Let's Just Write! Chicago's Writers Conference

  • March 22, 2024
  • 6:00 PM
  • March 24, 2024
  • 4:00 PM
  • Warwick Allerton Hotel


  • Grab the Attention of An Agent - If an agent/publisher asks what your book is about they want 2-3 sentences. Can you do that? This session will show you how to get to the heart of your project to grab their interest. Bring a 2-3 sentence synopsis if you want Ann to review it. If you don't have one, you'll be amazed how listening will teach you how to do that.
  • Emmy-nominated, award-winning screenwriter and author Audrey Wilson will work with you on the basics of adapting your novel into a screenplay.
  • Get Out of Your Own Way and Create -
    In this session you'll create a poem that grabs readers emotionally. Even if you're not a poet this process will inform your storytelling, whether fiction or nonfiction.
  • Igniting Your Short Story - In this master class we'll learn to construct a narrative that unfolds uniquely using activities like setting snapshot, character sketch, conflict introduction, and the time travel experiment to lay the foundation for your brand new short story, all within the span of just an hour!
  • All Hail the Second Draft - We often assume the second draft is simply tidying up the manuscript, switching around paragraphs, or messing with punctuation. In reality it's the key to good writing. In this master class you'll learn how to tackle your all-important second draft with clarity, confidence, and a plan of attack.
  • Capture Readers with Conflict -
    Good writers use conflict to capture readers’ attention—great writers keep that conflict going on every page. Editor and author Keir Graff shares easy-to-implement techniques for fiction writers who want to punch up plotlines, create fascinating characters, and craft dialogue that crackles with life.
  • Writing Your Query Letter - Get your query letter ready, whether you are in the query trenches, about to query agents or publishers, or self-publishing. Learn why the pitch is so important no matter what stage you are in your career, and how to craft one that will make your book stand out.

Registration is closed

We will welcome you on Friday evening for a welcome reception; heavy h'ors d'oeuvres, cocktails and conversation, and our live lit event.

Then you'll enjoy two days of presentations, workshops,  panels, pitch sessions, master classes...and more. Your registration fee includes the Friday event, breakfast both days, one lunch, and banquet dinner on Saturday night at the hotel. 

The conference will take place at the Warwick Allerton, 701 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

Visit our website for more information and to meet our speakers. Please not that we are still working on the schedule so that will not be posted just yet.

NOTE: Agent/publisher pitch session will be available for $25 each. You will be able to sign up for as many as you like.

Non-members: join CWA for only $25/year and register as a member.

Registration will close on March 15, 2024 or until sold out. There will be no same day registration.

Registration for the pitch sessions will open at a later date.

Warwick Allerton Hotel:  The CWA block of rooms reserved for the conference is at the incredible rate of $129/night. 

Refund policy: No refunds. You may transfer your registration if you are unable to attend.

CHICAGO WRITERS ASSOCIATION is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 6505, Evanston, IL 60204.

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