Upcoming 2018 Conferences & Festivals

Hi all! At WBP we love Writing Conferences and Book Festivals! So we thought we’d give an overview of 2018 Conferences and Festivals to see if any are a good fit for you! I’m going to break it into Writing Conferences (Good for networking, working on craft, and agent pitching) and Book Festivals (Fan events, meeting your favorite authors, great panels)

Writing Conferences


Write On Con

Where: Online

When: Feb 9 -11, 2018

WriteOnCon is a three-day online children’s book conference for writers and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, young adult, and even new adult. It was founded in 2010 and is now run by a new team of writers who are eager to hearken back to the awesomeness that they remember so fondly from being attendees over the years, while also bringing exciting new elements to the mix.

WriteOnCon features blogs, vlogs, pitch sessions, Q&As, critique forums, and more — there’s something for every writer/illustrator, in every stage of their career. From the comfort of your home, a library, a coffee shop — any place with an internet connection — you can meet agents and editors, connect with potential critique partners, and generally soak up a whole bunch of knowledge!

Cost: $5

Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference

Where: Colorado Springs, CO

When: April 27-29, 2018

A more local conference with smaller panels. So there are more chances for one-on-one time and networking. It also provides pitch appointments for an extra fee.

Cost: Regular registration is available from November 11, 2017 through March 15, 2018 for $405.

Late registration is available from March 16, 2018 through April 22, 2018 for $460.

The 2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago

Where: Chicago, IL

When: June 23, 2018

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (250 total).

The great thing is that there are Writing Day events like this all over the country so see if there’s one close to you!

Cost: $169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 WWOC and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 24, 2017, registration is now OPEN.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents in attendance.

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian Klems, one of the day’s instructors.

Add $79 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 pages of your novel.


Annual Summer Conference 

Where: Los Angeles

When: August 3-6, 2018

The Annual Summer Conference spans three days with an optional intensive day on Monday. The conference is held each year in Los Angeles. Registration for the 2018 conference will commence in April, 2018. Many of the biggest authors and illustrators in children’s books will be joining a bevy of agents, art directors and editors.

Cost: ~$500-600

Writer’s Digest Conference:

Where: New York, NY

When: August 10-12, 2018

The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference offers everything you need to advance your writing career creatively and professionally. Writers of all backgrounds and experience levels can sharpen their skills, pitch their work to literary agents and find inspiration in the words of experienced mentors. And it’s all brought to you by Writer’s Digest, the experts at nurturing and developing writers at every stage for nearly 100 years.


Basic Conference: NOW-FEB 6 $369. FEB 7-APR 17 $399. APR 18-AUG 9 $479. ON-SITE $499

Pitch Slam Add-On*NOW-FEB 6 $149. FEB 7-APR 17 $149. APR 18-AUG 9 $149. ON-SITE $149

Manuscript Academy

Where: Online

When: TBD

The Manuscript Academy, LLC is brought to you by literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer, conference organizer and media professional Julie Kingsley, and Manuscript Wish List®.

We offer world-class publishing instruction that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home or your favorite coffeeshop. Unlike traditional conferences, you simply need a computer, a tablet, or even your smartphone to log in and enjoy the very best instruction from some of the top minds in the literary community. Every online Manuscript Academy conference will give you the full educational and networking value of a traditional writing conference, but without the hassle of travel, paying for meals out, or arranging childcare.

Access to exclusive recorded classes and panels, designed to educate you about need-to-know topics such as how to submit your work, what agents and editors are looking for, how to craft amazing novels and books, the business of writing and promotion, and much more. You will have access to many high-quality recorded video presentations for 30+ full days—so you can pause, rewind, and notes at your own convenience. See the full schedule of classes here.
Opportunities to pitch agents and editors one-on-one online.
Critique opportunities for your work.
Live query and first page workshops and discussions (in groups of up to 10) on topics ranging from Publishing Law to How to Be A Trendsetter, Not Trendy.

Cost: Full Library of Classes $225.00

Kweli – The Color of Children’s Literature Conference

Where: New York, NY

When: TBD (Usually spring)

A book conference highlighting and celebrating authors of color and stories about people of color.

‟Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?”

Cost: TBD

Book Festivals



Where: Javit’s Center, NYC

When: June 2-3, 2018
One of the biggest fan events of the year where most of the big publishers and indies come out to promote their upcoming titles by sending their top authors and ARCs!

BookCon is the event where storytelling and pop culture collide.


Saturday: Adult Online: $35 Adult Onsite: $45 Kids Aged (6-12) $10

Sunday: Adult Online: $30 Adult Onsite: $40 Kids Ages (6-12) $10


ALA Annual 

Where: New Orleans, LA

When: June 21-26, 2018

The oldest and largest library association in the world, holds its Annual Conference & Exhibition each summer. As the world’s biggest library event, it brings together, librarians and library staff, educators, authors, publishers, friends of libraries, trustees, special guests, and exhibitors to engage and participate in the ongoing transformation of libraries, and to network.

News is made at this event, important announcements are made, updates are shared, relevant legislation and policy are addressed, and discussions take place that have a major impact on libraries, their roles and their ongoing transformation.

Cost: ALA Member – until March 7 – $305. Until May 2 – $320. Until June 15 – $350

Non-Member – Until March 7 – $395. Until May 2 – $420. Until June 15 – $460


Where: Santa Monica, CA

When: May 5, 2018

Sister event to YALLFEST. A book festival run by authors. It usually draws a lot of authors from the big five publishing houses and has great panels. It’s free, but some events are ticketed, so check the website ahead of time.

Cost: FREE, but there ARE ticketed events.

Boston Teen Author Festival

Where: Cambridge, MA

When: Sept 22, 2018

The Boston Teen Author Festival (BTAF) is an annual event that aims to encourage and celebrate a love of reading for teens and fans of young adult literature in the Greater Boston area.

Launching in 2012 with fourteen authors and less than fifty attendees, our sixth annual event in 2017 welcomed forty authors and almost 600 attendees. BTAF spans over the course of a day and is free and open to the public. The day’s schedule begins with a rapid-fire Q&A with all of the authors attending for that year. It then breaks up into themed panels, which are broken up into two sessions in the morning and are repeated in the afternoon so you never have to miss out on seeing your favorite authors! The day wraps up with a massive book signing with all our authors, with book sales provided by local indie bookseller Porter Square Books.

Cost:  Free

Texas Teen Book Festival

Where: Austin, TX

When: October 27-28, 2018

The Texas Teen Book Festival (TTBF) is a one-day event that celebrates the teen reading experience by inviting fans to engage with some of the most popular and critically acclaimed young adult authors in the country. The TTBF started as the Austin Teen Book Festival in 2009, when librarian Heather Schubert partnered with BookPeople to organize a gathering at Westlake High School that hosted 16 authors and 500 attendees. The event continued to grow, and in 2011-2013 was sponsored by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. In 2014 the Fest was renamed the Texas Teen Book Festival and is currently a collaboration of the Texas Book Festival, BookPeople, and a dedicated group of librarian volunteers. One of the largest gatherings of its kind anywhere, the annual Fest takes place in the fall on the campus of St. Edward’s University.

Cost: FREE



Where: Charleston, SC

When: Nov 9-10, 2018

Sister event to YALLWEST. A book festival run by authors. It usually draws a lot of authors from the big five publishing houses and has great panels. It’s free, but some events are ticketed, so check the website ahead of time.

Cost: FREE

Brooklyn Book Festival 

Where: Brooklyn, NY

When: TBD (fall)

The Brooklyn Book Festival is one of America’s premier book festivals and the largest free literary event in New York City. Presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors, it includes a week of Bookend Events throughout New York City, a lively Children’s Day and a celebratory Festival Day with more than 300 authors and 200 booksellers in a vibrant Literary Marketplace. This hip, smart, diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages. Our 2017 festival welcomed authors including Karl Ove Knausgård, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud, Chris Hayes, Carolyn Forché, Sarah Dessen, Alexandra Bracken, Thi Bui, Lynn Nottage, Hisham Matar, Maira Kalman and hundreds more.

Cost: FREE

Hybrid Events:


Romantic Times Convention

Where: Reno, NV

When: May 15-20

Combines writing and fan events. With panels for both craft and for your favorite books. In the past it included a YA section, but rumor is that will be greatly reduced or eliminated, so definitely look into that if that’s your age category. But RT is definitely for romance writers, so if that’s your category then it’s a great event for fans and writers alike.

In 2017, 3,500 fans came out for the Giant Book Fair in Atlanta to meet 500 authors.

Cost: $515 Aspiring Author

$460 for Readers

Any Conference that you’re planning to go to?

3 thoughts on “Upcoming 2018 Conferences & Festivals

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s