Writer’s conferences to attend

Now halfway through 2022, we’re a bit late to the gate on posting this — but consider that you can use it as a handy list from which to plan future years’ events (which can be a terrifically fun exercise in and of itself).

Your IWU web editor has concentrated mostly on the mystery realm, broadly speaking, and am leveraging a list of links that author Sherry Briscoe had prepared a few years ago for some critique group friends (this writer included).

But before we hone in on the crime-infested genre, let’s mention three longstanding…

Conferences nearby

  • Idaho Writers Conference is an annual event put on by the Idaho Writers Guild, typically in May. It’s a two-day affair (plans for 2023 include a masterclass add-on for Thursday) combining craft and business and catering to both aspiring and established writers.
  • To the west is the engaging Willamette Writers group who produce the very robust Willamette Writers Conference, typically in August. There’s a wide variety of opportunities and add-ons suited to writers in most all genres and disciplines.
  • And to the south the very active League of Utah Writers‘ annual Quills Conference is so jam-packed that they have had to add a Pre-Quills Conference as well.

Some of the biggies

  • Bouchercon is the name you always hear, a world mystery convention with an aura all its own. They’ve booked 2022’s conference for September in Minneapolis … but also 2023’s in San Diego, 2024’s in Nashville, and 2025’s on the fertile ground of New Orleans.
  • Thrillerfest is an event produced by the International Thriller Writers. This year’s was the end of May in NYC.
  • Crimefest, an international crime fiction convention, was also in May this year, in Bristol. Looks delightful for those interested in a trip to the UK.
  • There might still be time to book a place for Scotland’s international crime fiction convention, enticingly titled Bloody Scotland. It’s to take place in Stirling in September.
  • The Mystery Writers of America put on Sleuthfest, this year in July in Florida. (Love their E A Poe logo.)
  • Rounding out this portion of the list, one must mention Left Coast Crime (2023 is in Tuscon, Arizona) and Malice Domestic (2023 is in Bethesda, Maryland).

Smaller conferences can be fun, too

There are more regional conferences than I can list here, though these and these might get you started, but they often offer a lot to those who either want to stay revved up between the mega-conferences or find the environment in the more well-known writer’s conferences a bit too hectic or intimidating.

That being said, none of these look to be lightweights. So, food for thought.

  • The International Agatha Christie Festival looks to be a treat for all of us who devoured her books when younger (and yes, from time to time currently).
  • On the other hand, the Writers Police Academy puts you in the position of participating in hands-on, real-life training, plus they’re throwing around names like Lee Child and Robert Dugoni. Interesting…
  • Back to England, we have the Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (July in Harrogate).
  • And in Maine (home of a certain Famous Author), we have the Maine Crime Wave, for those who fancy a trip to the other side of the continent.

But there are always so many more . . .

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