Annual Conference 2020

ALERT: Conference Postponed

Heeding the advice of medical professionals and with an overwhelming concern for the health and safety of our attendees, presenters, agents and staff, we are moving the conference from March 28th and 29th to a new date. We are working with our partners at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in College Park to find a new date.

We will announce details as they are available. Thank you for your patience.


Join us for our Annual Maryland Writer’s Conference
where writers—no matter where you are in your writing journey—
can develop the craft and community network to help you
take your vision From Brain to Bookshelf.

Saturday March 28 - Sunday March 29, 2020

Industry Expert Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman, a 20-year veteran of publishing, will present insider sessions on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Saturday: Today’s Key Book Publishing Paths: What’s New, What’s Old, and What’s Right for You? 
Over the last decade, the publishing industry has undergone tremendous evolution due to the growth of online retail and digital books, as well as the power of any author to publish and distribute their work at the click of a button. Jane discusses everything you need to know about how book publishing operates today, in plain English, to help you understand the pros and cons of every major publishing path available.

Sunday:The Art & Business of Author Platform. 
Most working writers have at least one thing in common: they seek to grow the readership for their work. But what leads to readership growth? And what can you do, especially without a publisher’s help (or a large bankroll), to encourage that growth? Sometimes this is called “platform development.” Platform building requires consistent, ongoing effort over the course of a career; the work is never really done , and your strategy will evolve over time . We’ll discuss how to develop an approach and philosophy that fits your personality and the unique qualities of your work.

Jane is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest, a Great Courses professor, and an author with the University of Chicago Press. Since 2001, she has spoken at hundreds of events worldwide, including BookExpo , SXSW, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and numerous creative writing programs. She has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund in San Francisco. Her blog on the business of publishing enjoys 150,000 unique visitors every month.

Workshops & Panels

In addition to Jane Friedman's sessions, experts will lead workshops each day on various aspects of writing and publishing. We will also be offering industry panels with agents and insiders. Check out the workshop and panel offerings here. 

Agent Opportunities

Pitch and Critique Sessions are going fast!
Register today to save a spot.

Agents will be on site both Saturday and Sunday to hear your book pitches, provide critiques, and participate in industry panels. Check out agent profiles here (and research on the web) to find agents who are looking for your genre and style of work. Pitch and critique session slots are limited and avaible first come, first served.

  • Agent Pitch: $20.00 each (first pitch free for MWA members) - pitch your submission-ready manuscript to agents
  • Critique with Agent: $60.00 each for critique of first 10 pages of your work in progress (after you sign up, we'll send information about how to submit your 10 pages ahead of the conference; you'll meet with the agent at the conference to receive feedback on your work)


The conference will be held at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on the University of Maryland College Park Campus, at 3501 University Blvd East, Hyattsville, Maryland 20783. The Conference Center is 1.8 miles from the College Park Metro Station.

For attendees wishing to stay overnight, an MWA Room Discount is available. Rates start at $99.99 / night. Must be booked by March 7. Available while supplies last. Book at:

registration IS now open

Members save on registration (be sure to login when registering).
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