Special Program / The 2014 Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference (Archived Landing Page)

2014 Conference Schedule

Friday, May 23rd


Presentations provide an in-depth exploration of the changing publishing landscape by experts in the industry, with a reading by some of the best writers in the genre. PLUS: a chance to socialize with the presenters, CNF staff, and other attendees at a cocktail hour.

11 a.m. // Check-in
Pick up your conference materials and get ready to start your day.

12 p.m. // The Literary Landscape: Online & in Print
Brevity editor Dinty W. Moore and Hattie Fletcher of Creative Nonfiction discuss the role that literary magazines play in the development of an author’s career, and best practices for submitting your work to journals.

1:15 p.m. // Small Presses, Big Results
Lee Gutkind and Michael Simms of Autumn House Press explain the benefits of small press publishing and talks about the editorial process for first-time authors.

2:30 p.m. // Crowdfunded Publishing
Larry Levitsky, CEO of Inkshares, discusses how crowd funding is circumventing traditional publishing processes and providing new opportunities for authors.

3:45 p.m. // Publishing in the Digital Age
Book editor and agent Emily Loose provides insights into the evolving publishing landscape, explores the pros and cons of self publishing, and provides insider insights into how to tackle traditional or self-publishing.

5 p.m. // Cocktail Hour
Join the speakers, Creative Nonfiction staff, and your fellow writers for hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar at the University Club.

6 p.m. // Reading with Lee Gutkind, Dinty Moore & Jane Bernstein
Followed by a brief Q&A.

Register for Friday Only »
Register for Entire Weekend »



Saturday, May 24th


We’ll kick off the day with a conversation about the history and evolution of both the genre and the magazine, as well as the challenges and rewards of the writing life; then we’ll delve into the craft of the genre, exploring techniques and best practices for writing both short and long-form nonfiction, the power of research, and the art of the memoir. PLUS: a second opportunity to socialize with the presenters and other attendees at a literary happy hour.

9 a.m. // Check-in & Breakfast 
Pick up your conference materials and join us for continental breakfast, coffee, and tea.

10 a.m. // What is Creative Nonfiction?
Lee Gutkind answers to this broad-ranging question.

11 a.m. // Writing it Short
Dinty W. Moore, editor of Brevity magazine, discusses the art and craft of short-form nonfiction writing.

12 p.m. // Writing it Long
CNF editor Lee Gutkind examines strategies and techniques for long-form nonfiction writing.

1 p.m. // Lunch Break 
Explore Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. There are many restaurants near the conference venue.

2:30 p.m. // Explorations in Memoir
Jane Bernstein discusses the craft of memoir writing.

3:30 p.m. // The Power of Research
Peter Trachtenberg talks about research strategies and how to use research in your writing.

4:30 p.m. // Literary Happy Hour
Have a drink on us as you unwind with your fellow writers, conference speakers, and the editors of Creative Nonfiction.

Register for Saturday Only »
Register for Entire Weekend »



Sunday, May 25th


Receive personalized feedback on your writing, and start new work using CNF's Boot Camp style writing prompts and motivational techniques.

9 a.m. // Check-in & Breakfast
Join us for continental breakfast, coffee, and tea; Sunday-only participants can pick up their conference materials.

10 a.m. // Small Group Writing Workshops & Book Proposal Workshop*
With Dinty W. Moore, Jane Bernstein, Peter Trachtenberg, Leslie Rubinowski, and Anjali Sachdeva.


10 a.m. // Two-Hour Boot Camp
We’re offering conference goers an in-person sample of one of our most popular online learning experiences, our Boot Camp class.  Spend a two-hour session with us where we’ll focus on an aspect of CNF craft, and then put that craft lesson into practice right away with the use of guided prompts. This is intended as a generative session, not a workshop, so come prepared to write!

12:15 p.m. // Lunch Break
Explore Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. There are many restaurants near the conference venue.

1:45 p.m. // Small Group Writing Workshops & Book Proposal Workshop
Participants who did not participate in a morning workshop will attend an afternoon workshop.


1:45 p.m. // Two-Hour Boot Camp
Participants who did not attend this talk in the morning will attend this session.

Register for Entire Weekend »

* Sunday participants can choose either a morning or afternoon workshop. Participants who spend the morning in workshop will attend Boot Camp in the afternoon, and afternoon workshop participants will attend Boot Camp in the morning. Workshop groups will be small, with a maximum of 8 participants, and each workshop member will submit a manuscript of up to 3,000 words for the instructor and other workshop participants to review prior to the conference.

The deadline for sending manuscripts will be Friday, May 9.