What’s New at the Willamette Writers Conference

Welcome to our 2018 Conference!

This year, our theme for The Best Three Days in Writing is “Celebrating Diverse Voices in Writing.” The whole team is really looking forward to what we’ve got in store for you all this August 3rd -5th.

As you know, the conference has grown and changed much over its 49-year history. We wanted to take some time today to let you know about the biggest, most exciting changes you can expect to see at the conference the first weekend in August.

More Face Time!

We’ve offered 10-minute sit-downs with agents and editors for decades, but this year we’re taking it a step further. Not every writer who comes to our conference wants to meet with an agent. For those folks, we’ve gathered a group of experts on everything from story structure, to web design, to social media, to query letters, to … well, pretty much everything. You can sit with one for ten minutes and get your questions answered by somebody who’s been there and done that. They’re called One-On-One Critiques and you can sign up for them when you register.

Back by Popular Demand …

Last year, we didn’t do our Advance Manuscript Critique option for a variety of reasons. The feedback about that was … unambiguous. So we’re bringing this popular service back. For those who don’t know about Advance Manuscript Critique, this is a chance to give several chapters and a synopsis of your work to an experienced professional who will give in-depth feedback to help you grow as a writer. Our list of authors, editors, and agents available for critique is growing every day, and we cannot wait to share them with you.

The Industry Awaits

Our conference has always had a table or two in the lobby staffed by people who serve the writing community. Last year, we went a little bigger by bringing in more publishers, illustrators, lawyers, publicists, and similar companies to tell you what they do. This year, we’re going even bigger. The craft of writing is something we’ve always covered well. We’re adding more service for the business and industry of our profession. Look for it in the lobby and the hallways, and stop by and chat with these industry professionals.

Training in Depth

In what’s probably our biggest change, we’re changing our conference to the Best Four Days in Writing by adding a master class series on Thursday, August 2nd, before our regular offerings. This is your chance to take a full-day class with one of the foremost experts in a specialized topic of writing. Each class is limited to just 12 attendees, so register early to get on the list.

A Great, Big Party!

Last year, we launched our first Big Critique, and it was a huge success. With such rave reviews, we’ve decided to end our conference this year with this fantastic event. At this wrap party, you’ll sit at a table with a professional writer and five aspiring writers. Everyone will read one page, and receive feedback about what’s great, what’s even better, and what needs a little tweaking. We’ll be opening this event to the public as well as attendees, so the conference is sure to end with a bang.

Plus, we’re keeping all the best parts of the conference that we’ve offered since time immemorial: great classes, pitch sessions with agents, delicious food, and social networking activities far into the night. It’s going to be a great time. I can’t wait to see you there!