How to Find Writing Workshops, Seminars and Conferences in Smaller Markets

Attending a writing workshop is a great way to improve your skills and learn more about the business. Where does one find a writing event?

Some writing events can be found listed on such websites as the Guide to Writers Conferences & Workshops, and Writing Conferences, Workshops, Retreats, Centers, Residencies, Book & Literary Festivals, Many of these events are held in or near large cities and can be expensive.

If you can’t afford to attend a large or costly event in a location that is a distance away, do not despair. There just might be a quality event that is easier to manage. Google your town/city/area and “writing workshops,” for example. This is how I learned about the seminars I recently attended.

An Author Book Fair & Writers Seminar was held in my area. It was a day-long event consisting of four seminars and book sales, sponsored by the local newspaper. Topics discussed were: writing about local history, character development, writing your memoir, and publishing. Many authors, representing a variety of genres, sold their books to the general public. The cost to attend the seminars, including lunch, was about $50.

A writing event may also be held at and/or sponsored by a college, university, writing group, or library. Earlier this year, I read about an event in my local newspaper. A college in the area held a literary festival with speakers, book signings, workshops, readings, two receptions, a luncheon, and panel discussion, all for only $50. Contact your local institutions of higher learning and inquire about creative writing workshops, seminars, and conferences. The English, communications, or journalism departments are possible organizers of this type of event.

You might also want to try to organize writing workshops in your own community. Contact newspapers, writing groups, community colleges, universities , and libraries. National organizations such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Romance Writers of America might have local networks in your area. Perhaps independent writing groups that meet in your town or city would be interested in helping to plan a writing event.

The following websites list writing groups. I have no affiliation with these sites or groups other than SCBWI.

eBook Crossroads Directory of Writers Associations

Book Marketing and Book Promotion Writers Groups and Authors Associations

There are many opportunities out there for learning and networking. Taking the time to research these opportunities might pay off as you pursue your writing career.

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is currently working on her first children’s book.


Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for the helpful links, Debbie!

T. Forehand said...

This is great to have on hand as we plan to attend at least one conference or workshop each year. Thanks.

NancyCL said...

Great info...thanks so much!

Donna McDine said...

Terrific info, thanks! The Working Writer's Club is a another great resource for online workhops

Magdalena Ball said...

Some very useful links there Debbie. It's often hard to find these smaller conferences and they're at least as valuable as the larger ones (and sometimes more local).

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

What a great post! Helpful for writers everywhere. It is true that small markets are sometimes the place that new and indie writers may get more notice!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Excited about the new edition (expanded! updated! even more helpful for writers!) of The Frugal Book Promoter, now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right (

Debbie A Byrne said...

Thanks for the comments! I hope to find more local writing events (and maybe get involved in planning one) in the years to come.

Karen Cioffi said...

Great post, Debbie, and an important one. As writers we need to hone our craft on an ongoing basis. There are also a couple of online free conferences that those who can't attend in person can take advantage of.

Thanks for sharing!

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

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