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[UPDATED] Online Writers’ Conferences you can Attend in a Pandemic

Guest post by author Phoebe Yu. Twitter: @writersdayjobs.


Updated August 28, 2020.

As schools and businesses shutter amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are practicing social distancing. While these practices may induce loneliness and anxiety, we know they're necessary.

For writers, this period may be an opportunity to hone our craft without having to compromise anyone’s health and safety. 

Check out these 13 online writers' conferences you can attend from the comfort of  home...

1. Author Advantage Live

    A three-day virtual experience for self-published business owners, authors and impactors. The event will focus on topics about how to get published, get noticed and get profitable.

    2. Writing Day Workshops

      A year-round writing conference. Long-time Writer’s Digest editor, Chuck Sambuchino, runs these one-day writing workshops about how to get published. The events are typically held in cities all around the United States, but there are now online options.

      3. New York Pitch Conference

        Writers from every genre get a chance to workshop their material and pitch acquisition editors from publishing houses. This is not a typical conference, as writers are given pre-conference assignments and have to submit an application form to help writers deliver a strong pitch. The conference is held four times a year, and has online options in case of external reasons or complications.

        4. Mini Conference: Five Days to a Fab First Page by Manuscript Academy

          If you’ve been querying for a while, you may be familiar with Manuscript Wish List. Manuscript Wish List is an online searchable database of agents and editors who advertise the kind of manuscript they’re looking for.

          They’ve expanded their services to serve writers through online classes, workshops, pitch meetings and critiques. This five day mini-conference is meant to polish your first page through daily video classes and forums. It starts March 23, 2020, and is available for replay for 30 days. 

          5. WriteOnCon

          If you write picture books, middle grade or young adult, this three-day conference, geared toward children’s book writers and illustrators, is for you. Like any writers’ conferences, WriteOnCon has a number of events featuring blogs, Q & A sessions, critique forums, pitch sessions and more.

          "There are opportunities to meet agents, editors and be matched up with critique partners."

          Even though the virtual conference has technically ended, they have extended the “time traveler admission” option. Interested parties may register until April 17, 2020.

          6. Fall / Winter 2019 – 2020 Webinar Series by Canadian Authors

            The Canadian Authors upcoming webinar is entitled, “The End is Just the Beginning.” Learn what to do after you’ve completed your manuscript.

            Lynn Duncan is the founder of self-publishing services, Vivalogue Publishing, The Whistler Independent Book Awards and Tidewater Press, a trade publishing company. Duncan will provide an overview of the publishing process on April 22, 2020.

            7. Nonfiction Writers Conference

              Since 2010, the Nonfiction Writers Conference has been delivering the traditional writers’ conference experience to an online audience around the world. There are five sessions a day, all delivered in a webinar format. Sessions range from developing your draft, branding, monetizing your content, and more.

              The conference is happening from May 6 – 8, 2020.

              8. Self-Publishing Advice Conference

                As its name suggests, the SelfPub Con is a conference dedicated to the self-publishing industry.

                "Along with the typical conference sessions, there are also pitch sessions, round tables and social media engagement opportunities."

                The conference is free for three days. There are also paid options for a lifetime access to past and future conferences. The next SelfPub Con is on October 17, 2020. 

                9. Bending Genres Monthly Workshops

                  If you’re a writer who likes to experiment, or despairs at the thought of being confined to one genre, there just might be a place for you, after all. Bending Genres publicizes – you guessed it – genre bending narratives. They also offer monthly workshops on this specific type of writing.

                  10. Writer’s Digest On Demand Webinars

                    Writer’s Digest has a number of resources for writers. Among them, is access to their library of webinars available any time. From writing tutorials on different genres, to writing query letters, the library is a comprehensive “how to” catalogue for any type of writer.

                    11. Jane Friedman Online Classes

                    With 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, Jane Friedman, author of The Business of Being a Writer, and her award winning blog have become a handy resource for writers.

                    Check out her site for a list of upcoming classes delivered by Jane herself, as well as other industry veterans.

                    12. Writer’s Digest University

                    Writer’s Digest has also created an online learning platform – from short courses and webinars, to boot camps and virtual conferences. Some of their upcoming events include: Mastering Amazon for Authors, Writing Women’s Fiction, Advanced Horror Workshop, Agent One-on-One, and more.

                    13. Gotham Writers Workshop

                    Gotham Writers Workshop offers writing workshops and classes in New York and online. While their courses don't delve much into the publishing process, they do specialize in teaching the craft of writing. That is, all kinds of writing: fiction (all genres), nonfiction, scriptwriting, comedy, poetry, song writing and professional development.


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                    Connect with Phoebe at writersdayjobs.com and on Twitter: @writersdayjobs.

                    1 comment

                    • How do I attend a virtual writers conference?

                      Jennifer Ott

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