All the World’s a Book Fair (or Writer’s Conference) Calendar

January is a traditional time of beginnings. It’s time to “shake it off” (thank you Taylor Swift) and buckle down. It’s time to get going, particularly with regard to your writing career.

Already done that, tried and failed? That’s the great thing about beginnings; you can begin again.

Here are the January writers’ conferences.

Advanced Horror Fiction Writing Seminar (January 3–27)

Estes Park, Colorado

If everything know about horror fiction you learned from Stephen King, maybe there’s more to learn. This part-online, part-retreat crash course in the art of the spooky might be just the thing to get the ideas (and blood) flowing and to get you to hone your skills (as well as your knives!).

You can earn college credit and get room and board for $3,250. Now, THAT’s scary.

Writers Workshops Costa Rica (January 3–30)

Villas Normas, Costa Rica

You’ve got three weeks to choose from, or you can take them all!

Week 1 is Acting Exercises for the Creative Writer. Week 2 is Fundamentals of Comedy. Week 3 is Success Through Self-Publishing. Whichever week you pick, there’s yoga every day.

A Retreat for Writers in Oaxaca, Mexico (January 10–18)

Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca sounds like an ideal place to escape winter and learn writing in a small six-to-twelve-person group with published “poet and writer” (interesting distinction there! Discuss.) Donna Hanelin.

Key West Literary Seminar (January 12–15)

Key West, Florida

Sounds like another ideal place to escape winter and learn writing–this time in a large seminar taught by the likes of Billy Collins, Jennine Capó Crucet, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Kristen-Paige Madonia, Michael Maren, Daniel Menaker, Kate Moses, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and Dani Shapiro.

Key West Writers’ Workshop Program (January 16–20)

Key West, Florida

The workshop takes place immediately following the seminar, featuring faculty luminaries including most of the names listed above.

DBW 2017 Indie Author Conference (January 19)

New York, NY

Are you the “new professional author”? If you are, you’re driving your own career. You direct your own output. You position your own branding. You coordinate your own production. You execute on your own market strategy. And even if you’ve published traditionally, you know you’re an indie, an entrepreneur, an agent of your own success. This new DBW program is the “First Conference for the New Professional Author,” and it will cover the landscape for independent and hybrid authors.

SDSU Writers’ Conference (January 20–22)

San Diego, California

Some conferences have an overarching theme, genre, or a killer location, or yoga every day. Some have R. L. Stine, J. A. Vance, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Jonathon Maberry.

The San Diego University Writers’ Conference (now in its thirty-third year) is one of the latter.

ALA Midwinter 2017 (January 20–23)

Atlanta, Georgia

Political comedian W. Kamau Bell kicks things off with we’re guessing some political comedy. None other than Neil Patrick Harris closes the session with—and this is not a guess, this is promised—a magic show. Somewhere in between they’ll be talking about books and libraries. It’s one of the bigger shows.

Capital Christian Writers’ Self-Publishing Conference (January 28)

Clifton, Virginia

Physician, publish thyself! This Christian conference seems much more focused on the business and writing aspects of self-publishing than on matters of faith. Topics include reducing anxiety, social media marketing, and in-person marketing, as well as bringing aspects of storytelling to nonfiction and making fiction more enjoyable.