We gave you the heavy hitters when we announced the Best Writers Workshops in the Country. Of course you’d heard of most of them. Find here, five truly excellent workshops and conferences that while slightly younger, are a cut above the rest. Many of them are smaller, more intimate — and ho! — more affordable than their larger counterparts. This list represents five great resources and opportunities for the up and coming (as well as the established writer) to focus, learn, and grow. Enjoy!
Dates: July 13 – 18.
Application Deadline: Rolling applications open on February 20th and close on April 30.
Cost: $1,400 includes workshops, lectures and writing excursions in NYC as well as daily lunch, coffee/tea, wine/beer, refreshments and goodbye dinner. No scholarships offered. (Guys, wine and beer!)
Location: Center for Fiction; 17 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
Workshops Offered: Two fiction workshops.
History: We started the One Story Workshop for Writers in 2010 to open our office doors to our readers and writers. It’s been wonderful to expand our literary community, and we look forward to sharing our experience and resources with you in 2014.
What a Typical Day Consists Of: Each day starts with a three hour-long workshop. Afternoons include excursions to New York City literary landmarks meant to inspire and generate new work, writing exercises, craft lectures, special guests, and panels on how to get published. This intense and fulfilling week ends with a celebratory dinner and an evening of readings by the students.
-Michael Pollock, Manager
Link to more info: http://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=workshop
The conference, hosted by the River Teeth journal, is entering its third year. It covers many forms of nonfiction, focusing on essay, memoir, and literary journalism. This year’s conference features guest speakers Philip Gerard and Brenda Miller.
Dates: May 30 – June 4
Application Deadline: May 9; March 15 for those interested in book-length manuscript consultation; Deadline for scholarship applications: March 1.
Cost: $425 registration fee includes conference admission, Saturday and Sunday breakfast, and a one-year subscription to River Teeth. Applications submitted before April 1 receive a $50 discount. Essay consultations are an additional $50. Book-length manuscript consultations are $300. Merit-based scholarships are available.
Location: Ashland, Ohio
Workshops Offered: The River Teeth conference focuses on panels and seminars rather than the workshop. However, half-hour essay consultations and hour-long manuscript consultations are offered at an additional cost.
What a Typical Day Consists Of: Days at the River Teeth conference start early and are crowded with classes and seminars, with a break in the middle for manuscript consultations and an evening reading or book signing.
What Makes It Different: “The River Teeth Nonfiction Conference follows the journal’s charge, that ‘good writing counts and facts matter.’ The conference seeks to build and sustain a community of nonfiction writers who are passionate about improving craft and pursuing truth in nonfiction, with all of its uncertainties and complexities. The conference prides itself on being both persistently committed to the pursuit of excellence in writing while maintaining a measure of levity and humility, creating an environment conducive to friendship and growth.”
—Sarah M. Wells, Managing Editor
Link to more info: www.riverteethjournal.com/conference
This marks the second year for the UNCW 2014 Writers Conference. While it also includes discussions and readings, the conference packs five hours of workshop time into one weekend. This year’s keynote speaker (and fiction workshop leader) will be Jason Mott, author of The Returned.
Dates: June 20 – June 22
Application Deadline: Registration for the conference begins March 14. Check the page soon for more details about registration and cost: here.
Location: Wilmington, NC
Workshops Offered: fiction, nonfiction, poetry
History: This is the second annual conference.
What a Typical Day Consists Of: This weekend conference includes workshops, discussions, readings, and a keynote address. Along with workshops, the conference addresses the practicalities of creative writing, with discussions about market trends as well as the business of editors and agents. Workshops are taught by members of UNCW’s esteemed faculty.
Link to more info: http://library.uncw.edu/writersconference/home
LitCamp is a spring conference, so the submission period for this year has already passed. But that will just give you more time to work on your application when submissions open again in the fall. LitCamp does require a writing sample as part of its application, and it keeps its participants to 40 writers. The student faculty ratio is three to one. LitCamp draws some amazing faculty. Among this year’s guests are Karen Joy Fowler, Andrew Sean Greer, and Emily Rapp. LitCamp is sponsored by the popular literary festival LitQuake and the SF Writers Grotto.
Location: Mayacamas Ranch; Calistoga, California
Cost: That year’s rates ranged from $825 to $1295, depending on the type of accommodation selected. All meals and camp activities included.
Workshops Offered: fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir
History: “We felt the Bay Area — which has such a rich literary scene with both the SF Writers Grotto and Litquake, and so many fabulous authors who call it home — deserved a truly great local, juried writers conference. 2014 will be our second year. Our first year, we put Adam Johnson on our workshop staff, and after the conference he came home and promptly won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, making us look very smart!”
What a Typical Day Consists Of: A day at LitCamp begins with morning workshop, followed by panels (and maybe even a “Yoga for Writers Workshop”), then evening cocktails and merriment.
What Makes It Different: “I think the size of LitCamp definitely does make us different. Also that we completely take over Mayacamas Ranch, so that it’s a very intimate, relaxed experience. Our Lit Campers really bond. Last year’s group still gets together to write, attend literary events, share articles and publishing news on their FB alumni page. We try to foster a less competitive, more supportive environment.”
Information About Next Year’s Conference: “Our conferences will always run Thursday through Sunday, in May, the weekend after Mothers’ Day. Our submission period will run the previous October 1 through January 15. We will always only accept 40 exceptional writers of fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction.”
-Janis Cooke Newman
Link for more info: http://litcampwriters.org/
The fourth Slice Literary Writers Conference will take place this fall. The conference takes advantage of its prime location to recruit authors such as Elissa Schappell, Adam Wilson, Mira Ptacin, and Joshua Henkin. Right now, this is a two-day conference, and its highlight is the array of panels. Though this may not (yet) be an event to fly in for, it is a valuable resource for area writers.
Dates: September 6th & 7th
Application Deadline: There is no registration deadline posted yet, but visit this page to fill out their registration questionnaire.
Cost: $300 for both days of panels; $200 for one day. Craft Workshops: $50 per class. Agent meetings: $50 + per session. Some scholarships available to MFA students.
Location: St. Francis College; Brooklyn, NY
Workshops Offered: The conference offers craft classes through the Sackett Street Writers Workshop. Rather than critiquing stories or essays by each student, these classes focus on different methods and approaches to aid authors in the writing process.
What a Typical Day Consists Of: Each day of the conference is packed with panels on topics such as “The Secret Lives of Literary Magazines,” the writer’s relationship with social media, and “Being A Writer While Having a Life.” With panels often overlapping, you may be faced with some difficult choices. Participants can also arrange one-on-one meetings with agents, or sign up for craft classes.
What Makes it Different: “Slice‘s conference takes place in Brooklyn, right in the hub of the publishing world, and so its packed full of top editors, agents, and authors. We aim to cover the entire journey, from the writers desk to the bookstore shelf. Our panels and workshops cover topics from the craft of writing (plotting, dialogue, characterization, poetry, and more) to the business of writing (pitch letters, landing a book deal, and beyond). Above all, the conference serves to bridge the gap between emerging writers and the professional publishing world.”
— Celia Johnson, Creative Director