Writers Conferences

2016 Writers' Conferences

Which one is right for you?

To help you decide, Field’s End has compiled a list of writers' conferences in Washington and Oregon for 2016 outlining the mission and focus of each. As more information becomes available, we will be updating this page. (Note: In their conference titles, many groups have dropped the possessive apostrophe in "writers"; others toggle between singular possessive and plural possessive. For consistency's sake, we will not be adding an apostrophe on "writers" through the rest of the article.)

Write on the River Conference

May 13-15, 2016

Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, Washington


Just celebrating their tenth anniversary, Write on the River is North Central Washington’s only writing conference.  It provides two full days of content-packed workshops with professional editors, successful agents, bestselling authors, and nationally acclaimed speakers.  


By limiting conference registration to around 100, this conference provides a unique opportunity to learn from the best in a casual, intimate atmosphere.  There are plenty of opportunities to rub elbows with publishing professionals, get one-on-one writing advice from successful authors, bond with fellow writers, and pitch your project to a literary agent or acquisitions editor.   

Registration for the 2016 conference will be available on the website beginning in January.  

2015 prices:

$110 Saturday Session: workshops, pitch session, 10th Anniversary Party, lunch

$149 Member rate (Saturday workshops, one pitch session with an agent or editor, 10th Anniversary Party, Sunday Master Class and Saturday lunch)

$159 Non-Member rate (same)

$50 Sunday Intensive (Master Class) 

Group hotel rates available at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel 


The Chuckanut Writers Conference

June 24-25, 2016 with Pre-Conference events on June 23
Whatcom Community College, Bellingham, WA


The Chuckanut Writers Conference is co-hosted by Whatcom Community College and Village Books. The conference mission is to profoundly inspire the writing life! In support of this, they’ve gathered renowned faculty and developed a dynamic program with an unwavering commitment to excellence in the craft of writing. Writers are encouraged at every stage of their career.


You’ll be studying with some of the best writing faculty anywhere. You’ll interact with dynamic authors, literary agents, marketing experts, and fellow writers. Expect to enhance your knowledge of the business of writing and return home energized, inspired, and ready to write!


Faculty confirmed so far for 2016 includes: Alice Acheson, Roberto Ascalon, Elizabeth Austen, Bruce Barcott, Roby Blecker, Royce Buckingham, Claire Dederer, Elaina Ellis, Stephanie Kallos, Bharti Kirchner, Erik Larson, David Laskin, Samuel Ligon, Rosina Lippi, Nancy Pagh, Andy Ross, and Elizabeth Wales.

Three agents and one marketing consultant will also be available on site.

Pre-Conference Events start Thursday, June 23rd including a wide range of Master classes and the Chuckanut Radio Hour.

There are four easy ways to register:

1)    Call us at (360) 383-3200

2)    Register online (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover)

3)    Register in person at the WCC Foundation Building, Suite 101, Bellingham from 9 AM to 5 PM (checks also accepted)

4)    Print and mail your registration to:

WCC Community Education, 237 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226 (checks also accepted)

WA State K-12 teachers can earn up to 16 clock hours if participating in the full conference. Student rates and early bird discounts are available.

http://www.chuckanutwritersconference.com  (2016 info will be posted on January 4)

Centrum – The Port Townsend Writers Conference

July 17-24, 2016
Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend WA


The Port Townsend Writers Conference has been at the wild heart of the thriving Pacific Northwest literary scene since 1974. With a focus on community and rigorous attention to craft, the conference offers morning workshops, afternoon workshops, residencies, guided free writes, and a series of vibrant readings and lectures presented by vital, contemporary writers.


Whether you’re a new writer seeking an inspirational environment or a post-MFA writer looking for advanced revision workshops, the Port Townsend Writers Conference gives you the craft and connections to make breakthroughs in your work.

Those who register for a core morning workshop will spend the morning in workshops with a core faculty

The conference features afternoon-workshop offerings on special topics. These are taught by the morning faculty members and visiting writers and editors. The afternoon workshops are available on a drop-in basis, free to participants registered for morning workshop and at a special price (options range from $200 to $300) for those who only want to take workshops in the afternoon.

Many participants come here not to take workshops but simply to write. This option allows you to disconnect from usual routines and devote the time and space to write and revise. As part of this registration, you have access to all of the craft lectures, evening readings, and open-mike events that are part of the conference.

Each evening at 7 p.m., faculty members give readings at the Joseph F. Wheeler Theater. These events are free.

Tuition ranges from $200 to $700. Room and board options range from $250 to $700. Again, afternoon workshops are free for those who register for the core morning workshops.

All rooms are private rooms. Whether you are here to advance your writing through the full conference
experience or here as a resident, you’ll find a private room, 400 acres of inspiration, and a vigorous community of writers and teachers.

The Daily Schedule
9-11:30—Morning workshop
1-1:50—Craft Lecture
2-3:30—Workshops and lectures on special topics

Centrum operates an airport shuttle to and from Sea-Tac airport on the first and last days of the conference. You can sign up for the shuttle when you register for the conference.


Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference

July 28-31, 2016

Doubletree Inn, 18740 International Blvd., Seattle


The mission of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) is to develop writing talent through education, accessibility to the publishing industry, and participation in an interactive writer community. 


Last year PNWA’s conference celebrated its 60th year. With over 70 workshops, this conference is for writers of all levels. There are great opportunities to meet other writers, attend classes focused on the different aspects within the industry (craft, business, marketing), and pitch ideas to agents and editors.

Sessions are led by industry experts, and session topics include everything from craft to publishing to marketing. From keeping track of your expenses to crafting the perfect pitch, sessions give writers access to experts and the chance to ask questions in a friendly and open environment. There's something for everyone at the conference.

Power Pitch sessions: Each session is 90 minutes. During that time, attendees have the opportunity to pitch to multiple agents and editors. Each individual pitch is four minutes. Manuscripts are not needed for the pitch.

Here are 2015 Conference Prices (as a guideline):

$425 Registration Fee (for non-PNWA members) includes one 90-minute Pitch block

$375 Registration Fee for PNWA Members*, includes one 90-minute Pitch block*

Membership info can be found at https://pnwa.site-ym.com/general/register_member_type.asp

http://www.pnwa.org (2016 conference info will be updated in early December, 2015)

Willamette Writers’ Conference
August 12-14, 2016
Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, Portland


In 2016, approximately 800 writers from all over the United States will come together in Portland, Oregon for the annual Willamette Writers Conference.

Writers in all stages of their careers attend to learn more about writing, to be inspired, and to gather as a community. They also come to pitch their ideas, scripts, and manuscripts to the professionals who can help them succeed.

Reflecting their organizational mission, this conference is committed to promoting the careers and creativity of all writers, from beginners to published professionals.


Write on the Sound Writers Conference
September 30-October 2, 2016
Historic Francis Anderson Center, 700 Main Street, Edmonds, WA


Scheduled the first weekend in October each year, WOTS offers a unique and affordable opportunity for writers of all levels to build on their knowledge of the craft, learn about a new genre, and explore the writing industry. Its limited size makes the conference an intimate experience, perfect for sparking creativity, sharing ideas, and networking with other writers.

Workshops on craft, marketing, publishing, and specialty writing topics are available. Don't miss the chance to hear presentations by well-known speakers, have your manuscript reviewed by a critique expert (first come/first serve), or submit a short piece for the literary contest. You can also browse the on-site book shop and network with fellow writers and session presenters at a public meet-and-greet reception.

Registration is online or by phone and opens in late July. (It fills fast, so join their mailing list to be notified of the exact date registration opens).Their writing contest will be announced in January.

Conference Size: 275 people; "Small enough to allow quality time with presenters, and large enough to attract a large variety of writers.”

For 2015 conference, rates were as follows: (2016 rates will be published soon)

Saturday/Sunday Early Registration Rate: $145 ($165 after end of August)

Single Day Rate: $90

Pre-Conference Rate: $125 Full day/$77 half day

Best Western’s Harbor Inn holds a block of rooms at $99+tax for conference attendees



Northwest Institute of Literary Arts
Monthly Day Long Writing Events
Langley, Whidbey Island, Washington

The Northwest Institute of Literary Arts is a unique nonprofit educational organization on Whidbey Island in Washington. Our programs include the Whidbey Island Writers Association, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program in Creative Writing, the Whidbey Island Writers Conference, and Soundings Review literary magazine. We have the only MFA program in the country that isn't associated with a college or university–it's taught by published authors. NILA is for writers, by writers, and about writers. We prepare writers for a lifetime of writing.



Emerald City Writers Conference

October 14-16, 2016

Westin Hotel, Bellevue, WA

Sponsored by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America

Every fall, the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America chapter holds the popular Emerald City Writers Conference, which is currently the largest romance writing conference on the west coast. Three hundred attendees are expected, including leading industry editors and agents, and phenomenal speakers.

Keynotes, editors, and agents will be announced over the coming months.



Write in the Harbor

November 4-5, 2016
Gig Harbor Campus of Tacoma Community College


In November 2015, the inaugural conference of Write in the Harbor kicked off on a Friday evening with a plenary session keynoted by prominent author and Pacific Northwest native, Garth Stein. A full complement of classes, workshops, and panels on the craft and business of writing were offered the following day. 75-80 people attended.

A panel of agents and editors was included for those wishing to make individual appointments.

A main goal of the conference was to encourage writing and literary arts not only in the community but also among TCC students. Last year, two scholarships were provided for two TCC students to attend the conference without charge.

Planning for next year’s conference is already underway with a commitment to remain small, with space for about 100 attendees. The TCC continuing education department is hoping to use Write in the Harbor as a brand to offer small conferences and classes on writing throughout the year. Some Write in the Harbor classes are already on the schedule for the Winter 2016 quarter at TCC.

Registration deadlines have not yet been determined.

For more information and updates on Write in the Harbor, visit our website below.