Writing Conferences and Retreats

Click here for an extensive list of writing conferences and retreats around the state and the country.


Go Deep: A Generative Writing Retreat

Sonoma County Writers Camp
July 26-30, 2023

What are you afraid to write? What are you too busy to focus on? What remains unarticulated, unawakened, or not fully realized in your writing life? In the spacious, exquisite beauty of Ratna Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist retreat on the green coast of northern Sonoma County, discover the deeper layers of your story and your writing practice. Guided by beloved and inspiring teachers Ellen Sussman (NY Times bestselling author) and Elizabeth Stark (award-winner filmmaker, and author) and backed by the warmth, enthusiasm and talent of the Sonoma County Writers Camp community, take powerful risks, make profound discoveries…explore the deepest parts of yourself!



Napa Valley 42nd Writers’ Conference

July 30 – August 4, 2023

The admissions deadline for all applications, including requests for financial assistance, was April 17

For faculty profiles and conference schedule, visit To join the conference community online, “like” the conference at or follow


Mendocino Coast Writers Conference

August 3-5, 2023
The Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference is a vibrant gathering that offers Morning Workshops in a wide range of genres. Afternoons are packed with craft seminars, panels, one-on-one consultations, and open mics; and every evening offers an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie and connection that make this conference, in the words of one participant, “life changing.”

Registration for the next conference will be open from March 15 – June 30, 2023.
Tuition costs not yet posted, aside from online seminars, which cost $40 each.

Schedules, faculty and other details at:


Write with Susan Bono at Emandal’s ArtStays

August 23-27, 2023

Explore the art of memoir at Emandal’s ArtStays, a summer camp for grownups located 16 miles NE of Willits on the main fork of the Eel River. This year’s workshop, “Body Language,” will help you write a partial history of your oldest, most constant companion: your body. The goal is to build a thematically focused collection of short memoir pieces that reveal what it’s been like to live in your skin. If you’re new to memoir, this is a great introduction to the craft. If you’re already on your way as a writer, this work will strengthen your practice.

Give your soul stimulating work with supportive, like-minded companions. Give your body time in nature and extraordinary farm-to-table meals. The hours between breakfast and lunch are for lessons, discussion, and plenty of writing. Your homework will keep you busy but won’t prevent you from enjoying the delights of Emandal during the afternoons and evenings.

Long-time workshop leader Susan Bono is the author of What Have We Here: Essays about Keeping House and Finding Home. She edited and published Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative from 1995-2015. More info: or contact Susan:


Sonoma County Literary Update logo

%d bloggers like this: