Santa Barbara Writers Conference Returns For Its 46th Year

Posted on Jun 12 by SEASONS Magazine

La Cantina at the Hyatt Santa Barbara–the conference's public hangout room. Photo courtesy of SBWC.

La Cantina at the Hyatt Santa Barbara–the conference’s public hangout room. Photo courtesy of SBWC.

The 2018 Santa Barbara Writers Conference (SBWC) returns June 17-23 for its 46th year, and it’s an event you definitely do not want to miss! Whether you’re a full-time writer, student, or just getting back to the craft, the conference has something for you. 

Since 1972, SBWC has given writers the opportunity to receive individualized feedback and dedicate time to tuning their craft as well as connect with mentors, agents, and publishers. There has been nothing but good things said by those who have attended SBWC in the past. New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore says, “I went into the Santa Barbara Writers Conference a foundering insurance man and came out a writer. I wouldn’t have made it without the camaraderie and enthusiasm for the craft I found there.”

Audience for the SBWC evening speaker in El Cabrillo at the Hyatt. Photo courtesy of SBWC.

There are five full days of workshops that cover literary fiction, mystery, sci-fi, memoir, creative nonfiction, travel writing, poetry, screenwriting, and marketing; five keynote presentations by thriving authors; afternoon speakers and panel discussions; book signings; an Awards Banquet; and so much more.

Speakers for this year’s conference include Pico Iyer who received the Ross Macdonald Literary Award and Steven J. Ross whose most recent book Hitler in Los Angeles was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2018. The afternoon and evening panels and speakers are open to the public for a small cost. For a full schedule of speakers, view the public event schedule.

SBWC 2017 Book Panel. Photo courtesy of SBWC.

SWC Director, Grace Rachow, says, “I love seeing the first-time attendees at each conference, because they are floating an inch off the ground all week. I love seeing those who attend almost every year because once you come to this conference, you become part of a community of writers, a family where everyone who is interested in improving their writing craft is welcome. Each year is a wonderful blend of the old and new.”

The conference is truly a wonderful networking experience. Ten agents are onsite and available for advanced submission appointments, if you are interested in having an agent read five pages of the opening of your project. In addition, all registered students are eligible for a free manuscript consultation with one of the conference workshop leaders. For more information on how to register for an appointment with an agent or how to submit your work, visit the conference website.

The 2018 Santa Barbara Writers Conference is hosted at the ocean-front Hyatt Santa Barbara. To register for the conference and to find more details about cost and accommodations, please visit For other questions or comments, email 

The Hyatt Santa Barbara is located at 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara.

Emma Sheridan


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