November 5-7, 2020
We’re going virtual

The Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference offers a balanced program covering the fundamentals of craft—delving into specific genres and techniques—along with the business of being a writer, promotion and marketing strategies, and managing a sustainable career.

We’re in the process of selecting speakers for what should be our best program yet so check back often, and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to receive session and speaker updates as they’re announced!

Featured Events

Pre-Conference Workshops (11/5)

The Compass of Character: Creating Complex Motivations for Compelling Characters | David Corbett

Personal Essay Essentials: How to Break Into Print with First-Person Writing | Windy Lynn Harris

Sessions Schedule

FRIDAY, November 6, 2020

  Fiction Genre Publishing Business
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

The Formula for Setting that Agents, Editors, and Readers Love
Kristin Oakley

Everything You Need to Know to Write Crime Fiction – In One Hour
Hank Phillippi Ryan

Book Publishing Trends in 2020: What Writers Need to Know
Jane Friedman and Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

In for the Long Haul: The Craft of Writing a Series
Donna Russo Morin

Writing Fantasy
L. Penelope
Query Letter Basics
Jess Regel
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Surprise & Delight Your Readers on Every Page
Jessica Strawser

Romance Panel
Talia Hibbert, Casey McQuiston, Kate Stayman-London, Alexis Daria, and Amy Jones (Moderator)

Panel: What Should Authors Expect From Publishers’ Marketing Efforts?
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Kilby Blades, and Kathleen Quinlan
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Lunch on your own
  Fiction Genre Craft
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Rooting Suspense in Domesticity
Hallie Ephron

Ten Tips for Researching and Writing Historical Fiction
Susan Meissner

The Incredibly Shrinking Story: Using Microficton to Build Your Novel
Ran Walker

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Developing a 25-Word Idea and Pitch Statement: The Heart of Your Story
Bob Mayer

Navigating Young Adult Characters Through the Expectations of Family and Society
Syed Masood

Could You Pick it Up (or Slow it Down) Already? Setting the Right Pace in Your Novel
Sharon Short

5:15 – 6:15 PM Opening Keynote: Jasmine Guillory

SATURDAY, November 7, 2020

  Craft Craft Publishing Business
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

How To Plot Your Book With Ease
Ann Garvin

The Muddle in the Middle
Hank Phillippi Ryan

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Publishing: From First Pitch to Book Birthday
Nevien Shaabneh

11:15 – 12:15 PM

Creating a Conflict Box: The Fuel of Your Story
Bob Mayer

It’s a Small, Diverse World: Creating Authentic Voices for Your Characters
Abby Vandiver

The Nitty Gritty on Giving a Book Talk for Your Novel
Hallie Ephron

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Dialogue as Action, Not Conversation
David Corbett

Reading Like a Writer: Master Close Reading and Improve Your Writing
Jacquelin Cangro

Evaluate Your Publisher’s Platform Before Signing a Book Deal
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

1:30 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch on your own / Exhibits
  Craft Craft Publishing Business
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Rock Your Revisions
Gabriela Pereira

Description: “Leave Out the Parts People Skip”
Katrina Kittle

Slush Pile Boot Camp
Chantelle Aimee Osman

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Beyond the Twilight Zone: Diversity in the Strange
Ran Walker

Weaving the Character Web
David Corbett

Panel: Debut Authors
PANEL: Joanne Ramos, Tariq Shah, Mia Mercado, Lisa Braxton, and Cassandra Lipp (Moderator)

5:15 – 6:15 PM

Central Keynote: Maaza Mengiste and Viet Thanh Nguyen

6:30 – 7:30 PM Networking, Virtual Lounge