Conference Overview





Partner Package



The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference offers a broad sampling of genres. You might choose to concentrate on poetry, novel, short fiction or creative nonfiction. Or you may want to explore and experiment. All workshops are open on a first-come, first-served basis, with the exception of the Master Class.

The Master Class is designed for those who have considerable experience and applicants are required to submit a 10-page manuscript when registering for the conference after registration opens on March 15. Admissions to the Master Class continue until all 12 seats are full. The Master Class tuition requires a $100 reading fee. If you are not accepted for the class this fee will be refunded and you will be admitted to your second choice workshop.

When selecting from the Program schedule, the following guide may help you:

Morning Workshop:
You will workshop with the same faculty member for three hours during three morning sessions. You are asked to send a sample of your work and will review manuscripts shared by other students in your class before the conference. During the workshop, you can expect to learn new writing techniques, practice some of these methods, and discuss your work-in-progress.

There is a lot of participant interaction in the Workshops

Afternoon Lectures/Craft Discussion Sessions/Pitch Panels:
The sessions are shorter than the morning workshops, each focused on a particular craft topicvor chats with editors, agents and publishing professionals.

Optional Manuscript Consultations:
20 minute one-on-one sessions with the author, agent, or editor of your choice. Please schedule these in advance. The cost is $60 for each. Query Letter consultations are offered for $40. You will be asked to send your work to be read beforehand, based on individual guidelines provided upon registration. Consultation appointments are filled first-come, first served. Early registration is advised. .

Readings by presenters and contest winners. They are often a highlight of the conference. These are free and open to the public.

Student Open Mic:
All registered conferees are invited to share your work at the Open Mic hosted on campus on Thursday or Friday. Sign up sheets at the registration desk when you arrive.

Pitch Panels:
All registered conferees are invited to present a 2-minute pitch about your book to the panel of editors, literary agents, and special guests. Come and pitch, or join the audience during these lively, interactive sessions. Pitch Panels happen 4-5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Sign up sheets at registration desk. Guidelines will be sent to all confirmed registrants. Prepare to pitch the following: novel, nonfiction, biography, how-to, cookbooks, memoir, science fiction, thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, YA, children’s literature including picture books, and more.

Continuing Education Units:
Advance your career by earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in cooperation with Dominican University. You may earn 2 or 3 CEUs while attending our conference. Download our CEU Fact Sheet.

Gallery Bookshop, a Mendocino independent bookstore, will be on-site daily during the conference featuring books by conference faculty and books on the craft of writing.

Breakfast & Lunch:
Starting Thursday morning, a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch will be served daily on campus to all faculty and participants. Coffee, soft drinks and water are available all day. Your non-writing guest may dine with the advance purchase of a Partner Package

Lunch on the patio

On Thursday evening attend a welcoming reception held in Mendocino Village with faculty-author literary readings,wine and hors d'oeuvres.

Friday evening MCWC faculty authors will perform at Town Hall as part of historic downtown Fort Bragg's “First Friday" arts walk. Includes light refreshments, and you are free to enjoy a meal at a local restaurant.

Saturday evening includes a faculty book-signing social hour, and a gala closing dinner with keynote speech, literary readings and prizes.

New! Publishing Boot Camp on Sunday August 7:

This new course will be held on the Mendocino College - Coastal Campus on Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Box lunch included. Publisher Shirin Yim Bridges will guide you through the many pathways available in today‘s publishing world.

Registration in the Publishing Boot Camp is open to everyone, whether or not you attend the main 3-day Writers Conference. Come with your questions and leave with a decision tree and some useful handouts to chart your direction in the publishing world. This course includes short lectures, group discussion and exercises, and Q&A time to give you an insider’s peek at the publishing industry.

Mendocino is certainly one of the best around, and definitely the most fun.
John Lescroart

2016 Conference: August 4—7