August 10-12, 2018 | New York City

Writer’s Digest Conference Schedule

The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference program provides you with 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

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
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
   
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
   Introduction to Screenwriting
Jeanne Bowerman
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Lunch on your own
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM   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  Query Letters for Those in the Query Trenches
Janet Reid
Turning Words into Numbers: What Authors Should Know About Website Analytics
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     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 E-Book
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 Breaking in as a Screenwriter from Outside Hollywood
Jeanne Bowerman
Applying Best Practices in Design to Your Book Covers
Carol Van Den Hende
   Crafting Flash
Windy Lynn Harris
  Bookstagramming For Authors: How To Engage With Readers On Instagram
Kimmery Martin 
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 
   You Said It! Master the Two Most Important Functions of Great Dialogue
Joan Dempsey
   
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 
  Find Success Writing Romance
Rachael Herron
 Silencing the Naysayers and Negative Self-Talk
Amy Sue Nathan 
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Pitch Slam
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM    How to Use Podcast and Radio Interviews to Build Your Platform
Gabriela Pereira & Marielle Orff
Plotting with an Unreliable Narrator
Jane K. Cleland
   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   Troubleshoot Your Social Media: A Case Study
Emily Wenstrom
Page Turning Tension: Write a Story Readers Can’t Put Down
Jordan Rosenfeld 
   
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Closing Keynote
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Book Signing