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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Upcoming Events for Writers! by DL Larson

Have you considered entering any contests this season? Or plan to attend a writers conference?

Now's the time. Each month I swish through my writer magazines and end up at the back of the periodicals where the contests and conferences are posted. I look at each carefully, contemplating if this conference or that contest would benefit my writing career.

Here are a few I found interesting.

2014 Reader's Choice Bean Pot Contest for Published Authors.
This contest is for romance writers and they are accepting published work from 2013, self-pubbed or traditional. For more info, visit

Touched by Love Award
This RWA chapter is looking for inspirational manuscripts. For more info, visit

Write Touch Readers' Award
This contest is for novel length romances with a 2013 copyright. For more info,

Chicago-North has their yearly contest and offer several categories for entries.
For more info, visit

The Laurie ~ Smoky Mountain Romance Writers! I was a finalist one year in this
contest! I remember it fondly, so had to post it. For more info, visit

Most of these have a deadline sometime in February. And of course, many other contests are out there with deadlines in March or April. So take time to research and find a contest that may help you with your writing career.

Conferences are a double-edged sword for me. I enjoy attending, enjoy talking with other writers, but I also find myself wandering a bit, wondering what exactly am I supposed to learn at a conference. Usually there are editors, publishers and agents available for the two minute pitch, which to this day, I dread and never feel like myself when talking to them. Then the book signings are another level of stress. Most attendees will purchase the speakers latest release and we others are left to smile and chit-chat with the masses and be content with selling a few books. Conferences can become a huge expense and so I caution all writers to be sure the conference you attend has what you need or want.

With that being said, here are a few I think would be worthwhile for an upcoming author:

SpringFling Writers Conference in the Chicago area, April 25-26th. Some great editors, and agents will be in attendance as well bestselling authors Courtney Milan and Julie Ann Walker. For more info, visit:

The San Francisco Writers Conference may still have a few openings left. It's Feb. 13-17th, and offering many well known authors, editors and publishers from as far away as New York, to Los Angeles and the San Francisco bay area. They are offering pre/post event classes. For more info, visit:

Interested in screen-writing? Maybe the California Genre-LA Writers Conference would be a good fit for you. It's coming up fast, Feb. 8-9th. There may be a few openings left. For more info, visit:

Looking for a warm get-away? Maybe Florida is the place for you. 2014 Hearts in the Sand Writers' Conference is set for Feb. 15th in Naples/Ft. Myers. This conference is focusing on 'marketing your book.' For more info, visit:

Whether you attend a conference or enter a contest is a tough decision. The cost must be considered, but if you are wondering what opportunities are available, then click some of these links and see if a contest is right for you. Then move on with your own research for a conference/contest.

Maybe this year is the year to attend a conference and mingle with other writers. Writing is a lonely business and a conference offers comradery and a level of acceptance that isn't easily found. I attended a writers conference in Salt Lake City one year. I didn't know a soul, but had a really good time. I even sold a few books and a few asked me for advice, which I did my best to answer in an upbeat way.

Good hunting in your searches for a conference or contest that is beneficial to you.

Til next time ~

DL Larson


  1. When I get my RWR the first section I flip to is the contests! I highlight and mark the ones I'm interesting in.

    I'll be attending Spring Fling in April...hope to see everyone there!

  2. Thanks, Deb. I'm already signed up for the Chicago Spring Fling Conference.

    Morgan Mandel

  3. I need to sign up for SpringFling - hope to do that this week. Also, I'm thinking of entering a few contests. Thanks for sharing ~

  4. Seems like Spring Fling will be the pace to be. I'm also going.

  5. It will be great to see everyone at Spring Fling!

    Morgan Mandel

  6. This post is incredibly helpful, thank you so much!
    I, too, am a fan of the San Francisco Writer's Conference. I was the runner up in their contest last year and am a finalist this year. I attended last year ( my 1st conference) and, as a 1st time novelist at the time, it was encouraging and verifying to be there!