Here’s our new SuperGuide to conferences and events for independent authors and/or indie book fans taking place in 2018 and into 2019. There’s nothing like meeting fellow authors and notable figures in the space in real life (IRL) so you can collaborate and compare notes.
If I were compiling a list of conferences devoted to indie authors alone, it would be a very small list indeed. But events that benefit indie authors span the gamut from writing workshops to big splashy expos where writers get to rub elbows with avid readers, agents and fellow authors.
My philosophy is simple. Learn as much about writing, readers and traditional book publishing before you set out on your indie journey. Infiltrate before you dominate.
So here’s our first annual SuperGuide to conferences, book gatherings and reader events of interest to independent authors.
Tip: Cut out this cheat sheet and tape it to your office wall. Even if you’re not going, you can follow the hashtags of most of these events on Twitter.
Have others to add? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them right away!
SuperGuide to Indie author conferences & events
Conferences, book fairs & reader events of interest to independent authors
* Indicates conferences that cater primarily to self-published authors.
Additional events for indie authors and/or indie book lovers
Above we didn’t include the second-level international book fairs in Bologna, Italy; Beijing; Buenos Aires; Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; Paris; Guadalajara, Mexico; Prague, Helsinki and Hong Kong. Online, one event worth checking out for sure is the upcoming Self-publishing Advice Conference (formerly known as ALLi’s Indie Author Fringe), which takes place April 14, 2018, in concert with the London Book Fair.
Additional reader events and writers’ workshops and conferences include these notable events. Keep in mind that this is a sampling and not a comprehensive list — there are hundreds of writing events and workshops around the globe.
- Norwescon, the Pacific Northwest’s Premier Science-Fiction and Fantasy Convention, March 29 – April 1, Seattle-Tacoma, Wash., $40-$85.
- Michigan Writing Workshop, April 14, 2018, Detroit, $169.
- Las Vegas Writers Conference, April 19-21, 2018, Las Vegas, Nev., $500. Put on by a nonprofit, the event attracts agents and publishers from across the country and provides a networking and critiquing forum for writers of all skill levels.
- Pikes Peak Writers Conference, April 27-29, 2018, Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Seattle Writers Conference, April 28, 2018, a full-day “how to get published” writing event in Seattle.
- SFWA Nebula Conference, the 52nd event from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, May 17-20, 2018, Pittsburgh, $206.
- American Society of Journalists and Authors Conference, May 18-19, 2018, New York, $269-$499. The event attracts some 500-600 people each year and focuses on helping independent writers succeed.
- Origins Game Fair, June 13-17, 2018, Columbus, Ohio. Gamer conference includes a large author seminar program.
- Hursley Park Book Fair, June 23-24, 2018, Hursley, UK. Family event for indie authors with talks, readings, book signings and competitions.
- Jackson Hole Writers Conference, June 28-30, 2018, Jackson Hole, Wyo., $375 price through May 12, 2018.
- Westercon, or the West Coast Science Fantasy Conference, July 4-8, 2018, Denver. Regional science fiction and fantasy convention founded in 1948.
- WorldCon, the World Science Fiction Convention, Aug. 16-20, 2018, San Jose, Calif., $50-$230, featuring the Hugo Awards. The five-day event is attended by thousands of writers, artists, fans, editors, publishers, academics and dealers.
- Ellcon, lesbian fiction conference, Aug. 23-24, 2018, Bristol, UK.
- Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference, Aug. 23-26, 2018, Nashville, Tenn., $379.
- Bubonicon 50, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, Aug. 24-26, 2018, Albuquerque, N.M., $40.
- Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Sept. 6-9, 2018, Denver.
- Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival, Oct. 15-22, 2018, Vancouver, B.C.
- GayRomLit, Oct. 18-21, 2018, in Portsmouth, Va., $225. An annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance books.
- Surrey International Writers’ Conference, Oct. 19-21, 2018, Surrey, British Columbia, $199-$649.
- Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference, Oct. 26–28, 2018, Pasadena, Calif.
- Independent Authors Conference, hosted by BookBaby, Nov. 2-4, 2018, Philadelphia, $249.
- Philadelphia Writing Workshop, Nov. 17, 2018, Philadelphia, $169.
Additional 2019 events
- Writers Conference of Minnesota. Latest one was held Feb. 17, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn.
- Seymour Agency Writer’s Winter Escape Cruise, Feb. 18-22, 2019, out of Miami for Nassau in the Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico. A working writer’s retreat that both published and unpublished authors the opportunity to pitch NY editors and LA film producers, attend sessions and network with other industry professionals.
- Sleuthfest. Latest one was held March 1-4, 2018, in Boca Raton, Fla. Annual gathering of mystery, suspense and thriller writers sponsored by the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America.
- Stokercon, put on by the Horror Writers Association. Latest one held March 1-4, 2018, in Providence, R.I.; cost was $200-$225 in 2018.
- Atlanta Writing Workshop. Latest one was held March 10, 2018, in Atlanta, Ga., $169.
- Left Coast Crime. March 28-31, 2019, Vancouver, Canada, $300 CAD until Dec. 31, 2018.
- DragonCon. Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, 2019, Atanta.
- Publishing conferences & book fairs: What’s in them for self-published authors? (Debbie Young of ALLi)
- Authors, Don’t Waste your Money: Book Fair Bewares (David Gaughran at ALLi)
- Authors: Think Twice Before Paying to Exhibit at Book Expo (Jane Friedman)
- What Mystery Conventions Are You Going To in 2018? (Mysteristas)