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5 creative writing conferences you should attend

Conferences are an invaluable opportunity for creative writers to connect with other writers as well as literary agents, editors and publishers.


Network, learn, pitch and be inspired at a creative writing conference and come away with ideas, advice and connections that can prove to be assets throughout your writing career.


Here are 5 creative writing conferences you should attend in 2019/20:


1. The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival


When? 4-13 October 2019


Where? Cheltenham, UK


Established in 1949, The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival is one of the oldest literary events in the world and brings together 600 of some of the world’s best writers and poets to help celebrate the written word.


Featuring a programme of around 500 debates, interviews and workshops, and with politicians, actors and industry thought leaders also in attendance, the Festival offers an opportunity to gain valuable insights and advice and meet your favourite authors and characters.


Find out more about The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival and register online.


2. Frankfurt Writers’ Conference


When? 6-7 March 2020


Where? Frankfurt, Germany


Featuring a diverse lineup of successful English-speaking writers, the Frankfurt Writers’ Conference invites writers from all around the world for 2 days of practical workshops, discussion panels and networking events.


As well as writers, agents and publishers will also be among the attendees at the conference. Keynote speakers will be sharing indispensable advice around areas such as what makes a good story, how to find the right agent, and the publishing process. These interactive talks will include opportunities to ask questions.


Find out more about the Frankfurt Writers’ Conference and register online.


3. The London Book Fair


When? 10-12 March 2020


Where? London, UK


Celebrating its 49th anniversary in 2020, The London Book Fair is a global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, TV, film, audio and digital channels.


Part of London Book & Screen Week, the Fair connects over 25,000 publishing professionals from all over the world to learn, network, and kickstart their year of business.

It’s an opportunity to meet the ‘who’s who’ of publishing under one roof and gain invaluable advice and insights from industry experts.

Find out more about The London Book Fair and register online.


4. ThrillerFest XV


When? 7-11 July 2020


Where? New York City, USA


If thrillers send your heart (and pen) racing, then this conference is for you. The annual conference of International Thriller Writers (ITW), ThrillerFest was established in 2004 by a group of best-selling authors to bring writers, producers, publishers, editors, agents and readers together to promote and support thriller writers around the world.


ThrillerFest features 6 main components:


  • Master Class – An educational tool for aspiring writers

  • CraftFest – Learn from best-selling authors and gain advice on the business aspects of the publishing industry

  • ConsultFest – Get instant feedback on your query letter or the first 2 pages of your manuscript from a leading expert

  • PitchFest – Matches writers with editors, producers and agents

  • ThrillerFest – Readers meet successful authors and get introduced to debut authors

  • Awards Banquet – ITW honours its ThrillerMaster, Silver Bullet Award, Thriller Legend, and Thriller Award winners.

Find out more about ThrillerFest XV and register online.


5. CoNZealand – 78th World Science Fiction Convention


When? 29 July-2 August 2020


Where? Wellington, New Zealand


The World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, is an annual science fiction convention that was established in 1939 and is held in a different location around the world each year.


This 5-day international conference brings together science fiction writers, fans, editors, artists, academics, publishers and dealers from all corners of the globe for discussion panels, keynote talks, and a host of networking opportunities. The convention celebrates science fiction in all its forms, including books, TV, film, art, comics, manga, anime and gaming.

Find out more about CoNZealand and register online.


If you’re interested in connecting with like-minded writers from around the world and expanding your creative writing expertise, University of Hull Online offers a flexible online MA in Creative Writing that will boost your knowledge and skills and connect you with a global network of industry professionals.


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