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Writing Conferences: 20 Best Events to Help You Crush It in 2020


Best Writing Conferences for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com.It’s just a few days into the New Year, and spots for writing conferences are filling up.

Thinking about attending an event to help you crush your goals in 2020?

Writing conferences can be a great way to give your freelance writing career a boost.

How? You’ll meet writers, editors, publishers, and marketing peeps in your niche. And you’ll learn more about the business and craft of freelance writing.

Writing conferences can also open your eyes to aspects of freelancing you might not even know about.

You’ll also get training, marketing tips, and even story ideas at writing conferences that you can pitch to magazines and trade pubs.

So which one should you attend?

It depends on a bunch of things like your budget, calendar, ability to travel. Your niche, current skills, type of writing you do, can also help you choose.

Looking for a writing conference to attend? Check out this list of 20 writing conferences in 2020.

1. AMWA Conference

Date: Oct. 11-14
Location: Baltimore, Md.
Registration: See website

This is the annual conference hosted by the American Medical Writers Association. The AMWA Conference includes medical writing workshops and discussions. But you can also connect with potential clients and exhibitors like healthcare organizations, big pharma, health insurance, and companies that specialize in medical devices and software.

2. ASJA Conference

Date: April 19-20
Location: New York, N.Y.
Registration: $399 to $609

The American Society of Journalists is designed to help freelance writers and independent journalists land more assignments, improve pitching skills, understand content marketing, and sharpen research skills. There’s also multiple Q&A sessions with experts in writing, publishing, content marketing, and social media. And if you plan ahead, you can book an appointment with editors, publishers and literary agents.

3. B2B Marketing Exchange

Date: Feb. 24-26
Location: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Registration: $1,095 to $1,995

Want more content marketing work for businesses? You’ll learn about that here. The B2B Marketing Exchange conference offers six different session tracks to choose from: demand generation, content marketing, digital strategy, account-based marketing, channel marketing, and sales enablement. If you get a couple of freelance writing friends to join the conference with you, you may be able to shave a few hundred bucks off the ticket price.

4. BIO Conference

Date: May 15-17
Location: New York, N.Y.
Registration: See website

This the annual conference hosted by the Biographers International Organization. You’ll learn skills and strategies from pro writers about pitching, researching, and writing biographies. It’s also where the Plutarch Awards winner is announced for the best biography of the year.

5. The Conductor C3 2020 Conference

Date: May 7-8
Location: New York, N.Y.
Registration: $799

If you’re trying to navigate digital marketing or you work with clients on content projects that include SEO, social media, and analytics to understand how content drives traffic, this is content is for you. and content.  Includes two days of training and lectures. Plus networking opportunities with major brands and digital marketing companies.

6. Content Marketing World

Date: Oct. 13-16
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Registration: $599 to $2,599

This is both a conference and expo for content marketers. The event includes multiple workshops on content marketing topics like SEO, analytics, traffic, conversions, and social media. The event includes dedicated times for networking with other writers, plus opportunities to connect with marketing pros at global brands like Tyson, Discover, Dell, Volvo and more.

7. ContentTECH Summit 2020

Date: April 20-22
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Registration: $1,699 to $2,499

If you’re a fan of Saturday Night Live, that might be a good enough reason to attend the ContentTech Summit. Why? Alan Zweibel, one of the original writers for the show, is among the list of guest speakers. This event is geared towards established writers with some experience writing for large corporations.

8. Creative Non-Fiction Collective Conference

Date: May 8-10
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Cost: See website

If your writing creds and interests include literary or narrative nonfiction, consider attending the Creative Non-Fiction Collective Conference in Canada. Organizers are still working on the details for this event, but presenters include published authors and journalists.

9. Digital Branding Summit

Date: Jan. 27-31
Location: Online
Registration: Free

This is the first summit put on by the Digital Branding Institute. If you write content for clients, there’s a lot you could learn here to increase your skills and your value. The summit targets entrepreneurs, businesses and marketing managers who are interested in boosting sales, conversions and customers. And the price? It’s free.

10. FinCon: Financial Freedom Summit

Date: May 1-3
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Registration: $247

This conference includes workshops lectures and training on finance, investing, and money management. And if you write about money for magazines, trade pubs, or businesses, there’s something for you, too. “[This] is an opportunity for content creators to come together and share their money experiences with others who are working to change their own personal finance stories,” according to event organizers.

11. HippoCamp

Date: Aug. 14-16
Location: Lancaster, Penn.
Registration: See website

This conference is hosted by Hippocampus Magazine for creative non-fiction writers. Organizers are still working out the details for this event where you’ll learn about things like writing query letters, structuring a memoir, the editing process, and more. Have idea to help other writers? HippoCamp is also looking for presentation proposals for the annual conference on a wide variety of topics.

12. MarketingProfs B2B

Date: Nov. 3-6
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
Registration: $1,095+

Remember when your inbox used to say, “You’ve got mail?” Email marketing has come a long way since then. At this event, you’ll learn about content marketing and strategy, email marketing, and how to write more effectively to generate more clicks, leads, engagement, and revenue.

13. The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference

Date: July 17-19
Location: Denton, Texas
Registration: See website

This annual event hosted by the University of North Texas is for journalists and creative non-fiction writers. You’ll learn from pro writers and editors who cover The White House, corporations, healthcare, courts, professional sports, and the arts, based on this year’s theme: Bringing Truth Into Focus.

14. Non-fiction Writers Conference

Date: May 6-8
Location: Online
Registration: $125 to $690

It’s the 10th anniversary of the Non-fiction Writers Conference. And you won’t have to book a flight or plan a road trip to get there. It’s all online. You’ll get training from marketing pros like Seth Godin, entrepreneur Pat Flynn, podcast host John Lee Dumas, and many others, about writing, marketing, and publishing.

15. MozCon

Date: July 6-8
Location: Seattle, Wash.
Registration: $999 to $1,499

Here’s a fun fact…Every blog post Make a Living Writing publishes goes through a headline-writing process that includes a software tool created by Moz. The SEO marketing experts at Moz host an annual conference to teach best practices and talk about trends in SEO writing, digital marketing and content marketing.

16. New York Pitch Conference

Date: March 19-22
Location: New York, N.Y.
Registration: $795 to $895

Want to learn how to write a novel, memoir, or narrative nonfiction and get your idea reviewed by publishing pros? You’ll have to make the application-process cut to attend, because New York Pitch Conference only accepts 45 to 65 writers per event. You won’t actually pitch a book idea here, but you’ll learn how to do it to land a contract. And you’ll have the opportunity to work with top writers, editors, publishers, and literary agents in the business.

17. PubCon Pro

Date: March 24-26
Location: Miami, Fla.
Registration: $799 to $1,499

is held in North Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas. Dates vary by location, but begin on March 24. This conference also hones in on several areas from social media marketing, branding, landing page conversions, content development and more. Ticket prices vary according to what you’re looking for, but range from $699-$1,499 for Florida. Tickets for the Austin, Texas event are $389-$499. The Las Vegas event prices range from $699-$1,699.

18. Social Media Marketing World 2020

Date: March 1-3
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Registration: $497 to $1,697

This conference is put on by social media examiner, a well-known website crammed with juicy knowledge for those interested in social media marketing, writing and management. It’s scheduled to kick off March 1-3 in San Diego, California. Sessions focus on brand building and social media marketing to boost content performance. If you’re on a budget, the virtual ticket is the best deal. It gives you access to all of the recorded sessions and workshops for $697. If you want to experience it firsthand, then you can expect to pay $497-$1,697, depending on the access you want.

19. SPJ: Excellence in Journalism Convention

Date: Sept. 10-12
Location: Washington, D.C.
Registration: See website

The Society of Professional Journalists hosts this annual event for journalists, writers, editors, and freelance writers. Organizers are still working out the details for this event, but the SPJ event typically covers topics including investigative reporting, journalism ethics, government, freedom of information, trends in journalism, and more.

20. WriterCon

Date: Sept. 4-6
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla.
Registration: $299

This event includes 60 different training and workshops for novelists and magazine writers. You’ll learn about how to write and sell to magazines, build a successful writing business, publishing, marketing, developing online courses, and more.

Build skills & network at writing conferences

Thinking about attending a writing conference in 2020? If your budget is tight, check out the Digital Branding Summit (it’s free), or local chapters of national writing organizations. If you’ve got the funds for a road trip, attending a writing conference can be a good investment to help you move up and earn more.

What writing conferences do you recommend? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Beth Casey is a B2B writer living in Maine. She writes about business, digital marketing, health, and technology.

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