Writing Conferences and Festivals Are in Bloom!

Writers and lovers of good writing, don’t miss these wonderful upcoming conferences and festivals! I’d like to highlight new additions to my annual listing. These are Writing by Writers at Tomales Bay and at Lake Tahoe (listed at bottom because they are in the fall, but do note spring application deadline for scholarships to Tomales), WordSpring at Butte College, the Sacramento Black Book Fair, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference and the Suprise Valley Writers Conference.

Please note I have also given these listings a permanent home on my website on the Resources page so you can access them anytime!

I can’t wait to see you at one of more of these truly wonderful events for writers and readers. If you know of a conference you’d like to see added, please write me at kate (at) kateasche (dot) com and give me all the details, including the website URL, and I will add it if it seems appropriate (and when I can).

Happy writing this spring!




Our Life Stories Conference
Saturday, April 23, 2016

The excellent long-standing cross-generational writers conference sponsored by Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College.

See the wonderful conference schedule and speaker bios here.
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Cosumnes River College
8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Conference Fee Includes morning refreshments, lunch, workshops, and materials
Space is limited


WordSpring at Butte College

Saturday, April 23, 2016

WordSpring is a creative writing conference put on by a small team of teachers and students who are passionate about writing. The mission is to invigorate the local community of writers, both new and experienced, by allowing everyone to come together while also bringing in professional writers from near and far to share their expertise. This conference is an inspiring experience that leaves attendees refreshed, excited, and newly equipped to write.

Each year the conference features a unique and engaging contest special to that conference–check out the website for more information.

The conference includes a light breakfast and buffet lunch in registration costs. WordSpring is sponsored by the English Department at Butte College and is in part supported by donations from the community and state equity grants. For more information on registration and our sonnet-writing contest email us at wordspring@butte.edu or call Professor Molly Emmons at (530) 895-2935.


Sacramento Poetry Center Annual Spring Conference

Saturday, April 30, 2016

See the fabulous workshop leader lineup and registration info at sacramentopoetrycenter.org.

The 2016 Annual Writers Conference will be featuring Alexis Levitin, Salgado Maranhão, Susan Gubernat, Kenneth Waldman, Sally Ashton, and Tim Kahl for a set of workshops and lectures from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

This conference is always a good value: This year you may attend for only $30 if you are a member of SPC, or $40 if you are not. Students are welcome for $15. The price of the conference includes an inexpensive box lunch. We prefer cash or check, but credit card transactions might be possible.

A reading by the visiting poets follows the official conference workshops. This reading begins at 3:00 pm and concludes at 4:00 pm. The visiting writers reading is open to the public for an optional donation.

Sacramento Poetry Center at 1719 25th Street
Registration Fee includes access to all three sessions for talks, all readings and lunch
Pay at the door or send check to: SPC 1719 25th Street Sacramento, CA 95816


Gold Rush Writers Conference

April 29-May 1, 2016

View program information and register here.

Come join the Gold Rush Writers Conference at the historic Leger Hotel in picturesque Mokelumne Hill where writing professionals will guide you to a publishing bonanza through a series of panels, specialty talks, workshops and celebrity lectures. Go one-on-one with successful poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists and short story writers. The conference includes a picnic supper in a Victorian garden Friday evening, as well sa Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch.


SummerWords: The American River College Creative Writing Colloquium

May 26-29, 2016

View program presenter bios and schedule, and buy your tickets here!

Join American River College’s vibrant and accomplished creative writing faculty and local and regional writers and teachers for three days and nights of workshops, panels, and readings featuring a keynote reading by nationally acclaimed writer.  Click the links at the left for more information or click below to purchase tickets. Sponsored by The Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation and the American River College Foundation.


Sacramento Black Book Fair

June 3-5, 2016

At the Historic Center of Oak Park

Endorsed and co-sponsored by a huge number of Sacramento individuals and organizations, this 3-day book fair and celebration will include a panel discussion among four featured authors, book signings, talks by each of the featured writers, cultural & food vendors, book discussions with each writer listed in the program (80+), children’s activities, poetry readings, art displays, and much more.  


Squaw Valley Community of Writers

Poetry: June 18-25, 2016

Prose: July 25-August 1, 2016

Portions of the program are open to the public.

The Community of Writers was established in 1969 by novelists Blair Fuller and Oakley Hall, who were both residents of the valley. It was originally staffed by a band of San Francisco writers including David Perlman, Walter Ballenger, Barnaby Conrad and John Leggett, the latter two of whom went on to found, respectively, the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and the Napa Valley Writers Conference. The Community of Writers continues to be directed by Brett Jones.

Over the years the community has mounted workshops in Fiction, Nonfiction, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Poetry, and Nature Writing (the Art of the Wild, co-produced by Jack Hicks and University of California at Davis), and Writing the Medical Experience directed by David Watts. Lisa Alvarez and Louis B. Jones now co-direct the Fiction Program and Michael Carlisle directs the nonfiction Program of the Writers Workshop, which were for twenty years directed by Carolyn Doty. Galway Kinnell directed the Poetry Program for 17 years and Robert Hass has directed it since 2004. Diana Fuller directs the Screenwriters Workshop, founded in 1974 by screenwriters Tom Rickman and Gill Dennis.


Annual Conference on Creative Writing at University of the Pacific

June 24-26, 2016

An information packed three-day conference at the University of the Pacific’s beautiful main campus. Details and registration here. Various pricing options available. Literary agents and publishers are available for pitch sessions and help with book manuscripts is available.

Interactive workshops and presentations will cover all aspects and genres of creative writing, from brainstorming techniques to submitting work for publication, writing creative nonfiction articles for publication to writing children’s books, murder mysteries, science fiction, and westerns.


Amherst Writers and Artists Festival of Writing at Pacific School of Religion

July 16, 2016
Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley

More information here.

presented by Amherst Writers & Artists West, and Pacific School of Religion

Come write with other writers in a supportive environment. The all-day event will feature writing workshops, a reception, and a key note (speaker TBD). With the insight that “everyone is born with creative genius,” Pat Schneider created the AWA method more than thirty years ago to provide a safe, encouraging environment for writing.  The method continues to help people from all walks of life find and appreciate their unique voice.

The Festival is open to all – no experience necessary. Morning and afternoon writing workshops will be led by experienced AWA method-trained workshop facilitators.  Take advantage of many nearby options during the lunch hour, or bring your own lunch and eat on the beautiful PSR campus. A late afternoon reception will offer an opportunity for participants to meet and talk. The Festival will culminate in a keynote speech in Pacific School of Religion’s Bade Museum.


Napa Valley Writers’ Conference

July 24-29, 2016

Since 1981, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference has provided an opportunity for fellowship and serious work with a focus on craft amidst the hills and vineyards that have made the region famous. The conference is a project of Napa Valley College.


Mendocino Coast Writers Conference

August 4-6, 2016

Features nationally-recognized authors and publishing professionals who are outstanding teachers. The conference is limited to 100 participants who will discover: how to develop their literary craft in a supportive community, surrounded by the spectacular scenery and temperate climate of California’s North Coast; a place to exchange ideas with authors, editors, literary agents, and other writers of many talents, ages and backgrounds. Learning happens in workshops, seminars, panels, and during informal social gatherings; inspiration to explore how writing can shape the world. Whatever the genre, whether fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, words are a powerful instrument of change; a place where you can take creative risks, whether on the page or on the stage, and where you will be inspired to explore new ways to shape your writing. An opportunity for teachers to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through Dominican University.


Surprise Valley Writers Conference

Setember 15-18, 2016

Each day is composed of three-hour writers’ workshops in the morning, ample time for lunch, craft lectures on Thursday and Friday afternoons, a field trip on Saturday. Evening events include a Welcome Reception, Staff Readings, Keynote Speech, Campfire Open Mic, shared meals and community building. We also encourage attendees to write and discover Surprise Valley on your own. Our staff is available to offer suggestions on local sights, drives and adventures.

All workshops and lectures are held in downtown Cedarville.


Tahoe WordWave

October 21-23, 2016

WordWave is a free festival held on the shore of South Lake Tahoe at the Tallac Historic Site.

We have gathered some of the most creative and inspiring writers, musicians, and performers from around the country to share their talents at this three-day event. The festival will be interactive, featuring readings, workshops, plays, open mics, guided hikes, and oral storytelling.

Our vision for WordWave is to create an annual cultural event at beautiful Lake Tahoe. Every culture uses story to entertain, educate, preserve history and tradition, and connect. The underlying principle of WordWave is that stories—in song, theater, oral tradition, and books—change lives.

WordWave will provide a venue for locals and visitors alike to share their stories and validate their creativity, an annual gathering where anyone can come, create, and be inspired by our lake.


Writing By Writers Workshop @ Tomales Bay

October 19-23, 2016

The Writing By Writers Workshop @ Tomales Bay brings aspiring writers into close community with nationally known poets and writers.  Manuscript and poetry workshops are limited to 12 participants and generative workshops are limited to 15 to ensure an intimate setting.  For information on how to apply, please click here.

October each year at Marconi Conference Center, Marshall, California, just north of San Francisco in Marin County.

Scholarships are available and applications for these are due on May 1


Writing By Writers Boot Camp @ Lake Tahoe

November 11-14, 2016

The Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp is for the writer who has a full book-length manuscript (novel, memoir or short story collection) and would like to engage with a small group for a serious and productive response.  The long weekend will include an intimate full manuscript workshop, craft talks, readings, an agent panel and individual agent meetings – the perfect pre-publication boot camp for any manuscript.  Classes are limited to 5 participants.  Click here to apply.

November each year at Granlibakken Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City, California.

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