Conferences, scholarships, contests—the whole candy jar!


For those who’ve wondered where I’ve disappeared to over the last few months, the answer is As the new Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, I’ve been sweet-talking a wonderful faculty into joining us in August and putting together a new website to advertise the result. Registration opens on March 1 (or at least that’s the plan), so please check out our gorgeous new website! You’ll not only find morning workshops, afternoon seminars, pitch panels, agent consults, and a publishing bootcamp, you’ll find many, many full and partial scholarships and a writing contest with cash prizes and the possibility of publication in the Noyo River Review.

While we’re on the subject of contests and publication, you have just enough time to scrape into Glimmer Train’s Jan/Feb short story award for new writers. Submission deadline is February 28, so you’ll have to get your skates on, but a byline in Glimmer Train would be well, well worth it. No doubt the $2,500 first prize would be happily received too.

Another competition with a nice prize pot is the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. This contest is now in its 16th year and remains one of the few free-to-enter competitions around, and one of the very few offering a first prize of $1,000. Entries close April 1.

A looming deadline that makes my own heart go pitter-patter is the application deadline for the Authors at Large Iceland Writing Retreat, which closes March 11. The editor and pedant in me would like to point out that this is more of a conference than a retreat, with seminars and workshopping—but still, it’s in Iceland. I’m sure just the surrounding beauty will zen you out despite the packed itinerary.

If you’re interested in a retreat retreat, where the focus is on getting down to the writing ensconced in a community of similarly productive writers, where the scratch of quills (or more accurately the tap of keyboards) is broken by lively discussion when it’s time to workshop in the evenings, and by camaraderie and laughter over a communal dinner, then drop me a line to be added to my retreat waitlist:

Retreats are planned for the Point Cabrillo light keepers’ houses in May, and Port Orchard, WA, in October. Both are currently waitlist-only, but let me know if you’re interested. I have also held the light keepers’ houses for “my” writers during the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference. If you’re attending the conference and would like a room at the inn, let me know.

Until then, happy writing!