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The Top 25 Online Writers’ Conferences in 2021

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

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic still lingers in 2021, much of our daily routines have turned virtual. This year, writers’ conferences and workshops continue to hold their events online. There are still many opportunities for writers to develop their craft and stay in touch with the writing community.

We’ve compiled a list of some conferences and webinars in North America to watch out for this year.

Check out these writers’ conferences you can attend from home, as we continue to keep everyone safe.

1. Southern California Writers’ Conference

The SCWC provides practical guidance for emerging and veteran writers, regardless of the publication path they choose. With read and critique sessions, craft and execution workshops, and business and alternative workshops, attendees can expect to learn practical guides to publishing.

There will also be one-on-one consultations and cyber mixers.

Date: February 12 – 14, 2021

2. Desert Nights, Rising Stars

Presented by Arizona State University, the conference will feature presenters from the university’s own faculty of award-winning authors. There will be over 50 events with craft talks and workshops that cover various genres. 

Date: February 18 – 20, 2021

3. SCBWI Winter Conference

Presented by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. This year’s program will focus on popular genres and behind-the-scenes looks into the children’s publishing industry.

Featuring interviews, keynote speakers, a behind the scenes tour of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing division, genre breakout sessions, a mock acquisition meeting and more, this conference is for writers and illustrators wanting a deep dive into the children’s publishing world.

Date: February 19 – 21, 2021

4. Association of Writers and Writing Programs

An event for writers, teachers, students, editors and publishers of contemporary creative writing. With speakers, a book fair, and the opportunity for writers to meet literary agents, this conference is open to all ages and anyone involved in the publishing industry.

Date: March 3 – 17, 2021

5. Spring Writers Retreat 2021

Presented by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, an educational organization that supports the arts across disciplines. The online writers retreat will allow writers to develop their craft, explore their voice and workshop their manuscripts with their peers and a distinguished faculty. 

Date: March 20 – March 27, 2021

6. Virtual Winter Thrills

For thriller writers. There will be online master classes, a chance to practice your pitches, and learn the insider details on the business of writing from agents, editors and marketing professionals.

While you’re at it, take advantage of the chance to have your query letter critiqued. The sessions have already started in January, but you only pay for the sessions you decide to attend.

Date: Until March 18, 2021

7. SleuthFest

For writers of mysteries, thrillers and crime fiction. If you’re a new writer in the said genres, or simply want to sharpen your skills, there will be presenters speaking on techniques for writing in these genres, as well as a live Shark Tank-style critique session with a panel of agents and editors.

Date: March 29 – 21, 2021

8. San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival

A cross-cultural, bilingual literary gathering, normally held in the town of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, the conference and literary festival went virtual last year.

Its programming is still ongoing until March, with a variety of events to choose from, including: workshops, keynotes and individual consultations.

Last year’s recorded sessions are also available for purchase. Free events include: book clubs and silent writing sessions with fellow writers.

Date: Until March 2021

9. The Las Vegas Writers Conference

Normally an in-person event, the Las Vegas Writers Conference is open to writers of all genres, and all sessions will be virtual.

Pitch sessions with literary agents and editors are included in the conference fee, as well as mentoring sessions with faculty members and published authors.

Date: April 8 – 10, 2021

10. ASJA Writers Conference

Presented by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. All sessions will be streamed virtually, and available for free viewing after. There will also be speed-dating type sessions with agents and editors to pitch your ideas.

There will be three tracks:

  • Journalism (April 13 – 15)
  • Books (April 20 – 23)
  • Content Marketing (April 27 – 29)

Date: April 13 – 29, 2011

11. The Muse & the Marketplace 2021

A virtual writing residency dedicated to five days of writing. There will be facilitated goal-setting and 65 sessions taught by guest authors across different genres.

There will also be agent info sessions given in a small group setting.

Date: April 21 – 25, 2021

12. Chanticleer Authors Conference

The CAC’s headliner this year is Cathy Ace, whose Cait Morgan Mysteries has been optioned for TV. This year’s master classes and workshops haven’t been announced yet. Check the website for more details.

Date: April 21 – 25, 2021

13. Pikes Peak Writers Conference

The 2021 conference program is still under construction. Past conferences offered workshops, keynote speakers, one-on-one sessions with agents and editors, critique sessions and networking sessions. 

Date: April 23 – 25, 2021

14. Northern Colorado Writers Conference

Another conference that’s usually held in-person, the Northern Colorado Writers Conference has adopted a hybrid model in response to the pandemic.

Attendees of the virtual conference will have the opportunity to pitch to agents, participate in critique sessions, attend workshops and network with other attendees.

The conference is open to writers of all genres.

Date: April 24 – May 1, 2021

15. Creative Nonfiction Collective Society Conference

For writers of creative nonfiction. The program for the 2021 CNFC Conference is still a work in progress. But as with past years, expect to see conversations and workshops on developing the craft of creative nonfiction.

In the meantime, they also host monthly webinars on diverse topics.

Date: May 2021

16. The Festival of Literary Diversity

Typically held in Brampton, Canada, the festival celebrates underrepresented authors and storytellers from around the world. This year’s festival will take place virtually, with panel discussions, workshops and networking events for writers in all stages of their career.

Date: May 1 – 15, 2021

17. Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference

Four days of online classes, workshops, panels, readings and a chance to expand your writers’ network. There are also limited manuscript reviews available for an extra fee.

Date: May 15 – 18, 2021

18. The Writer’s Hotel Weekend Conferences

A five-day fiction conference. Featuring craft labs and publishing lectures, attendees can expect to study and develop their craft with established writers in an intimate setting.

Each attendee will also get the first 5,000 words of their work reviewed with tailored feedback by the festival directors.

Date: May 20 – 24, 2021

19. Odyssey Workshop

Since 1996, the Odyssey Writing Workshop has been providing writing workshops for writers of fantasy, science fiction and horror. They also provide on-demand webinars for a limited time period.

Date: June 7 – July 16, 2021

20. Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat

Five days of online classes for writers of all levels. There will also be a free 20-page critique from staff.

Date: June 15 – 19, 2021

21. New York State Summer Writers Institute

For college-aged students and adults. Led by a faculty of distinguished writers, this year’s summer institute will deliver...

  • Creative writing workshops
  • Small classes for individualized attention
  • Public readings
  • Private tutorial sessions
  • Optional undergraduate credit for eligible students
  • Merit scholarships

Date: June 27 – July 23, 2021

22. Southampton Writers Conference

Presented by Stony Brook University. Choose from workshops or lecture series. Workshops allows participants to develop their writing with designated faculty. Lecture series feature craft-oriented panels, salons and night readings.

Date: July 14 – 18, 2021

23. 10 Minute Novelists Writers Conference

Don’t have time to write? This conference is for time-crunched writers who quote the oft-repeated phrase, “I don’t have time to write.” The 10 Minute Novelists conference will teach the art of creating productive and efficient writing time.

Date: July 15 – 17, 2021.

24. Write on the Sound

A small, affordable conference for writers looking to improve their craft. Information on sessions, workshops and panel discussions will be announced closer to the date.

Date: October 1 – 3, 2021

25. The Highlights Foundation Workshops

The Highlights Foundation offers workshops for beginning and published authors and illustrators in children’s publishing.

Workshops are led by professionals in the industry: editors, authors, art directors, publishers, agents and academics. Workshops are held in-person and online, with on-demand options.

Date: Ongoing

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

2 comments

  • Blessings!

    Heidi Fletcher Nichols
  • I would love to connect with someone who might steer me in the direction of a literary agent for my second book, Dearly Departed: To Mama and Others with Love. It is a collection of letters to many separate individuals whom I have loved and lost. Scriptures included, it is a different kind of memoir. I will appreciate any feedback, thank you!

    Heidi Fletcher Nichols

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