By Emily DeRuy
Established and aspiring writers will converge on the 10th annual La Jolla Writers Conference, Nov. 5-7 at Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego.
Named “One of the 84 Conferences in the Country Worth Your Money” by Writer’s Digest, the three-day event will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about all facets of writing — from techniques for overcoming writer’s block to navigating a publishing deal.
This year’s attendees will be treated to several keynote speakers, including authors John Lescroart and Linwood Barclay, who will explain the paths they took to become internationally acclaimed writers.
Founded by literary publicist Antoinette Kuritz in 2001, the conference has drawn participants from 40 states and four countries. With registration capped at 200 people, the conference maintains a faculty/attendee ratio of between 1 to 4 and 1 to 6, giving writers intimate access to well-known writers, agents, editors, publishers, and publicists. Attendees choose from more than 75 different classes, some designed as 50-minute lectures and others as 110-minute workshops.
Some programs begin as early as 7 a.m. and others run until 2 or 3 a.m. to accommodate both early bird and night owl scribes. The classes range from topics as broad as general fiction to those as specific as young adult romance and first-person narrative. They are intended to promote participation and interaction, and attendees are encouraged to bring their work for review.
“From the very beginning, I knew writers needed to know about the business of writing,” said Kuritz. “I said one-third of the classes needed to be about the business of writing, and everyone told me I was out of my mind, but we did it, and the classes have been overwhelmingly popular.”
Faculty members, many of them New York Times bestselling authors who donate their time at the conference, are selected for their ability to share knowledge and teach effectively. This year, teachers include such notables as Lisa Pulitzer and Stephen Boyett.
Priced at $435 for the full three-day conference, and $175-$275 for individual days, the La Jolla Writers Conference remains one of the most affordable writer’s conferences in the country. In 2001, the first keynote speaker was Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of “Pay It Forward,” and since then, the conference has adopted that idea as its theme.
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