For the past few days, I’ve been hammering out the details of my travels this year. I’ll be teaching at The Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference again in June, and Australia in August, and San Diego in October. I’m also going to play in New Zealand with CR’s brother & family, and in NYC with my boy who is (seriously, I’m so not as old as this makes me sound) graduating from law school.
I promised to post great conference links for you and never got to it, but here are some to think about for this year. It’s not cheap to attend conferences, but once in awhile, it’s worth it to splurge.
First up, the Magazine Conference in Boulder, which I attended last fall and enjoyed very much. This is the least expensive of the lot, and they’re going to offer several focused versions this year, from travel writing to the nuts and bolts of magazines. At $350 and in the stunningly beautiful city of Boulder, it’s hard to go wrong with this.
I love the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, June 21-26 this year. I’ll be teaching a lot of voice and creativity along with the usual Iowa-style readings that feature so prominently at this conference. This one is pricier, but it is set right on the beach in a stunning hotel, and Ray Bradbury will be speaking Saturday night. Enormous variety in faculty and speakers.
The Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. One of the most delightful experiences I’ve had. The conference is intriguing, the parties delightful (Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene acted out on the square while we drank wine in the soft evening breeze), and the company varied and intriguing. You will never be sorry you went to this one. But yes, the price tag is…a teeny bit painful.
And of course, there is the big Romance Writers of America bash in San Francisco this year. I’m quite torn over whether to attend this year, and doubt very much I can squeeze it in, but I am mourning the possibilities (French Laundry! Chez Panisse!). This is one of the most complete, most intense, most vivid writing conference experiences out there, so if you have never attended, even if you are not strictly a romance writer, I guarantee you will learn a lot.
There are hundreds of others, of course. I’ve heard the Surrey Conference is a treat. There are some retreats in Barcelona I wouldn’t mind attending someday, and really, I just think I must find one in Ireland one of these days. I could visit my friends Tom and Emer and explore Ireland for real.
What are some of the conferences you know about that we should consider? What’s the best conference you’ve ever attended and why?