The Writer's Digest Annual Conference (August 23–25, 2019) is the premier event for novelists, nonfiction writers, screenwriters and freelancers, offering a wealth of wisdom and practical advice for improving your writing, getting published, and advancing your writing career.
If you've already registered, we look forward to seeing you there! If not, check out some of the highlights we're looking forward to at the conference, and register today.
1. Keynotes by Min Jin Lee and N.K. Jemisin
The incredible three-time Hugo-winning and groundbreaking (no pun intended) N.K. Jemisin will present the opening keynote at the conference. We look forward to learning from her what it takes to change the landscape (OK, pun sort of intended) of genre fiction and craft her world-building-rich Broken Earth trilogy—among her wealth of excellent short fiction.
On top of that, we were so endlessly charmed by Min Jin Lee after our recent WD Interview with her that we couldn't help but ask her to join us at the annual conference. The multiple award-winning Pachinko author will present the closing keynote of the conference, gracing us with her clever advice and smooth wit.
2. Pre-Conference Workshop with Jordan Rosenfeld
In her pre-conference add-on session on Thursday, August 22, How to Write a Page-Turner: Mastering the Art of Tension, Jordan Rosenfeld, author of How to Write a Page-Turner (Writer’s Digest Books, 2019) and five other books on writing craft, will demonstrate the secrets of page-turning tension, strategies for building character tension and the essentials of creating plot tension. In addition, you'll learn how to balance scene elements for maximum tension and how to build powerful images that layer in subconscious tension. Register for this special preconference workshop here.
3. Pitch Slam!
If you've attended before, you know that the Pitch Slam is your rare opportunity to pitch your book directly to professional agents and editors actively looking for new voices. Advocate for your book in a high-energy environment, and you might just become another Pitch Slam success story. Register for Pitch Slam here.
4. Tactical and Practical Fight Scene Workshops with Carla Hoch
Take it from someone who spent our 2018 Novel Writing Conference in rapt awe of Carla Hoch: You cannot. Miss. These. Sessions.
Carla's workshops on writing fight scenes—which include physical demonstrations, practical explanations and gruesome discussions of how different wounds work in real life—are an unforgettable blend of experiential and informative learning, with value for writers in any medium.
5. Agent-Author Adventures with Jeff and Janet
In what may be the most staff-anticipated session on the roster, author Jeff Somers will join forces to present together on the agent-author relationship.
Jeff will discuss the role of agents in an author’s life: offering sage career advice, buying him drinks, telling him how smart he is, bailing him out of jail, telling him his writing is brilliant, helping him choose projects, mailing him checks, all while tormenting him on a near-daily basis. Meanwhile Janet Reid, who is Jeff’s agent, will reveal for the first time ever what feats of strength and magic rituals Jeff had to perform to secure representation, what she does when Jeff digs in his heels about plot twists, contract language, or wearing pants to this writing conference. You’ll get insight into her perverse pleasure in tormenting Jeff about publicity, promotion, and living in New Jersey.
6. Screenwriting and Adaptations with Jeanne Veillette Bowerman
If you caught screenwriter and ScriptMag editor Jeanne's sessions last year, you know her insights and stage presence are unparalleled. Discover what Hollywood is looking for in a story and writer, how this complicated industry works, as well as essential techniques that grab a producer’s attention and make the execution of your story as good as the hook, all while taking the audience on an emotional ride. Plus, she'll reveal what it takes to get your book adapted for the screen.
7. Engaging Wisdom from Steven James
Get twisted with the masterful Steven James, who presented last year's enthralling and hilarious preconference workshops. He'll present two sessions: one full of craft wisdom about plot twists, covering how to develop endings that leave your readers stunned, thrilled, and panting for more; and the other on how to actually become more like Steven himself! In a unique and all-new session, he'll teach you how to shape talks and speeches that are gripping, attention-getting, and make an impact, and help you develop storytelling skills such as voice, gesture, and pacing while you learn how to sharpen the skills you already have.