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Conference FAQ

Whether you're a regular on the writer's conference scene, or this is your first one, you've probably got a few questions. Here's several of our most frequently asked ones:

When is the conference?

The 2020 NCW Conference will take place April 30-May 2, 2020. Registration will begin in October 2019 for NCW Members and December 1 for the public. 

Do you accept proposals for your conference?

Yes, but we're closed to submissions until June 2020. Click here for more information.

How many writers attend the NCWC?

We typically have anywhere between 150-175 attendees. Because our conference is smaller than most, we are able to provide a more personal and intimate experience that many larger conferences sometimes lack. That means attendees have more opportunities to have face-to-face interaction with presenters and fellow attendees, and in a relaxed and welcoming setting. Smaller numbers also allows us to incorporate fun, personal details that make the conference experience for attendees and presenters, a memorable one.

How do I connect with other attendees and presenters on social media?

Twitter: #NCWC2020

Facebook event page  (for attendees only)

Do you offer booth space?

Yes! We allow book- and writing-related businesses at our conference. (All booths are subject to approval for appropriateness.) Deadline for the 2020 conference is February 10. Contact for information. 

A 90+ page program? Really?! 

Yep. And it's fantastic. All attendees receive a spiral-bound program containing presenter handouts, bios, and other writing info. It also has blank pages so you can take notes--everything you need in one handy book. Attendees often keep their program as a reference, long after the conference is over. You can even place an ad in the program if you'd like to promote your book(s) and/or writing services. We offer low rates for ad space for our conference program. Contact our sponsorship team if you are interested in purchasing ad space.

How should I dress?

Business casual. Some attendees get a little gussied up for the Friday night banquet which is aways welcomed, but not required.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

It's a good idea to bring pens, a notebook for notes (in case you don't want to write in your program), and business cards. We'll have conference bags available at registration if you'd like one to carry everything in. (Breath mints are also great to throw in--you'll be chatting with lots of people!)

Can I stay at the Marriott?

You bet. There will be a limited number of special-rate rooms available, but they go fast, so register early for a chance at a discounted room. Stay tuned for more information. 

What's the food situation? 

We've got you covered . . . mostly. The base conference fee includes the Friday Banquet Dinner, lunch on Saturday, and dessert during the closing. We'll also provide coffee, tea, and other snacks in between meals. A limited amount of breakfast items will be available Saturday morning. For only $35, you can score a seat and a lunch at the Agent-Editor Panel Luncheon on Friday. Breakfast is available at the Marriott, including grab-n-go options. We make sure that we offer a variety of options (omnivoire, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free) for the lunches and dinners. If you have a very specialized diet or severe food allergy, it is best to contact Amy Rivers in April 2020 when the menus are finalized; she can let you know what will be served. Please note: we cannot reimburse you for food if you choose to forgo the included meals. 

What genres does the conference support?

We cater to all genres, offering craft workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. We also provide sessions on marketing, productivity, and what's latest in the publishing industry. 

Do I need to sign up for sessions ahead of time?

No. You can choose which session you'd like to attend during each track, when you're at the conference. You can even quietly leave one session and attend another if you'd like. The only sessions requiring pre-signup, are the Master Classes, Luncheon, and Consults. 

What's the Agent-Editor Panel Luncheon all about?

This is one of the most popular sessions we offer. Want to know the latest in the publishing industry? Want to hear straight from the agents and editors what they're looking for? For an additional fee, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and listen in as industry professionals dish about what's happening in the writing world. Attendees will enjoy a buffet lunch while jotting down their burning questions on provided notecards. Moderator, JC Lynne, will then collect the cards and read aloud the questions; the agents and editors will each have a chance to answer these questions.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest ins and outs of the publishing business from a wide variety of professionals. 

How do the Consults work?

For 2020, we decided to do things a little differently. In the past, attendees had 5 minutes to pitch their completed manuscripts. Having only a few short minutes to pitch a project to an agent or editor often proved incredibly stressful, plus, many attendees want to discuss other aspects of writing and publishing, so we came up with 15-minute consults. Pitch your finished manuscript, or talk about a project you've started, or ask about the publishing industry; you decide how to use your fifteen minutes! Each agent or editor will have a limited number of slots available. Attendees can sign up ahead of time (limit 2). If there are slots open as we near the conference, we'll open it up to allow attendees to purchase additional consults for $15 each. There will be a time keeper moderating the session, but it is extremely important that both the writers and the agent/editor are mindful of not going over the allotted time.

If you are pitching a completed manuscript, we strongly advise you to choose an agent or editor who accepts the genre you are pitching. Do not sign up with an industry professional just because they have an open slot. Please check out the bios and websites of the participating agents and editors ahead of time, so you are familiar with each one. Once you've registered for the conference, you'll receive a separate email with instructions on registering for agent/editors consults, critique roundtables, and writing/editing consultations. 

I'm not a published author, can I still attend the conference?

Absolutely! A writer's conference is one of the best places to learn, network, and propel your writing forward, no matter where you are in your writing journey. New writers tend to appreciate our more laid-back atmosphere and come away feeling confident about their writing, and enthusiastic about the connections they made and knowledge they gained. Plus, if you're new to writing, a conference is a great place to learn a ton of information all in one place instead of trying to find writing classes in your area which can be expensive and time-consuming. It's our belief that there is always something more to learn and take away, so that's why even seasoned authors attend our conference; eager to hone their skills, try something new, and learn the latest in the publishing industry. 

Do I have to attend the whole conference?

Nope. You have the option to attend either Friday or Saturday only, or just a Master Class.

Can I take pictures of a presenter's slides/PowerPoint?

Even if it's for your own use, some presenters want to protect their proprietary information, so please ask the presenter ahead of time if you can take pictures of their slides. (You don't want to be called out in front of everyone in the middle of the session!)

How can I volunteer?

Hey, we're glad you asked! Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a variety of volunteer positions. Just check the box on the registration form and you will be given access to a Google Spreadsheet with available volunteer positions: Picking up/dropping off out-of-town presenters from Denver International Airport; Conference Team set up; Room Monitors for each session (helping presenters with any issues and letting them know when the session is nearing a close); Agent-Editor Consult time-keepers; Conference Bookstore setup/breakdown; and clean up after the conference. Volunteering at the conference is a great way to meet other writers, get to know the presenters, and establish your presence in the writing community (plus we really appreciate the help)! At this time, we aren't able to cover your registration if you volunteer.

Are scholarships available?

Yes, please see the Jerry Eckert Scholarship and RISE Scholarship pages for more information. 

I don't like to pay online. Can I pay another way?

We prefer electronic payment, but you may also mail in a check. If you choose that option, you will be given instructions on who to make it out to and where to send it. If paying with check, please send your payment within ONE WEEK of registering. Please note: Last day for mail-in payment is March 15. We cannot accept cash for registration payment. 

What is your cancelation policy?

You can cancel up to 30 days prior to the conference in order to receive a refund (minus a $35 admin fee). The deadline to cancel is March 31, 2020. Email Amy at to inquire about a refund.

Any tips or advice?

Oh, we've got lots!

  • We encourage you to be open to talking with fellow attendees and presenters. If you're feeling timid, chances are, you're not alone, so others would probably welcome the chance to talk with someone who's in the same boat. Bring those business cards and make sure you have a place to store others people's cards. (There's also space in the back of the program to write down names, emails, and web addresses.) Introduce yourself to people and make new contacts--you never know where these connections will lead.
  • Once you register, you'll be able to join the NCW Conference Private Facebook page where you can introduce yourself, ask questions, and meet fellow attendees before the conference even begins. This is a great way to connect with others beforehand and even make plans to meet up at the conference.
  • Check out the schedule ahead of time and make a plan, especially if you have any goals to accomplish. We also highly encourage attendees to step outside their genre and attend a session they know little about; it might spark some ideas!
  • Be prepared by creating a pitch log-line. No one wants to hear your 20-minute book description, so work on your 2-5 sentence pitch, because you will be asked many times "So what do you write?" or "What's your book about?"
  • Above all, be professional and courteous--it will serve you well!

Still got questions? We're happy to help.

Email Amy Rivers at

Copyright 2019 by Northern Colorado Writers, LLC

Phone: +1 (720) 552-0054

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2770 Arapahoe Rd.
Ste. 132 - 1110
Lafayette, CO 80026

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