Register to attend the 2015 S.B. Writers Conference

Start clean and simple. Don’t try to write pretty or noble or big. Try to say just what you mean. This is hard because you have to find out what you mean, and that’s work, real work. (Gertrude Stein)

- Rebecca Robins

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SwirlAbout Us

Nicole Starczak
Nicole Starczak

Meet our Director!

Nicole first attended SBWC fresh out of the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, and with her first YA novel. Her interests finally aligned when she returned in 2011 as SBWC director.

The Santa Barbara Writers Conference is a week you will never forget. You can count on working hard, meeting dozens of other writers, learning from professionals who are passionate about writing, and being inspired beyond your wildest imagination.

SBWC continues to give published and unpublished writers alike the opportunity to improve their craft, to associate with helpful professionals and to mingle with other writers. Workshops are the heart of the conference, and we are pleased to offer a faculty that is unrivaled. Your highly credentialed workshop leaders will talk about everything from characterization, plot and scene-setting (for fiction writers) to how to pitch a story idea to editors (for nonfiction) to selling a script (for screenwriters). We offer workshops that tell you how to make your humor writing really funny, how to make your poetry more lyrical, and how to navigate the lure, intricacies and pitfalls of getting published.

We are proud of our many successful alumni — like Fannie Flagg, Dr. Spencer Johnson, Gayle Lynds, Monte Schulz, Gillian Roberts, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Jean Harfenist, Karin Finell and Christopher Moore, to name just a few.

Here’s how the conference works. We offer more than 20 different instructional workshops each day on:

  • fiction (all genres)
  • nonfiction (biography, memoir and travel writing)
  • screenwriting
  • playwriting
  • poetry
  • children’s literature
  • young adult
  • marketing

You can wander from one to another to sample them all, or you can settle down in a couple of particular workshops each day. We encourage (but never require) writers to bring their current work to read aloud in the workshops, where they will get feedback from workshop leaders and class participants.

In the late afternoons we hold a special event — either a speaker or a panel, and every evening we have a major author speaker. We have an Agent/Editor Day in which you can schedule yourself for one-on-one meetings with the agent or editor of your choice to discuss your work and pitch your idea, screenplay, short story, novel. This program is optional and registration for Agent/Editor Day will open in early March.

After the last speaker of the evening, we keep going! We offer "pirate" workshops for those stalwart souls who want to get some really in-depth critiquing. They start at 9 p.m. and have been known to go into the wee hours.