August 10-12, 2018 | New York City

Writer’s Digest Conference Schedule

The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference program provides you with a balanced education in both the craft and the business of being a writer—all in an encouraging, inspiring environment. Customize your experience by mixing-and-matching sessions from the following core tracks: Craft, Getting Published, The Business of Writing, Writer’s Reserve, Genre Studies, and additional, new features that will be revealed soon.

We’re putting the finishing touches on what we expect to be our best program yet. Check back often, and be sure to sign up for the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference e-newsletter for session and speaker updates!

Getting Published

Getting Published

Explore the latest options, shore up your publishing strategy and perfect your pitch—with guidance from the industry’s best.
The Business of Writing

The Business of Writing

Whether you’re writing for pleasure or money (or both), learn what it takes to develop your platform, promote your work, think like an entrepreneur and manage your writing like a business.
Craft

Craft

Revisit the fundamentals or explore new techniques to take your work further. Empowering you to do your best work is at the heart of every session.
Genre Studies

Genre Studies

Dig down into what makes your genre tick! Discover what editors, agents, and audiences want, and learn how to give it to them—all while staying true to your vision.
Writer's Reserve

Writer's Reserve

Refresh your thinking, revisit your passion or reinvigorate your work with a lineup designed to inspire and challenge you to broaden your boundaries as a writer and as a creative.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 2018

             
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Registration 
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules Steven James
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Screenwriting for Newbies and Novelists Jacob Krueger

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2018

  Getting Published Business Craft Genre Writer’s Reserve 
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Registration & Exhibits
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pitch Perfect Jeanne Bowerman, Tiffany D. Jackson
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Effective Query Letters for Writers Jumping in to the Query Pond
Janet Reid
  What No One is Telling You About Character Development
Steven James
Crafting Flash
Windy Lynn Harris
The Craft of Writing for Knitters and Crafters
Alanna Okun
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM   Millennials: Applying Generational Insights to Your Writing
Carol Van Den Hende 
Perfect Your Plot, Structure Your Story
Gabriela Pereira
Panel: Womens Fiction
Amy Sue Nathan, Rachael Herron, Kimmery Martin 
 
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Lunch on your own
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Query Letters for Those in the Query Trenches
Janet Reid
Build Your Author Platform Through Magazine Articles
Kerrie Flanagan 
  The Final Twist: How to End Your Stories With a Wallop
Jane K. Cleland
Permission Granted: Launching Your Writing Life After 50
Joan Dempsey 
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM How Publishing Really Works: An Insider’s Guide to Improving Your Odds Before, During and After Publication
Phil Sexton
Data-Driven Online Platforming for Authors
Emily Wenstrom
Point of view: What’s the big deal?
Hallie Ephron 
Steps to a Stronger Story for YA and Middle Grade
Gabriela Pereira
 
4:30 – 5:30 PM Opening Keynote
5:30 – 6:30 PM Book Signing

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 2018

  Getting Published Business Craft Genre Writer’s Reserve 
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Registration & Exhibits
9:00 – 10:00 AM How to Craft an Irresistible Nonfiction Book Proposal
Phil Sexton
  Enrich Your Writing With Vivid Imagery
Jordan Rosenfeld
Enriching the Past in Historical Fiction
Kim van Alkemade
Fearless Writing
William Kenower 
10:15 – 11:15 AM How to Self Publish an Ebook
Christopher Stollar
How To Pitch The Publications Of Your Dreams
Candace McDuffie
  Suspense Essentials: Secrets to Tapping Into Tension (Whatever Genre You Write)
Steven James
10 Top Lessons From 10 Years of Bestselling Author Interviews
Jessica Strawser 
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Pitch Slam
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Adventures in Editing!
Ann VanderMeer
Applying Best Practices in Design to Your Book Covers
Carol Van Den Hende
  Panel: Writing for Young Adult and Middle-Grade Readers
Lygia Day Peñaflor, Sara Holland, Lindsay Champion, Anna Hecker
Panel: 4,3,2,1 Finding Balance through a Writing Group
Kimmery Martin, Trish Rohr, Tracy Curtis, Bess Kercher
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Pitch Slam
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Lunch on your own / Exhibits
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Making the Leap from Indie to Traditional Publishing
J.D. Barker 
Panel: Life After the Fairytale
Tiffany D. Jackson, Kellye Garrett & more to come!
You Said It! Master the Two Most Important Functions of Great Dialogue
Joan Dempsey
Panel: Science-Fiction/Fantasy
Chuck Wendig & more to come!
 
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Pitch Slam
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Sell your Short Fiction & Personal Essays
Windy Lynn Harris
Ghostwriting, There’s Nothing Scary About It
Kerrie Flanagan 
Plotting with an Unreliable Narrator
Jane K. Cleland
Find Success Writing Romance
Rachael Herron
Silence Negative Self-Talk and Tune-Out Naysayers
Amy Sue Nathan 
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Pitch Slam
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM Panel: Debut Authors
Joan Dempsey, Kellye Garrett, Ashley Woodfolk & more to come!
How to Use Podcast and Radio Interviews to Build Your Platform
Gabriela Pereira & Marielle Orff
Writing a Damn Fine Story
Chuck Wendig 
Panel: Secrets to Succeeding as a Mystery/Thriller Author
Kellye Garrett, Paula Munier, Jane K. Cleland, Kate Moretti, Alex Segura
Copywriting: Build Your Freelance Business
Emily Wenstrom
5:30 – 6:30 PM Central Keynote: Walter Mosley 
6:30 – 8:00 PM Cocktail Reception / Book Signing

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2018

  Getting Published Business Craft Genre Writer’s Reserve 
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM Registration & Exhibits
9:00 – 10:00 AM The Second Draft Deep Dive: Revising to Sell
Paula Munier
Fearless Marketing
William Kenower
Back Story: Layering it in Strategically
Hallie Ephron
Fast-Draft Your Memoir
Rachael Herron
How to Research Like a Reporter
Christopher Stollar
10:15 – 11:15 AM Introduction to Screenwriting
Jeanne Bowerman
  Page Turning Tension: Write a Story Readers Can’t Put Down
Jordan Rosenfeld 
Crossing Genre
J.D. Barker
 
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Closing Keynote: Jeff VanderMeer
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Book Signing