2021 Writers' Conferences

Attending a conference can help you gain insight and advice from industry experts, provide learning opportunities, and help you build your network in the writing community. You should always consider what you what to get out of a conference when choosing one to attend.

We’ve compiled a list of 2021 writers’ conferences in the United States to help you find one that fits your needs. Many of the upcoming events will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic; check the conference websites for details.


General Interest

Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference

When: March 3-7, 2021

Where: Location varies; online in 2021

The AWP Conference is an annual event for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers of contemporary creative writing. Literary agents from Aevitas Creative Management, Ayesha Pande Literary, Folio Literary Management, and Serendipity Literary Agency will read and review applications on a rolling basis to find prospective clients to meet with during the conference. The keynote speaker will be Joy Harjo.


California Creative Writers Conference

When: February 26 – March 6, 2021

Where: Los Angeles (online in 2021)

The California Creative Writers Conference is for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays. It includes workshops, lectures, and 1-on-1 pitch sessions and critique sessions with literary agents, editors and publishers. Some of the industry professionals participating in 2021 are literary manager and producer Marilyn Atlas, Elise Capron of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, agent Steven Hutson of WordWise Media Services, and literary agent Sherry Robb.


San Francisco Writers Conference

When: Annually in February (returning in 2022)

Where: San Francisco, CA

Over the course of four days, attendees connect with renowned keynote authors, presenters, editors, and agents in both the traditional publishing industry and self-publishing. Keynote speakers at the 2020 conference were Jonathan Mabury, Walter Mosley, and Brooke Warner.


Writer’s Digest Conference

When: Annually in the fall

Where: New York City

The Writer’s Digest editors present this annual conference with classes from respected and knowledgeable writers, agents, and editors to guide you through the process of writing, editing, and publishing your novel. Keynote speakers in 2020 were New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory, novelist and essayist Maaza Mengiste, and Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen.


Writing Day Workshops

When & Where: These events are held in different locations around the United States throughout the year. (Because of COVID-19, several upcoming events are now virtual. Check the website for updates on the 2021 schedule).

Writing Day workshops are a full day of classes and advice on how to get your writing published. Topics include publishing opportunities, how to write queries, how to market your books, and more. Literary agents and editors are on hand to give feedback and take pitches. 


Writing for Change

When: Annually in September

Where: Online

Writing for Change is a series of online events for writers who want to connect their stories to audiences committed to social, political, and spiritual change. Attendees learn from editors, agents and authors how to get published and how to stand out from the crowd.


Genre Fiction

Killer Nashville

When: August 19-22, 2021

Where: Nashville, TN

The Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference brings together forensic experts, writers, and fans of crime and thriller literature. Writers can connect with other industry professionals in workshops and panels on the craft and business of writing, marketing, and forensics. Roundtables with agents and editors offer writers a chance to pitch their work and receive feedback. Guest agents/editors at the 2021 meeting will include Madelyn Burt of Stonesong Literary Agency, Sami Isman of Greenburger Associates, and John Talbot of The Talbot Fortune Agency.


Romance Writers of America Conference

When: Annually in July

Where: Location varies

This annual conference gives romance writers an opportunity to network with up-and-coming and successful romance authors, as well as classes and events to learn more about the business of being a writer.


Sleuthfest

When: March 19-21, 2021

Where: Boca Raton, Florida (online in 2021)

Sleuthfest, sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, is annual conference for mystery, suspense and thriller writers. It includes writing and marketing workshops, networking events, presentations by forensics experts, and pitch sessions with agents and editors.  Guest editors include Neil S. Nyren and Jill Marr.


Virtual Winter Thrills (Thrillerfest)

When: January 11 – March 18, 2021

Where: Online

Virtual Winter Thrills is the online version of the annual Thrillerfest conference presented by International Thriller Writers. This year’s instructors of the popular Master Class are J.D. Barker, Allison Brennan, Karen Dionne, Steven James, Mary Kubica, Gayle Lynds, Donald Maass, and Hank Phillippi Ryan. A new offering this year is the Winter Thrills MBA, a series of classes by agents, editors, bestselling authors, and other industry professionals.


Worldcon

When: August 25-29, 2021

Where: Washington DC (2021)

Worldcon (The World Science Fiction Convention) is an annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans, writers, artists, and other creators.  It is held in a different city and hosted by a different volunteer organization each year. Worldcon originally focused on and still has a strong emphasis on science fiction and fantasy literature, but has grown to include genre television, movies, animation, games and other media. Guests of honor at the 2021 conference will include authors John Harris, Nancy Kress, Malka Older and Sheree Renée Thomas, and editor/publisher Toni Weisskopf.


Blogging

SXSW

When: March 16-20, 2021

Where: Online

South by Southwest is an annual event for people in the music, comedy, film and digital technology industries. In 2021, SXSW Online will be the first digital extension of the convention, including keynotes, conference sessions, music festival showcases, film festival screenings, and networking.


Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating

SCBWI Winter Conference

When: February 19-21, 2021

Where: New York (online in 2021)

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators hosts regional conferences throughout the year, as well as the annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and Winter Conference in New York. In 2021, the Winter Conference will be a virtual event including a behind-the-scenes look at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, as well as genre breakout sessions where children’s book editors from Random House Children’s Books, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and other publishers will discuss what they are currently acquiring.   


WriteOnCon

When: February 19-21, 2021

Where: Online

WriteOnCon is a three-day online conference for writers and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, and young adult books, featuring blogs, vlogs, pitch sessions, Q&As, and critique forums.


Freelancing

American Society of Journalists and Authors Annual Conference

When: Annually in the fall

Where: Location varies

This conference is for writers who want to learn how to manage an independent writing business, with sessions on pitching, content marketing, publishing, and getting paid. The ASJA also offers one-day events throughout the year for nonfiction writers and journalists.


Society of Professional Journalists Conference Series

When: Annually in Spring

Where: Various U.S. Cities

The SPJ presents three-day professional development meetings in twelve regions across the U.S.  Journalists, students and journalism educators meet to hear from industry experts on topics ranging from improving writing to leveraging technology.


Christian Writing

Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference

When: May 30 – June 3, 2021

Where: Ridgecrest Conference Center (near Asheville, NC)

The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is a training and networking event for both seasoned and aspiring Christian writers and speakers. Participants interact with editors, agents, professional writers and readers, and attend workshops in a wide array of creative categories.

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  • December 15, 2020 10:27 AM PST
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We’ve compiled a list of 2021 writers’ conferences in the United States to help you find one that fits your needs.

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