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Sunday, June 26, 2022

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Writers' Conference Takes Place Jan. 27-29

The annual event connects writers with agents and publishers.
By Steve Dolan

When Susan Messenger asked a friend who had attended the SDSU Writers’ Conference to describe the event, his response was “the magic conference.”

Magic, indeed.

Messenger went to the conference in 2010 and is now the proud author of “Keepers of Lost Cities” that will be released next fall.

“I wasn't expecting to have any agents request pages or to garner any attention. What I wanted was to see how they responded and see if they spotted any weaknesses or mistakes. That way I could maybe fix some of those problems before I sent it out and accumulated a gigantic stack of rejections,” Messenger said with a laugh.

Success doesn’t necessarily come overnight, but it does come over time to numerous individuals who, like Messenger, attended the SDSU Writers’ Conference.

Margaret Dilloway knows the feeling. She twice attended the SDSU Writers’ Conference and is author of “How to be An American Housewife,” which was published in the summer of 2010.

“I count what I learned at the SDSU Writers’ Conference as critical to my development as a professional novelist,” said Dilloway, who already has made a deal with Putnam Books to write another novel.

Will there be others following in the footsteps of Messenger and Dilloway after attending the 28th annual SDSU Writers’ Conference on January 27-29 at the Doubletree Hotel in San Diego’s Mission Valley?

About the conference

This annual conference, hosted by SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, is among the largest of its kind on the West Coast. It annually includes one-on-one consultations and hands-on editing assistance. Participants will learn ways to sharpen their writing skills and make connections with editors and agents of fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting while learning how to publish in the traditional manner or on the Internet.

Consultation appointments and advance reading appointments are also offered for $50 apiece before Jan. 3 and $60 after Jan. 3 (with some restrictions.) New this year is the fact that participants may book an unlimited amount of appointments with an editor.

Cost for attending the conference is $399 before Jan. 3 or $435 after Jan. 3 and does not include consultation appointment or advance reading appointment fees. Times are 4-7:30 p.m., Jan. 27; 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Jan. 28; and 9 a.m.-3:50 p.m.,  Jan. 30.

For complete information, visit