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Friday, April 24, 2015

2015 Writers' Conferences

by Marcy Collier

All of us at Route 19 Writers have attended a ton of conferences on writing throughout the years. I asked the group to name the top conferences they’ve attended. A lot of our choices overlap, but here are our top picks.

The Rutgers-One-On-One Plus Conference

Marcy: I was fortunate enough to attend the Rutgers conference in 2011 and 2012. This is an amazing conference and probably my favorite. It is truly inspiring to spend the day working and talking with agents, editors and writers. These professionals volunteer to help authors take their writing to the next level. I get goose bumps just thinking about my time spent at Rutgers.

Best conference for breaking into traditional publishing

Most professional is Rutgers

Favorite conferences for me…… Rutgers One-On-One Plus conference

In agreement with everyone - Rutgers

New Jersey SCBWI Conference

I’ve attended the New Jersey SCBWI conference a few times. The region does an amazing job of bringing in top agents and editors. And being from out of town, they made us feel right at home. They do a bang up job of running terrific workshops, intensives, pitches and manuscript critiques.


Most useful is the NJ weekend

New Jersey SCBWI conference

SCBWI Conferences inside and outside your region

Obviously, since we are all from Western Pennsylvania, we’ve all attended (usually every year) our regional SCBWI conference as well as retreats and other events, which are awesome. But find regions that are within driving distance as well. Like we did with New Jersey. Several of us have attended that conference because we heard people talk so highly about it.

Jenny and I visited a YA event several years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, which inspired this post by Jenny: http://rt19writers.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-magic-board-getting-started.html

We spent a few hours driving and listened to an amazing presentation about YA writing.

Check out events that are within driving distance. Bring a friend and make a few new ones. You’ll learn a lot.

Appalachian Writers Workshop – Hindman, KY

Most spiritual is Appalachian Writers workshop at the Forks of troublesome Creek in Hindman, KY

Writers retreats and workshops

Check out writers’ retreats and one day workshops. We have all attended our local writing retreat weekend. It's always inspirational and a lot of fun to spend the weekend with other writers.

Create your own workshop

All of us at Route 19 Writers continually work on our craft and keep learning as this world of writing changes. We brought in Emma Dryden to work with the group for a weekend (see below post). Everyone in our group would agree this was an amazing weekend. Emma helped each one of us grow as writers because of her expert advice and guidance. 

And we continue (with Kitty guiding us) to bring in speakers and guests to help us hone our craft and learn more about the business and marketing side of publishing.

A while back, I (virtually) met a fellow SCBWI newsletter editor from Texas, Vonna Carter. At the time, we were both diligently putting out an SCBWI newsletter for our regions. Vonna posts a comprehensive list of writing conferences on her site. Check it out. It’s a wonderful resource for conferences and writing events.

And for these conferences, as Kitty advises, always check for scholarship money and grants.

What is your favorite conference or one you hope to attend this year?


  1. How could I forget about writeoncon? https://www.facebook.com/WriteOnCon https://twitter.com/writeoncon

  2. I am sorry to be so late in responding, but I too thought the New Jersey SCBWI conference was most beneficial, both in the scope and variety of presenters, to the informal gatherings with the presenters.