Thursday, February 16, 2012

For the Love of Writing Conferences

What to learn more about the craft of writing for children? What to hang out with loads of like-minded writers? Do you live in Utah? Or would you like to take a trip to our lovely scenic state?

Then you're in luck! There are some fun writing conferences and workshops in Provo on the horizon...

Writing for Charity

Writing for Charity: This is one I haven't been to before, but it sounds really amazing and totally worth the price. I've heard all sorts of good things about this workshop which is the brainchild of Newbery award-winning author, Shannon Hale. Here's a blurb about what makes this conference different...

Have you ever wanted to sit with a published author and discuss your manuscript-in-progress? This year, group manuscript critique sessions will not be a free-for-all discussion with conference participants, followed by a short remark from the professional author. Instead, the author will give the critique, and the participants in the group will listen. You'll have the full attention of the author (or several) and will also learn by listening to the critiques on the other manuscripts in your group. If you don't bring a manuscript or aren't a writer, you can spend that time asking the author questions on any writing or literacy topic of your choice.


LDStorymakers:  I haven't been to this conference either, but my friend and critique group member, Lana raved about her expereience Here. Also, here's another endorsement...

“I must say, it was one of the most well-organized, well-staffed conferences that I’ve ever participated in. It ranks right up there with BYU Writing for Young Readers (though Storymakers is for every genre–adult, children’s, LDS, secular, fantasy, realism, nonfiction, and so forth), and the conference itself focuses more on craft than marketing, so the lessons about, well, storymaking, can be applied to whatever niche an author writes for.”
          –Stacy Whitman, Editorial Director of Tu Publishing and guest editor at the 2009 LDStorymakers Writers Conference (Click here to read her entire post about the conference)


Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers: I can't say enough good things about this one. The writers and illustrators are so giving and helpful. This was one of my first writing conferences and I came away actually feeling like a Real Writer. And that is priceless.  This is a popular conference not only with writers but with professionals in the industry. Authors, agents and editors love being a guest at this one...

The Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference is a real treasure-trove of talent. I discovered several talented writers who became clients, one right on the spot! 
        -Stephen Fraser, Literary Agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

The BYU Writing & Illustrating Conference is an intimate event. The attendees are serious, the faculty encouraging, and the setting serene. It has all of the making of an environment conducive to the proliferation of the human spirit, creative and beyond. 
        -Edward Necarsulmer IV, Director, Children's Department, McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

Want to travel further?  There's also the...

Highlights Foundation writing conference at Chautauqua, New York: Yes, it's a bit pricey. But you can apply for a scholarship. I'm not sure if the deadline to apply is already passed. If so, plan on applying next year! You will never regret attending this one.....well, except you'll wish you could stay there permanently.

You can read more about my experience at this fabulous conference Here, although I only blogged about the first four days and then I think I was slammed with Major Baby-Growing Exhaustion since I was pregnant with baby #5. I wish I'd made myself write about the rest of the week though. It was truly amazing.

SCBWI Summer Conference in LA:  I really want to go to this one. Really bad. And I'm seriously considering was my goal for the year. Well, actually my reward for meeting my goals (which I'm not sure I'll actually accomplish) and I'm trying Very Hard to get them done....

I know. I know. I should be firm with myself. If I want to go, then I have to finish my goals! But I don't often listen to myself. Sad, but true. And this could be part of the problem...

Have I missed any fun writing conferences that are coming up? Anyone have any to add to the list?


  1. Conferences are a great way to revive yourself if you're in need of a creative boost! Being around so many like-minded writers and industry people can be a much-needed pick-me-up.
    In Illinois, we have Words in the Woods weekend retreat coming up in June. It's small in terms of conferences, limited to under 50 people, and include lots of interaction with the one editor, agent, and author who take part in small-group critique sessions.
    I think the Highlights conference is no longer held at Chautauqua. The Highlights foundation built their own complex to host the event. You might want to check the website. I got a mailing about this a few months ago.

  2. I wish I could go to all of these conferences. The Writing For Charity one is particularly tempting because I idolize Shannon Hale.

  3. SCBWI in LA?! That's right by me! maybe i need to go and meet you there this year!

  4. Thanks for posting about the writers conferences out there. It's so cool that you can juggle your writing with 5 children!!

  5. First, hello from the campaign. I clicked through from your most recent post to see what state you were talking about, so second, oh, wow. Just make me jealous that I can't move back to Utah for 8 more years when my hubby retires.

    I'm a late starter as a writer, lifelong reader though. Currently rewriting in first person. If you visit my blog, tell me what you think is the minimum amount of my new intro that would keep adults from freaking when they reach the part where my book turns into something more like James and the Giant Peach than the serious fantasy they expected. The crazy stuff didn't bother a class of 7th graders, but it's their parents who buy their books.