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A Guide to the Best Author Conferences

Written by
Jackie Pearce

Published on
June 30, 2022

If you’re on the hunt for the best author conference, you’ve come to the right place. Attending events is a great idea for networking as an author, but finding the right one isn’t always easy.

While there are a lot of events for writers across the world, author-focused events can help you accelerate your career.

This article will walk you through all of the different conferences out there for authors so you can find the best fit for you. It is divided into three main types of conferences: general conferences, conferences for indie authors, and specialty conferences based on genre.

Keep in mind, the times and locations may change for various reasons, so always be sure to check the website for accurate information.

Best Author Conferences — General Events

best author conference 1

Author Advantage Live

When: Annually in August

Where: Online

Author Advantage Live is an annual event hosted by Self Publishing School. This live event focuses on topics for authors such as: publishing a book, selling more books, growing your brand, and growing your business on the backend of your book.

It appeals to both fiction and nonfiction, so almost any author in any genre can learn something new and fresh to bring into their careers.

Blue Ride Writers’ Conference

When: Annually in April

Where: Georgia

The Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference offers a space for writers and authors to learn how to put together a first novel and begin to market yourself in your niche. For authors who want to focus on writing, this event also offers writing workshops so you can put pen to paper with other likeminded professionals.

For any authors with a manuscript, this conference also offers the unique option of having your manuscript critiqued. They offer it on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to grab your spot ahead.

Murphy Writing Publishing Workshop

When: Annually in February

Where: Online

If you’re looking to meet fellow authors and get a boost in your career as an author, the Murphy Writing Publishing Workshop might be a perfect fit.

This workshop will guide you along the path from a blank page to a fully published book. If you’ve been nervous to pitch or unsure of how the whole process works, this workshop will illuminate the entire path. You’ll also learn how to submit your manuscript and you’ll leave with a full plan to start your career.

Southern California Writers’ Conference

When: Annually in February

Where: San Diego, California

The Southern California Writers’ Conference has helped facilitate over $4 million worth of first-time authors’ books and screen deals.

As an event that has gone on for over 36 years in a row, this is one of the biggest events you could attend as an author. It’s a great event for both new and veteran authors alike to get feedback, network with professionals, and learn all the things that could impact your career.

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference

When: Annually in August

Where: Vermont

The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference brings together successful writers, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Awards. This is a long, in-depth conference that spans over 10 days so you can get deep on all book-related topics you could possibly need.

The main focus on this conference is on workshops that have a handful of people so you can write, work on your plot, or anything else you need to put your book together.

ASJA Annual Conference

When: Annually in May

Where: Jersey City, New Jersey

The ASJA Annual Conference brings together journalists and authors for a two-day event to meet one-on-one with editors, content managers, literary agents, publishers, and more.

Each conference generally has 100+ speakers with 30+ panels and sessions.

Writers’ League of Texas — Agents and Editors Conference

When: Annually in June

Where: Austin, Texas

The Writers’ League of Texas hosts an Agents and Editors Conference has been called “life-changing for serious writers”. With a focus on helping writers navigate the publishing process, this is a wonderful option for any authors trying to publish a book.

If you have a finished manuscript, this is a time where you can directly pitch it to agents and other professionals. As you an imagine, this gives you an extra leg up instead of sending pitches without a personal face-to-face touch.

If your manuscript isn’t done yet, you can still learn so much from talking to agents and publishers to learn what you need to do.

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference

When: Annually in August

Where: Los Angeles, California

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference offers a unique conference experience due to offering different “tracks” depending on where you are in your career.

The three tracks offered include Aspiring, Active, and Accomplished. This way, you can get tips and advice specifically for your experience and your current situation.

Best Author Conferences For Indie Authors

The Self-Publishing Advice Conference

When: Annually in October

Where: Online

The Self-Publishing Advice Conference, or what they call #SelfPubCon brings a wide variety of experts in self-publishing to help authors navigate the unique challenges of being an indie author.

Over the course of 24 hours, 24 different sessions are streamed so you can learn everything you need to and also participate in giveaways, interviews, panel sessions, debates, and more. The main focus is workshops, so you can hammer out your manuscript and get the feedback you need.

Writers Digest Conference

When: Annually in July

Where: New York City

The Writers Digest Conference is brought to you by Writer’s Digest, which is one of the biggest resources for writers. This conference is designed to help you improve your craft and create a sustainable writing career. There are a ton of authors who are speakers brought on to share their tips and experience.

There is also a famous Pitch Slam, where you are able to pitch your book directly to agents.

Specialty Author Events

Imaginarium Convention

When: Annually in July

Where: Louisville, KY

For any fantasy writers, you won’t want to miss the Imaginarium Convention. This three-day event offers 130 panels covering all levels of storytelling, writing, and also a Comicon convention.

Tons of fantasy authors are brought on for the speaking events to talk about their careers, advice for other authors, and other topics.

Futurescapes

When: Annually in August

Where: Salt Lake City, Utah

Futurescapes is a specialty conference for authors in speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, fantasy, paranormal). It mostly offers a workshop, which gives writers a chance to work directly with successful authors to work on their writing and improve their craft.

Killer Nashville

When: Annually in August

Where: Franklin, Tennessee

If you’re an author who loves to write books that include mystery, thriller, horror, or suspense, Killer Nashville is an event you won’t want to miss.

Not only do you get to meet with fellow writers, but there are also forensic experts so you can include correct information inside of your book as it relates to crime. Yes, that means there are mock crime scenes where experts and law enforcement professionals can walk you through scenes so your book is as accurate as possible.

Romance Writers of America

When: Annually in July

Where: National Harbor, Maryland

The Romance Writers of America conference brings together romance writers together to celebrate their specialty and to meet fellow authors.

If you’re a current or aspiring romance writer, this is your chance to learn from others in your genre and meet successful authors as well.

Looking for more conferences?

If you’re looking for general writing conferences, you’ll want to check out our other post on the best writers conferences!

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