With only two weeks to go to Christmas, it’s time for you to make yourself the perfect gift. If you’re serious about your writing career, attending a writers’ conference should be on your next year’s priority list. Here’s a list of the best five writers’ conferences to attend in California in 2020.

1. San Francisco Writers’ Conference

When: February, 13-16
Where: SAN FRANCISCO, Hyatt Regency San Francisco
Registration fee: $795

The 17th edition of the prestigious San Franciso Writers’ Conference will bring in front of the audience over a hundred presenters (including 20 literary agents) that will give over 80 sessions, lectures, and classes spread across four days. 

The registration fee also includes access to the SFWC Poetry Summit and Writing for Hollywood Summit. 

One of the main benefits of attending writers’ conferences is the opportunity to connect with fellow writers, industry experts, and literary agents. The conference includes several networking social events, including the Writers Coffeehouse with founder Jonathan Maberry!

2020 keynoters are Walter Mosley, Jonathan Maberry, and Brooke Warner

Top three reasons to attend San Francisco Writers’ Conference in 2020:

  1. It’s offers quality information and excellent speakers, yet is extremely friendly to writers at all levels. SFWC is by far one of the largest and most important writers’ events in the US. Attendance at the main conference averages around 600 people.
  2. It gives you the opportunity to pitch your book ideas one-on-one in a room full of literary agents ($75 option for registered attendees only).
  3. You can get FREE editorial feedback on your work from freelance book editors. 

2. Southern California Writers’ Conference

When: February, 14-16
Where: San Diego, Crowne Plaza Resort
Registration fee: $450 ($75 Early “Bird” Discount before January 1, 2020)

Founded and run by professional writers the SCWC provides veteran and emerging talent with authoritative guidance to help distinguish those manuscripts that are ready for market consideration, having facilitated well over $4 million worth of first-time authors’ book and screen deals. 

With extended one-on-one evaluation of advance submissions and dozens of read & critique and practical information workshops to choose from, the SCWC is among the only conferences specifically tailored to empower writers of every level with the vital tools, networking and industry prowess needed to sell their work

The conference includes an impressive number of workshops that cover the essential aspects of the writing and publishing process as well as read and critique sessions.

If you can’t make the February edition, you can catch up in September in Irvine (Orange County). More details here.

Top three reasons to attend Southern California Writers’ Conference in 2020:

  1. Pitch your book to some of the top literary agents in the country.
  2. Solve problematic aspects of your manuscript through the troubleshooting efforts of accomplished authors, editors and agents.
  3. Interact with working professionals from the publishing, film, and transmedia industries in a uniquely accessible environment.

3. San Diego Writers’ Festival

When: April, 4
Where: SAN DIEGO, Coronado Public Library
Registration fee: FREE

San Diego Writers’ Festival made its grand debut in 2019 with Piper Kerman as Keynote Speaker. In 2020, Scott Gimple of The Walking Dead will fill in this role.

The event, a free, performance-based festival celebrates writers of all kinds, including authors of poetry, spoken word, music, screenplays, books, plays, graphic novels, comic books, and more.

Attendees take part in daytime events including interactive craft and business-based workshops, live performances, educational panels, opportunities to meet authors, book signings, readings, live music, teen workshops, and kid-friendly events.

Unlike other writers’ festivals and conferences, this one is also geared towards young authors. Kids Write!, San Diego: A Unique Children’s Writing Contest invites young writers (ages 6 to 18) to share their unique perspectives on “Freedom” in one of the following literary categories: Poetry, Reflective Essay, Short Story, and Graphic Novella.

Top three reasons to attend San Diego Writers’ Festival in 2020:

  1. The opportunity to connect with other authors, industry experts, and readers.
  2. A unique concept that will inspire and motivate you to write.
  3. The diversity of the participants and topics.

4. The Greater Los Angeles Writers’ Conference

When: August, 14 -16
Where: LOS ANGELES, Double Tree by Hilton Hotel
Registration fee: $349 – $599

The 26th edition of the biggest writers’ conference in the LA area uniquely presents individual tracks for AspiringActive, and Accomplished writers (what we call the 3-A’s). Each features a progression of educational lectures, panels, and interactive workshops for each level of expertise. This allows you to immerse yourself in an educational and inspirational environment all weekend suitable to your expertise and interests. 

You can chose your level of participation and workshops based on what will benefit your writing career the most and crossover at anytime. The program will include almost 50 workshops. You can also pitch your novel to literary agents.

Top three reasons to attend the Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers’ Conference in 2020:

  1. Pitch your book to top literary agents.
  2. Learn about the writing craft and how to market your book from top experts.
  3. A friendly, yet professional environment where every attendee is treated with utmost respect and consideration.

5. La Jolla Writers’ Conference

When: October, 20 – 23
Where: LA JOLLA, Hyatt Regency
Registration fee: $395

The conference offers two types of classes: Lecture sessions run for 50 minutes and Workshops run for 110 minutes. Each block period will be dedicated to either workshop or lecture style classes. During each block period, there will be approximately 5-6 different classes on various topics from which to choose, allowing for intimate class sizes and personal feedback.

For most workshop classes, you are encouraged to bring written work for review and/or participation, though it is not required. Popular classes are repeated to ensure that you have a chance to attend. There will be approximately 80 original classes/topics offered at the conference. 

 Once registered for the conference, there are only three classes that require pre-registration on Saturday morning. Other than those three, you simply choose the class that most interests you during a particular block period and attend. Please note that classes begin at 1:00pm on Friday and end at 4:30pm on Sunday.

Marni Freedman, Steven Hutson, Heather Graham, Ken Sherman, and Jennifer Thompson are just a few of the top experts who will be speaking and presenting at the conference.

Top three reasons to attend La Jolla Writers’ Conference in 2020:

  1. Learn from best-selling authors, top literary agents and publishing experts.
  2. Pitch your novel to top literary agents
  3. Connect with fellow authors and top names in the publishing industry.