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Spring 2021 virtual events for writers

Digital opportunities for writers abound this season.

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AWP Conference & Bookfair

March 3-7

After proceeding with a controversial in-person conference last March, AWP vowed to go entirely online for the 2021 gathering, offering discounted registration rates for all attendees. If you’ve always wanted to experience the largest writing conference in North America but have been unable to travel to the event, this may be the year to attend.

Deep Poetry: Reading Gwendolyn Brooks and Edna St. Vincent Millay

Meets Mondays from March 8 to March 29

Over the course of four two-hour sessions virtually hosted by the D.C. indie bookstore Politics & Prose, poet Annie Finch leads readers through a deep dive into the work of two powerful and acclaimed voices in early 20th-century poetry: Gwendolyn Brooks and Edna St. Vincent Millay.


Boston University’s The Power of Narrative

March 19

This one-day event covering “in-depth storytelling…at a safe distance” is free for all attendees, with a speaker list that includes Ibram X. Kendi, Angel Jennings, Fernanda Santos, Jelani Cobb, and Jacqui Banaszynski.

Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival

March 19-21 for the retreat; March 24-28 for the festival


This beloved, long-running event in NOLA is going completely virtual in 2021, including a brand-new online Writers Retreat Weekend from March 19 to 21. (Regular Festival activities will take place later in the week.)

The Muse & the Marketplace

April 21-April 25

GrubStreet is taking its wildly popular in-person conference and turning it into a “virtual enhanced writing residency” for 2021, with the goal of encouraging attendees to devote all five days to writing with the help of intimate accountability groups with writers in your genre, 65 instructive sessions (all of which will be recorded), and online Agent Info Sessions where authors can connect with agents. An optional second week, featuring one-on-one sessions with industry professionals and premium workshops, is available at a separate cost.




Hudson Valley Writers Center workshops

This organization offers a generous calendar of virtual events for writers, from workshops on using enjambment in poetry to rethinking revision in all genres. Zoom readings, open mic nights, and “open write nights” round out the Center’s roster.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop

This Colorado-based organization offers a jam-packed calendar of virtual writing events for every genre, experience level, and budget. In March, for example, you’ll find writing clubs, academic help sessions, and workshops for kids and teens alongside workshops for adults entitled “Into The Frying Pan: Getting Through the Middle,” “Places and Identity in Nonfiction,” and “Writing Against Power.”


Orion magazine’s Online Environmental Writers’ Workshop

Capped at 12 attendees, each six-session Zoom workshop from Orion will cover either poetry or creative nonfiction, with instructors including Toni Jensen, Pam Houston, Nadia Owusu, Joseph O. Legaspi, and more.



In addition to the events listed here, dozens upon dozens of literary festivals around the country are streaming their typical in-person offerings this spring and summer – and, best of all, they’re often free for anyone around the country to attend. Tour the nation’s best lit fests and experience the biggest and brightest names in literature, all without setting foot on a plane.