(In-Person) Writer’s Conferences for Professional Learning
Conferences can be a great place to learn, connect, and get inspired!
Writer’s conferences pull together experienced professionals and newbies alike for a time of learning and networking. Online conferences abound, but I much prefer learning in person and getting to meet other industry professionals face-to-face. I am involved in some online groups, but for me, nothing can beat the connection of chatting with someone in real life.
The list below includes in-person writer’s conferences that I’ve attended or want to attend. I’ve benefited by learning from the leadership and faculty members of these conferences or from participating in local chapters of their organizations.
Asheville, North Carolina | Annually in late-May/early-June
I have attended this conference three times, missing it only when we were out of the country or when it was delayed because of Covid restrictions. Each time I’ve attended, I’ve walked away with insights that have changed the way I write and improved the way I run my author business. The conference itself is a great blend of practical education and spiritual edification. Each day begins and ends with worship. Workshops, continuing classes, and practicums that address almost every area of the writer’s life fill the rest of the day. The fee includes housing, food, the conference, and 15-minute private meetings with at least two faculty members. Additionally, you can pay for private critiques.
San Francisco Bay Area | Annually in February
This one is on my list simply because I’ve enjoyed learning from so many of the faculty members who have been guests on or host their own podcasts. The conference is put on by West Coast Christian Writers (WCCW) “a strong community of writers with writing events known for excellence, high value, expert speakers and teachers, along with hands-on help and innovation at an affordable price.”
Various Cities (2022, St. Louis, Missouri) | Annually in September
I’ve not been to the annual conference yet, but have been an ACFW member in the past and have greatly benefitted from hearing speakers at local chapter meetings. What I’ve learned from participating in ACFW has helped me improve my writing skills, equipped my author journey, and made me a better developmental editor.
From the site: “Each year, hundreds of veteran authors and those just learning the craft of Christian fiction gather in a setting like this to hear skilled instructors, inspiring keynoters…to gain from the insights of industry professionals…to interact with other writers…and to present their ideas to agents and editors looking for stories like theirs, or to mentors who can help them move forward in their writing career.”
Charlotte, North Carolina | Annually in July
This is a conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries. From the site: “She Speaks is an annual conference offering professional training to women who write, speak and lead. She Speaks combines worship, encouraging keynote messages and workshops led by industry professionals on topics designed to equip women in all aspects of their calling. Beyond the practical training, She Speaks offers a place to connect with others who are pursuing their callings.”
What conferences do you recommend for writers?