Day-long Community Writing Conferences and Retreats – By Region
We welcome both members and non-members, new and experienced writers, to our day-long writing conferences, where we write together, network, and listen to each other. No portfolio is required. Our intensives feature our talented faculty leading workshops across many genres—memoir, poetry, fiction, screenwriting, playwriting, young adult fiction, and more. Each intensive strives to create a unique experience for writers. Writers meet, focus on craft, network to build community, participate in book fairs, and share their writing at our All Voices Open Mic.
Don’t see your region on our list? Let us know, and we’ll be happy to consider bringing a specially tailored Guild event to your neighborhood.
Each winter since 2015, the Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles has hosted California Dreaming at the lovely Culver City campus near Los Angeles International Airport. You’ll have the opportunity to choose from workshops in fiction, memoir, personal essay, poetry, young adult, and screenwriting. As is true for all our regional events, you’ll also have a chance to participate in a book fair (open to any Guild member) and our All Voices Open Mic.
The Big Apple provides training in how to write effective queries and make great in-person pitches. You’ll gain insights from a “New Authors” panel, in which recently published writers share how they negotiated with agents and explored alternative publishing options. A panel of agents will share insights into how to get an agent and build a strong agent/writer relationship. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet with and pitch to agents. Not ready to pitch? You’ll have the option to participate in a writing workshop, led by one of our most experienced faculty. We end the day with our All Voices Open Mic.
Our Writing from Your Life Retreat celebrates spring in the Boston area with three powerful, back-to-back writing workshops focusing on memoir, creative nonfiction, and expressive writing. You’re a fiction writer? Don’t worry! These workshops will help you use your personal experience to create dynamic, believable characters, chart the arc of your story, and identify new plot possibilities. As always, you’ll also have a chance to participate in our book fair and read your writing in our All Voices Open Mic.
Our Florida Fling offers morning and afternoon writing-generative, multi-genre workshops taught by experienced Guild faculty. Whether you’ re looking to create meaningful connections with other writers, find an intimate venue for a sprint of intensive writing, or gain insights and encouragement, the Florida Fling will meet your need. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in a book fair and read your writing in our All Voices Open Mic.
The Niagara Creative Writing Conference (formerly the Flagship City Creative Writing and Poetry Intensive) is the youngest of our regional events. Morning and afternoon workshops will give you the instruction and intensive writing time you crave, our book fair will give you the opportunity to sell your books and related materials, and our All Voices Open Mic will give you the chance to have your voice heard in a warm and supportive environment.
Open-mic readings have been part of the Guild experience since our first Summer Conference in 1977. Whether you’re a bestselling author and longtime Guild member, or you’re brand-new to Guild events and even to writing itself, you’ll be given the opportunity to read your work aloud in our All Voices Open Mic session at any of our day-long writing conferences. At our Summer Conference, our All Voices Open Mic is held on four of our seven nights together, and is one of the highlights of the conference for readers and audience members alike. Participants sign up during the day for a three-minute reading that evening. Our unique model and expert moderation provide writers of all levels a dynamic forum of respectful and encouraging listeners with whom to share writing of any genre at any stage of completion. Three minutes? you ask. What can be read in three minutes? About a page and a half, double-spaced, Times New Roman size 12 font, or 400 words—and you will amaze yourself with your ability to craft your fiction, memoir, poetry, essay, or journal entry into a meaningful, 3-minute arc that will leave your listeners wanting more. As a reader, you’ll gain confidence and skill. As a listener, you’ll laugh and cry and walk away with renewed wonder at the creativity and talent of women raising the decibel of their voices—some for the first time.