Summer is upon us, and with it comes conference season. There is a spattering of writer’s conferences throughout the year, most of them small-scale, but the warm, golden days of summer are simply packed with events to keep you in the air conditioning and away from the beach.

Conferences are unique events where writers, agents, editors, and freelancers all come together to geek out over books, talk shop, and scope out potential partnerships. If you’re serious about publishing, I highly recommend you make room for the occasional conference in your budget. But don’t try to attend all of them! I spent a year as a serial conference groupie and got so burned out that I toyed with the idea of never going to another conference ever again in my entire life. Ever.

But the fact is, conferences are good places to learn and network. So I took a break, and now that I’m back in the game, I pace myself. I pick and choose which conferences to attend, and during the event, I remind myself that I don’t have to go to every session. And who knows? While I’m playing hooky from Workshop C, I may run into that person I wanted to speak with, who might contact me in the future for a gig. True story, folks.

When looking for a conference to attend, you’ll find there is no shortage, but how do you sift through the Google search results to find the conference that’s right for you? Here at Ooligan Press, we’ve done the sifting for you. So whether you’re an extrovert who considers conferences a joyful time of networking, or an introvert who grudgingly grants them the status of necessary evil, we have the scoop on regional conferences happening this season.

Upcoming Regional Conferences

Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference

  • When: July 28–31
  • Where: Seattle, WA
  • Base Price: From $475 (member price). Scholarships no longer available.
  • Website: PNWA

World Domination Summit: From Book to Idea Academy

  • When: August 11
  • Where: Portland, OR
  • Base Price: $59
  • Website: WDS

Willamette Writers Conference

  • When: August 12–14
  • Where: Portland, OR
  • Base Price: $279–$499 members / $324–$544 nonmembers
  • Website: WWCon

Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference

  • When: August 15–18
  • Where: Portland, OR
  • Base Price: $525 members / $560 nonmembers / $350 students under 23. Rates valid until July 20.
  • Website: OCW

Write on the Sound Writers’ Conference

  • When: October 1–2 (preconference September 30)
  • Where: Edmonds, WA
  • Base Price: Various; $150 for main conference.
  • Website: WOTS

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Oregon Annual Fall Retreat

  • When: October 13–16
  • Where: Sublimity, OR
  • Base Price: TBA
  • Website: SCBWI

The Neverending Online Backspace Writers Conference

  • When: Various
  • Where: Online
  • Base Price: $225
  • Website: BKSP

This is not, of course, an exhaustive list, but it does include most conferences taking place in the Pacific Northwest this summer and into the fall. You should note that there may be additional costs added to the base registration fee if you sign up for things like optional sessions or meals. On the other hand, many conferences have scholarships or reduced rates for students. We have noted a couple discounts, but they are not always advertised. So be sure to check the website thoroughly, and remember that there’s no harm in contacting the organizers to ask.

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