of all aspects of law enforcement and forensics. The event features police, fire, and EMS training at an actual police academy. New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner has been named as the 2013 keynote speaker.
American Christian Fiction Writers
Workshops for writers are designed with five different experience levels in mind, from “just starting out” to “published.” Robin James Gunn is scheduled to be the keynote speaker. Registration fee includes meals.
Hampton Roads Writers
HRW is a nonprofit, Virginia Beach, Virginia-based group of professional and aspiring writers. The annual conference features workshops, writing contests and critique sessions. Workshops cover fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, memoir, poetry, and the business of getting published.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
The conference typically hosts over 60 writer workshops, 5 master classes and visiting agents and editors. Special guests for 2013 include historical novelist Margaret George, thriller author Rob Thurman, and horror author Ronald Malfi.
Associazione Women’s Fiction Festival
The WFF is the only literary festival dedicated to women’s fiction in Europe. The festival is for the published and unpublished and features master classes, creative writing labs, and a translation competition. Registration information is available at the above link.
New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association
NAIBA is dedicated to the exchange of ideas and information among independently owned bookstores. The annual fall gathering is two full days of bookseller education, networking, author events, and awards ceremonies.
If Book Then is a conference about the future of publishing designed for academic and professional publishers. Please see the website for speaker and program information. If Book Then Spain will be held in Barcelona on September 31 and in Madrid on October 1.
Georgia Romance Writers
The conference features over 35 workshops including “Digital Track” workshops (small press, e-publishing, self-publishing, backlist publishing). The keynote speaker will be New York Times best selling author Deborah Smith.
Midwest Booksellers Association, Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association
This will be the largest regional trade show in the country to serve the independent book selling market. Members include locally owned and operated independent bookstores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and surrounding the Great Lakes. The trade show is a conference that gathers booksellers, publishers, distributors, reps, vendors, authors, librarians, teachers, and other book business colleagues.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is a meeting place for publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers and authors. It boasts 7,400 exhibitors from 106 countries, 280,194 visitors and over 10,000 journalists focusing on current trends. The 2012 event took place in October.
Writers of Southern Nevada
The conference hosts a variety of workshops and presentations covering the craft of writing and getting published for any media. The two-day event will feature editors, agents, and published authors, an informal cocktail party on Thursday, and lunches with keynote addresses.
Women Writing the West
Please see the website for programming information.
Hot Mojave Knights is a romance reader event where readers of all kinds of romance can interact with favorite authors and meet new ones. Featured authors will be Claire Ashgrove and Deborah Coonts.
Greater Seattle Romance Writers
Emerald City is the largest regional romance writing conference in the West. There are editor and agent guests, workshops and master classes. Keynote speakers for 2013 will be Maya Banks, Robyn Carr, and Karen Rose. Watch the website for conference location.
Florida Writers Association
Edna Buchanan is the keynote speaker for this three-day event, where members find agents, meet publishers, and get the scoop on the industry.
Kanawha County Public Library
The Festival brings people and books together in a two-day event celebrating West Virginia writers. Each year the festival includes a marketplace, a special section just for children, a used book sale, “meet the author” events, and panel discussions. The event is free. (Some sessions require tickets.)
The conference features Agent/Editor/Producer interviews, workshops and the Blue Pencil Cafe (have a sample of your work critiqued on the spot). Master Classes take place on October 24.
World Fantasy Convention
The World Fantasy Convention is an annual gathering of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of Light and Dark Fantasy art and literature. This is a convention about literature, not dressing in costume. Scheduled Guests of Honor for 2013 include Richard Matheson, Richard Christian Matheson and Alan Lee.
PubWest is a trade association of small and medium-sized book publishers, printers, graphic designers, binderies, and editorial and marketing companies. The theme for the 2013 conference is “The Innovative Publisher.”
This conference is for readers and writers of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. The 2013 conference took place in Saint Augustine, FL under the name Olde City, New Blood.
Indie Girl Con serves authors of Young Adult, New Adult, Fantasy/Paranormal & Contemporary and celebrates the steamy, written word. Watch the website as plans for the first conference unfold.
Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)
This conference celebrates authors, teachers, writing programs, literary centers and small press publishers. Each year it features 400 presentations including readings, lectures, panel discussions, and forums––plus book signings, receptions and informal gatherings.
Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter
The organization presents a regular four-day conference that features panels, agent and editor appointments, manuscript critiques, and a short story contest. Watch the website for more information.
The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition
The conference is three days of ePublishing information, news and education. Authors can learn about a variety of topics including doctoring manuscripts, branding in the digital marketplace, social media, taxes, blog tours and can network with publishers, editors, and other authors.
Reed Exhibitions Books and Publishing Group
International exhibition hosting publishing professionals from around the world, this is a global marketplace for rights negotiation. The fair includes 250+ seminars and events and hosts 2,000+ exhibitors and boasts an attendance of 24,000+. The 2014 event will be held at Earls Court Exhibition Center.
Chicago-North Romance Writers
The conference is a weekend of keynote speeches, workshops, panels, publishing spotlights, pitch appointments with editors and agents, a public book signing, librarian and bookseller brunch, and entertainment. New York Times best selling authors Kristan Higgins, Mary Balogh and Lauren Dane are scheduled to appear.
Bloody Words is Canada’s oldest and largest gathering of mystery readers and authors. The conference features workshops, agent appointments, manuscript evaluations, and a short story contest. The above link is for the 2012 conference held in June.
Below are conferences that have not yet posted specific dates for their next event.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Writers’ Association
20 workshops, special programs and one-on-one programs are featured. Attendance is limited to 120. Information on the 2012 conference is not available at this time.
The conference features sessions about writing, publishing, marketing and more, as well as the 3-hour Agent Slam with 60 professional agents. No information is available at this time for the 2013 conference.
Horror Writers Association
HWA is an organization for professional writers of horror. No information is available for 2013. The 2012 conference was held in March.
Virginia Romance Writers
VRW’s goal is to promote excellence in romantic fiction and advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers. The conference features workshops and speakers plus agent and editor appointments. No information is available for 2013 at this time. The 2012 conference was held in May.
The Workshop is designed to explore new challenges and opportunities for digital publishers and anyone interested in key debates in publishing. The 2012 workshop was held in July. No information is available yet for 2013.
British Fantasy Society
FantasyCon presents a program of informative talks, panels and interviews, featuring writers, artists, editors and publishers. The 2012 conference took place in Brighton, England in September. No information is available for 2013.
The conference features presentations, panels, and keynote speakers for bloggers who focus on children and young adult literature and who generally feature book reviews, interviews, and reading news on their websites. The 2012 conference took place in New York in September. No information is available for 2013.
Bouchercon is a conference for writers and readers of crime fiction. No information is available yet for 2013. The 2012 convention took place in Cleveland, OH in October.
StoryWorld Live brings three conferences together under one roof for a gathering of content creators. StoryWorld Conference + Expo, Writer’s Digest Conference West and Screenwriters World Conference are about honing craft; understanding the industry; connecting with peers, mentors and collaborators; and taking the next step in creative development. The conference focuses on Transmedia, a storytelling technique that uses TV, movies, books, websites and apps to develop various aspects of a story. The 2012 event took place in October in Hollywood, CA.
Novelists, Inc. is devoted exclusively to the needs of published authors and concentrates its efforts on the business of the business for career novelists. 2012′s theme was Publishing Partnerships: Publishing à la Carte. No information is available yet for 2013. The 2012 conference took place in White Plains, New York in October.
The World Fantasy Convention is an annual gathering of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of Light and Dark Fantasy art and literature. Attendance is limited to 850. This is a convention about literature, not dressing in costume. The 2012 convention took place in November in Toronto, ON, Canada.
Sponsored by Mediabistro, Galleycat and eBooknewser
Publishing App Expo is a two-day event teaching how to build software programs for a smart phone or mobile devices with an emphasis on budget, discoverability, and monetization. The conference looks to unite book and magazine publishers, developers, digital content strategists, editors and authors. The 2012 conference took place in December in New York.
Space Coast Writers’ Guild
The Conference provides speakers, workshops, agent/publisher appointments, and one-on-one mentoring for the published and pre-published. The 2013 conference was held in January in Cocoa Beach, FL.
O’Reilly Media, Inc
This conference for publishers, editors, marketing and sales people, authors, agents, booksellers, and more addresses the challenges and opportunities of new publishing technologies and new business models. The 2013 conference was held in February in New York.
Spellbinders creates conferences and retreats for book, television and film writers. The 2013 conference was held in February in Sante Fe, NM.
Southwest Florida Romance Writers
Featured guests included Cindy Davis, Editor with The Wild Rose Press, Jennifer Schober, literary agent with Spencerhill Associates, Ltd., Leslie Wainger, Editor-at-Large for Single Titles at Harlequin and Nicole Resciniti, literary agent from The Seymour Agency. The 2013 conference was held in February in Estero, FL.
Norwescon features over 500 hours of panel programming presented by more than 200 panelists, covering subjects as science fiction, fantasy, science, costuming, art, writing, genre television, and movies. The 2013 event took place in March in SeaTac, WA. No information is available yet for 2014.
Learn from the experts and network with a community of writers in presentations and workshops. Pitch, query, manuscript and website critiques are available, too. No information is available for 2014. The 2013 Conference was held in April in Hamilton, Ohio.
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
More than 80 workshops and panels, this conference is geared toward non-fiction and fiction freelance writers. No information is available for 2014. The 2013 conference took place in April in New York City.
There are about 20 workshops on writing, business and marketing. No information is available for 2014. The 2013 Festival took place in April in Fernandina Beach, FL.
Missouri Writers’ Guild
The conference has 12 breakout sessions on Saturday (including Self-Editing for Writers, An Intro to E-Publishing, and Search Engine Optimization for Writers), plus agent/editor appointments. Master classes are held on Sunday. No information is available for 2014. The 2013 conference took place in April in Maryland Heights, MO.
RT Book Reviews
There are approximately 5 to 6 workshops or panels scheduled for each Romance subgenre plus craft workshops, hands-on workshops, business workshops and 8 sessions on self-publishing. There are also 21 mixers, parties and gatherings from a champagne breakfast to a slumber party for those who want to get their network on. No information is available for 2014. The 2013 conference took place in May in Kansas City, MO.